Lilayi Elephant Nursery Volunteer

 Lilayi Elephant Nursery, Lusaka (LEN) –2 Research Volunteers per month (April through November):


Activities may include:

  • Behavioural Observation Study (BOS) – collecting behavioural data on the orphans.
  • Inputting and handling data, assisting with report writing.
  • 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 at the nursery and join the staff members as viewing deck during visitor hours
  • Organise and give inputs on the reception/gift shop
  • Assist with enrichment ideas for the elephants during time in boma
  • 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)
  • Frequent social media updates
  • Assist during any events across EOP if any during your volunteer period

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.
  • People who are enthusiastic and eager to tell stories about the Elephant Orphanage Project, and get our supporters worldwide interested, involved, and engaged with the project

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 (BOS). 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.
  • Our office equipment is limited so if you have your own laptop/tablet/phone that you are willing to bring for this then it will be advantageous. We will connect these devices to the Wi-Fi.

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 your in-country expenses as outlined below, the remainder will be used to directly support conservation in action through GRI projects, as you will see for yourself!

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
  • 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)
  • Local staff whom 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
  • PAs must be responsible for purchasing their own Zambian entry Visas
  • PAs must be responsible for obtaining their own malaria prophylaxis
  • PAs must organise their own fully comprehensive medical insurance prior to travel*
  • Along with personal items PAs 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 GRI Project Assistant 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 – Volunteer Handbook 2018 (Lilayi Elephant Nursery)