GoAbroad.com’s Top Rated Volunteer Program 2017
Lion Conservation is at the centre of what we offer here at Antelope Park. Working closely with our partner ALERT (The African Lion and Environmental Research Trust), we are at the forefront of a pioneering release program, established to put a stop to the rapidly decreasing number of Lions in Africa.
In 1975 it was estimated that 200,000 Lions roamed the African continent. Today, estimates are as low as 20,000… In order to prevent further decline, our program aims to release the wild offspring of captive bred lions into national parks and reserves across Africa, whilst working closely and supporting the surrounding communities. The work that ALERT carry out is ground breaking and has the potential to develop further across the whole of Africa.
Come see our conservation efforts first hand as a volunteer, researching our Ngamo Release Pride and taking part in this innovative world first lion release program.
Stages of program
With extensive research behind them, ALERT has implemented a innovate program for the world’s first release of wild born cubs to captive bred parents. This is conformed of three critical stages:
Rehabilitation Phase: Cubs born to captive-bred parents are hand raised and taken on human-led walks into their natural environment. These walks enable the cubs to develop their natural instincts.
Release Phase: Lions are released, as prides, into fenced, managed reserves where they have the opportunity to function as a wild pride. Within these release areas the pride gives birth to cubs that are raised naturally, without human interference.
Reintroduction Phase: When old enough, the cubs born in the release phase are translocated for reintroduction into appropriate natural parks and reserves that are seeking to restore lost, or augment declining, lion populations.
Volunteers are helping us to lay the foundations to ensure the success of ALERT’s work, by taking part in key activities. Get involved with behaviour enrichment sessions to stimulate the lions natural behaviours, enclosure cleaning and maintenance work or simply accompany the cubs during the day or night as they develop their natural instincts. Not only do volunteers leave with an enriched understanding for Lion Conservation, but also the knowledge that they are helping to preserve the future of lions in Africa.
As well as being hands on with Lion conservation, volunteers are involved with caring for and accompanying our four orphaned elephants as they graze through the African bush. Our volunteers become immersed with local culture as they explore the surrounding community whilst on project or when taking part in one of the incredible excursions on offer. Our Lion Conservation Project promises to deliver an experience of a lifetime!
Work on Project:
Join our Stage 1 lions as they are familiarised and exposed to their wild surroundings, enabling them to put their natural instincts into practise.
Lion Care: Daily care activities to ensure the resident captive lion population are well looked after – activities include meat preparation and lion feeding, enclosure cleaning, enclosure maintenance for their upkeep and behaviour enrichment for stimulating natural behaviours + more.
Research: Observe social interactions and group behaviours whilst researching our intermediate semi wide Ngamo Pride, ahead of the planned world first lion release. The research conducted by volunteers is exceptionally valuable towards moving us towards the next and final stage of our release program.
Elephant Duties: Assist handlers in caring for our four orphaned elephants with cleaning and preparation of food for their overnight enclosures as well as daily walks with them through the African bush.
Reserve / Wildlife Management: It is essential to protect and preserve the wildlife at Antelope Park, through vital snare sweeps, boundary patrols and fence repair and game counts.
Voted by World Travel Awards as Zimbabwe’s leading private game reserve, Antelope Park is a destination like no other. Volunteers will live in shared accommodation* with access to shower and bathroom facilities, a included laundry service and a volunteer lounge for social gatherings. Enjoy three tasty meals a day in our exquisite dining area, with the sound of roaring lions in the distance. Take the opportunity to relax by the pool or watch our elephants playing in the river whilst enjoying a drink on our raised deck bar. With regular spotting of giraffes, zebras, elephants are more, there is no place quite like Antelope Park.
Your extensive opportunities go beyond Antelope Park. In addition to the extensive stable and lion activities on offer, there is plenty more to choose from to make your time at Antelope Park unforgettable.
• Victoria Falls: Experience one of the seven natural wonders of the world at Victoria Falls. Your options for activities are expansive, from bungee jumping over the Zambezi River, to game viewing the Big 5 in Chobe National Park, Botswana.
• Matopos National Park: Trek through the bush on foot in search of the magnificent African Rhino, the best way to see these amazing animals unclose.
• Free to Be Wild Sanctuary: Get upclose with baby baboons, monkeys and impala at this rehabilitation centre, specialising in rescue and release.
• Great Zimbabwe Ruins: Take the opportunity to discover this Unseco World Heritage Site for the day, rich with culture and history.
*Accommodation upgrades into our guest lodges are also available. Enquire to find out more!
Dates and Prices:
• Airport collection and return to either Harare Airport (Sunday) or Bulawayo Airport (Monday.) An Antelope Park team member will be waiting to meet you.
• All accommodation and 3 meals a day, served in the camps dining areas.
• 24 hour support on project and at the volunteer accommodation by our onsite staff at the park
• Unlimited Tea, coffee and filtered water during the day
• Laundry Service
• Personal and medical insurance cover for the duration of your placement
• Visa requirements
• Additional activities out of project, Excursions, Horse activities
• Extra food and drinks, from the bar or cafe
• Wifi (available to purchase upon arrival)
Photos & Feedback
“Quite simply the greatest thing you will ever do… ever. You will walk away with the greatest memories, the greatest friends and ultimately, the greatest urge to return.”
“I had an amazing at AP. The staff, all the volunteers and especially the animals. I love how the handler’s give so much love for the whole project, and that we, as volunteers, can help to make a change.”
“I’m so happy I chose the Lion project. The staff are amazing, the excursions and activities are great and they were everything I expected them to be.”
“I feel so happy to have been part of a project that is making a difference in the world and it will be so interesting to follow the progress of the lion program. I can’t wait to go back!”
“Antelope Park has been one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had, with plenty opportunities to interact with orphaned elephants and lions from different stages of the conservation programme.”
“I would highly recommend this project to anyone looking for experience in conservation, wanting to see African wildlife, or just travel the world and wanting to do something meaningful.”
“If you want to truly feel like you’ve accomplished aa greater sense of purpose, only only in yourself, but in others, do it. You’ll find there’s more to the world than what you thought before.”
“My stay was more exciting and rewarding than I could have ever hoped for.”
“The staff never failed to put a smile on my face and have been some of the best people I have ever met.”
“Be warned, once you come here, you’ll never want to leave.”
“The whole experience far exceeded by expectations. A life changing and life affirming experience.”