Bulawayo Wildlife

Volunteer with orphaned, abandoned and sick wildlife at this animal sanctuary in amazing surroundings in the country of Zimbabwe.

Minimum Duration: 2 weeks
Cost: From 450 Euro per week
Minimum Age: 18 years


This Wildlife Orphanage and Rescue Centre is a haven for wild animals which have little hope for survival in the wild. These are creatures which have been orphaned, abandoned, injured, born in captivity or brought up unsuccessfully as pets. It is often the last refuge for those brought in sick or injured; and it is also a sanctuary for confiscated animals.

The Wildlife Orphanage was established in 1973 and its primary function is to offer a home to orphaned, abandoned and sick wild animals. This project is not a zoo, but a rescue centre. Wherever possible, rescued animals and birds are rehabilitated and returned to the wild. If safe release into their natural habitat is not possible, animals are cared for and kept for educational purposes and zoological study. In the case of endangered species, captive breeding programs may also be undertaken.

Mission of the project

The main function of the centre is to rescue and care for wildlife, and provide a safe haven for the many injured, sick, orphaned, abused, confiscated or abandoned wild animals from all around Zimbabwe. The centre also focusses on educating the Zimbabwe public, especially young children, with the aid of live viewing of many species not easily seen in the wild. It provides a local resource centre for children to appreciate the important value of Zimbabwe’s natural heritage.

Research: The centre staff and volunteers observe and record useful zoological information on captive animals such as body growth and development, nutrition, dentition and gestation periods.

Cooperation: The centre provides a link between local and governmental authorities thus being able to offer assistance to organizations like Animal Welfare, National Parks, schools and private individuals concerning possible problem animals.


As there is a constant flow of animals to the centre, a lot of volunteer help is needed when it comes to cleaning the enclosures, making sure the animals are fed properly, looking after the injured animals and assisting with research and education. The orphanage is home to lions, leopards, monkeys, antelope and many other animals. The education of the community allows them to see wildlife as more than just a threat or a nuisance, and is a vital aspect of securing a future for wildlife in Zimbabwe.

Guidance and supervision

Nicole is your friendly volunteer coordinator. She will be working with you and helping you to find your feet while looking after your needs.

Volunteer tasks

No experience is needed to work with the animals as all the training will be provided. All we ask is that you’re enthusiastic, energetic and dedicated to working with animals. You will work 7 hours a day but will always be on call during fire season and when we have animal babies in. Baby shifts will be shared out between the volunteers as we would not expect you to stay up with them all night!

During your first week you will be shown how the orphanage runs. You will be introduced to working with the carnivores, primates, birds of prey, snakes and domestic animals.

Volunteer daily activities are divided into different areas, such as the Primates, Birds of Prey, Antelope, Carnivores and infant animal areas. Your activities will include the following:

  • Everyday cleaning of cages.
  • New grass bedding if needed.
  • Redecorating the cages.
  • Cutting food.
  • Feeding and watering the animals.
  • Gardening.
  • Deworming and inoculations.
  • De-ticking – mixing up the tick medication and applying it to the animals.
  • Brushing the donkeys.
  • Feeding infant animals at the scheduled times.
  • Spending time with the babies of any species.
  • Bathing the babies if they need a bath.
  • Taking them for walks

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