Our guide to the best one-week and short term volunteer programmes

9 May 2017

Whether you’re taking time off from school, work, or just need a small career-break, there is always a way for you to squeeze a week or two adventure into your schedule! We offer the opportunity to do one and two week projects, for volunteers who don't get a lot of time off and can only enjoy a short term volunteer placement.

Some of our projects are not suitable for short term volunteers, but there are still lots of options where you can make a positive contribution. And even though you will only be on the project a short time, you will have a  unique immersive experience, not available to normal tourists.

One week volunteer programmes:

Anti-Poaching & Wildlife Management, Victoria Falls

Volunteers join rangers and scouts on patrol and give support in critical anti-poaching activities. You will learn about the challenges facing those fighting poaching and be part of the solution.

This programme gives volunteers a rare opportunity to get involved in the the anti-poaching fight. Learn bush survival and wildlife tracking skills as you join programme staff on extended patrols in the African wilderness. Carry out wildlife surveys, GPS mapping and animal monitoring to help protect and maintain one of Zimbabwe's most stunning safari areas.

Based about 45 minutes from Victoria Falls in an unfenced private game reserve, volunteers will monitor evidence of poaching, learn to identify the signs of wildlife poaching and other illegal activity, and are responsible for collecting data to support long term patrol planning. Volunteers are instrumental in supporting rangers in patrols, animal tracking, snare collection, dismantling animal traps and helping identify poaching Hot Zones.

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Rhino & Elephant Conservation, Zimbabwe

This is a very hands-on conservation programme where volunteers get closely involved in the daily care of black and white rhino and elephants, plus a huge variety of other wildlife including buffalo, giraffe, wildebeest and zebra. Join the dedicated Anti-Poaching Unit and help patrol the game park, keeping it secure for the animals within its boundaries. Undertake game counts, animal behaviour studies and get involved in collecting observational data for ongoing research projects.

This project is based 2 hours from Harare on a 10,000 acre private game reserve, home to four of Africa's Big 5 game. The project takes only 12 volunteers, making sure that every participant has a unique experience with the wildlife.

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Horse Riding & Conservation, Zimbabwe

The perfect volunteer project for horse riders as you combine horseback safaris, anti-poaching patrols, cattle ranching and hands-on volunteer work with endangered black rhinos and elephants. Live and work in the heart of a 10,000 acre family owned game park in Zimbabwe and get involved in a world-renowned black rhino breeding and release programme. With daily horse rides through the bush, this project is a must for anyone who wants to combine horse riding with volunteer work.

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Zimbabwe Animal Sanctuary

Join a small team of dedicated vets and conservationists at a family-run wildlife rescue and rehabilitation sanctuary in rural Zimbabwe. Volunteers live alongside the sanctuary staff and get involved in all the day-to-day activities, which could include: feeding and vaccinating up to 200 local dogs at the weekly vet clinic; sitting with and monitoring sick animals; or helping with injured or traumatised animals and birds.

This is an incredibly rewarding and fulfilling animal sanctuary experience, ideally suited to animal lovers who want an intimate wildlife experience. If you are a vet student then the project can also incorporate some veterinary work into your programme.

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Cheetah Conservation, Namibia (minimum 9 days)

Help reduce the human-carnivore conflict in a remote and beautiful area of Namibia. Monitor the progress of released cheetah and leopard in a spectacular environment, and get back to basics as you live in some of Namibia's most stunning and diverse wilderness areas.

This project is an ideal programme for adventurous volunteers who want to experience the heart of one of Southern Africa’s most unique locations. Learn new tracking and research techniques from experienced conservationists; learn how to make wine in one of the driest areas of the world and help study wild cheetah, leopard and hyena.

This project is based at one of two locations in the heart of the desert areas of Namibia. You choose which suits you best!

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7 day EcoQuest Guiding Course, South Africa

This short course is designed for people who want an in-depth wildlife and bush experience, but don't have long to spare. You are based in camps in prime wildlife areas, and will take wilderness walks or game drives twice a day, with experienced and professional guides and trackers.

If you are an adventurous spirit wanting to gain a greater understanding of nature and the environment, while experiencing the excitement of the bush, then the EcoQuest Course is for you. The course is also ideal if you are a student testing the waters for a career in the wildlife field, or if you just want a more in-depth safari holiday in some of South Africa's best wilderness areas.

In addition to being immersed in nature, living in an unfenced wilderness camp, you will also learn how to drive a 4x4 vehicle, identify birds, plants, trees and tracks, and how to track animals. 

This course is available at two amazing private game reserves in South Africa; one in the northern part of Kruger National Park and the other a private reserve south west of Kruger, home to strong populations of cheetah and leopard.

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