South Africa

Askari WCP

My 4 week stay at Askari was the most amazing time of my life. I wish I could have stayed longer. Learning about conservation in South Africa along with doing activities that will help towards conservation was an absolutely amazing experience. Ed and Katie are amazing leaders and teachers. Once you go you will want to keep going back!! I am looking forward to when I can go back and contribute again.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: South Africa
Posted: Oct 9, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Askari WCP

I had the experience of a lifetime during my month at Askari. We participated in a wide range of exciting and worthwhile activities on the reserve during our stay, with every day bringing something new and unexpected! Some highlights included darting a sable, receiving deliveries of zebra and buffalo, learning how to drive a 4x4 and having hyaenas visit our camp whilst sleeping out under the stars. A typical day included an animal based activity, for example a game drive to collect data on the herbivores, and a reserve management activity such as lantana spraying, fence painting or road clearing.

The volunteer house is large, clean and spacious and there is a pool and running track to exercise on. The meals are large and varied and vegetarians are extremely well catered for.

I learned so much about wildlife, conservation and reserve management from our guides, who were incredibly knowledgeable, patient and easy going. I highly recommend this programme to anyone who wants to develop of range of new skills in the African bush and make a meaningful contribution to wilderness conservation. Book the longest stay that you can - once you get there you will not want to leave!!

Program:
Location: South Africa
Posted: Sep 14, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Askari WCP

The Askari volunteer program was one of the best things I have ever done. I was there for four weeks and had the most amazing time. Apart from all the amazing animal sightings, I never would have thought I could have learned so much and get involved in so many exciting projects in the time I was there. The program is well structured, with each day full of activities. You get involved in a variety of things, from monitoring animal populations, to the maintenance of the reserve, to the special breeding and reintroduction programs for a variety of different species. The accommodation is excellent with plenty of food and space, and the staff are fantastic - extremely welcoming, enthusiastic and professional. I would recommend the program with no hesitation.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: South Africa
Posted: Sep 13, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Askari WCP

My time at Askari was by far one of the best things I've ever done. When we planned the trip I knew that it was going to be good but I had no idea it would be so amazing. The staff - Katie and Joe (and Ed!) - were so helpful and got everyone involved in the activities. The program itself was packed full of cool stuff to do and so we were busy a lot of the time. Activities included going on extensive game drives, helping to upkeep the pathways and fences, protecting vulnerable trees and doing river clean ups. As well as this we also got to do some rifle shooting, 4x4 driving, a sleepout in the reserve plus see LOADS of amazing animals on the way. Basically, if you want a holiday where you're not just sitting around the whole time, this is definitely the one for you, it's an amazing experience.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: South Africa
Posted: Sep 4, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Frontier

No Regrets

I have just got back from the Frontier South Africa Wildlife Project. Hand on heart, I had the best experience ever. Before this trip I had traveled independently in 4 countries. But now I have become to realize that these trips were just normal holidays. Nothing can prepare you for the South Africa project. From nursing cubs to cleaning out cages. The best way to get your hands dirty and making a huge difference. Oh and we got to go to the beach on the weekends, wish i could surf, best waves apparently.
For anyone thinking of going, just do it.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: South Africa
Posted: Sep 3, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Cross-Cultural Solutions

CCS's in-country staff were amazing. We have been to South Africa on similar experiences two previous times, and can say that CCS offered the most genuine cultural experience of the groups with whom we've worked.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: South Africa
Posted: Jun 6, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Frontier

I spent three weeks at a baboon orphanage in Sout Africa specialised on raising orphaned Chacma baboons aiming to release them back into the wild. The orphanage is located in a private game reserve close to Kruger Park with the beautiful Olifants river and all the wild animals just right “on your doorstep”. Not to mention all the wild baboons hanging around near the enclosures.
I liked to help raising the little baboons as well as looking after those animals who we rescued from laboratories or other horrible living conditions and have now found safe place to spend the rest of their life. We worked in one hour shifts along a well prepared schedule, so that all volunteers had to do a very diverse range of work: from nursiging the baby baboons to renovating enclosures, collecting food or organisational tasks. It was never boring. Work was always rewarding because it was obvious that help was needed and all the work was so useful. I enjoyed to learn new skills like talking “baboon” or building hammocks from fire hoses. And is was a wonderful chance to get near to our very close relatives.
I met a very committed staff and and volunteers including the long-term volunteers. Talking to these friendly people I learned a lot of interesting things about life in South Africa. That was helpful for my further travelling. I enjoyed the daily communal dinner.
To make it short: I would recommend this volunteering opportunity to all people who want to get into real contact with animals, who enjoy living in the wilderness for some time, and who want to feel useful during there volunteer work.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: South Africa
Posted: May 4, 2014
Overall:
8
Support:
8
Value:
9

A Broader View Volunteers Corp

Volunteering for a month in South Africa added a new dimension to who I am. While some things I experienced further emphasized the person I already was, other experiences pushed me out of my comfort zone and revealed to me new truths about who I am and who I want to be. While learning about the culture, lifestyles and world views of the people in Manamani Village, I learned things about myself.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: South Africa
Posted: Dec 22, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Askari WCP

I had an amazing time at Askari during my two week stay! It feels you really make a difference. Although the days are well planned with lotsof activities, sometimes you never know what will happen.
So we had an unexpected wildfire, we bumped up to two male lions marking their territority. We were also able to see had a sable darting... Unfortunately with a sad ending...

