Orphan Elephant Adoption Media Volunteer


Orphan Elephant Adoption Media & Marketing

As a Media & Marketing Volunteer you will receive elephant ID training to help identify each elephant, and spend time out in the bush every day photographing and recording magical moments with the elephants, as well as photographing the staff and surroundings.

This Elephant Orphanage Project is caring for orphaned elephants from around Zambia and releasing them back out into the wild when they are able to look after themselves. The smallest orphans stay at the Lilayi Elephant Nursery while the larger orphans join the release herd in Kafue National Park. The elephants learn about life in the wild from each other, the keepers, and from trial-and-error – often hugely amusing and entertaining.

As a Media & Marketing Volunteer you will work closely with our Communications Coordinator with writing adoption reports on the individual elephants, ‘behind-the-scenes’ diaries as well as frequent updates on our social media. You will receive elephant ID training to help identify each elephant, and spend time out in the bush every day photographing and recording magical moments with the elephants, as well as photographing the staff and surroundings. In between you will be entering the data collected from our research studies as well as generally helping out with the day-to-day running of the Release Facility, such as cleaning the stable, collecting browsing and help with ‘play-ideas’ for when the elephants are in their stable at night time.

In order to promote the successful release of the orphaned elephants back into the wild, it is important to keep the contact with humans to a minimum. There will therefore be no direct contact with the elephants, we ask that everybody keep a 10-metre distance, except for the keepers who care for the elephant orphans around the clock and form close family-like bonds with the elephants which is essential to their emotional recovery from their initial traumas.



  • See the older released elephants come to meet the release herd in mornings – a beautiful sight.

  • Lots of laughter when the little elephant orphans are playing around, always hugely amusing!

  • Learn about the elephants, the special problems they face as orphans, both medical and emotionally and get to communicate their stories.

  • Get to know each individual elephant and their personalities.

  • Get to know the keepers and write their stories.

  • The enjoyment of camp life and campfire cook-outs in a National Park setting with lots of wildlife around.

  • The main task is communicating the stories of the individual elephants via adoption reports and social media updates.

  • Other tasks include:

  • Literature searches and assist in report writing.

  • Staff capacity building.

  • Assist in enrichment/play ideas for when the orphans are in their stable.

  • Use camera traps to develop a field guide for the area as well as creating an ID kit for the wild elephants in the area.

Field conditions

Volunteers will be staying in our tented camp along the riverfront. Usually each volunteer gets their own tent but might have to share if the need arises. The camp is basic but well established with some home comforts, like a seated toilet and a hot bush shower – which really makes a difference after a long hot day in the bush. There is a small kitchen where volunteers can cook their food over a gas cooker and sometimes there will be cook outs around the campfire. Refrigeration is limited so the diet is predominantly vegetarian. The project provides food for three meals per day, but the volunteers are welcome to supplement with some comfort foods like chocolate and crisps. Clean drinking water is available unlimited.

We use solar power to charge phones, laptops and torches. However, our solar system is not extensive so charging facilities are limited (particularly in cloudy weather) and will prioritise the project communications and work necessities. We employ full-time staff in all the camps in various capacities, including for security, so the camps are never unattended.

As we are in the African bush there is always the possibility of encountering wildlife, both big or small. On arrival all volunteers are given clear safety briefings to minimise any dangers. All management staff have basic first aid qualifications and the camp has a fully comprehensive medical first aid kit.

Languages: English

Age range: 18-99 years. We do allow in certain cases 17-year olds with parental consent.

Group size: Max. 1 volunteer per month.

Camp Phoenix at Kafue Release Facility inside Kafue National Park, Zambia.

All volunteers start and end their stay with us at the Lilayi Elephant Nursery at the outskirt of Lusaka, Zambia.

    The cost to participate in this project is USD $2,500 for the 22 days. This will be used to cover the costs of the volunteers during their stay and the remainder will be donated to the project.

    Elephant Orphanage Dates

    The volunteer season runs from April to November (as we do not have volunteers during the rainy season) so the available dates for 2019 are:

    2 – 23 April

    30 April – 21 May

    28 May – 18 June

    25 June – 16 July

    23 July – 13 August

    3-24 September

    1-22 October

    29 October – 19 November

    What’s included

    • All project-related transport
    • Accommodation at our tented camps at the Lilayi Elephant Nursery and Mukambi Camp.
    • Three meals a day (the volunteers help prepare the meals)
    • Experienced staff support, training and supervision
    • The documentation required to apply for a work visa (usually obtained on arrival at the airport)
    • Two working t-shirts per volunteer
    • National Park Entry Fees for Kafue National Park
    • Local staff whom prepare volunteer accommodations, maintain the grounds, and secure the property is safe and secure.

    What’s not included

    • Plane tickets to Zambia
    • Travel insurance
    • Business visa ($50 – we will provide the necessary documents to obtain the visa)

    How to get to the project?

    • We will pick you up at the airport or hotel within Lusaka on the project start date.

    Are the dates set or flexible?

    • In order for the volunteer supervisors to be able to plan their time we do try to stick with the set dates, though we can be a bit flexible in certain cases.

    Is it always 22 days or can it be shorter/longer?

    • This is a set programme of 22 days and is difficult to make shorter. The programme is incorporating all three departments of the organisation, it therefore is a packed programme which is difficult to cut down into fewer days. In certain cases we do accept shorter-time volunteers and the cost is calculated accordingly.
    • Longer term volunteers are easier to plan for, however as a business visa to Zambia is only 30 days that is the maximum amount of days we can do.

    $2500 seems like a lot of money – why is it so expensive?

    • Yes, $2500 is a lot of money but it also covers a long period of time, 22 days. Most holiday destinations would cost a lot more for the same time period for accommodation plus food – and with us you get an amazing experience, you get to make a real difference, plus you learn a lot about elephants, wildlife conservation, and so much more.

      I really liked a lot to help the staff doing their daily work by cleaning the Boma, collecting branches for the elephants and cooking for visitors at the camp. The people were very friendly and it was nice to share stories about elephants and African culture around the camp fire. The atmosphere was so pleasant, I really had fun. Camp Phoenix is a very beautiful place with amazing landscapes. My tent was comfortable, it was nice to cook in an open kitchen and I really enjoyed having my shower under the trees and stars.” – Stephanie De Maere, June Volunteer

      Elephant Orphanage and Community Outreach


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