Our volunteer programme at Imire is for people passionate about conservation, who want to contribute their efforts to save some of Africa's most iconic endangered species. We are a family-run conservancy, offering a unique way for volunteers to join in our conservation work.
Wildlife in Africa is under threat from illegal poaching, over-population and habitat loss. Conservancies like Imire play a vital role in both protecting and propagating these endangered species, to ensure viable wildlife populations and genetics continue to exist.
Responsible volunteering in Africa is a chance to travel with a true purpose. As an Imire volunteer, you have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work hands-on with incredible wildlife, side-by-side with conservation experts, and within local communities. Volunteers play a key role in protecting our wildlife, and also develop deeper intercultural understanding and empathy, through working in our vibrant community, alongside friendly and like-minded people.
Volunteering at Imire makes a real difference to wildlife conservation in Zimbabwe. Imire volunteers are involved daily with the first-hand care of endangered rhinos and elephants; pioneer important research into behaviours and habits of all our wildlife; get involved in anti-poaching efforts, conservancy management and maintenance; and undertake conservation awareness and education in local communities.
As a conservation volunteer in Africa, you will gain a deeper, behind the scenes understanding of what it really takes to protect our wildlife, and gain so much more than you would as an ordinary traveller.
Our Hands-on Rhino and Elephant Conservation volunteer programme takes a holistic approach to the protection of highly threatened rhino and elephant, and the environment they live in. Our rhino conservation volunteers work closely alongside local employees and community members, and play a vital role in safeguarding endangered species.
Wildlife conservation volunteers at Imire are involved with a variety of tasks which include opportunities to:
Volunteering is a unique opportunity to completely immerse yourself in a new country and culture, experiencing day-to-day life in Africa first hand – all while giving back to an important conservation cause. We guarantee your experiences on the programme will be life-changing!
“This was my first time volunteering and Imire was definitely the best place I could have chosen to do this. The close contact with particularly the elephant and rhino was totally a unique experience – memorable in itself, but made more so by the personalities and interactions with the handlers who spend so much them looking after, tracking and watching over these fantastic and amazing animals. I feel so privileged to have shared in what Imire is working hard to achieve” Ann, UK
Love horse riding? Combine hands-on rhino and elephant conservation with daily horse safaris on our Horse Riding & Conservation Programme - download the brochure here.
A horse riding safari in Africa, hands-on rhino conservation and elephant interaction - what more could you ask for from your volunteer programme?
During this two week equine volunteer project opportunity, you will experience the best of our amazing rhino and elephant conservation programme which focuses on a holistic approach to the ongoing protection of highly threatened rhino and elephant, as well as contributing to conservancy management from horse back. All this, riding in small group of no more than four, alongside the “matriarch” of Imire, Judy Travers, whose knowledge and passion of the African bush and wildlife will have you mesmerized for every exciting moment.
Horse Riding and Rhino conservation volunteers at Imire are involved with a variety of tasks which include opportunities to:
“The rides out over the Imire property were just breath-taking, and we got to see many areas and sights that you just would not see by vehicle. We could get right up close to the wildebeest herds, and walk quietly past as the sable grazed in the distance. I remember cantering through a beautiful patch of land after a long ride with the others, zebras in the foreground and impala watching on from afar and just thinking 'this is exactly what I had hoped for when I had signed up to Imire.'” Rachel Miller – Australia
Volunteers can join the Horse Riding Programme for 1-2 weeks, please email us for current project pricing.
If you would like to stay at Imire for longer, you may combine the Horse Riding and the Rhino Conservation Programmes together, for a maximum stay of 8 weeks.
Education about conservation and wildlife for future generations, both locally and internationally, is one of the pillars of our rhino protection strategy. We are proud to offer families a chance to experience volunteering together for such an important cause, from a young age.
If you and your family would like to give back and take a holiday with a difference, our Imire Family Volunteer Programme is a perfect fit for you! We offer a unique volunteer programme to families with children aged 5 and over (please enquire if any of your children fall outside this age), and invite you to take this opportunity to volunteer in Africa with your family, helping to protect and secure endangered wildlife for future generations and empower local communities with knowledge and education.
Families taking part in this volunteer programme will be involved with a variety of tasks which include opportunities to:
You and your family will live closely and safely amidst wildlife in the heart of the African bush and experience day to day life on a privately-owned conservancy. Your family’s dynamics and individual needs will be assessed and personally catered to as far as possible to ensure that all family members have the time of their lives! Family volunteers with children aged 14 and over, will usually be accommodated with the main volunteer group, at one of our beautiful volunteer sites. If your children are younger than 14, you will be accommodated separately with your own personal guide, doing activities tailored to the ages and interests of you and your children.
As part of our mini-series 'Two minutes on...', we have produced some accompanying activity packs to encourage children to get involved with learning about some new animals. You might also find these packs useful for your children prior to volunteering!
Family volunteers can join the programme from 1-8 weeks, please email us for current project pricing.
We currently have families booked in the following weeks, but please do enquire if you would like to join outside of those dates:
June 22nd - July 6th
July 6th - July 13th
August 10th - 24th
The Imire Nature Enthusiast course is designed for wildlife lovers who are looking to take their knowledge to the next level. The course has been designed and is led by our own highly qualified volunteer co-ordinators, Sam and Vera, themselves both experienced FGASA-certified guides.
