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The Butterfly Tree is a charity and not a volunteer business. However we welcome dedicated and committed people to volunteer for the charity at Mukuni Village, seven kilometres from the mighty Victoria Falls. Unlike businesses there is no set charge for this opportunity, though we do ask participants if they would like to give a donation to one of our many projects, do some fundraising or take with them to Zambia items for the school or clinic. Over the past five years we have had a number of people from all walks of life who have made a substantial contribution, which has helped both the charity and the community in Mukuni. These include students, individuals and professionals from the US, Canada, Australia, Asia, Europe and the UK .

How volunteering works

We are very flexible as you will be independent, though working alongside a teacher, medical officer or a member of the team. There is no time scale so you may stay as long as you wish. If you are interested in working at both the clinic and the school we suggest you help at the clinic in the mornings and school in the afternoons. The schools are closed for the Christmas break during much of December, a month at Easter and for the month of August. There is also the opportunity to assist with community-based projects such as constructing houses, painting classrooms, holding workshops or working with women’s groups. For those wishing to work with children we would expect you to have a DBS check if you are a UK citizen or the equivalent from another country.

There are no facilities or accommodation available in Mukuni therefore we recommend that you stay in Livingstone at either of the backpackers places: Fawlty Towers or Jolly Boys  or Chanter Lodge if you want somewhere reasonably priced. If you want to be next to the Zambezi River Safpar’s Waterfront is a fun place with really good value food. For long-term stay Tabonina Guest House offers good rates. For those seeking a more up market type of accommodation there are Minor Hotel Group – The Royal Livingstone and the Avani Victoria Falls. There is also Stanley Safari Lodge half way between the Victoria Falls and Mukuni and the stunning David Livingstone Safari Lodge and Spa closer and Protea Hotel closer to town. These arrangements along with flights will be your responsibility. To get to the village you can either take the local bus, which changes at the Victoria Falls and takes about an hour – it’s around £3 or £4 return or you can do a deal with a local taxi to take you for around £15 return. Zambia is very safe and the local people are extremely humble, friendly and obliging.

Our volunteers have loved this life-changing experience vowing to return and many have joined our cause to help improve the lives of these vulnerable people. Besides working with the charity the area has an abundance of activities, we recommend using Safpar for excursions including safaris, white water rafting and elephant-back riding. There is also micro-liting over the Victoria Falls, the Crocodile Farm and Livingstone Museum. It is also close to the Botswana border where some of the best game in Africa can be seen at Chobe National Park. If you would like to volunteer for The Butterfly Tree please carolyn@thebutterflytree.org.uk