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Elderly Care Volunteer Program in Zambia - Livingstone

Elderly Care Volunteer Program in Zambia - Livingstone

Provide companionship & care for elderly people
Start dates
Programs start every first and third Monday of the month
Choose from 1-16 weeks
Volunteer hours
Up to 5 hours a day
Volunteers aged 18+ and families
Dormitory-style volunteer​ ​house
Program fees
From $385 for 1 week
What's included
Find out here
Apply for free
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Who is going?
Group video calls

Once you have secured your place, join regular video calls to meet your Program Manager and other volunteers before your trip.

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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.

Project details

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.

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.

Apply for free

Not sure which program to join?

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'Who is going' users image
Who is going?
Group video calls

Once you have secured your place, join regular video calls to meet your Program Manager and other volunteers before your trip.

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What recent volunteers said about their IVHQ experience

Nicole Watt
24 Apr 2024

I have loved every moment of it. I cannot wait to start looking to plan the next trip. I have no words that can explain how thankful I am to the IVHQ team, the local hosts, the children we met along the way, and the school staff. Not forgetting the amazing locals and other volunteers we met and became friends with along the way. I have gained an insight into how others live and it’s made me more appreciative of what I have at home. I am so glad I have had this experience to help change others lives, and I hope to stay in contact with some of those I have met on my journey. Thank you all so much for making this possible for me. You are all amazing.

Alisha Thompsett
19 Jul 2023

I’ve now completed 3 volunteer trips with IVHQ this year and after each one I leave with a sense of pride knowing not only have I enjoyed a new culture and experience but I have done so making a difference to those in the local community.

Briar Meszaros
29 Jul 2022

One day at my placement, I was sitting with a resident whom I had developed a great friendship with and we were listening to music and telling stories together. In that moment I felt the beauty of humanity as someone who was different from me in too many ways to count could become such a great friend. The experience overall made me realize that people all around the world can connect regardless of their differences. I learned to overcome my anxieties. I am now less shy and more brave than I ever was before, and I truly feel that I can do anything I want.

Muhammad Danial Azman
20 Jun 2022

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. I cried. That was when I know, I’ve made the right decision to volunteer. Also, together with the other volunteers, we would always play football every single day at 5pm with the kids living in the area of where our lodge is. On my last day, I went to their houses individually to say goodbye. Not only the kids, but some of the kid’s parents came up to me, gave me a hug and thank me for spending time with their kids. Little did they know that, I should be thanking the kids instead for allowing me to spend the evening with them and giving me a perfect experience. I was hesitant about volunteering at first. But I told myself, if I keep hesitating, the time and the world will continue to move forward with or without me. Give yourself a chance to experience something out of the ordinary. It certainly exceeded my expectations and I’m sure, it will exceed yours too!

Jennifer Copeland
21 Mar 2022

I spent 3 weeks with the local team In Livingstone working at my placement and experience was humbling, exhilarating and unforgettable. I went with an open mind and was prepared to help in anyway I could, you can not change the world in 3 weeks but you can make each day a little brighter for someone and I did. I got to see Zambia in a way I would never have seen it before and I loved every minute. Volunteering is the best way to have a holiday of a lifetime and help the community in a way you couldn’t as a tourist. Just do it, you won’t regret it!

Diane Newman
11 Feb 2021

My husband and I had a great volunteer experience at our Elderly Care placement in Livingstone. It was very challenging as these are individuals who don't have any family to care for them and have very little means. The staff and elderly people warmed up to us quickly and even though we only learned a handful of Nyanja, communication was not an issue. We shared many laughs and a few tears. We will miss the smiles and characters and hope to return some day. Our advice would be to future volunteers to keep an open mind and your heart will be filled to the brim before you leave.


To read all reviews, visit our reviews page.

Academic course credit

Academic course credit through International Volunteer HQ and Intern Abroad HQ.

Academic course credit

Gain course credit from your college or university and meet your academic requirements when completing a volunteer abroad program with International Volunteer HQ!

Learn about course credit


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 traveling 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 socializing.

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 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 $55 (approximately $55) 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 $35 (approximately $35) 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

Spots are limited. For a Registration Fee of just US$329 (approximately $329) you secure your spot and unlock all our preparation and training tools.

You don't need to worry about paying your Program Fee until you get closer to your start date.

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 $385 Equivalent to $55/day
2 weeks $535 Equivalent to $38/day
3 weeks $715 Equivalent to $34/day
4 weeks $845 Equivalent to $30/day
5 weeks $985 Equivalent to $28/day
6 weeks $1,115 Equivalent to $27/day
8 weeks $1,375 Equivalent to $25/day
10 weeks $1,635 Equivalent to $23/day
12 weeks $1,895 Equivalent to $23/day
16 weeks $2,415 Equivalent to $22/day
  • All programs attract a Registration Fee of US$329 (approximately $329) in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services.
  • 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 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.
  • Meals
  • Airport pick-up
  • Accommodation
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • In-country program orientation
  • Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
  • Personalized 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.

  • Transport to and from your placement each day
  • Return airport transfer when your program finishes
  • Flights
  • Visa (if required), travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check.
  • Personal spending money for snacks, laundry, public transportation, drinks and leisure activities during your free time.

Free-time experiences & tours in Livingstone

Take your volunteer experience to the next level with IVHQ's affordable activity and tour add-ons in Livingstone! Explore your options below and learn how to book them once you've been accepted onto the IVHQ Livingstone program.

Chobe Camping Safari (2 days, 1 night)
Chobe Camping Safari (2 days, 1 night)

A memorable 2 day safari experience at the Chobe National Park, Botswana, known for its huge elephant herds.

Rhino Game Drive
Rhino Game Drive

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

Bungee Jump Victoria Falls
Bungee Jump Victoria Falls

Enjoy a scenic bungee jump off the Victoria Falls Bridge, located in Mosi Otunya Park.


Check what's required to visit Zambia

Safety and support

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

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.

Apply to check if you're eligible!

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How to get started

Pick a destination + project and apply for free
Meet your personal volunteer travel expert
Pay the Registration Fee to secure your place and upgrade your MyIVHQ account
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