Grassroots Zambian Volunteering with Cultural and Nature Excursions
The trip includes:
- 5 nights of shared accommodations at Michelangelo hotel in Ndola
- 1 night of shared accommodations at Protea Hotel Lusaka
- Airfare from Lusaka to Livingstone on Proflight-Zambia
- 2 nights at Protea Hotel Livingstone
- Daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner (alcoholic beverages not included)
- Park entrance to Victoria Falls National Park
- Half-day river/half-day land safari in Chobe National Park, Botswana
- All ground transportation
In 2003, Charles and Margaret Mumba opened the doors of their Zambian home to a few orphans. Today, their work has expanded to serve more than 350 children through Hope Ministries. When Chicago natives Rich Johnson, Dan Marcus, and Scott Barbeau flew to Zambia for a volunteer trip in 2006, the three friends formed such a strong bond with the kids at the Mumbas’ orphanage that they wound up dedicating years to helping them. Eventually, they founded Spark Ventures, which has partnered with the Mumbas’ nonprofit to provide sustainable support for grassroots education programs in Zambia.
On this 9-day volunteering trip, Spark sets the stage for a transformative experience similar to the one its founders once had. You’ll read with students in a schoolhouse, dine with Zambian families, and visit historical sites for an immersive cultural experience. Meals are included in the package; they’re a combination of common American meals and traditional local fare. You’ll round off the trip with excursions to the gorgeous Victoria Falls and Chobe National Park.
Click here to see the full itinerary.
Days 1–3: From Ndola Airport (NLA), guides lead the way to Twapia township, located about five kilometers outside Ndola in the Copperbelt, a region known for its copper mines. Here, Hope Ministries oversees Hope Village, a cluster of stucco and brick buildings. Hope Community School teaches more than 350 locals, and Hope House Orphanage is home to about 15 children, many of whom lost parents to HIV/AIDS. After taking a behind-the-scenes tour of the facilities and having conversations with dedicated staff, you’ll help serve a meal to hundreds of students.
Days 4–6: A comfortable Ndola hotel serves as your home base before you head out to a few cultural sites. One of these will be the Zambian national monument known as the Mukuyu Slave Tree, which marks the spot of a 19th-century slave market. Nearby, the Masala Market sells fresh produce and chitenge, sarong-like fabrics ornamented with colorful batik patterns. Finally, you’ll take a day trip to Hope Ministries’ poultry farm, where you’ll witness the program’s work to achieve financial independence with the help of thousands of cheeping chicks. In between excursions, there will be plenty of time to play games or swap stories with the program’s kids.
Days 7–9: After saying goodbye, participants will hop a plane to reach the Protea Hotel Livingstone and see Victoria Falls, originally known as Mosi-oa-Tunya, “the smoke that thunders.” The Zambezi River roars over a basalt plateau and becomes a massive sheet of falling water, and through the cloud of mist you can see the arcs of rainbows. The spot has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Then it’s off to Chobe National Park in Botswana, where you’ll traverse rivers and plains on a customized safari. Here, elephants stomp around freely, hippos wallow in the water, and giraffes help rescue frisbees from treetops. Afterward, you’ll fly homeward from Livingstone’s Harry Mwanga Nkumba International Airport (LVI).