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Wildlife Conservation Volunteer Program in Victoria Falls

Wildlife Conservation Volunteer Program in Victoria Falls

Protect & preserve endangered wildlife
Start dates
Programs start every first and third Monday of the month
Choose from 2-12 weeks
Volunteer hours
Up to 5 hours per day
Volunteers aged 18+, and 16+ accompanied
Private rooms at the conservation centre
Program fees
From £867 for 2 weeks
What's included
Find out here
Apply for free
'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.

This program is ideal for:

Animal-loving volunteers who want to get out of their comfort zone and contribute to conservation efforts protecting amazing creatures and their habitats.

Project details

Ready for an adventure as a Wildlife Conservation volunteer in Victoria Falls? International Volunteer HQ’s Wildlife Conservation project is a thrilling opportunity for volunteers to get hands-on experience in a private game reserve home to Africa’s most incredible animals. Volunteers help with the upkeep of the reserve, contribute to ongoing conservation and research projects and stay in a spot where lions, elephants, buffalo and endangered black rhino could wander past at any moment.

What to expect and how you'll make an impact

Sweeping savannahs dotted with grazing herds of buffalo and zebra, bathing elephants, stalking lions and leopards flashing by. That’s what you can expect on IVHQ’s Wildlife Conservation volunteer project.

But without the help of volunteers, future generations may not have the glorious experience of seeing the world’s most amazing wildlife in their natural habitat. Many species of African animals are endangered or threatened, sometimes after decades of poaching which has left their numbers dangerously low. This is the case with the critically endangered black rhino which has been a popular target for poachers wanting to sell their horns on the international market.

IVHQ’s Wildlife Conservation project is set at a conservation centre on a private game reserve which aims to protect the natural environment and the creatures that call it home, as well as being an intensive protection zone for the black rhino. As a Wildlife Conservation volunteer, you’ll be getting hands-on experience and the unique opportunity to help with the upkeep of the game reserve, conservation activities and research projects.

You shouldn’t expect to be doing hands-on research or touching the animals, but you’ll have an important support role, with activities that can include:

  • Alien vegetation removal
  • Soil erosion control methods
  • Waterhole creation, maintenance and monitoring
  • Freshwater ecosystem analysis
  • Animal and bird monitoring, tracking and counting, as part of regular game drives
  • Road maintenance
  • Upkeep of river crossings
  • General clean-up of the reserve and surrounding areas
  • Attend conservation lectures
  • Camping out on the reserve
  • Community development work at a nearby school

Work varies during the year and at times may also include:

  • Game census counting
  • Animal tracking
  • Watching rhino supplement feeding

You’ll be working in tandem with members of the game reserve team, with their work also benefiting partner organisations including Birdlife Zimbabwe, Endangered Wildlife Trust and Zimbabwe National Parks Authority.

Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #15: Life on Land

Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #15: Life on Land

Human activity has altered almost 75% of the earth’s surface and around 1 million animal and plant species are threatened with extinction. Nature is critical to our survival. We must promote kindness to animals and use regenerative techniques to combat deforestation, conserve biodiversity and protect wildlife.

Why do Wildlife Conservation volunteering in Victoria Falls with IVHQ?

As a wildlife volunteer in Zimbabwe you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:

  • Supporting conservation and wildlife preservation efforts
  • Helping protect endangered animal populations
  • Developing your communication skills
  • Gaining a wide range of conservation volunteer experience
  • Learning about wildlife and the challenges it faces
  • Experiencing life on an African game reserve

Volunteer requirements

  • Volunteers aged 16 and 17 must be a accompanied by a parent or guardian to participate in this program and may be asked to provide additional documentation to the local team
  • All volunteers are required to provide a criminal background check to IVHQ prior to departure. Those aged 16-17, 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

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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.

What recent volunteers said about their IVHQ experience

Arden Stuckey
16 Feb 2024

I cannot speak highly enough of my enriching experience volunteering with the Wildlife Conservation in Victoria Falls. It was an absolute privilege to immerse myself in the heart of conservation efforts, witnessing the incredible biodiversity firsthand, including sightings of the critically endangered black rhino. Each day was filled with awe-inspiring encounters and meaningful contributions to the preservation of our planet's precious ecosystems.

