I really enjoyed this experience. It was a dream to come to South Africa and collaborate in wildlife conservation. I have really liked it. I have had the opportunity of learning a lot about conservation and animals. The fact that we had the opportunity of taking care of some animals also or seeing them closely everyday gives you the chance of knowing better their behaviour. I’ve also realised about all the work that you have to do in a reserve to keep it. What I have enjoyed the most is to have the opportunity of seeing on the field some wild animals in their own environment. Moreover, it is so nice to meet people from all over the world who at least have one thing in common with you, their love for the conservation of wildlife and animals in general, knowing that there is people out there who really want to help make you think that maybe there is still an opportunity to save endangered species.
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My short time that I had here was one of the best experiences of my life. I had always had a passion for wildlife but these two weeks have been everything I could have possibly wanted and more. It has confirmed for me that this is what I would like to do later in life. Whether it was the satisfaction of finally finishing the sable station or sitting in the back of Jimmy's truck trying to bait a lion, each day bought new challenges and I love the place even more for that. Finally, and perhaps most importantly I must thanks Joe and Katie, they make Askari what it is and I couldn't think of a better pair of people to run such a programme. Their depth of knowledge and obvious passion for the wildlife was quite simply unbelievable. You could not wish for a more friendly and caring two people to be looking after you. Thank you for an amazing 2 weeks and I hope to be back as soon as possible.
I volunteered for 4 weeks in May, 2013. Katie and Joe run a fabulously educational program covering virtually all aspects of game reserve management and wilderness conservation. You will work hard, physically and mentally, and play hard...and see big game up close like you've never imagined. You'll learn about big game, small game, birds, reptiles, and South African creatures and vegetation. You'll learn health and safety practices for being in the wilderness, firearms safety training and driving a game viewer. You'll be up early, all day (with rest breaks) and sometimes into the night...when and where game are active.
There is a terrific week-long orientation as well as continuing hands-on learning and work sessions throughout each day; you'll have Saturday afternoons and Sundays off to rest, relax and see the areas nearby. Weekly trips into nearby towns put you in touch with locals, where you can expereince the culture and cuisine. You'll even campout a night in the wild.
Whether for a gap-year experience, or "simply" volunteering for the sake of helping strengthen local game management and wilderness program actvities, this will be an experience you will not soon forget! I highly recommend it!
I had an amazing time at Askari. People are very friendly and accommodating. The activities are always fun and game drives are always exciting (especially when an elephant in musth is less than a foot away from you). I hope to come back to Askari again and am glad that I had the opportunity to help work towards their goal of becoming a benchmark reserve.
Being at Askari was a great, unforgettable experience. The location in the middle of the African bush makes you feel like you are in a different world. Joe and Katie make you very feel welcome and give you a good introduction in wildlife conservation. Their passion and interest in the bush is very inspiring. They both have great knowledge, skills and they know what they are doing and why they are doing it. As a volunteer you participate in everything they do, so you are really contributing to the programme. Thank you so much for the lovely time I had at Askari. I truly hope to come back one day and I will recommend it to anybody who is interested!
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