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Volunteering at Croc Valley

Volunteering Croc Valley Camp

Author: Simone F.

I am in Croc Valley Camp for around a month now and I have had an amazing time here! It has such a nice and relaxed atmosphere. Surrounded by pure nature and situated just in front of the Luangwa River, the scenery Croc Valley Camp is embedded in is very idyllic.

Even though I am terrible at learning Nyanja, the local language, the staff are so nice and welcoming, they greet me every morning with a smiling face and a warming “mwakabwanji” (good morning how are you – almost the only thing I can understand in Nyanja).

Besides my daily tasks, for example picking up and dropping off staff and guides in town, bar stock count, loading and sorting grocery ordersand hosting guests, there is so much to do in and around the camp!

The main attraction here is of course South Luangwa National Park, which is literally just around the corner. Regardless of whether early morning or night safaris -joining one of our guides on a game drive is always an adventure!

It is such a joy to see all the different animal species in their natural environment. You can observe dozens of hippos with their calves resting in the lagoons, watch zebra families, buffalos, different kinds of antelopes, funny looking warthogs, bush babies with their large eyes looking at us from the trees, elephant herds and if you are lucky enough even leopards or lions – especially the lions Ginger and Garlic, who are so relaxed that you can come up close to them … sometimes even a bit too close for my liking.

Volunteering South Luangwa

What is special about South Luangwa National Park is that there are no fences at all; the only natural boarders are the Luangwa River in the East and the Muchinga Escarpment in the West. This however, doesn’t keep the animals inside the park. Especially elephants love to cross the river by night to make their way to Mfuwe town to eat the farmers’ crops (and cause a lot of damage to the fields). So it is not unusual to encounter an elephant herd at night in the middle of the street on the way to town.

And you really don’t want to be the main attraction of a bull elephant being a bad mood! Getting chased by an elephant is no fun at all… Sometimes the elephants even sneak into the camp to eat their way through the guests’ food supplies.

At night in the camp you also have to be very careful to not run in a hippo … so it can be quite an adventure just to walk around the camp at night.

During the day-time Croc Valley Camp is an idyllic place with lots of things to do! I really like to get up early in the morning, sit by the summerhut with a coffee and watch hippos and crocodiles in the river or on the sandbank, or just watch the monkeys running around and playing or fighting. During the hot midday there is nothing better than jumping in the pool or reading a book in the hammocks.

If you want to spend a day outside of the camp, Mfuwe village is definitely worth a visit and has some nice activities to offer. You can join village tours, visit the shop of Project Luangwa, a NGO that produces beautiful clothes and bags, nice souvenirs and handmade cards or attend a workshop with Tribal Textiles, where you learn how to craft your own fabrics.

Especially in the evenings Croc Valley is the place to go for a cold beer or the delicious 3 sisters’ wine! Volunteers, staff and guests from the valley come together and enjoy their evenings at the bar. Having a great view at Lunagwa River, Croc Valley Bar is really not the worst place to end your evenings.

Volunteering Croc Valley Camp
I really enjoyed my time here and I would say it even feels like a home away from home. I hope I can come back soon!

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