Born Free regularly receives requests for information about volunteering opportunities overseas.
Wherever possible, we encourage the employment of people native to the region in which we are working, because we believe conservation stands a far better chance of becoming fully supported by communities if local people are direct stakeholders. However, international volunteers are an invaluable asset to wildlife conservation and we want to encourage people with the desire and motivation to make a difference.
Before considering volunteering, please read our Guidance Notes.
Unfortunately, we are unable to offer overseas volunteer opportunities in either Ethiopia, Kenya or Sri Lanka, but would be more than happy to help review any potential opportunities that you may be interested in.
Should you decide to volunteer, we would urge you to seek professional advice regarding health matters and travel recommendations relating to the country and area concerned well in advance of travelling. You should also make adequate insurance arrangements and take all sufficient precautions regarding your proposed stay.
Malawi is a great country for volunteers who are looking to help wildlife. Known as the ‘Warm Heart of Africa’ for its friendly people, stunning scenery and safe reputation, the country is also facing a wildlife crisis. Habitats are disappearing, wild animals are losing their homes and human-wildlife conflict is increasing. Lilongwe Wildlife Trust (LWT) is Malawi’s leading wildlife welfare and conservation charity and there are volunteer opportunities available on a number of its projects.
Supported by Born Free, the Zambia Primate Project (ZPP) is one of Africa’s most established and successful primate release programmes. Its mission is to rescue and rehabilitate injured, orphaned and illegally-held vervet monkeys and yellow baboons for release back to the wild. Volunteering opportunities of one, two and three months are available in Zambia.
Volunteers will have the opportunity to play an active role in contributing to the successful running of the rehabilitation and release aspects of the project. Please note that this is a working conservation project so you will need to come prepared to roll up your sleeves and get involved with whatever activities the project is tasked with at the time of your visit. ZPP offers volunteer opportunities at its wildlife rehabilitation centre and its release camp deep in the bush.
To join ZPP’s field team releasing and monitoring rescued baboons and monkeys in Kafue National Park, or to assist with primate care and pre-release preparations at the rehabilitation centre please contact ZPP's Senior Technical Advisor Dr Cheryl Mvula on firstname.lastname@example.org for further details and costs.
The Shamwari Conservation Experience offers the unique opportunity to take part in volunteer placements from two weeks to over three months and can include many different activities based on the needs of the reserve at the time, such as monitoring projects which assist in capturing vital information used in the research and management of all species on the reserve. Volunteers are also able to visit and get involved in the work of Born Free’s big cat rescue centres and Shamwari’s animal rehabilitation centre during their time with the team.
Anyone interested in working at Shamwari Private Game Reserve should contact Worldwide Experience, an independent travel operator, for more details. If you quote ‘Born Free’ at all stages of booking, Worldwide Experience will make a donation to Born Free at no extra cost to you.
Worldwide Experience is an independent travel operator offering the unique opportunity to take part in volunteer placements from two weeks to three months. Worldwide Experience offers conservation placements in seven countries: South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Madagascar, Croatia and Sri Lanka.
Anyone interested in working at one of the Worldwide Experience conservation projects should contact Worldwide Experience for more details. If you quote ‘Born Free’ at all stages of booking, Worldwide Experience will make a donation to Born Free at no extra cost to you.