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Here are some of the questions we get asked a lot by volunteers; if you have another question specific to Imire’s volunteer programme, please do get in touch!

Why do I have to pay?
Many people believe that volunteer programmes should be free and we would love that to be the case. However, Imire is not a government organisation and relies on funding and financial contributions from donors, sponsors and volunteers.

Your contribution really does help - paying to volunteer allows us to cover our basic costs and develop the long term conservation and community projects which continue after your volunteer programme has ended. Volunteer programmes costs significantly less than visiting the country as a tourist and you will also experience the hospitality and friendliness of the Zimbabwean people first hand as you live and work amongst them. Plus you are leaving a tangible contribution behind as well as developing your own personal skills. Our goal is to provide an amazing experience for you, letting you see life on a game park and experiencing other cultures and communities.

Where does my money go?
Included in your fee are things like:
  • Pre and post departure support and travel information
  • Transfers to and from Harare plus transport around the game park
  • Full orientation and training
  • Accommodation for the duration of your stay
  • All meals while you are on Imire - 3 home-cooked meals a day
  • Equipment and materials used on the volunteer programme
  • 24/7 emergency support
  • Assistance with planning optional activities and tours
  • The general running costs of the volunteer house and garden, vehicles and staff
We estimate that 70% of your volunteer fee goes to covering the day to day running costs of the volunteer programme, with the remaining 30% being spent on game park and conservation projects, improved equipment for reserve staff (e.g. night vision binoculars, camera’s, increased security and more anti-poaching patrols) as well developing projects in the local community (classrooms, school renovations, books etc).
Whats not included?
  • Cost of getting to Harare from your home country or last destination
  • Your personal equipment
  • Travel insurance (do not travel without it!)
  • Excursions off Imire and outside the volunteer programme (e.g. to Victoria Falls)
  • Drinks (other than water and juice)
Where will I be staying?
Your accommodation at Imire is in a two storey thatched house in a beautiful location by the shores of our largest lake - ideal for fishing! You will have a comfortable room, sharing with 1-5 other volunteers. There are two shared bathrooms plus two outdoor showers for those hot African days, a swimming pool and outdoor braai (that’s an African bbq!) area. Inside the house is a kitchen, dining room, lounge and bar area. Your rooms and the house will be cleaned every day and the housekeeping staff will also do your laundry when required. The volunteer co-ordinator and manager live on site and are on hand 24 hours a day for questions, information and rescuing you from spiders!
What food will be provided?
You will receive three home-cooked meals per day cooked by our resident cook, Stocks, except on a Sunday when you will cook for yourselves - all food is provided for you to cook with. We can cater for all sorts of dietary requirements, please just let us know before you arrive. If there are snacks which you know you will need (chocolates, crisps etc), please feel free to bring supplies with you as town trips are only once a week! Breakfast is usually around 9.00am, lunch around 1.00pm and dinner around 6.30pm.
Who will pick me up from the airport?
A member of Imire staff or a driver will be at the airport to collect you and will also take you back in good time for your return flight. If you are coming overland, please make this known when you book and we can arrange to collect you from an alternative place in Harare. Unfortunately we are unable to offer a transfer service from other Zimbabwe locations.
How long can I stay for?
The minimum stay is usually two weeks, although we can (and do) make exceptions for those who don’t have that time to spare - we wouldn’t advise to come for much less than two weeks to ensure you do all the activities which are on offer and get the most out of your stay. The maximum stay at Imire is eight weeks. The programme starts on a Monday so please ensure that you are in Harare before 5pm on the Monday of your programme start date. Should your preferred flight arrive after 5pm, please ensure that you arrive the day before and we can help you organise accommodation overnight in Harare.
How many other people will be on my programme?
We take a maximum of 12 people at Imire (including a maximum of 4 on the Horse Riding programme and 1 space for a Photography Intern). This is to ensure that everyone gets the chance to form relationships with the animals without it being too crowded for animals or people. First and foremost we are a game reserve and the welfare of the animals is our priority.
How much money should I bring?
We would recommend that you bring around US$100 per week. This will cover any souvenirs you may wish to buy, drinks from the bar and tips.
How old do I have to be?
The minimum age for our programme is 17 years. Families with children aged over 16 who wish to volunteer, please enquire and we will consider your application. For those with younger children (aged 8 and over), you are welcome to join the Family Volunteer projects, usually run in July and August. We do not have an age limit but we ask that all volunteers are physically fit and active - there is often manual work and heavy lifting involved and a lot of getting in and out of high vehicles.
Do I need a visa
Most volunteers do require a visa to enter Zimbabwe but it can usually be bought at the airport upon arrival. Please do check BEFORE you travel what the visa situation is for your country and allow some time in case your visa takes a few weeks to process. Ensure you have adequate US$ with you in cash when you get to the airport.
Will I get to touch the animals?
Our volunteer programme is very hands on, so the majority of volunteers will have the amazing experience of touching elephants and black rhino.

 

 

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