What truly set this experience apart was the intimate volunteer group size of just 13 individuals, fostering deep connections and camaraderie amongst us. Unlike larger groups, we had the opportunity to engage more intimately with one another and forge bonds that will last a lifetime.

To anyone hesitating about joining this program, I wholeheartedly encourage you to take the leap. Trust me when I say that it's an investment in both personal growth and global conservation efforts. Don't wait another moment—sign up today and embark on a journey that will leave an indelible mark on your life. I give this project a resounding 10/10 recommendation. You won't regret it!

Pei Wang
20 Dec 2023

This is my first time to come Africa and it's a really good place to be volunteer!IVHQ’s pre-departure training was perfect. I’m very happy that IVHQ’s process is so complete. The local team was really kind, easygoing and helpful. They are amazing guides - super professional, always sharing knowledge about wildlife. We enjoyed sunsets and watching the elephants migrate, we saw a leopard running, a Baboon family climbing down from the big tree in the morning. IVHQ's project is safe and I will absolutely join again in the future!

Hector Mendoza
20 Dec 2023

The local team was absolutely amazing. I genuinely felt that the local team cared about me as a person. They went out of their way to make me feel welcomed and were phenomenal guides.

Cynthia Mobley
17 Aug 2023

We received great support from IVHQ, including clear and timely responses from my Program Manager. We really enjoyed the program as originally planned and then took the opportunity to take a couple of additional projects - one relocating bush bucks on the reserve and another at the nearby community primary school. The accommodation and meals exceeded my expectations! I gained so much from the experience. Stan and the local staff on-site run such a wonderful operation. I learned so much about wildlife, tracking, and enjoyed the work activities, including time at the school. The guides, Hope and Nico, were extremely knowledgeable and passionate about their work, which came through in everything they do.

Jonathan Burrell
09 Aug 2023

The preparation and guidance provided were top class from start to finish. The program guide was really comprehensive and helped me to prepare properly for the program. The local team were absolutely fantastic and I could not praise them highly enough. The chefs provided amazing food and all the cleaning and garden staff were wonderful people. I found this experience to be life changing and profound, and I feel that I contributed to a truly worthy cause. I absolutely loved the program from start to finish and I'd recommend it to anyone interested in conservation or even general volunteering.

Finlay Barker
19 Jul 2023

I enjoyed the entire experience - helping in the community schools was my favourite moment along with making friends with people from all around the world! I have grown so much as a person. I have learnt to appreciate the things I have in life and this experience has inspired me to help those less fortunate in future. To anyone still hesitant about volunteering abroad, I would say "go for it"! Visiting new countries and experiencing a different culture is amazing.


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 Zimbabwe, Victoria Falls with IVHQ


The IVHQ Victoria Falls project is set on a private game reserve on the Zimbabwean side of the world’s biggest waterfall. The project is based at a conservation centre on the reserve, 20 minutes away from the town of Victoria Falls. The town is popular not only with visitors wanting to visit the breathtaking falls, but also with many seeking adventure and others interested in wildlife and safari trips. Many of the surrounding towns and villages lack modern infrastructure and their people don’t have access to the basic necessities of life. Volunteers can make a difference to these people while on IVHQ’s Wildlife Conservation project by helping with community development at a nearby local school.

Arrival and orientation

The program orientation begins on the first and third Monday of each month and volunteers need to arrive in Victoria Falls on the Sunday before orientation. After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at the Victoria Falls International Airport (VFA). 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 Victoria Falls. Your accommodation is covered by your Program Fee and includes the night before your program orientation.

If you are travelling in Zimbabwe prior to your volunteer program, we can arrange for you to be picked up from the Victoria Falls town centre, on the day before your program orientation.

Orientation is hosted by our Victoria Falls team at the volunteer accommodation. Orientation begins on the morning of your chosen start date and covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Victoria Falls – an introduction to Victoria Falls and Zimbabwe, culture and customs, rules and expectations, safety, travel opportunities, and an introduction to your project and placement.

Volunteer schedule example

First Day On your first day of volunteering, you will take part in your program orientation at the centre on the reserve.


You will have a morning and afternoon shift, each of which will last around 2 to 5 hours. Your daily schedule will vary depending on the season and the nature of the work being done at the time, but a fairly typical day would be as follows:

5:30 - 6:00 AM Breakfast at the conservation centre.
6:30 AM Volunteers typically head out to begin work for the morning on the reserve or surrounding area.
11:00 AM Volunteers return to the center to clean up before lunch.
12:00 - 12:30 PM Lunch is served.
4:00 - 6:30 PM Volunteers head out for work on the reserve or other afternoon activity, then return to the centre to clean up before dinner.
7:00 - 7:30 PM Dinner at the conservation centre.


