Volunteer in Zambia
Build houses & help in local schools
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Group Size: Varies
Trip code: VZAM
Duration: 14-28 days
Spend between 14 and 28 days volunteering in a community project in rural Zambia. Stay in Mwandi and help to build houses for some of the most vulnerable members of the village, using traditional African methods. You’ll also do some work in a local school – get ready to have your heart melted by lots of gorgeous smiles! Explore the amazing local area including Livingstone and the unforgettable Victoria Falls in your spare time. It’s an incredible way to discover the ‘real’ Africa, while giving back to the community. Add on a four-day safari in Botswana to experience Africa’s iconic wildlife up close – just wow!
- Build new homes for the local community using traditional methods and materials
- Volunteer at a nearby school, helping the children with their learning
- Help with the feeding programme at a local centre for vulnerable children
- Immerse yourself completely in the community and make friends for life on the project
- Spend your free time exploring Livingstone, Victoria Falls and Mwandi Village
Spend between 14 and 28 days volunteering (you choose) at this incredible project in the heart of Zambia. The programme is all about improving quality of life and creating better futures for the local community by building houses and helping in local schools and children’s centres. It’s an amazing way to travel Africa while giving something back.
You’ll be involved with all kinds of important work in the local area, including:
- Building housing using traditional methods and materials (wood and mud from termite mounds) to ensure the most vulnerable members of the community have homes
- Volunteering in the village preschool or middle school (children aged 3 – 8), teaching, playing with the children and helping them with their reading.
- Visiting the feeding programme at a local centre for disadvantaged and vulnerable children.
- Helping out at a local nursing home.
The programme leaders are super flexible, so let them know your interests and they’ll be able to make the best experience possible for you.
A typical day
As a volunteer you’ll typically work for around 6 hours of the day during the week, with duties varying depending on the project’s needs and your interests (the project leaders are very accommodating).
- 8am – Leave the project and head to the building site where you’ll help build traditional Zambian houses – it’s dirty work so prepare to get mucky!
- 12pm - Lunch break back at the project with freshly prepared lunch
- 2pm – Back to the site to do more building – some of the locals may get involved too!
- 4pm – Finish work and free time
- 6pm – Dinner and campfire fun
- 7.30am – Head to school for the start of the day (it’s just over the road) to help the teachers, read with children and play games
- 12pm - Freshly prepared lunch back at the project
- 1pm – Back to school for more fun with the children
- 3pm – School day finishes – stick around to play some games with the children or head back to the project to relax
- 6pm – Dinner and campfire
Optional add-on - Safari in Botswana
If you’re volunteering for more than three weeks, you’ll have the opportunity to add on an unforgettable 4-day safari in Botswana! You’ll spend two days in the amazing Elephant Sands game ranch, where elephants and other game animals roam freely. You’ll take a game drive here, relax by the pool and spend your evenings round the campfire. The next two days are spent in Chobe National Park where you’ll join an open-top safari, and a separate river safari. It’s an incredible opportunity to come face to face with Africa’s diverse wildlife, including elephants, hippos, crocodiles, and birds.
Please note: the Botswana safari does not run during July. Activities, inclusions, and itineraries are subject to change.
During your free time you’ll be able to explore the local area at your own pace. Mwandi Village has a colourful market, the thrilling adventure activity scene at Livingstone is easily accessible, and the jaw-dropping Victoria Falls are a must see. The team can help arrange any activities and excursions you might be interested in.
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Arrive in Zambia at Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airport, formerly Livingstone Airport on your trip start date. Please make sure your flight arrives before 14.30. One of the local team will meet you at the airport and transfer you to the project.
On your programme end date, the team will transfer you back to Livingstone, from where you’ll either need to arrange an airport transfer or continue your travels. If you’re flying out of Livingstone on the same day, please arrange a flight that leaves after 12 noon, to ensure you’ve got enough time for your journey.
Your accommodation is included during your stay in Mwandi village. You’ll either be in a basic but comfy shared chalet or a large canvas safari tent. Chalets are en suite and have electricity, a fan and mosquito nets. The tents are waterproof, fitted with mosquito netting, and large enough to stand up and walk around in. The chalets have hot and cold showers and there are two fully tiled safari type showers outside, where you can shower under a large banana tree! There’s also a large communal kitchen (where the cooks prepare your meals) and this is also used as a community room where you can play cards, games or just chill out.
If you’re volunteering for more than three weeks, there’s the option to add on an incredible safari in Botswana. For this leg of the trip, you’ll be staying at Elephant Sands, in en suite thatched chalets or large permanent en-suite tents, all of which have solar lights as well as water heaters, and are in a beautiful bush setting with a view of the water hole. The viewing area is a large thatched open dining room with a full bar, areas to relax and African décor.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included during your stay on the project. Food consists of traditional local dishes as well as popular Western options. During your free time, you’ll be able to buy local food (which is affordable and delicious), which is a great way of trying a range of different regional delicacies.
All meals are also included on the Botswana safari add on.
Please let your travel advisor know if you have any dietary requirements.
You’ll need to be a minimum of 18 years old to participate on this programme and the maximum age depends on the health and fitness of the individual. Because of the varied work on this project, volunteers need to be adaptable, willing to get stuck in, and happy to get their hands dirty!
You’ll also need an enhanced DBS check for this programme. If you don’t have one dated within 12 months of your programme start date, please contact us and we can arrange the check for an extra fee. Please note, enhanced DBS (criminal record) checks can take 6-8 weeks to come back, so please ensure your start date allows enough time for your DBS check to be completed.
You’ll need a visa to enter Zambia. For the purposes of this programme, a 30-day Business Visa is required. If you’re volunteering for three weeks, there’s the opportunity to add on a safari in Botswana. You’ll need a tourist visa for this, which is usually issued free at the point of entry. Your passport should be valid for at least 6 months from your date of entry to Zambia.
Please note: Visa requirements are subject to change so make sure you check before you travel.