South Africa

Askari WCP

Askari is one of those stand out experiences you never forget. My hopes for the trip were to see the South African mammals and contribute to their management and conservation. Thanks to the Askari team, especially Joe and Katie for making this possible and for sharing a part of their knowledge and skills in such an inspiring way. The longer my stay, the more I saw how fascinating and diverse South Africa’s wild creatures are – not just the mammals! The ferocious, semi-nomadic soldier ants (matabele), the giant nest building hammerkop and the huge, fearsome martial eagle. There is a great range of activities that take place and always something new to learn. The management philosophy at Pidwa respects the resilience and complexity of the reserve ecosystem and aims to protect these values with the least amount of human intervention necessary – it is an amazing place to be.

Program:
Location: South Africa
Posted: Apr 17, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Askari WCP

"A really amazing project. A stunning reserve. Although I did my research I wasn't prepared for such a rewarding experience. I couldn't expect how much I would learn and enjoy during my stay. I regret my 6 weeks were not 6 months. The project involves us in such wonderful tasks that are at the same time important and very much needed in order to maintain such an amazing place. The tasks and routines are part of a system that seems to have been built and shaped over all the years, nearly to perfection. Every week, every month has something new and exciting to offer. It is impossible to regret coming here (except the shortness of the stay, for even 6 months may not be enough), the amazing staff and the unique wilderness make sure of it."

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: South Africa
Posted: Mar 25, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)

I volunteered in Cape Town, South Africa through IVHQ for two weeks from March 4, 2013-March 15, 2013. It was absolutely the most amazing two weeks I have ever had in my life. I took part in the Childcare program and I wouldnt have traded it for anything. The kids were so adorable and knowing that you are somehow making an impact on their lives is the most greatest feeling in the world! The program coordinators, Tim and Iviwe were AMAZING!!! They were always there if you needed something and would always make sure you are comfortable. The food, accomodations, and location were more than I could have asked for. I will definately be a returning volunteer!!!

Program:
Location: South Africa
Posted: Mar 19, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Comments

Hi Brittany, thanks for sharing your feedback from our South Africa program. We're so pleased to hear you had such a rewarding experience and always felt looked after by our local staff. We look forward to have you volunteering with IVHQ again.

International Student Volunteers (ISV)

IMPACT YOUR WORLD.

ISV’s motto is ‘Impact you world’ and they offer students the chance to make difference in developing countries. The truth is though, if one participates in any of the ISV programs then chances are the culture that you immerse yourself in will have a greater impact on your personality than you could ever imagine. I participated in their 2013 summer season on a 4 week program in South Africa focusing on projects based on community development and it was genuinely a life changing experience.

A group of 14 volunteers worked in the township of Dunoon, approximately half an hour out of Cape Town, where our goal was to build a shade roof outside the community centre. The community centre runs a creche for the young children as well as a communal gathering area and so the shade cloth was to give them a place to shelter whenever the sun if it got too hot.

Priscilla, a local woman took it upon herself to run her own creche about 10 minutes away from the town centre and here we worked putting up a new fence to keep the kids safe instead of the patchwork of rotting wood palings, torn tarpaulin that was being held together by a countless amount of bent, rusty nails. The work was grueling at times but we encouraged each other to keep at it and whenever you put the tools down there would always be kids that would throw themselves at you to be carried, take photos with or just to kick a ball around. By the end of our 2 weeks we had achieved all we set out to do and had a little party with the kids. Seeing their joy and knowing this was the last time you’d rub thumbs and say ‘sharp! Sharp!’ was bittersweet to appreciate the simple joys of life was one of the greatest lessons that the people of Dunoon could have taught me.

The next 2 weeks consisted of a tour of South Africa which saw us travel from Port Elizabeth, Cape Town and finishing in Kruger national Park. It was a whirlwind tour that saw friendships develop whilst doing a variety of activities such as kloofing (canyoning), abseiling, learning how to surf in Jeffrey’s Bay and encouraging others to face their fear of heights at Bloukrans Bridge Bungy; the world’s Highest bridge bungy.

Now to truly make this a South African tour we were taken on safari drives one in the evening and a full day drive in Kruger National park where we saw zebras, lions, rhinos and elephants however the leopard stayed true to its character and remained elusive as ever, which really isn’t a bad thing as it gives me more incentive to go back to such a wonderfully diverse country.
From the leaders they have on project and tour to the way they shape the program what ISV ultimately does is reward students who participate with irreplaceable memories and new friendships and return home with a greater perspective on life and their impact on their world.

For more information check out the website http://www.isvolunteers.org/

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: South Africa
Posted: Feb 26, 2013
Overall:
0
Support:
0
Value:
0

Askari WCP

I really enjoyed my stay at Askari. We did not only see a lot of animals, but also helped to conserve the reserve to maintain a good habitat for the animals and plants inside. Our stay was perfectly arranged with great accommodation and food and very friendly and helpful staff. There was some hard work to do, but it is always followed by a more relaxing activity like a game drive. I can recommend the Askari project to people who are not afriad to get involved in all the ins and outs of a game reserve.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: South Africa
Posted: Dec 18, 2012
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
10

Global Vision International (GVI)

