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Elderly Care Volunteer Program in Zambia - Livingstone

Elderly Care Volunteer Program in Zambia - Livingstone

Interested in being an Elderly Care volunteer in Zambia? International Volunteer HQ’s Elderly Care project enables volunteers to assist in care facilities for seniors who have nobody else to look after them. Volunteers gain experience caring for the elderly while making a real difference in the lives of older people who are likely to be homeless, ill or have disabilities.

  • Programs start every first and third Monday of the month
  • Affordable fees from AU$628 for 1 week
  • Includes accommodation, meals, airport pick up, orientation and 24/7 support
  • Provide care and connection to vulnerable elderly people

  • Take a safari or adventure on the Zambezi

  • Stay with other volunteers near the buzzing town of Livingstone

Key information

Provide companionship & care for elderly people
Based in elderly care facilities
Dormitory-style volunteer​ ​house
Volunteers aged 18+ and families
Fully hosted experience from AU$628 for 1 week
Durations from 1 - 16 weeks
Visit the spectacular Victoria Falls
Up to 5 hours volunteering a day

This program is ideal for:

Caring and compassionate volunteers who are interested in providing assistance wherever their help is most needed within a elderly care facility. As you’ll be volunteering under the guidance of local staff, you don’t need to have prior experience in caring for the elderly, though it is highly recommended.
Who is this program suited to?

What to expect and how you'll make an impact

In Zambian culture, it’s common for elderly people to move in with their family or extended family when they are unable to care for themselves. But not everyone has family, and not all families have the capacity to house and care for their elders. These older people can be left homeless, destitute and struggling to stay healthy and fend for themselves. Volunteers provide vital assistance at elderly care facilities and can make a meaningful difference to the quality of life of older people who live there.

As an Elderly Care volunteer you will work alongside local staff in elderly care facilities for those who have nowhere else to go. These facilities can be badly under-staffed, under-resourced and unstructured so you must be willing to work independently and use your initiative. Your role will vary but help is needed with all matter of general tasks such as:

  • Caring for the elderly
  • Providing companionship
  • Serving meals
  • General maintenance
  • Cleaning
  • Gardening
Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #3: Good Health and Well-Being

Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #3: Good Health and Well-Being

Good mental and physical health is key to sustainable development and building healthy and happy communities. Now more than ever, we must increase access to free healthcare and health education across the globe to achieve an acceptable standard of living and wellbeing for all.

Why do Elderly Care volunteering in Livingstone with IVHQ?

When you volunteer with the elderly in Zambia you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:

  • Providing care to vulnerable older people
  • Improving quality of life in elderly care facilities
  • Developing your communication skills
  • Gaining elderly care experience
  • Immersing yourself in Zambia’s culture
  • Discovering Africa’s incredible wildlife

Volunteer requirements

  • Volunteers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to participate in this program
  • All volunteers aged 13+ are required to provide a criminal background check to IVHQ prior to departure. Those aged 13-17, if unable to obtain a criminal background check, can provide two character reference letters instead
  • All volunteers are required to have adequate volunteer travel insurance
  • All volunteers must speak fluent English.
Are you eligible to volunteer?

Submit a free application so we can confirm your eligibility and check availability for your preferred dates.

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Read reviews from Elderly Care volunteers in Livingstone

”Seeing the smiles of the elderlies at the old people’s home and the smiles and laughter of the kids that we played football with daily was something I have never experienced before. That feeling was extremely priceless. On my last day of placement, I said goodbye to the elderlies when they hugged and kissed me before sending me off at the gate of the home. more

Read reviews from Elderly Care volunteers in Livingstone

Volunteer Abroad in Zambia with IVHQ


The IVHQ Zambia volunteer program is based in the laid-back tourist town of Livingstone, named after the famous colonial explorer who was thought to be the first European to see and name the nearby Victoria Falls. Set in the southern edge of Zambia, Livingstone borders Zimbabwe and Victoria Falls - the world’s biggest and most breathtaking waterfall. The area is lush with national parks, abundant wildlife and the Zambezi River which provides an exciting array of outdoor activities for adventurous volunteers.

Volunteer placements are located in Livingstone and surrounding rural areas. On the Rural Teaching project, volunteers are placed and accommodated in the Makumba village, which is located 40 miles from Livingstone.

Arrival and orientation

The program orientation begins on the first and third Monday of each month, and volunteers need to arrive in Livingstone on the Sunday before orientation. After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airport (LVI) in Livingstone. Your airport pick-up is included in your Program Fee.

When you arrive, you will be greeted at the airport by a member of the local team and transported to the volunteer accommodation in Livingstone. Your accommodation is covered by your Program Fee and includes the night before your program orientation.

