Please see below a list of commonly asked questions, if your question is not answered here please complete the form on the contact page and a member of our team will assist you.
What should I pack for this trip?
Plan for one luggage bag to check, and one backpack that the camper can carry onboard, filled with important items, i.e. medicines, wallet, passport, yellow card (vaccinations), glasses or contact lenses, camera, book to read, sweatshirt or anything else they may need on the plane or would need in case a flight is delayed.
Bring minimal, conservative jewelry and plan to only wear earrings. Wearing visible body piercings other than in the ears is not allowed—it is offensive to people of other cultures.
Laundry will be washed 2 times during our stay in Camp Nakavango. We suggest that you not pack blue or black clothing—it attracts tsetse flies which are a biting pest. Also, please note that IT IS ILLEGAL for civilians to wear any form of camouflage clothing.
SUGGESTED PACKING LIST
- Short & long sleeve shirts (not blue or black or camouflage)
- Short and long pants (not blue or black or camouflage )
- Hiking boots and sneakers
- Sweatshirt/fleece top and windbreaker/rain jacket (not blue or black or camouflage )
- Warm hat & gloves
- Underwear & socks
- Binoculars & camera (remember batteries)
- Personal medications in original containers with correct dosages and physician information if a prescription—enough for the entire trip
- International plug adaptors—voltage is 220V plugs: square 3-pin plug (as used in the UK)
- Sleeping bag and flashlight
What does the camp fee include and will payments be allowed?
The camp fee includes; all meals and snacks, and all programming components throughout the entire camp.
Some examples of expenses not included in the camp fee are additional foods & drinks, movies & music on flights, souvenirs, Visa fee into Zimbabwe, medical expenses, weekend leisure activities and unforeseen travel changes due to illness or behavioral concerns, i.e. flu or homesickness.
Will my family be able to contact me?
Nakavango Conseration Centre has wifi internet access, therefore contact via email, skype, facebook etc is available
What diseases should we be concerned about and what inoculations will be needed?
The Stanley and Livingstone Private Game Reserve and Nakavango Camp site fall within a malarial area and the risk of contracting the disease is considered moderate. We recommend that you contact your local travel clinic/CDC to find out more about anti-malarial drugs suitable for this trip. Campers should bring an adequate supply of malaria pills as prescribed by a physician, and insect repellent.
Polio and tetanus shots should be current, and while yellow fever is not required to enter Zimbabwe from the U.S., it is recommended in case a flight is delayed or rerouted into another country that does.
Another vaccination you may want to consider and discuss with your physician is Hepatitis A.
What medicines should I pack?
Keep in mind that when traveling overseas, items are not always readily accessible nor is the brand you may prefer. The camp staff will bring the most common over the counter medicines for day-to-day treatments: antacids, antihistamines, motion sickness relief, and routine aches & pains.
Be sure to review and sign the. Nakavango Conservation Centre staff CANNOT DISPENSE ANY MEDICATIONS WITHOUT PARENT/GUARDIAN PERMISSION.
Especially for ladies, do plan to bring feminine hygiene products even if you do not anticipate needing them. Travel can alter the body’s normal routine.
Are there any safety concerns for traveling to Zimbabwe?
Safety and security are of paramount importance to Nakavango Conservation Centre. The level of crime in Zimbabwe is no higher than many other countries around the world. The Nakavango team stays on constant alert to local issues and notes any potential problem areas to avoid.
There are doctors at the clinic in nearby Victoria Falls. For any serious emergencies, guests can be evacuated by air by the Medical Air Rescue Services to the nearest appropriate hospital. In case of any emergency, camp staff will communicate with parents just as quickly as phone service allows—we will have an international call enabled mobile phone with us—as to the nature of the illness/injury and treatment plan in action.
What is the weather like in Zimbabwe?
Zimbabwe is south of the equator, so the seasons are reversed from those in the Northern Hemisphere. The seasons are not extreme and the average daytime temperature is cool in July, at 57 degrees F. The weather is most comfortable just after the rainy season, in May and June, but the grass is also highest then and the animals more dispersed. July-September is the best time for both comfort and animal viewing. Bring jackets for evening wear—the cloudless skies allow the temperature to drop quickly.
Will I need money or a credit card?
The currency in Zimbabwe is the $US. In case of an emergency or other unforeseen event, we recommend sending a credit card and cash up to $250. Should it become necessary, a doctor or hospital visit will require immediate payment. The Standard Chartered Bank and Barclays Bank are located in the nearest town, Victoria Falls, and Traveler’s Checks are exchangeable at these locations.
What is the housing like in Africa?
