We decided to travel to Zambia with Work the World to undertake a physiotherapy placement. We had always wanted to travel to Africa, and after reading the reviews on the website we were sold. Seeing the variety of health conditions on offer and the amazing sights of Zambia were opportunities we couldn’t turn down.
As we were the first to arrive at the house, we had plenty of time to settle in and explore. The house was absolutely lovely and the staff were very welcoming. The rooms were spacious, and the terrace overlooking the view from the house was a fantastic place to relax. The pool was a great relief after a hot day in the hospital on placement.
There was always a great selection of food available, some being traditional Zambian meals and others more Western. The highlight of the week was always BBQ night with either traditional dancing or games. Weekly language lessons were always fun, and the locals really appreciated it when we made an effort to speak in Nyanja. The other students in the house were all very friendly and we became like family.
We had an induction morning where we took a tour around the hospital and met the physiotherapy team. They were all very welcoming and keen to share their knowledge with us. We got to experience a variety of areas such as ITU, oncology, paediatrics, internal medicine and outpatients. Each of these areas differed significantly from their equivalents in the UK, with limited resources and differing treatment approaches.
We quickly learnt how to be more resourceful, like using a glove filled with water for a pressure cushion — something we’d never see back home! We saw so many different conditions and developed new skills. Whilst some cases were overwhelming, having the support of the other students and staff made this experience easier.
We spent our weekends travelling to the different sights of Zambia. On our first weekend, we travelled to Kafue National Park for a stay in a safari lodge. This was an amazing experience and one we’ll never forget — we saw elephants, zebras and vultures to name but a few! Drinking beers on a riverboat as the sun went down, then gazing at the stars was the perfect way to end the day.
Livingstone was another amazing trip and definitely worth the long journey! We ventured to Victoria Falls, and did the Livingstone Island Tour — it was incredible! We got to sit in Devil’s Pool, right on the edge of a 100m drop. As if that wasn’t enough of an adrenaline rush, we went on to do a zipwire across the falls. The views were amazing!
There were plenty of things to do closer to home as well. Tiffany’s Canyon was a great activity-packed day — we kayaked across a beautiful lake and did water trampolining. Monkey pools had some beautiful natural watering holes and the markets had so many interesting items — the perfect place to get something to take home to remember your time in Zambia.
We had an absolutely amazing time in Zambia, it was a trip of a lifetime and something we will never forget! Work the World made organising it a breeze, all we had to do was hop on the plane! It was a brilliant experience and we can’t recommend it enough.