If you are travelling in Zambia prior to your volunteer program, we can arrange for you to be picked up in Livingstone on the day before your program orientation.

Orientation is hosted by our Zambia team at the volunteer house in Livingstone. Orientation begins on the morning of your chosen start date and covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Zambia – an introduction to Zambia, culture and customs, rules and expectations, safety, travel opportunities, and an introduction to your project and placement. The orientation will also give you a chance to meet other volunteers and swap contact details for weekend travel and socialising.

Volunteer schedule example

First Day

On your first day of volunteering (the day after your orientation), you will be escorted to your placement by a local coordinator and introduced to the placement staff you will be working with.

Weekdays - A typical volunteer day is as follows:

7:00 AM Breakfast at the volunteer house
8:00 AM Volunteers travel to their placements to join local placement staff and begin work on their project.
1:00 PM Work at the placement usually breaks for lunch. Most volunteers will receive a packed lunch. After lunch, volunteers continue with their volunteer work.
3:00/4:00 PM Work at the placement usually ends and volunteers return to the volunteer house or spend their free time as they wish.
7:00 PM Dinner at the volunteer house.


During the weekend, volunteers in Zambia have an endless list of activities to join. The area’s major attraction, Victoria Falls, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the largest waterfalls in the world. In addition to the wealth of nearby national parks, nature lovers have the opportunity to experience a range of safaris and tours in Zambia, as well as in other neighboring countries, such as Botswana, Zimbabwe and Namibia. Thrill seekers are also well catered to in Zambia, with an abundance of activities, such as bungee jumping, devil’s pool, white water rafting, abseiling, gorge swinging, zip-lining and microlight flights. Within Livingstone itself, a range of restaurants, curio markets and various cultural activities offer a lot to take in for those wish to stay around town.

Accommodation and WiFi

Volunteers are accommodated in a dormitory-style volunteer​ ​house, approximately 10 minutes from Livingstone town centre.​ You can expect to share a bedroom and bathroom​ ​with 2 to 5 other volunteers of the same gender. The volunteer house has electricity, running water, western bathrooms, and a​ ​​communal lounge and garden area for relaxing and socializing.​ ​It is important to note that power cuts are common in Zambia ​in times of drought, which in turn affects the running water supply.

If you would like to keep connected during your stay, we recommend bringing an unlocked mobile phone and purchasing a local SIM card when you arrive in Zambia. The local team can assist you with purchasing a SIM card during your program orientation. You can also access WiFi from cafes and restaurants located within walking distance of the volunteer house.

Private rooms can​ ​be arranged at an additional cost (see upgrade options below) and are subject to availability. This can be​ ​arranged directly through ​​the local team once you have registered for the program. Bed linens are provided and during the hot months, a sheet​ ​should be adequate cover in the evenings. During the cooler​ ​months, you may wish to bring a sleeping bag for an​ ​extra layer of warmth.

Volunteers are also asked to bring their​ ​own towels. The volunteer accommodation has a nighttime​ ​​security guard and is located in a safe area protected by​ ​an electric fence. On-site staff clean the accommodation​ ​throughout the week, however​ ​volunteers are also required​ ​to keep their rooms and common areas tidy.​

Upgrade to a private room with ensuite for the duration of your time on the program for only US$55 (approximately AU$89) per week. The local team have both double and twin rooms available, both with en suite bathrooms.

Extra nights of accommodation If you would like to arrive a day earlier than your recommended arrival date, or wish to spend a few extra nights after finishing your program, we can arrange extra nights of accommodation for you for US$35 (approximately AU$57) per person, per night, meals included, subject to availability. If you would like to arrange an upgrade or extra nights of accommodation, just contact your IVHQ Program Manager who will be happy to assist you.


Volunteers are served three meals per day, prepared by an on-site local cook. All meals will be a mix of western and traditional Zambian food.

Breakfast may include fruit, toast, spreads and cereal with tea, coffee and juice. Lunch is usually provided in the volunteer accommodation, although packed lunches of sandwiches and fruit are provided if requested for those who choose to remain at their placement. Dinners will commonly be a combination of meat, starches and vegetables.

The local staff are happy to accommodate special dietary requests (vegetarian, vegan, dairy free, gluten free etc). Please let an IVHQ staff member know of any special dietary requirements in advance, so we can ensure the local staff are prepared for you.