Camp Nakavango is a newly built dormitory style lodge, with a fully equipped kitchen and dining area, swimming pool, presentation room and library. Each camper will have his/her own room, bedding provided, and will share a common bathroom with 2-3 other campers. Laundry service is provided and all clothing should be labelled. The facility is located within a “game area” and visitors are not permitted to exit the camp unless accompanied by camp staff.
Where will the African base camp be and what are the qualifications of this facility?
The programme is run by field conservation specialists who are specifically trained to impart their skills and knowledge to student guests.
The site we will be using as base camp in Zimbabwe, Africa is Camp Nakavango, home of the Nakavango Conservation Programme based at the Stanley and Livingstone Private Game Preserve. The curriculum will focus on conservation research projects, as well as community development and sustainability. The site is about 10 minutes outside of the town of Victoria Falls.
Victoria Falls is one of the natural wonders of the world and is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. While at Camp Nakavango, campers will have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in conservation management activities and research projects, and contribute to community development as participants in the “Children in the Wilderness” program, (CITW).
What wildlife may they see?
In Africa, the big five game animals are lion, African elephant, Cape buffalo, leopard, and rhinoceros. The nearby national parks contain abundant wildlife including elephants, buffalo, giraffe, zebra and a variety of antelope. Lions and leopards are seen occasionally, while vervet monkeys and baboons are more common. The Zambezi River is populated by 39+ species of fish depending on whether above or below the falls, hippotamus, otters, Nile crocodiles, herons and waterfowl. And, 35 species of raptors call the river gorges home. The Stanley & Livingstone Private Game Reserve is the only Big Five area in the vicinity and is recognized as an Intensive Protection Zone (IPZ) for black rhino.
Can we stay longer?
There is so much to do in this vast country, and one should aim to spend more time in this wonderful part of the world. Should you wish to extend your placement you are also welcome to do so. Alternatively we can assist with placing you in an alternative reserve linked to our organization. Many students tend to make their own plans once in the country and upon completion at the reserve of their choice, travel on exploring the rest of the country.
What does my voluntary work contribution go towards?
Worldwide Experience requests a significant financial contribution towards all requested placements. All funds generated contribute to the smooth running of the program. The work you will carry out, benefits programmes and organisations such as Children in the Wilderness, National Parks, the Natural History Museum , the Endangered Wildlife Trust, Tusk and the funds also contribute to the on going projects related to our research and conservation efforts on the Stanley and Livingstone Private Game Reserve. Many organizations tend to step in to assist with a project and then simply disappear. This is not the case with Worldwide Experience. We realize that conservation needs man’s on going support, which can only be achieved through the generation of this contribution and via the support of the self-funding volunteer. To discuss any aspect of voluntary work contributions and/or our policies on the projects we support please do not hesitate to contact one of our directors.
What languages will we need to speak?
There are 11 official languages spoken in Southern Africa. However, English is preferred as a common language because it is seen as neutral and prevents the favouring of any one particular dialect. It is advisable to have a basic understanding of the English language should you come from a foreign speaking country.
How will we travel in Zimbabwe?
We have a representative at each destination who will meet you from your flight and transfer you to your placement. For all our African placements, we are able to organise your international flights from the UK. It is also possible to extend your stay to accommodate any independent travel plans you may have. You will be collected from the airport and transferred to your assigned conservation placement. There you will be transported around in either open pick-ups (open trucks/bakkies) or in open 4×4 Land Rovers.
What will we eat in Zimbabwe?
You will be provided three wholesome meals per day. Meals will include westernized dishes such as beef, chicken, pasta and lamb with vegetables as well as regular BBQ’s or braai’s as they are commonly known in our country. Breakfasts will include cereals, egg , toast etc. Those of you curious enough may even have the chance to tuck into our range of game meat offered on occasion. Vegetarians are catered for and our chefs will be advised according to your dietary requirements.
What are the dangers of malaria and other diseases?
Certain parts of Southern Africa fall within malarial areas. We are a conservation placement that falls in a malarial area. It is advised that you contact your local travel clinic/ GP to find out more about anti-malarial drugs suitable for your travel. Please contact us for up to date advice on Malaria.Safe treated tap water can be drunk at our facility.
Will we need a visa when entering Zimbabwe?
Yes, a passport and visa are required, and each person will need to have $60US (currently) in cash for the visa when coming through immigration since no credit or debit cards are accepted. CASH ONLY. Campers are to ensure that each passport and visa is stamped correctly.
Allow at least 3 months to apply for a passport. All visitors traveling to Zimbabwe need to have a least 4 completely blank pages in their passports for use by immigration upon arrival. Passports must be valid for 6 months after the anticipated return date to your country of origin.
