Volunteer in Zimbabwe with Go Volunteer Africa, Africa’s leading and largest volunteer travel organization. Despite being one of the least explored destinations on the continent, Zimbabwe is a geographically rich location: its incredible natural landscapes and vibrant, lively cities are just a couple of amazing features to be found there.
Zimbabwe is most famous for the Victoria Falls, the local people refer to the falls as “Mosi-oa-Tunya” which means “The Smoke that Thunders!” This is of course due to the marvelous vision of rising mist that can be seen from some distance away when the river is at its highest. The name was originally coined by explorer and missionary, David Livingston.
Zimbabwe enjoys rich wildlife and natural beauty. From the Matopo Hills and their huge boulders, to the ancient Great Zimbabwe ruins going back to Africa’s great ancestry, to a number of national parks and wildlife reserves offering fantastic game viewing. Spending time being more than just a tourist and volunteering in Zimbabwe will be a real eye opening learning experience, you will be able to live in a new country and really get to understand the local culture and way of life.
There are also so many attractions to see and the local people although generally very poor are very warm and open to foreigners. A lot of local people speak English too which makes this country easier to navigate and get around. We wouldn’t be so excited about these projects if they really weren’t worthwhile! Get ready for the most incredible experience of your life.
If you join our volunteer in Zimbabwe programs with wildlife you will probably be based in a remote area of the country usually in Southern Zimbabwe which is where a lot of National Parks, nature areas and sanctuaries are located. In Northern Zimbabwe there are programs running around Lake Kariba and the Lower Zambezi.
Volunteer in Zimbabwe with Animals
Help rhinos, elephants, crocodiles, snakes, birds and more species. Some animals in Zimbabwe like black rhinoceroses are facing a bleak future with extinction looming, but you can play a part in trying to help these beautiful creatures. Animals used to have large numbers in Zimbabwe, but in the 1980’s and 1990’s poaching was rife and war ravaged the country which meant than rhinos become extinct in the Zambezi Valley where they were once in their thousands.
After rhinos became extinct in the Zambezi Valley the remaining rhinos in Zimbabwe were moved into conservation areas where they would be safer, and hopefully away from issues like poaching. Other animals like elephants have really suffered from drought and poaching in recent years and their numbers are extremely low.
When booking to volunteer in Zimbabwe with our wildlife program you will be helping local staff with daily activities like collecting food, feeding the animals, cleaning enclosures, helping create new housing and more. You might even be part of rescue teams who go out and save injured animals. There are lots of wildlife rescue centres and orphanages in Zimbabwe and which need help from international participants all year round. Wildlife orphanages care for animals which have been injured, abandoned or can’t look after themselves in the wild.
Some will be released back into the wild whilst others will need human assistance. Sometimes when lions are either young, injured or being nursed by to health you will be able to touch and walk with them – this is an unbelievable experience and one of the most amazing things you can do in the whole world.
The best thing about this volunteer projects in Zimbabwe is you live on site and work on site so you are always at one with the animals. On outreach projects this is your chance to travel into the spectacular National Parks to rescue wounded and orphaned animals to bring back to the centre to house and also to nurture the wildlife back to health.
Community Development Volunteer Projects
Zimbabwe has a population of around 12 million people and approximately 65% live in poverty and the average life expectancy is only 51 years – both are quite a shocking stats. Go Volunteer Africa offers short and long term community development programs where you can work on the ground and help people in need. You might choose to help educational efforts and teach in community centres or at schools working with children from poor backgrounds. This can be really rewarding where you will get to help students learn, seeing them improve their English and literature will be a magical experience.
Sports Coaching volunteer in Zimbabwe
Join a cricketing experience that you will not forget. Experience the lifestyle of an overseas cricket coach, the rewards are that you will gain a rich understanding of the Zimbabwe sporting culture and way of life. Sport plays a vital role in children’s lives. Whether at a social or competitive level, it is fundamental in the development of one’s personality, co-ordination, discipline and social development. It provides one with the opportunity to develop one’s interpersonal skills, self-esteem and create a positive self- image.
Medical Volunteer Projects in Zimbabwe
You could also work in a medical capacity, Zimbabwe has one of the highest rates of HIV infection in the world with around 14% of the population suffering. You could apply with the National AIDS Council through Go Volunteer Africa to help prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS by raising awareness of the problem within local communities and also looking to care and offer support to affected people. Helping local Zimbabweans overcome the daily struggles they face will be an experience which will stay with you forever.
Volunteers can also be placed in local rural community schools on projects such as AIDS awareness, teaching self-sufficiency skills, English conservation and environmental issues. People are always needed on these types of projects, you will need a willingness to help and do your bit to raise awareness of the issues and provide assistance on the ground. You will work in teams alongside local staff, whilst there will also be other international volunteers helping.
