|"Simba" comes from the Swahili word for lion!|
My first project...AFRICA
The African Loop at the Jacksonville Zoo is pretty awesome. I'll be at the zoo for five hours and spend four in that section. I have always loved the animals there, the lions, elephants, giraffes, it doesn't matter. Lion King is by far my favorite Disney movie, so much that I named my dog Simba.
Now that I've graduated the African Loop I want to see the real thing, and I love my little Simba bear, but I want to hold SIMBA.
I've learned about an exciting way to contribute to the wildlife conservation efforts in Africa through a few different volunteer projects. Each project works with different animals native to Africa and works to build knowledge, understanding, and conservation of the species.
So now I'm planning a trip....
First Stop: Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe-2 weeks
"The volunteers will be working in the Victoria Falls Private Game reserve. This is a big 5 game reserve (lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino and elephants). You will be helping with the extremely important electric fence checking as well as clearing the bush of invasive plant species. You could also be helping out with general game reserve management. We run a successful black rhino breeding program which you, as a volunteer, will be assisting us with this vitally important project. As a volunteer, you will have a once in a lifetime opportunity to work with the safari backed elephants. This will include tasks as feeding, cleaning, watering and totally immersing yourselves with these amazing creatures. As a volunteer, you will also get an opportunity to experience an elephant backed safari which is completely unforgettable. You also get an opportunity to work on our helipad which runs up to three helicopters on “The Flight of Angels” over the falls. Seeing the falls from above is nothing less than breathtaking. As a volunteer, you get to experience one of these flights."
Second Stop: Gansbaai, South Africa-2 weeks
"Volunteers are primarily here to work closely with sharks and tourists. Majority of sea time spent aboard shark cage diving vessel as a crew member helping out with cage diving operations. The cage diving vessel will launch 1-2 times per day when conditions and clientele allow. Volunteers will be scheduled on trips depending on numbers of volunteers/space on the boat for 1-2 trips per day where possible. Volunteers will have the opportunity to help out collecting and entering data, data is collected on every shark sighted from both the cage diving and research boat. Both interns and volunteers will enjoy lectures from our marine biologists as well as guest speakers from local organizations and universities with whom we work closely. Lectures will include ocean conservation, basic seamanship, shark biology and behavior, data collection and the work of the Dyer Island Conservation Trust. Other educational programs and events such as research, tracking, and shark dissections will be available depending on conditions/staff availability. All will have the opportunity to cage dive during your time here. "
Final Stop: Lion Park- Johannesburg, South Africa-4 weeks
"Volunteers assist our staff with the daily tasks such as feeding and caring for the lion cubs and other animals, cleaning and maintaining the animal enclosure and maintaining the park, and interacting with the many visitors we have at the park on a daily basis."
This is a link that gives detailed descriptions of each volunteer project :) I used the overview of each project from the site.