Game Rangers International (GRI) is a non-profit organization established in Zambia in 2008. GRI works in close partnership with the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) to empower Rangers and Local Communities to conserve nature. We embrace a holistic approach to conservation across three core thematic areas: Resource Protection, Community Outreach, and Wildlife Rescue.
Volunteers form an invaluable part of the GRI mission. They assist GRI staff in day-to-day operations; living in bush camps, observing elephant behavior, delivering conservation education, and cooking by the campfire, all while surrounded by wildlife – a truly unique experience! Volunteers come from all around the world, and are of all ages and walks of life. We are pleased to announce, GRI is currently accepting applications for the 2019 Volunteer Season!
The following volunteer placement (placement duration is 22 days) works within both the Community Outreach Department and Wildlife Rescue Department’s Elephant Orphanage Project (EOP), which is caring for orphaned elephants from around Zambia, most of them victims of poaching and human wildlife conflict.
• Elephant Orphanage and Community Outreach Volunteer:
2 volunteers per month at Lilayi Elephant Nursery, outskirts of Lusaka
• Volunteers participate in a variety of activities and projects, gaining a full understanding of GRI’s holistic approach to conservation which encompasses the three departments of Wildlife Rescue, Community Outreach, and Resource Protection.
• Based at the Lilayi Elephant Nursery, volunteers will work with the keepers and assist in general elephant husbandry including milk preparation, browse collection, and boma upkeep.
• Additionally, volunteers will work in a variety of local schools and engage in teaching GRI’s conservation curriculum lessons through diverse activities, art projects, and science experiments.
• On occasion, volunteers may also assist with improvements, maintenance, and repairs at the local schools.
• Outside of term-time, volunteers may assist in conducting programs with local children, such as sports tournaments, nature walks and litter picking, art camps, and health awareness lessons.
• Volunteers may also participate in biodiversity surveys conducted at Lusaka National Park to gain a better understanding of the species presence and abundance within the area. This will allow the volunteers to learn and practice valuable in-field research skills used in conducting biodiversity surveys, which may include: transect surveys; vegetation surveys; and identifying and tracking wildlife through spoor and scat observations.
• Volunteers will also have the opportunity to partake in the educational talks open to the public on the viewing deck at the nursery discussing GRI’s role in conservation throughout Zambia, the Elephant Orphanage Project’s rescue, rehabilitation, and release program, as well as the plight of elephants in Africa, human-elephant conflict, and the drivers of poaching.
Volunteers are based at the Lilayi Elephant Nursery throughout their entire placement, with trips to Lusaka National Park and local schools within Lilayi and Lusaka.
Just to avoid any disappointments about working with the elephants as a volunteer, Game Ranger International implements a “hands off” policy in the Elephant Orphanage Project. Due to the nature of our work, whereby we aim to release the elephants back into the wild, we try to minimize the contact between the orphaned elephants and humans, with the exception of their keepers, who care for the elephants around the clock and form close family-like bonds. As a volunteer you will be joining the elephants in the bush to assist in research as well as media updates, however volunteers must keep a minimum distance of 10-meters between themselves and the elephants.
Volunteer placement duration is 22 days. There is no experience necessary to be a volunteer other than a keen interest in wildlife conservation. Volunteer supervisors are based at all three locations, that will provide training and assistance at camp. The costs to participate is USD $2,500 for three weeks. This will be used to cover the costs of volunteers during their stay in Zambia with the project and the remainder will be donated to the corresponding project.
Included during your stay at GRI:
• All project-related transport costs
• Accommodation of the volunteer during the period of the project. Volunteers stay in the tented camps along with the rest of GRI staff.
• Three meals a day (the volunteers help prepare the meals)
• Local staff whom prepare volunteer accommodations, maintain the grounds, and ensure the property is safe and secure
• The documentation required to apply for a business visa
• Experienced staff support, training, and supervision
• Two working t-shirts per volunteer
• National Park Entry Fees
If you are interested in volunteering with GRI please fill out our Volunteer Placement Questionnaire located at https://www.dropbox.com/s/7y2fngobcq75uop/GRI%20Volunteer%20Questionnaire%202019.docx?dl=0
and return to firstname.lastname@example.org with your resume/CV.
• Applicants must be physically fit and able to walk observing elephants for up to 2 hours at a time in the bush. A doctor’s note is required.
• Flexibility is a must as plans are always subject to change when working with wild animals.
• Applicants must work well in a team and get along well with others as you will be working with facility staff, keepers, and volunteers from around the world.
• It is important for volunteers to also be able to work independently on various projects.
• Experience living and working in remote locations/ camping in various environmental conditions. Depending on the month Zambia can be quite hot and/or buggy.
• A strong interest in wildlife conservation, conservation education, and elephants of course!
• A good attitude, effective communication skills, and a good sense of humor are always greatly appreciated when working out in the bush.
• Coursework or experience in the conservation field, environmental education, field research experience, behavioral research, wildlife ecology, or any related field.
• Has other various skills that they would like to share with the team for staff capacity building, such as giving computer lessons.
• Enjoys camp life including cooking outdoors.
GRI accepts two Elephant Orphanage and Community Outreach Volunteers per month from April - November. Applications are reviewed as they are received, therefore we have rolling admission.