EXTRAS AND SUPPORT
Zimbabwe, officially the Republic of Zimbabwe, is a landlocked country located in southern Africa, between the Zambezi and Limpopo Rivers, bordered by South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and Mozambique. The capital and largest city is Harare. The second largest is Bulawayo. A country of roughly 15 million people, Zimbabwe has 16 official languages, with English, Shona, and Ndebele the most common.
Zimbabwe may be one of the most beautiful countries in Africa. According to official data, the number of tourists visiting the country increased to 554,417 in the first quarter of the year. In the first three months of this year, the number of foreigners visiting the Victoria Falls, one of the country’s top tourist attractions, increased by 48% compared to the same period of 2017. Two years after the dawn of a new era in its complex history, the resolute country is luring intrepid adventurers keen to discover its countless natural wonders.
What to Do in Zimbabwe
Victoria Falls: These great cascades, located near the Zimbabwe–Zambia border in the Zambezi River, are undoubtedly one of the most impressive natural wonders in the world. An average of 550,000 cubic meters (19,420 cubic feet) rush through them every day. The falls and surrounding area are not only a national park but also a UNESCO World Heritage Site; they have awed and inspired visitors for hundreds of years. A large number of water sports and extreme sports are available to tourists around the falls, from bungee jumping to white-water rafting. The town of Victoria Falls, on the southern bank of the Zambezi River, is easily accessible by bus and car and has a small international airport with daily domestic flights, as well as service to cities in South Africa and Namibia.
Chinhoyi Caves: These dolomite and limestone caves are located near the town of Chinhoyi, a couple of hours from Harare. Within the caves is a large, deep blue pool, known as the Silent Pool. It is believed that the caves were once the hideout of the bandit Nyamakwere, who threw his victims into the pool to drown them. The pools in the caves offer super diving with great visibility and exciting underwater tunnels and caves to explore.
Kariba: This inland sea, nestled in Zimbabwe’s breathtaking mountains, is surrounded by game reserves and a prime fishing and water sports area. Kariba is one of the largest manmade lakes in history, having once been a river. It is a lovely watering hole, feeding ground, and home to a myriad of mammals, birds, and fish, and it is dotted with small islands teeming with life. We highly recommend putting Kariba at the top of your itinerary.
Mbare Market: Need to do some souvenir shopping? Or do you simply want to experience the buzz of African market life? If you are in Harare, visit the Mbare Market, where vendors sell everything you might wish for. Prices are almost never fixed, so be prepared to bargain.
Hwange National Park: The largest national park in Zimbabwe, Hwange is located between Bulawayo and Victoria Falls and boasts one of the densest concentrations of wildlife in Africa, including elephants, buffalo, zebras, and giraffes. Some of Africa’s most obscure and unusual mammals, such as the gemsbok, can be found here. Walking, driving, and horseback safaris in this massive park make for unforgettable experiences.
Bulawayo: Zimbabwe’s second-largest city, located in the southwestern part of the country, is known for its vibrant art and music scene, colonial buildings, and tree-lined streets. Home to a large number of the nation’s museums, Bulawayo is a great city to spend some down time in before or after a tour in one of Zimbabwe’s national parks.
Matobos National Park: A short drive from Bulawayo, this national park is one of Zimbabwe’s greatest tourist attractions, with its impressive granite outcrops and a large variety of birds. The greatest concentration of ancient San rock art can also be found in the Matobo hills. There is a small game park where visitors can see white and black rhinoceroses.
Great Zimbabwe Ruins: Near the southern town of Masvingo reside the most impressive medieval ruins in sub-Saharan Africa. Dating between A.D. 1250 and 1450, the ruins possess the craftsmanship, size, and timelessness to make them one of the most impressive tourist destinations on the continent, a testament to the intelligence and skills of the ancestors of today’s Zimbabwean people. The ruins consist of two large stone enclosures and a conical tower, built from granite and soapstone. Similar ruins exist throughout the rest of Zimbabwe and in surrounding countries, but none can match Great Zimbabwe in magnitude.
Capital: Harare (Population: 2,542,813)
Currency: South African rand / US Dollars / Euros
Population: 15,728,908 (approx)
Official languages: English
Area: 390,757sq. km
International Calling Code: +263
PROJECT LOCATIONS & QUICK FACTS
Zimbabwe may not be your first thought for an African safari, however Zimbabwe safaris offer excellent wildlife viewing, game drives and walking safaris. This combined with cultural excursions, adventure sports, canoeing and of course a visit to the majestic Victoria Falls, makes Zimbabwe an unexpectedly great holiday destination.
For many years, Zimbabwe’s reputation as a travel destination has been tainted by the specter of political unrest. However, the country is more stable now than it has been for decades, and slowly, tourism is returning. Most of Zimbabwe’s top attractions are found outside the main cities, and are therefore considered relatively safe.
