The Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust offers internships/externships to people interested in wildlife conservation with experience in animal handling, ecology, zoology, veterinary and pre-veterinary disciplines, laboratory diagnostics, and a range of other fields. Interns/Externs will have the opportunity to be based at the Trust’s operational base and wildlife disease and forensics laboratory situated in Victoria Falls National Park, on the Wild Horizons concession. This facility is about 15 minutes from the town of Victoria Falls in a wild area below the Falls themselves. In 2016 the Trust together with Veterinarians for Animal Welfare Zimbabwe opened our doors to a clinical animal welfare facility. This facility is off-site about 8kms away from the Trust’s lab and offices. Interns/Externs may get involved in some of the projects at the animal welfare facility depending on experience and timing.
We suggest interns apply for a slot in a five week intake. This is mutually beneficial to the project and the intern in that it allows enough time for getting involved in a project and accomplishing work on the ground as well as providing the intern with valuable experience. All projects have both field work as well as office work involved in entering data collected from the field or following up on research information.
Applicants must be over the age of 18 to participate as a Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust intern. Most interns have had 3+ years in their University Degree courses and/or are graduate students, or professionals looking for hands on experience. Depending on the time of year, age, experience and interest, various projects are available. Please review information below for more details:
A few of the projects we offer
- Rescue and rehabilitation of Wildlife– we taken in wildlife that has been injured through human interference, this project is dependent on if any wildlife has come into the facilities. It is not a full time project and clinical work is rather limited, but interns are responsible for the daily feeding and monitoring of any rescue and rehab cases that come in. This includes mammals, birds of all types, the odd reptile and some small primates.
- Predator Conservation project– The Trust works together with Oxford University’s WildCru Hwange Lion Research project to understand the regional population dynamics of lions and other large carnivores. This project involves monitoring lions that have already been collared, following up on the spatial data to get visual sightings of the cats, evaluate kill sites, conduct spoor transects and change collars on the cats when they are failing.
- Vulture Population Research– In recent times Zimbabwe has experience a surge of poisoning. Vulture species are a bystander in this malicious poaching and are being affected when they feed on the carcasses of poisoned animals. The Trust is researching vulture nest sites by species to assess and monitor the population.
- Human-Wildlife Conflict is a major problem for the communities that border wildlife areas. The trust has been conducting research on conflicts for more than 5 years. This project entails monitoring our conflict hotline, and responding to every conflict incident to evaluate the incident, and to work with local communities to put mitigation solutions in place to try and prevent future conflicts.
- Wildlife Disease Surveillance- Every animal that we dart or treat we take a range of samples from. Get involved in processing of the samples as well as a basic analysis of some of the samples at our Wildlife Disease Diagnostic Laboratory. If you are a pre-vet or veterinary student this is a good project for looking at zoonotic and trans boundary animal diseases.
- Darting of wildlife is opportunistic and mainly during the dry season in which the Trust staff are called on to assist in immobilizing wildlife to take off wire snares or treat wildlife that has been harmed due to human interference.
- Vaccination Programs are conducted annually in conjunction with Vets for Animal Welfare Zimbabwe (VAWZ). Get involved in providing rabies and canine/feline vaccinations to the community in and around Victoria Falls. For 2018 the program is set to run at the end of July. Help us prevent disease transmission between domestic pets and wildlife.
- PhD and Graduate Students or Researchers, needing a base and facility in which to be accommodated and to conduct their studies and have logistical support, this program is designed to assist you, please inquire especially if you are a veterinary student.
You will be accommodated with other interns at a local Bed and Breakfast in the town of Victoria Falls. Ablutions facilities are available with flush toilets and hot and cold running water. Simple meals will be provided from the facility’s kitchen. A staff member will take care of laundry. Internet access is available at the B&B as well as any of the Cafes in the town or at the Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust Laboratory. There is available transport to and from Victoria Falls twice a day, once in the morning and once in the afternoon.
Your hosts will be Wildlife Veterinarian Dr. Chris Foggin and Roger Parry, Managers of the Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust. They have a fabulous team of guides and staff that you will be working together with. We take up to six people per intake, in the months of May through September we specifically reserve 4 slots for veterinary and pre-veterinary students. So book early!
The current costs are as follows: Intern $750 per week in Victoria Falls, $850 per week for travel intakes. Costs include all accommodation, meals, and transportation to the individual’s project (to and from Victoria Falls Town).
Other costs: 1) If you are a vet student and interested in being involved in some of the rhino work the cost is $850 for each week of your internship you will be doing this project, the additional cost is to cover the extra travel expenses. 2) If you are involved in the predator conservation research, vulture research or any other research and should be involved in some of the work in National Parks, you will be responsible for paying National Parks fees to enter the park ($15 per person per day and $10 camping fee per night)
Please note costs are subject to change.
*An additional charge of $107 per day will be charged for any additional days booked to stay on before or after the internship at the B&B.
2018 Intake Dates
- April 16th to May 17th (note: this intake will be doing external travel for vet students)
- May 28th to June 30th
- July 2nd to August 13th (this intake is 6 weeks and will include helping with fundraising events and external travel for vet students)
- July 23rd to August 24th
- August 27th to September 28th
- October 1st to anytime before November 16th