Africa Alive

Whites Lane, Kessingland, Lowestoft, Suffolk, NR33 7TF

About us

Set in 100 Suffolk acres, Africa Alive! is home to more than 80 species of animals from around Africa.

From humble beginnings as Suffolk Wildlife park, the attraction was rebranded and hugely improved back in 2006 - now boasting specimens such as the fastest mammal, the tallest mammal and the biggest bird in the world! 24 years in the making, Africa Alive! welcomed its 3 millionth visitor on 22nd October 2015.

The park actively supports conservation projects in the wild to help secure the future of many endangered species and is operated by the Zoological Society of East Anglia (ZSEA). ZSEA's aim is to secure the long-term futures for both Africa Alive! and Norfolk’s Banham Zoo. ZSEA also strives to advance both park’s roles in wildlife and environment conservation, animal welfare and offers various education programmes and research opportunities.


In 2014 our volunteer team gave over 3000 hours of their time to support our staff in the valuable conservation and education work we do. We are looking to expand on our existing team so that we can further enhance the work we do and can offer training relevant to the role you undertake, a uniform and some travel expenses. So if you are 18 years old or over and have time on your hands to help support a friendly team who are passionate about the work they do, then volunteering here might be for you!

Zoo Animal Management (ZAM) Volunteers will have the opportunity to assist the ZAM team with their varied duties; the upkeep of animal enclosures and surrounding areas, preparation of animal diets as well as manning our immersive exhibits, such as our lemur walkthrough. This is a physically demanding role with volunteers having the opportunity to really get their hands dirty, though please note we have a hands off policy for most of our animals.

We are also looking for outgoing, creative people to assist the Discovery Centre team with their day to day work. Volunteers will have the opportunity to help the Education staff with their varied duties which include animal husbandry, animal handling, face painting, visitor interaction, helping out during theme weeks, discovery sessions and birthday parties. Due to the varied nature of the tasks, we see a flexible and adaptable attitude as essential to make this role a success.

We also have exciting opportunities for volunteers to help the work of our gardens department too. If you are a professional, a keen amateur or just someone who likes to be outdoors you could be a great addition to the team!

If none of the roles above seems right for you but you still want to contribute to the work of the zoo, then it is still worth getting in touch as we may still be able to make use of your valuable skills!

Work Experience, Education Placements and Vacancies

For the right person with the right passion, the job of a zoo animal keeper is very rewarding - though as you might expect it will involve physical work in all kinds of weather! The real rewards for this type of work are not necessarily reflected in high salaries, but rather the satisfaction that you’re making a vital contribution to the conservation of our natural world.

We take work students studying at Level 2 (National Diploma, A levels) or higher for an animal-related career course. We offer block placements on week days (Mon-Fri for a minimum of two weeks) or day-release placements on a weekend day (either Sat or Sun for a minimum of 10 placement days).

Common sense and awareness are key both for monitoring the health and well-being of the animals in your care, and for an awareness of your surroundings for the safety of the animals, yourself and our guests. It also important to be able to work both as a supportive team member as well as independently, to understand instructions and communicate effectively. You will benefit from a good knowledge of animals and a will to listen and learn from others with more experience. And finally, the ability to interact and engage with our guests is a very important skill to develop.

If you are interested in a work experience placement with us, please contact and we can check availability and send you our application form, or if you are interested in a placement with our Education Department and are studying a B.Ed. or a PGCE, please email our Head of Education: Sara Goatcher at

Actual vacancies are listed on our website, and don't forget to check our posts here on icanbea!

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