Those that decide to visit can expect breathtaking nature areas, exotic wildlife and ancient sites that offer a fascinating insight into the continent’s history. Best of all, Zimbabwe’s world-class game reserves and UNESCO World Heritage Sites remain incredibly uncrowded — giving you the truly thrilling sense of having stepped off the map.
VOLUNTEERING IN ZIMBABWE QUICK FACTS
- The program is open all year-round
- Very flexible start and end dates (arrive any day of the month)
- Over 6 exceptional sustainable project options
- Projects are based across the country with major locations Harare, Bulawayo and Victoria Falls
- Accommodation available at volunteer house & host families
- We host over 30 volunteers every month across Zimbabwe
- Program fees include pre-departure support, airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country support
- We are the most affordable organization in Africa, because we are the locals!
A volunteer trip to Zimbabwe through Go Volunteer Africa will take you through an attractive patchwork of landscapes, from highveld, balancing boulders and flaming msasa trees, to laidback towns, lush mountains and lifeblood rivers. Here you can spot the Big Five (leopard, lion, rhino, elephant and buffalo) in its national parks, discover World Heritage–listed archaeological sites and stand in awe of one of the natural wonders of the world, Victoria Falls.
Lets Go Zimbabwe with Africa's leading volunteer travel organization - Go Volunteer Africa is All about Volunteer - Travel - Vacations
Volunteers need to be 18 years or over to participate, unless volunteering with a parent or guardian. All volunteers are required to have adequate volunteer travel insurance and provide a criminal background check to Go Volunteer Africa's local Coordinators on arrival in the country.
SAFARIS & TOURS
Safaris, day and cultural tours can be organized over the weekends for volunteers. This is a fantastic opportunity to explore Zimbabwe's vibrant cities, rich musical culture, secluded wildlife. There is a lot to see and do in Zimbabwe.
BEFORE YOU GO
§ Pre-departure support & documentation
§ Travel & medical advice & documentation
§ Advice on visas & equipment advice
§ Project orientation
§ 3 meals a day
§ Airport pickup
§ In-country emergency support
§ 24-hour HQ backup
§ Free GVA t-shirt
ZIMBABWE VOLUNTEER PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS
Volunteer Guest house/ Host Family
ARRIVAL & AIRPORT PICKUP
After you have booked and confirmed your placement, please book your flights to arrive at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport in Harare. A member of staff from our local partner organization in Zimbabwe will meet you on arrival at the airport in Harare and take you to the volunteer guest house or host family which will be your base for volunteering.
Orientation and Placement will be done the next day. This airport services numerous international carriers. Zimbabwe has good connections to destinations throughout Europe, the Asia- Pacific region, USA and Africa.
ACCOMMODATION & LIVING IN ZIMBABWE
Volunteers are provided accommodation in a volunteer house or in a homestay accommodation managed by the local coordinating team. Three meals a day (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) are provided to the participants from Monday - Sunday.
The accommodations are neat and clean. Accommodation is shared amongst volunteers on the ‘same gender sharing’ basis rooms. Wifi internet, warm water is not guaranteed.
The homes are close to useful amenities like banks, ATM’s, currency exchanges, restaurants, cafes and shopping places. All placements are around 10 - 30 minutes from the accommodation. Over the weekends or evenings, participants are free to eat out and explore the different delights that Zimbabwe has to offer.
Some volunteers are also provided accommodation in the project premises itself. For example - Volunteers working in teaching or orphanage project can be provided accommodation in the project premises itself in a separate room that is allotted for volunteers.
WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED:
Flights: Flights are not included in our program costs. However, GVA has partnered with an experienced and professional team of travel experts to help our volunteer travelers find the best flight deals for their trips with us. This travel specialist operates in the tailor-made, long haul multi-stop travel market, arranging complex airfares and transfers for independent travelers.
Visas: Visitors to Zimbabwe must obtain a visa from one of the Zimbabwean diplomatic missions or online unless they come from one of the visa exempt countries or are eligible for visa on arrival. As of November 2014 Zimbabwe and Zambia also offer a universal tourist visa.
Foreign citizens may apply for all types of visa (tourism, business, residence and study) online through the eVisa system of the Zimbabwe Department of Immigration. Visa fee can be paid online or on arrival. It takes an average of two working days to obtain an e-Visa. However the period may vary due to a number of factors. The e-Visa is valid for three months from the date of issue
Insurance: You'll need to buy appropriate travel insurance covering your participation on the program. You won't be able to go without the right travel insurance so double check to avoid disappointment. Please make sure that you're covered for the whole duration of your trip – from the day you leave your home to the day you return.
APPLICATION & BOOKING
To participate in this program, you have to fill an online application form, and submit it for consideration. After application process and acceptance into the program, you will be required to pay 50% of the program fee within 14 days of your acceptance. Failure to make the placement booking and confirmation payment will lead to cancelation of your program.