The 6-week course is an opportunity for nature enthusiasts to study our wildlife and ecology more intensively, and be immersed in Imire’s unique environment. You will study mammals (of course closely studying our elephants and rhinos), reptiles, insects and birds; you will learn about the night skies and ecology, and you develop a deeper understanding of large and small animal behaviour.
The course is ideal for people wanting to start a career in wildlife conservation, or who simply have a desire to learn more about a variety of wildlife subjects.
Sam and Vera, our resident Zoologist and Biologist have ensured that the knowledge the course imparts, and the research techniques you will learn, can be used anywhere in the world, in a variety of conservation industries.
The course is FGASA endorsed, and delivered through a combination of lecture-style lessons and exciting outdoor practical activities.
Course topics include:
Develop practical research skills
Unique to our course, students will pioneer Imire’s scientific research. Each topic of study includes a research project, whereby participants will develop their own skills and also contribute to Imire’s long-term management plan. Current research projects include canopy surveys, telemetry tracking and mapping, camera traps, and bird, fish and amphibian population studies.
Who should join: passionate conservationists who want to learn more about Imire and about Africa’s varied and beautiful flora and fauna.
How long is the course: 6 weeks
Number of people: maximum 10 students per course
Age requirements: the course is open to anyone aged 18 and over
Where will I be staying?
Participants will be accommodated at our brand new Wilderness Camp, a beautiful camp situated in the wild side of Imire, on the Chiwawe Dam. This camp allows for intensive learning in a diverse ecosystem. The Wilderness Camp is in an idyllic spot surrounded by pristine African bush.
You will be sharing twin safari-tent style accommodation. Rooms will be same-sex sharing and each tent has its own private en-suite bathroom with hot and cold running water and flush toilet. There is a fully equipped kitchen, study area, dining room and lounge, with resident cook and housekeeping staff. The camp is run on solar power with a small generator.
Course dates 2020:
12th January - 23rd February
1st March - 12th April
Please drop us an email to ask any questions.
The volunteer programme at Imire is unique for its personal nature, and you will be comfortably accommodated in groups of no more than 12 volunteers. Our accommodation is beautifully situated in the heart of the conservancy.
Rooms are shared (same sex sharing) in comfortable single beds with all bedding provided (duvets, pillows and extra blankets in winter). Couples will always be accommodated together in a private room. Showers and toilet facilities are shared, and hot water is supplied for showers and washing. Power sockets for electrical items are available in communal areas.
Three home cooked meals are provided daily on a self-serve basis. Vegetarian and limited vegan options are available upon request, but should you have any dietary requirements or food allergies, it is important you let us know before you arrive. We are unable to cater for very specific dietary needs (for example gluten, dairy or wheat intolerance), so should you need them you will need to bring any specialist foods along with you. If you bring these foods, our chefs will be able to prepare these for you alongside other volunteer’s standard meals.
Drinking water is pumped from a borehole and is safe and clean for drinking.
Your rooms and the house will be cleaned every day and the housekeeping staff will also do your laundry when required. An outhouse laundry is available for washing smalls or should you wish to do an extra load of your own.
Bear in mind electricity can be intermittent in Africa, especially during our rainy season. For backup, we are prepared with basic solar powered lighting or a generator which will run for a short time in the morning and evening – so this is the best time to ensure all your charging is complete.
Wi-Fi and cellphone signal:
It's time to get away from it all! We do not have Wi-Fi of any description at Imire, and cellphone signal and 3G connection is intermittently available. When we have electricity problems, the cellphone signal can be problematic, but is available to touch base with home in certain areas of the conservancy.
Safe and Valuables:
The volunteer coordinators have access to a safe for securely locking away any cash or valuables you may have brought with you.
Sam Turley & Vera Castro
Sam and Vera oversee all volunteer activities and logistics as well as the upkeep of Numwa House. Living onsite they are around to help you out with any queries, making your stay as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.
Project Task Co-ordinator
Bright accompanies all volunteers on their daily tasks. He is responsible for transporting you to your daily assignment, explaining what is required of you and assisting you with any queries or difficulties you may have.
Game Park Manager
Born and bred on Imire, Reilly oversees the management of the conservancy. He is in charge of anti-poaching, game park management and overseeing the rhino breeding programme.
Morgan helps co-ordinate Imire volunteer programme bookings. She will make sure you have everything you need before you arrive in Zimbabwe.
Stocks, along with Tafadzwa, is responsible for ensuring that you have three delicious, home cooked meals every day!
Housekeeping and Laundry
Chipo is responsible for ensuring Numwa house is clean as well as making sure the volunteers have clean clothes after a long day working in the park!
Tafadzwa, along with Stocks, is responsible for ensuring that you have three delicious, home cooked meals every day!
Caretaker and Gardener
Neton maintains the Numwa House and garden. He is the caretaker of the borehole, the generator and carries out of most of the behind the scenes jobs!
Assistant Task Manager
Trymore lends us a hand with accompanying and guiding volunteers whenever necessary. Trymore is currently studying to be a qualified guide and is a wealth of information and enthusiasm in the bush!
Manyati runs all our transfers and is responsible for making sure you get to and from Imire safely.
Equine Programme Manager
Judy is the matriarch of Imire! As well as working closely with communities surrounding Imire on various projects, Judy guides volunteers on horse rides and game patrols.
Donations and Community
Candice is responsible for facilitating donations to Imire. Please let her know if you would like to know more about donating to one of the projects that Imire is supporting.