Interns stay at our project base ‘Serenity’ in purpose-built accommodation that is shared with other interns or project volunteers. It’s not luxurious, but it’s comfortable and will quickly become your home from home. The toilet and shower facilities are shared and, while we can’t always guarantee the hottest water (this is Africa, after all), the facilities are more than adequate. Three good quality meals are provided a day, so you won’t go hungry. Water, cordial, tea and coffee are included in the cost of your stay. Alcoholic and soft drinks can be purchased at extra cost from the bar at Serenity, but interns are more than welcome to buy their own supplies in town.
Only a 10-minute drive from the centre of Livingstone, getting into town on a day off or for an evening is easy. Morning briefings will take place at our offices in the Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park, a stone’s throw from the Zambezi River and in the heart of pristine African bush.
As we are surrounded by African bush with its interesting and potentially dangerous residents - such as elephant, buffalo and hippo - we are confined to camp in the evening unless you decide to go into Livingstone town. Therefore, any items like cards, board games, DVDs, books, etc, are most welcome! On arrival, you will be given a safety briefing to ensure you avoid running into problems with our ‘neighbours’, but a good torch is an absolute necessity when packing. If you do go into town, there are several good restaurants and local bars. For a more upmarket experience, high tea at the Royal Livingstone Hotel is a treat - just make sure you wear your cleanest pair of shorts!
It’s not all work, work and more work as an intern! There are plenty of amazing experiences to enjoy during your time off. Of course, being so near to the majestic Victoria Falls, you would expect plenty of white-knuckle adventures. You can throw yourself off the famous Victoria Falls Bridge on a bungee line, throw yourself into the rapids on a white water rafting ride, you can hover above the Falls in a helicopter or micro-light, or you can even just enjoy looking at them from the safety of the Victoria Falls National Park. Either way, visiting one of the seven natural wonders of the world will be a highlight of your stay in Zambia.
Additional days off can also be arranged to enjoy a variety of optional trips further afield to discover more of Zambia or its neighbouring countries, including Zambia’s Kafue and Luangwa National Parks, Botswana’s Chobe National Park, Hwange and Matopos National Parks in Zimbabwe and even Antelope Park, where ALERT was founded.
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.
A laundry service is available at a cost of USD 5 per week. We recommend that you do not bring clothing that you are too concerned about being damaged, as facilities are basic by first world standards - and we do not want to ruin your favourite clothes! Also, please be aware that you will need to be responsible for washing your own items of underwear. Washing powder is available for you to use.
We have British (3 pin square) plugs in Zambia. There is electricity at your accommodation (including a generator for when the mains power goes off) and you will be able to use all normal electrical appliances such as hair straighteners, iPod, camera chargers, etc.
If the nature of your placement includes the need for internet usage, you will be provided access to a computer with net facilities. For everyone else, we have a wireless connection at the office only, which you can link to if you bring your own laptop. We ask that you use this only for chatting and sending emails rather than downloading music, films etc, as we have to operate within strict download limits. Internet cafes are common in Livingstone.
The project has a telephone line that your friends and family can contact you on outside of work hours. You will not be able to make international phone calls on this line, but you can receive them.
You will be able to use your mobile phone in Zambia if you enable international roaming before you leave home. Alternatively, you can purchase a local sim card for your mobile instead.
Weather & Climate
May – August: These are the cooler months and temperatures can be very chilly (down to 5oC) in the evenings and early morning. It’s a great time of year for game viewing but make sure you bring a jumper and jacket.
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 very 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. 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 Livingstone project here.