Location:Kafue Release Facility, Kafue National Park

Duration:Volunteer placements are available for a maximum of 23 days only.

2018 Dates: Available monthly April – November

Activities may include:

  • Behavioural Observation Study – collecting behavioural data on the orphans.
  • Inputting and handling data from a range of data streams across EOP, assisting with report writing.
  • Literature searches and literature reviews
  • Staff Capacity Building – support with lessons on biology, behaviour, conservation issues (or anything in your skill set you feel you can pass on!)
  • General welfare/husbandry of elephants – help with cleaning out the stables/boma, collecting branches for the elephants
  • Assist with administrative tasks (organizing paper work, updating documents, etc.)
  • Assist in welcoming guests to the Facility
  • Assist with enrichment ideas for the elephants during time in boma
  • Assist with photography: of the elephants on bush walks, staff and camp surroundings (also help staff members to improve their photography skills if this is an interest of yours)
  • Collect stories and images for GRI’s social media updates
  • Assist with GRI events
  • Setting up Camera Traps to develop a field guide and to create an ID kit of the wild elephants in the area.


What will you gain from this role?

  • A deeper understanding of elephant behaviour.
  • An understanding on principles of animal behaviour on the whole
  • Experience with different methodologies that can be applied across species.


 Who would this suit?

  • People who are interested in animal behaviour, zoology, animal welfare and husbandry, conservation or wildlife management.
  • People who are able to work as a team with people from different background/culture to your own but also independently when necessary.


Who this would not suit?

  • People who want to have close contact (touch/hug) elephants – we have a strict ‘hands off’ policy. Only trained elephant keepers get within 10 metres of the elephants due to the nature of the project – all elephants will be released back into the wild.
  • People who want a break from using computers
  • People with limited English

Is there any experience necessary for this role?

  • We rely on volunteers for conducting the Behavioural Observation Study. This data needs to be of publishable standard therefore volunteers must be able to demonstrate an understanding of the importance of reliability when collecting data.
  • This may be a background or interest in science and/or someone who wants to gain work experience for a career in this field.

General Information for the Research Project Assistant Role

  • Volunteer placements are available for one month only
  • Please note that all GRI Camps are alcohol and drug free zones (recreational drinking may be conducted at the Lodges in association with each of the field camps outside of working hours and when transport is available)
  • Cost for one-month placement on the programme is a minimum donation of $2,500
  • Your minimum donation will be used to cover all in-country expenses as outlined below, the remainder will be used to directly support conservation in action through GRI projects:


What is Included:

  • All project-related transport costs
  • Pick up between 09:00 – 17:00 from the airport or your hotel/lodge on the project start date
  • Drop-off between 09:00 – 17:00 to the airport or your hotel/lodge on project end date
  • Transport to the shops for personal items before heading to Kafue National Park
  • Transport to project related events
  • Transport to a near-by Lodge on rest days
  • Accommodation: a tent, mattress and bedding provided (in some situations volunteers may be asked to share a tent with another volunteer of the same sex)
  • The support of local staff who prepare volunteer accommodations, maintain the grounds, and ensure the property is safe and secure
  • Three basic meals a day on camp (the volunteers will prepare or assist in the preparation of the meals)
  • National Park Entry Fees (if staying at the Kafue Release Facility at Kafue National Park)
  • The documentation required to apply for a work visa
  • Experienced staff support, training and supervision
  • Two working t-shirts per volunteers
  • Project related materials
  • Registration with Specialty Emergency Services -Health Care Providers


What is Excluded:

  • Flights
  • Volunteers must be responsible for purchasing their own Zambian entry Visas
  • Volunteers must be responsible for obtaining their own malaria prophylaxis
  • Volunteers must organise their own fully comprehensive medical insurance prior to travel*
  • Along with personal items Volunteers will be required to bring with them some basic equipment for camp life (e.g. a head-torch, water bottle, etc.), although any equipment required directly relating to project work will be provided once on site. A more extensive equipment may be found within the Volunteers Handbook.
  • Any meals off GRI Camps
  • Personals of any nature
  • Personal beverages
  • Entry fees to any other tourist attraction / adventure activity

*N.B. Please make sure your insurance provider is aware of the activities and tasks which you may be undertaking during your participation in this programme. Ensure they are aware you will be walking in free contact (with no barriers) with elephants although there will be no physical contact with the elephants following our safety protocols and elephant re-wilding protocols. Please ensure that your insurance package covers emergency medical evacuation and repatriation.

The next step….

If you are interested in applying for the position of Research Volunteer please download and complete the Questionnaire and return to

If your application is successful we take into account current project needs as well as your skills & interests and get back to you with a Placement Offer and Project Disclaimer.

Be part of something special and join us to support conservation and communities in the remote African bush!

Click  to download the GRI Volunteers Programme Questionnaire 2018. Click  to download the GRI – GRI – Volunteer Handbook 2018 – KRF