There is no shortage of things to do in Victoria Falls, with activities ranging from whitewater rafting to sunset river cruising. Victoria Falls is one of the largest and most spectacular waterfalls in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Nature enthusiasts and animal lovers will have the unique opportunity to explore via safari and guided tours, visiting rainforests swirling with clouds of mist that hide a plethora of endangered species.

The town of Victoria Falls offers many popular tourist spots for sampling Zimbabwean cuisine and buying handicrafts from local artisans. Extreme sports are also plentiful in Victoria Falls, with whitewater rafting, bungee jumping, abseiling, zip lining and gorge swinging on offer. Outdoor enthusiasts can take part in fishing, horseback riding, canoeing and cycling.

Volunteers staying for longer periods of time who wish to travel further afield, can explore the ruins of Great Zimbabwe, check out the unusual rock formations in Matobo Hills National Park, or go diving in the cobalt blue water of the Chinoyi Caves.

Accommodation and WiFi

Volunteers are accommodated within private rooms at the conservation centre where the program is based. As the centre is situated on a game reserve, it is not uncommon to see African wildlife grazing throughout the day.

Bedrooms have one single bed per room and a ceiling fan, desk and storage shelving. Bathrooms are shared between up to four volunteers of the same gender and offer western toilets and hot showers. In addition to the sleeping quarters, the accommodation also has an open-air communal area with a swimming pool, braai (barbecue) and picnic tables where volunteers can socialise and enjoy meals.

WiFi is also available at the volunteer accommodation.

Bedding is provided and during the hot months a sheet should be adequate cover in the evenings, as there is no air conditioning in the volunteer accommodation. During the cooler months, you may wish to bring a sleeping bag for an extra layer of warmth.

The conservation centre has staff on site 24-hours a day and a safe is available in the staff office for volunteers to store small valuables. As the reserve is a ‘Big 5’ area (home to lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo), the property is protected by an electric fence and volunteers need to ask permission before leaving the facility and cannot leave the facility on foot.

On-site staff clean the accommodation throughout the week, however volunteers are also required to keep these areas tidy. Laundry services are provided on a weekly basis.


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

Breakfast may include cereal, eggs, pancakes, porridge, fruit or toast, accompanied with coffee and tea. Lunches will be a mixture of sandwiches, quiches, burgers, salads and other similar foods. Dinners will commonly consist of pasta, fish, meat, starches and/or vegetables.

The local team is happy to accommodate special dietary requests. Please let your IVHQ Program Manager know of any special dietary needs in advance so we can ensure the local team is prepared for you.


  • USD

Spots are limited. For a Registration Fee of just US$329 (approximately £273) 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
2 weeks $1,045 Equivalent to $75/day
4 weeks $1,785 Equivalent to $64/day
6 weeks $2,525 Equivalent to $60/day
8 weeks $3,265 Equivalent to $58/day
10 weeks $4,005 Equivalent to $57/day
12 weeks $4,605 Equivalent to $55/day
  • All programs attract a Registration Fee of US$329 (approximately £273) 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 longer than 4 weeks ​will need to budget an extra US$500​ to ​obtain a temporal work permit​ ​from Zimbabwean Immigration in order to stay up to 90 days.
  • Recommended spending money: Volunteers in Victoria Falls generally find US$100 per week to be sufficient for expenses.
  • Meals
  • Airport pick-up
  • Transportation to and from placement
  • Accommodation
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • In-country program orientation
  • Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
  • Personalised preparation tools, guides and check lists
  • Access to IVHQ’s preferred insurance and flights partners
  • Certificate of International Volunteer Service

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

  • 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.

Check what's required to visit Victoria Falls

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 Harare
Population 14.65 million (Zimbabwe)
Languages English, Shona, Ndebele
Currency US Dollar (USD)
Time zone UTC+02:00

Weather and climate

The climate in Zimbabwe is tropical, however this is moderated by altitude. There is a dry season, including a short cool season from May to September when there is often very little rain. The rainy season is typically a time of heavy rainfall from November to March.

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