Global Vision International (GVI)

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9.1 / 10 after 184 Reviews Based on overall, support & value average ratings
Program website: http://www.gviusa.com/

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Expect the unexpected. My life of trinkets, hot showers and technology paled into insignificance when I arrived in GVI Jalova in the Costa Rican jungle. Expecting to see only Green sea turtles, I found a scientific research and ecology base with highly educated staff. They trained us in theoretical and infield bird and mammal track identification, amphibian and reptile identification, marine turtle morning, night and excavation protocols, jaguar predation of marine turtles, camera trapping techniques and emergency first response training. Not only did we receive theoretical training but had the unique opportunity to practice these. Yes a long list and that was what was unexpected. Even more of a surprise was the bonding of people on base, like a close knit family, and feeling totally safe in a difficult environment 24 hours a day.

Had I known how intense the experience would be, I would not have gone. However thumbs up for the unexpected surprise. It proved a challenge and I would not hesitate in recommending this trip to anyone who is up for having a life changing experience..

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Posted: October 18, 2013
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
9
Age:
58

From the moment i stepped off the plane in Johannesburg I was met by smiling, friendly GVI staff, along with the other volunteers who would also be joining me on the program. After a few hours drive and a lot of very nervous conversation between everyone we arrived at our base camp in Karongwe Game Reserve. As soon as we stepped off the mini bus though everyone's nerves soon disappeared. Greeted by fellow volunteers who even took our bags from the bus and made us feel right at home straight away. Instantly i was impressed by the organisation and the friendly manner of everyone. The facility itself also surprised me for the good. It had been described as basic, but it had everything someone would need to be happy. A bed, hot shower (apart from a couple of days), lovely food, friendly people and a view to die for looking into the African Wilderness. After a week of training learning about the area, the animals, and how the research will help with future development of these wonderful creatures, we got underway with the reason I went out there. Going out on two game drives a day provided me with some sightings i will never forget. A particular highlight was a Brown Hyena, only the third to be spotted in a year, and also a sighting of the rare honey badger. However the best part of the entire program was helping when 'Tsavo', a big male leopard was darted and operated on as he was implanted to help with research. Getting that close to these amazing creatures was mind blowing! Of course as I was doing the Lion Research program I had side projects to help with the understanding of them. For example collecting data on movement patterns, and learning about track sizes and calling/roaring etc. Knowing my research was helping these animals was a brilliant feeling. I also found a new found love of birds and the little creatures. It was a memorable time and I wish i was there for longer. The staff were incredibly knowledgeable and I am still in contact with many of them now! GVI were superb throughout and i would thoroughly recommend doing a program like this if you are interested in this field of work or just fancy getting an amazing insight on some amazing animals.

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Location:
Posted: August 29, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
8
Age:
20

The four weeks that I spent volunteering with GVI in Costa Rica were an incredible experience I would highly recommend to others. Not only were the practical surveys great to be a part of but we also had the opportunity to learn about how our work on these surveys would be used to protect the endangered creatures of the Costa Rican jungle. During the surveys we learned a lot about all the different creatures that inhabit the jungle and lots of different survey methods and data handling techniques. My project was primarily focused upon sea turtle conservation and it was amazing getting to work hands on with these fascinating creatures. During my time I was able to count turtle eggs, measure the turtles, mark their nests and body check the turtles. When working with the turtles the surveys took place at night and it was great getting to see the turtles coming up onto the beach and watch them dig there nests.

As well as turtles there were also chances to take part in surveys involving the jaguars. These surveys involved finding jaguar tracks, there entry/exit points to and from the beach and setting up cameras on there kills too see if they would return to them. There were also opportunities to see lots of other incredible creatures in the jungle by going along on bio-assessment surveys to analyse the the level of biological activity of the jungle. The experience overall was a highly enjoyable experience and the staff were very friendly and great people to work with. I would recommend GVI for those looking for a fun and interesting summer experience

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Posted: August 27, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
Age:
23

GVI Jalova base camp is in the middle of nowhere and was my home for two months. I loved it! I couldn't have done a better project – Wildlife Expedition in Costa Rica. There were so many new animals I hadn't ever seen before; from snakes on base to turtles on the beach. It was amazing to see everyone’s excitement when a new animal had been spotted. One thing I definitely noticed about the animals at Jalova, is that they always appear when you’re least expecting it…The group I was part of were amazing and everyone more or less got along. When you do a project like this one no matter who you are; city boy or jungle girl you are accepted into the group without a question. But be prepared to play a lot of card games! It is hard work doing all the surveys with a lot of walking or rowing involved but there is time to chill out and enjoy the surroundings. I definitely made some friends for life on this programme and would recommend it to anyone interested in getting outside their comfort zone a bit, making friends and having fun.

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Posted: August 20, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: SuzanneG
Age:
19

I spent two months volunteering at Karongwe game reserve in South Africa and I loved every minute of it.
The people that I meet on my trip were amazing, the staff were so passionate about what they do, and the friends I have made will be my friends for years to come. Some of the experiences we had on the reserve were once in a life time events that we will probably never get to see again. It was amazing!

I will 100% recommend this program to anyone who loves Wildlife and Conservation to try this program, you will never regret it!

Program:
Location:
Posted: August 9, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: stacetas
Age:
19

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