RESEARCH VOLUNTEERS

PLACEMENT

  • Volunteers will have the opportunity to work on a variety of projects focused on the wildlife and elephants present in Kafue National Park, giving them the opportunity to learn and practice valuable in-field research skills.

  • Volunteers may participate in utilizing radio telemetry to track the collared release phase elephant orphans; conducting vegetation surveys to understand the seasonal variability in the elephants’ diets; conducting wild elephant surveys using camera traps and transect surveys to generate a database of wild elephant herds present around the Kafue Release Facility; identifying and tracking wildlife through spoor and scat observations.

  • Volunteers may assist in the Behavioural Observations Study observing the larger elephant orphans’ behaviour, herd structure, health, and interactions.

  • Volunteers are responsible for inputting all data collected in the field as well as entering historical data collected by the elephant keepers about the elephants’ daily bush walks and health.

  • Additionally, volunteers may be involved in human elephant conflict mitigation where they may conduct surveys with local community members to understand their views and difficulties with elephants and assist in implementing mitigation techniques.

  • Volunteers may also be involved with staff capacity building where they teach a variety of lessons and skills to the camp staff members and keepers.

  • Volunteers will start and end their placement at the Lilayi Elephant Nursery on the outskirts of Lusaka, where they will meet the youngest of the elephant orphans and get a full introduction to GRI’s holistic approach to conservation.

PRICING

  • $2,500

  • Included is accommodation in our tented camps, three meals per day, National Park entry fees, experienced staff and supervisors, two t-shirts per volunteer, and all documentation needed to apply for a business visa for Zambia.

REQUIREMENTS

There is no experience necessary other than a keen interest in wildlife conservation. A Volunteer Supervisor will give each volunteer the appropriate training to succeed in this role. Volunteers with relevant experience is a plus, but it not required. Have a unique skill set that might be relevant? We’d love to hear about it!

CAPACITY & DURATION 

  • 2 volunteers per month

  • 3 week placement

"I had an absolutely incredible time volunteering at GRI’s Kafue Release Facility! The people I met there were kind and inviting, and completely dedicated to the work they do. They always had time for my questions and their passion for the elephants and wildlife conservation was extremely infectious. It was also very exciting to see and experience how GRI engages actively with the local communities to work towards sustainable cohabitation of humans and wildlife. 
But above all, it was incredible to get to know the elephants! These funny and intelligent animals have stolen my heart and I feel so lucky I was allowed to spend time with them. I already miss joining them on their morning walks and I truly hope I get to see them again some day. For anyone who is interested in elephants, wildlife conservation, or who just wants to spend some time in this beautiful part of Zambia, I can totally recommend volunteering with GRI!"

Andrea Redder, 2021

2021 AVAILABILITY  

Please note that from 2022, we are offering the Holistic Volunteer Programme only.
The Research and Elephant Nursery Placements will be transferred to Zambian graduates for internships.