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Rural Teaching Volunteer Program in Zambia - Livingstone

Rural Teaching Volunteer Program in Zambia - Livingstone

Excited to be a volunteer Teacher in rural Zambia? International Volunteer HQ’s Rural Teaching project is an immersive experience where volunteers live in a remote Zambian village and help teach at the nearby school. Volunteers will stay with a local family and help them with their day-to-day activities, gaining a uniquely authentic insight into their lives. The school is understaffed and has a high need for volunteers who can assist with a range of lessons and tutor students.

  • Programs start every first and third Monday of the month
  • Affordable fees from AU$974 for 1 week
  • Includes accommodation, meals, airport pick up, orientation and 24/7 support
  • Teach at a local school with a real need for more staff

  • Have an immersive experience of Zambian village life

  • Get to know the friendly local people of Makumba

Key information

Improve access to quality education
Based in rural villages and schools
Homestay accommodation
Volunteeers aged 18+ and families
Fully hosted experience from AU$974 for 1 week
Durations from 1 - 8 weeks
Discover the Zambian countryside
Up to 8 hours volunteering a day

This program is ideal for:

Volunteers who want to live with the local community and learn about their culture, lifestyle and traditions, as well as helping to teach children at the local school. As volunteers support local teachers, you don’t need to be a qualified teacher to participate. However, we encourage you to come prepared by completing some relevant training like a TEFL course.
Who is this program suited to?

What to expect and how you'll make an impact

If you’re looking for a teaching project in Africa that goes beyond the ordinary, then the Rural Teaching project in Zambia is it. This is an immersive volunteer experience where you’ll be based in a Zambian village, getting a unique insight into African life while making a real difference in the education of children.

Volunteers are based in the village of Makumba, 40 miles from Livingstone. You’ll live as a member of the community, experiencing an authentic lifestyle and volunteering to support teachers in local schools.

You’ll assist local teachers in a school of around 200 students, who range in age from 4-18 years old. Aside from volunteers, international visitors are rare in Makumba, so your perspective and English language skills are particularly valuable. Due to the high demand for support staff and teachers in Zambia, you can expect to be volunteering for full days on a variety of different tasks and subjects. You’ll be primarily helping with:

  • One-on-one tuition
  • Assisting local teachers
  • Occasionally leading lessons
  • Helping with English, math, science, geography, history, art and physical education
  • Marking work
  • Helping with homework
  • Playing games
  • Supervising students during breaks and exams

You’ll also get a unique cultural experience outside of your volunteer hours. You’ll stay in a homestay with a local family, living in a basic house with dirt floors, no electricity, bucket showers and an outdoor toilet. Your homestay will be based around three miles from the school, and you’ll need to walk there each day. Volunteers can also expect to help out around the homestay with tasks such as the general running of the home, including:

  • Cooking
  • Cleaning
  • Gardening
  • Collecting firewood
  • Collecting water from the well
  • Feeding chickens
  • Harvesting crops.
Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #4: Quality Education

Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #4: Quality Education

More than half of all children and teens do not meet minimum proficiency standards in reading and mathematics. Quality education provides an opportunity to learn and grow in a safe environment and is key to preventing poverty, securing long-term employment and improving quality of life.

Why do Rural Teaching volunteering in Livingstone with IVHQ?

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

  • Improving educational outcomes for disadvantaged students
  • Helping communities maintain their lifestyle
  • Developing your communication skills
  • Gaining teaching 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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Academic course credit through International Volunteer HQ and Intern Abroad HQ.

Academic course credit

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Read reviews from Rural Teaching volunteers in Livingstone

”I realize despite how little the children and their families have in Zambia they are always happy and keen to welcome volunteers. Many of the people back at home could learn a lot from them. Go and try it out! You will meet many lovely people from around the world, can give something back and can also see and experience many great different things such as safari and water rafting.”

Read reviews from Rural Teaching volunteers in Livingstone

Volunteer Abroad in Zambia with IVHQ


The Rural Teaching project in Zambia is set in a small village called Makumba. The village is around 2 miles from the school and a 1 hour in a car 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.
12:30 PM Work at the placement usually ends for the day and volunteers return to the volunteer house for lunch.
1:30 PM After lunch, volunteers may spend their free time as they wish or if they are looking for extra volunteering hours, there are alternatives available such as working at a homework club.
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 who choose to join the Rural Teaching placement are​ ​accommodated in a basic homestay with dirt floors, bucket showers, an outdoor toilet and no access to electricity​ or running water ​in the village.

Volunteers will help with the general running of the homestay, including gardening, moulding bricks, milking cattle, collecting firewood, collecting water from the well, feeding chickens and collecting eggs, harvesting crops, cooking and cleaning.


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$974 Equivalent to AU$139/day
2 weeks AU$1223 Equivalent to AU$87/day
3 weeks AU$1523 Equivalent to AU$73/day
4 weeks AU$1740 Equivalent to AU$62/day
5 weeks AU$1973 Equivalent to AU$56/day
6 weeks AU$2189 Equivalent to AU$52/day
8 weeks AU$2622 Equivalent to AU$47/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$547) 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$607

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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