Volunteer with Conservation Travel Africa to make a difference and discover the real Africa.
Conservation Travel Africa was set up by four Zimbabweans who share a vision to restore Africa’s wildlife and wild areas and to re-establish areas where communities and wildlife can live in harmony.
To overcome the conflict between African agricultural expansion, man’s population growth and the conservation of wildlife, support is needed from foreign visitors to raise awareness of the problem and long-term volunteer tourism has a huge part to play in the delivery of the solutions. Conservation Travel Africa was established to meet a need raised by conservationists and humanitarians for manpower on the ground to support existing projects and enable the creation of new ones in areas where they are needed most.
Why volunteer with Conservation Travel Africa?
There are many organisations who offer volunteer programmes to gap year and student travellers — how do you choose which company to book with and how do you choose from the hundreds of volunteer programmes on offer? Our experience and research on the ground in Africa has shown that many programmes were set up firstly for the short-term gratification of volunteers and secondly (sometimes a long way second!) for the long-term benefit of the wildlife, communities or children.
Our volunteer programmes were set up firstly to preserve Africa’s wildlife and wild areas and secondly to find long-term solutions to bridge the gap between community sustainability and wildlife conservation. The majority of our programmes are already being run by local conservationists who have reached a point where they need additional people, equipment and financial resources to continue effectively. Volunteers are desperately needed to further long term studies, research, community work and wildlife conservation initiatives which are critical to preserve Africa’s wild areas.
Discover the real Africa
When you volunteer you have the opportunity to become immersed in the culture and traditions of Africa much more than is possible by being a regular tourist or backpacker. You will work with and, in some cases, live with local people and understand the issues which affect their lives and the historical events which have shaped their country. You will come to appreciate the real issues surrounding practical wildlife conservation and recognise the role that the first world and travellers have in helping to solve the problems. As a volunteer you will also get to go off the beaten track and visit places not on any tourist route and places which are fairly inaccessible on public transport.
As an outsider travelling through and sightseeing, this insight is rarely possible.
What impact will I have?
We like our volunteers to make a real difference to the projects they are working on and, where possible, stay with us for a significant period of time. This is to ensure continuity on the programme —which is especially important when working with children; to give you a real insight into the aims and objectives of the project and to ensure that you have a real impact and can see what you have achieved. You may be involved in a specific wildlife research study which goes to support policy making or teaching a term at a school — whether you are involved in community or wildlife conservation, the longer you are with us, the more impact you can have.
What sort of programmes can I join?
We have a variety of programmes; from Black Rhino Conservation to small animal research, Big 5 mammal tracking, in the huge wilderness areas of Hwange National Park and Savé Valley Conservancy; from childcare and street children outreach programmes in our cities. Whatever your passion and interest, Conservation Travel Africa has a programme for you.
If you would like to do a combination of programmes, and stay with us even longer, we can arrange a tailor made trip which can also include excursions around the country between your programmes.
Take a look at our website www.conservationtravelafrica.org
Or to contact us directly email firstname.lastname@example.org
This article was in partnership with Conservation Travel Africa