  • USD
Program Fee
Due 30 days before you start, or within 48 hours if you register inside of 30 days. Covers the cost of hosting you.
  • USD
1 week AU$628 Equivalent to AU$90/day
2 weeks AU$872 Equivalent to AU$62/day
3 weeks AU$1166 Equivalent to AU$56/day
4 weeks AU$1378 Equivalent to AU$49/day
5 weeks AU$1606 Equivalent to AU$46/day
6 weeks AU$1819 Equivalent to AU$43/day
8 weeks AU$2243 Equivalent to AU$40/day
10 weeks AU$2667 Equivalent to AU$38/day
12 weeks AU$3091 Equivalent to AU$37/day
16 weeks AU$3939 Equivalent to AU$35/day
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • In-country program orientation
  • Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
  • Airport pick-up
  • Personalised preparation tools, guides and check lists
  • Access to IVHQ’s preferred insurance and flights partners
  • Discounts on travel and tour add-ons
  • Certificate of International Volunteer Service

Learn more about what's included in your IVHQ Registration Fee and Program Fee.

  • All programs attract a Registration Fee of US$329 (approximately AU$536) in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services. IVHQ fees are priced in USD but you may elect to pay in AUD.
  • A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
  • Volunteers ​staying for longer than 4 weeks ​will need to budget an extra US$400​ (approximately) to ​obtain a temporary work permit​ ​from Zambia Immigration in order to stay up to 90 days.
  • Additional things to budget for include: Visa, flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check and return to the airport when your program finishes.
  • Please note: Volunteers ​staying for longer than 4 weeks ​will need to budget an extra US$400​ (subject to exchange rate) to ​obtain a temporary work permit​ ​from Zambian Immigration in order to stay up to 90 days.
  • Recommended spending money: Volunteers in Zambia generally find US$100 per week to be sufficient for expenses.

We believe that no volunteer adventure would be complete without experiencing the cultural and natural wonders of your host country. That’s why we offer safaris, market and village tours, whitewater rafting, cruises and more, exclusively available to IVHQ volunteers in Zambia as affordable add-ons.

Please contact us or your IVHQ Program Manager to book or get more information about any of the following activities and tours.

Enjoy a scenic bungee jump off the Victoria Falls Bridge, located in Mosi Otunya Park. Let your adrenaline flow from a 111 meters of free-fall over the rapids of the Zambezi River.

A fantastic full day safari experiencing the wildlife of the highly regarded Chobe National Park, Botswana. We also have options for a 2 day, 1 night Chobe Safari Experience, from AU$595

Located at the top of Victoria Falls, Devil’s Pool is a must see attraction in Livingstone Island.

This is a great in-depth tour of Livingstone and gives travellers a chance to get to know the real side if the city.

Get to grips with Zambian cooking with this lunch-time class in Livingstone.

Take off onboard of a microlight for a 30 minute flight above the Victoria Falls with the chance of spotting wildlife in the Zambezi River from the top. Enjoy breathtaking views of the Victoria Falls from the sky.

A tour to the Mukuni Village is a 3 hour eye-opening, educational and inspiring activity.

Experience Mosi-Oa-Tunya guided safari game drives, home to most of Zambia’s white rhino population.

Relax as you watch the sunset while cruising the Zambezi River on a 3 hour cruise.

Enjoy a half day guided tour to one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Experience the Zambian lifestyle visiting a local village located in the surroundings of Livingstone. The village tour takes about 5 hours.

Experience the power of the world’s largest waterfall on a full-day whitewater rafting tour on the rapids of Zambezi River, just downriver from the Victoria Falls.

How to book IVHQ’s recommended add-ons:

When you apply for an IVHQ volunteer program, make a note of which tours and add-ons you’re interested in on your application form so we can check availability and prices for you.

Once you’ve paid your registration fee, your IVHQ Program Manager will be able to book your place on the tour(s) you have chosen and help you organize your trip.

Check what's required to visit Zambia

Safety and support with IVHQ

Safety and support

IVHQ follows best practice and industry-leading health and safety procedures, which are regularly reviewed and optimized as part of the B Corporation recertification.

  • All volunteers encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training.
  • All local teams trained on best practice volunteer management & First Aid.
  • All IVHQ programs are required to adhere to IVHQ's Risk Management Policy.
  • All volunteers have access to 24/7 in-country support from our local team.
Learn more about IVHQ's safety

Essential country information

Capital Lusaka
Population 17.86 million
Languages English, Nyanja, Lozi, Tonga
Currency Zambian Kwacha (ZMW)
Time zone UTC+02:00

Weather and climate

There are three seasons in Zambia: the dry season (mid-April to August), when temperatures drop at night, but the landscape is green and lush; the hot season (September to mid-November), when the best time to see wildlife as flora is sparse; and, the wet season (mid-November to mid-April), which is ideal for bird-watching.

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How to get started

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