Rhino and Elephant Conservation in Zimbabwe

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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Rhino and Elephant Conservation in Zimbabwe

Environment

This project is committed to protecting the local wildlife and does this in many different ways. The project as a whole provides a safe haven for the endangered white and black rhino as well as rescued elephants. Volunteers on this project play a crucial role in helping to protect the wildlife by taking part in vital conservation activities that help the reserve to run smoothly. These activities include general reserve maintenance, caring for the rhinos and elephants and undertaking snare and anti-poaching patrols to ensure the animals safety. The work the project does is very important for conservation efforts in Zimbabwe as a whole, as without it the animals would be in danger.

With regards to how the project conserves energy, it makes the most of the long days which are filled with sunlight! To conserve energy in a location where it can be scarce, the project has installed solar panels on the showers that volunteers use to wash. This negates the need to use electricity to warm up the water, and in turn means the project is doing its bit to reduce its energy usage.

Community

This project gives volunteers the chance to enjoy weekends off, and during this time many of them head off into the nearby town to explore and soak up the local culture. When exploring the town many volunteers use this as an opportunity to enjoy a meal in a local restaurant or a chance to purchase souvenirs and this contributes to the local community. The in country team is more than happy to recommend places for the volunteers to eat and spend their money, and the local people love sharing their culture with the new guests!

This project also promotes traveling with respect as it really pushes integration with the local community onto the volunteers. Members of the local community, children and adults alike, pay a visit to the volunteer house to share their culture and food stuffs. This is a favourite activity of the volunteers as it gives them the chance to learn more about the Shona culture whilst sharing their own experiences of home. Cultural exchange is very important on this project!

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