VISA FEES APPLICABLE TO INTERNATIONAL VISITORS:
- Single entry US$50
- Double entry US$80
- Transit US$50
- Day tripper US$20
- Single entry US$60
- Double entry US$75
- Multiple entry US$95
- Single entry US$65
- Multiple entry US$130
- Single entry US$75
- Multiple entry US$125
- Single entry US$55
- Double entry US$ 70
- Single entry US$30
- Double entry US$ 45
How do I book a placement?
Can we use the company assets?
Students may only make use of company equipment with the consent of, and under the direct supervision of the co-ordinator or facility manager, and are to use the equipment with care.
Any concerns or faults regarding any equipment should be reported immediately to your co-ordinator.
Can we drink alcohol?
Volunteer students are permitted to drink alcohol at Camp Nakavango, provided the use of alcohol does not result in any unacceptable behaviour.
Alcohol may not be consumed during working hours, or within two hours before a scheduled activity. Should a student be found to be drinking alcohol outside of the appropriate times, the student will be removed from the programme for the rest of the day and be required to remain at camp.
Should alcohol consumption result in any form of unacceptable behaviour, the student/s will undergo a disciplinary procedure, and as a result be removed from the programme and sent home.
Is it safe to wear jewellery?
Simple, minimal jewellery is acceptable during programme working hours. It is advised that wearing of jewellery in visible body piercings, other than ears should be avoided, as this may offend people of certain cultures.
Can I bring prescription drugs?
If you take any form of prescribed drugs, please carry a note from your doctor with you stating the relevant information.
The possession and/or use of narcotics and any other recreational drugs is illegal. Volunteers suspected of breaking this law will be removed from the programme and sent home.
What is the dress code?
Students are please to be dressed neatly in a way that is not inappropriate or offensive, and to ensure that your clothes are clean. Uniform shirts are provided, and you will be required to wear these shirts on certain days for specific activities, as advised by your co-ordinators.
What about health and safety?
First aid is available on site and during all activities, as your co-ordinators are first aid qualified. There are doctors and a clinic in Victoria Falls. For any serious emergencies, patients are evacuated by air by MARS (Medical Air Rescue Services) to the nearest, appropriate hospital.
The Victoria Falls area is a malaria area; however, the risk of contracting malaria is moderate as the area is not a high risk area. Students are advised to seek the advice of your doctor regarding anti-malaria precautions. Students should bring insect repellent and an anti-histamine cream and tablets approved by your doctor.
Please ensure that your medical insurance while you are travelling is in order. You will need to pay cash to any doctor, clinic or hospital in the area should you need to make use of their services. You are advised to keep such receipts so that you can claim back from your insurance company after your trip.
It is very important that you include all necessary information, as per your booking form, regarding specific medical conditions.
HIV & AIDS: This disease is a huge problem all over the world, and in Africa especially; Victoria Falls is no exception.
To learn more about how it is affecting Africa, please visit the following website:
The tap water at the facility and in the surrounding areas is drinkable, but contains a bit of lime. Water on the Nakavango Estate is sourced from boreholes. Should students not enjoy the taste of the water, you are welcome to purchase bottled water.
Please ensure that you bring any medication specifically related to specific medical conditions, e.g. asthma, allergies, diabetes, etc. and ensure that you provide us with all necessary details of such conditions on your booking form.
Volunteers are not to exit the boundary of Camp Nakavango, unless accompanied by your co-ordinator, or leaving with an arranged transfer. The camp is situated in a dangerous game area.
When visiting the town of Victoria Falls, it is unsafe to walk around at night, specifically due to dangerous wildlife that readily enter the town at night (and sometimes during the day!) Also, it is advised that students do not engage with informal sellers of various goods in the streets as this invariably leads to harassment until the goods are purchased, and usually at unreasonable prices. There are tourism police readily available to escort you to various sites around town, and it is recommended that students make use of the services of the tourism police.
The tourist police are funded by private establishments in the Victoria Falls tourism community, and are easily recognisable by their navy blue police uniform and yellow bibs stating “Victoria Falls Tourism Police”. However, the people in the town are very friendly, and we make the above recommendation in the interest of your enjoyment of Victoria Falls. Please feel free to seek the advice on any topics, especially related to your health and safety, from your co-ordinator.
Are there any banks close by?
The suitable banks for international visitors in Victoria Falls are Standard Chartered Bank and Barclays Bank. Cash points for MasterCard, Visa, etc. are available in town. Traveller’s cheques are also exchangeable in the banks. The easiest form of making any necessary payments during your stay is either with a debit card or a credit card.
What is the nearest town?
The nearest town is the charming and vibrant Victoria Falls.