Antelope Park is a private wildlife reserve near Gweru, in the Zimbabwean Midlands (the nearest airports are Bulawayo and Harare).
Early starts are made much easier when you’ve got such natural beauty on your doorstep; not to mention the equally beautiful and friendly smiles of the Parks' staff that can warm up the chilliest of winter mornings. And there is something very special about waking up to the distant sound of lions roaring; your alarm clock at home will never be the same again!
Interns stay in shared accommodation with fellow interns or with the project’s volunteers. The shower and toilet blocks are close by. It’s not luxurious, but it’s comfortable and will quickly become your home away from home.
Meal times are certainly to be looked forward to. Interns dine alongside the Park’s guests and volunteers under our thatched, open-sided dining room with views over the lake. The buffet is good and plentiful; one thing is guaranteed, you won’t go hungry during your time with ALERT!
For interns working in our local community, your commute to work will be short; the Mkoba township is only 10km from camp.
Whilst your work day will be full and rewarding, Antelope Park offers plenty of amazing experiences and activities to enjoy during your time off.
There are lions, of course! A lion walk through the bush is the perfect beginning or end to your day and will quickly become your favourite way to unwind. For full-on thrills, lion feeds are hard to beat. Watching adult males racing towards their food - and you - with only a fence in-between is unforgettable. Just make sure to keep your mouth closed when the meat starts to fly! Night Encounters offer another thrilling experience; an often white-knuckle chase through the bush in an open-top safari vehicle in pursuit of a lion with only one thing on its mind. Even if you aren’t lucky enough to see a kill, the exhilaration of a lion racing past your vehicle in the darkness is spine-tingling enough. If you do, you’ll never forget it!
The Park has its own stables and an exhilarating canter through the bush on horseback takes some beating. Even if you’ve never ridden before you can still saddle up with lessons available for every level. Antelope Park’s family of orphaned elephants will steal your heart. An elephant safari from on high is the leisurely option, but trying to keep up with them on foot isn’t as easy as it looks! Elephant herding is a rewarding experience and a chance to interact with these magnificent animals up close and personal.
There are lazier ways to enjoy your leisure time too. Hop in a canoe to explore the river with its abundant birdlife and tree-climbing monkeys. A sun-downer cruise in the evening is an unmissable opportunity to find out exactly why Africa is famous for her fiery sunsets and is perfect for unwinding at the end of a busy day. If you’d rather stay on dry land, how about a horse-drawn carriage ride for an afternoon of relaxed game spotting? You can catch up on your favourite programs on the digital satellite TV in the lounge, or there is nothing better than socialising under an African starry sky around our welcoming fire pit. A bar is available selling alcoholic and soft drinks and snacks, but interns are more than welcome to purchase their own during the weekly (optional) trip into Gweru town.
There’s so much to do; you’ll wish you were staying longer!
You are provided with three meals a day. The food is of good quality and will cover all your needs but should you wish to you can purchase extra items in town at one of the supermarkets.
Water and tea/coffee from the dining area are included in the cost of your stay, whilst alcohol and soft drinks can be purchased from the bar. There is also a coffee shop available during the day for the purchase of hot drinks and snacks.
Your laundry will be washed, ironed and folded for you free of charge.
We have British (3 pin square) plugs in Zimbabwe. There is electricity at your accommodation and you will be able to use all normal electrical appliances such as hair straighteners, iPod, camera chargers, etc. Please note that electricity supplies can be subject to extended periods of service outage, so bring a good torch!
The lodge has wireless internet, available for a charge from reception.
You can use the phones in the lodge reception to call home, but please note that phone services from Zimbabwe are not cheap. As an alternative, you can arrange for family and friends to contact you using these numbers outside of work hours.
You should be able to use your mobile phone in Zimbabwe if you enable international roaming before you leave home, but coverage is limited, especially out of the major towns and cities. However, this facility is not guaranteed to work on all international networks and we advise that you check with your cellular provider before leaving home to confirm.
Weather & Climate
May – August: These are the cooler months and temperatures can be very chilly (down to minus 5oC) in the evenings and early morning. It’s a great time of year for game viewing but make sure you bring warm clothing.
September – November: Shorts and t-shirt weather! This is the hottest time of year with peak temperatures in October often rising well above 40oC. Evenings are comfortably warm. There may still be the occasional chilly day so bring a light jumper just in case.
December – February: Days and nights can get hot and sticky. You need light clothes although there might be a day the temperature drops so ensure you also bring a sweater. It’s a time of heavy rain, especially between mid-November & mid February so bring a raincoat and gum boots. Some days it can start chilly and overcast, turn into hot and clear blue skies, and then end with torrential downpours.
March – April: Expect pleasant, spring-like weather and temperatures that are usually not too hot. It is mostly dry, although there may be occasional showers.
You can download the pre-departure brochure for our Antelope Park project here.