The accomodation is great. Watching the African sky on the sable tower filled with stars while listening the lions roar is truly an amazing experience!

The staff are very helpful and always prepared to answer any questions. Their knowledge is something to be jealous of!

To sum up: this is the perfect combination of conservation work, wildlife and fun! . I would recommend this to anyone! Experience of a lifetime!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: South Africa
Posted: Nov 19, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Projects Abroad

I decided to volunteer abroad as every now and then I like to do something that puts me out of my comfort zone, so I chose South Africa as I wanted to go somewhere that I had never been before and somewhere I didn't actually know much about, so I would be in a situation that was unfamiliar to me. I decided to go after leaving college as I believed the experience would help my confidence and independence for going to university – I figured that if I could go to a foreign country by myself and live with a family I had never met before, then moving out and studying for a degree shouldn't be a problem!

I decided to go with Projects Abroad because of the support that was given. Even before I had made my mind up at to exactly where I wanted to go and what I wanted to do, they were on hand to answer any questions that I could think of. I also liked the fact that the price covered everything for when you were out there, so once I got to South Africa I was just able to enjoy my time there,without having to worry about budgeting and therefore possibly missing out on certain opportunities, such as social events.

I was actually very surprised when I first came out the airport – people drove on the left hand side of the road and the road signs were familiar! Not too different from home. But the thing that really shocked me, which I think affects all visitors and volunteers, is the very distinct gap between the wealthy and the impoverished. Coming from the UK, this sort of obvious divide between the poor and rich does not exist. People are not living in houses which they have constructed out of whatever materials they could find. When I was driven past the oldest and second biggest township in Cape Town I realised that this was something I had never witnessed before.

I was part of the 2 week special placement, which I really enjoyed – even if it did go too quickly! My host family were some of the nicest people I have ever met. They made me feel so welcome and comfortable, and the food! Sometimes I do find myself wistfully thinking of the delicious meals that Faye used to cook – including homemade foccacia bread, which is probably my favourite food of all time now!

The first week I was there felt like a crash course in getting to know Cape Town and its history in Human Rights, as it included visits to places such as the Slave Lodge, the District Six museum and Robben Island.
I also got to visit several townships where I was able to talk to South African citizens. This included helping out at a soup kitchen, which many of the children attended. Those children displayed a tremendous amount of energy and love, attaching themselves to you at any opportunity! I definitely felt like a piece of my heart was left behind there.

At the weekend I had the opportunity to complete the famous “Garden Route” trip, which, although involving a 5am start, was definitely one of the best parts of my time in South Africa. The two days included a three hour safari, a walk with lions and the chance to ride elephants! My favourite part however was visiting the wildlife centre where I had the chance to interact with lemurs (and by interacting I mean having them clamber all over me!)

The second week was when I was really able to focus on the current Human Rights issues that South Africa is facing. I met people who are currently tackling these issues, such as those involved in the African Scholars Fund and Gun Free South Africa. These groups really made me aware of what exactly were the causes of children not being able to receive education and illegal gun ownership, and what was being done to resolve these problems. I finished the week by presenting to the other volunteers in the Human Rights Office on The Access to Sufficient Food in South Africa. I learnt a lot from researching it and I hope the other volunteers also learnt something new.

It was quite difficult to leave South Africa in the end. Even having been there for a short time, I had made friends who I know will be my lifelong pen pals and totally immersed myself in the new, exciting culture of Cape Town. A few days after I had returned I went to a local music festival which I have been going to for a few years. It felt rather strange to be standing in a muddy field in wellies, when a week before I had been seeing animals such as springbok and ostriches in the wild - which were on sale to eat at one of the food stalls!

I am already planning my next trip to South Africa with Projects Abroad, but it might be more wishful thinking seeing as I am about to become a student! But my advice to those thinking of volunteering is not to think about it too much, obviously planning for your trip is important but try not to get too caught up in what might or might not happen when you're there – just go for it, you won't regret it.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: South Africa
Posted: Nov 10, 2013
Overall:
8
Support:
10
Value:
10

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