As i arrived onto basecamp for the first tiime everyone came out to meet me and took my bags,even a member of staff stayed late from his leave to say hi.From the first night to the last i was really impressed with the way the program was set out,having a training week in my first week,where we had lectures on issues that arises on the reserve,base camp duties,the mountain phase of the expo,timetables,reptile parks and bushwalks were all great to give us in idea on what we were in for.I even liked the idea of being tested at the end of it and knew i had to stay concentrated.Going out on 2 game drives a day, being assigned to a different task everyday and seeing so many amazing sightings was incredible.A real highlight was seeing Scar, a male leopard chilling by a kill and a female came along unbeknownst to him and attempted to have her fill before getting chased off by him as soon as she sunk her teeth into bone!We all watched on in suspense and we all knew we'd seen something special!I got to witness a cheetah being operated on as she was having a tracking implant being put in her,i still have the fur too!!I found a new love of birds which i got more obsessed with as the expo went on,towards the end i had a sighting of a white backed night heron,given my guides reaction that send my adrenaline high straight away.Camping out on the reserve,with all of the staff and the volunteers was alot of fun,holding 3 hours vigils over the fire with a friend was a great experience,everyone had such a close-knit bond,i loved that there was never any tension around bascamp and we all still keep in touch now.Even the days sitting on the back of the open vehicle getting drenched was character building in some ways i guess,but everyone needs to bring waterproofs,so go out and buy those.Basecamp was kept clean due to volunteers having the day off of drives to clean,wash and cook for everyone,you might even get lucky and do it on a wet day...i wasn't so lucky!!!!!Anyone with an appreciation for the bush and would like to look into a guiding carrer this project is a great place to start and you can stay for 1-3 months or do a 6 month internship and really get involved enough to be staff aswell.GVI were great throughout and even payed for me to get back to Joburg 2 days early to get my flight home and i couldn't have been more thankful.All in all this is a great project and a great stepping stone for anyone who wants to take it further.

Program:
Location: South Africa
Posted: Dec 5, 2012
Overall:
8
Support:
10
Value:
8

Global Vision International (GVI)

My trip to South Africa this past summer was the best 3 weeks of my life!
Working at a primary school alongside 9 fantastic other volunteers was a very rewarding experience. At the school, we organized sports activities for students as well as taught English and Math through computer programs, and painting around the school.
South Africa is an absolutely beautiful place, I would love to go back.
If you're thinking about volunteering with GVI, do it. This experience allows you to learn about yourself, give back to the world community and make lifelong friendships and memories.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: South Africa
Posted: Nov 25, 2012
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Comments

I am applying for a trip to Fiji. I am 15; and because you are one of the few students who wrote a review i was wondering what you could tell me about applying for all of those and going on your own being 16 Thank you!! p.s. your trip to South Africa sounds wonderful!
That's awesome, I've always wanted to go to Fiji. Traveling alone for the first time was kinda scary, but someone from GVI met me at the airport and made it really easy. I think that just flying to Africa and back alone gave me a lot of confidence and good experience. The staff is really supportive and helpful too. Applying is super easy! If you send in an online request on the GVI foundations website, they call you right away to explain the program, and see if you have any questions. Hope that answers your questions!

Global Vision International (GVI)

My experience with GVI was absolutely wonderful. Specifically, I loved the philosophy of sustainability behind GVI projects, the flexibility I felt we had as volunteers, and the absolute passion that all staff members had for the region. Accommodations were so nice (though very cold!) and I always felt safe. We had a ridiculous amount of fun, I was always always laughing. South Africa began to feel like home and GVI like family even in the short month I was there. I'd go back in a heartbeat.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: South Africa
Posted: Nov 23, 2012
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
9

Askari WCP

The Askari programme is a hands on, adventurous, real African experience and no matter whether you are interested in conservation or not, you will have an amazing time. Not only do you get involved in exciting projects such as Cheetah monitoring and Rhino de-horning, but you will learn so so much about the wildlife on the reserve; not just the big five. It's impossible to not become passionate about conservation by the end of the project, Joe and
Katie are so knowledgeable and their enthusiasm is contagious.

Whilst there is lots of hands on conservation work such as erosion control, there is plenty of opportunities to have amazing animal sightings, so bring a decent camera!!

The research side of it is so interesting regardless of whether you are interested in ecology or zoology, and you will often spot a giraffe or some elephants during research drives.

Great accommodation, friendly, knowledgeable staff, tasty food, WiFi and a pet warthog. This project is an incredible experience for anyone even vaguely interested in animals.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: South Africa
Posted: Nov 21, 2012
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Askari WCP

An amazing experience that I will never forget. I had a wonderful time volunteering and staying at Askari as part of the two week volunteer program. The accommodations were better than expected. You share a volunteer house and bedroom with the other volunteers but you never get the sense that it's crowded or unclean. Meals are done as a group and prepared by the volunteers, I didn't have a bad meal while I was there. The meals are very mainstream to the point where I was hoping we'd get something exotic to say I ate. The staff is amazing. My birthday came while I was there and they made it feel very special. Everyone was very warm and inviting, I can't say enough about how wonderful the staff is at Askari. The work was interesting. If you are a student of the natural sciences this program is invaluable. You're going to get the opportunity to see a lot of animals and habitats you won't see anywhere else. Some of the animal tracking was a little slow for me to the point where I wanted more manual labor but it's a once in a lifetime experience for someone who isn't interested in a career in the sciences. I highly recommend Askari for anyone that wants a different kind of experience then most volunteer vacations.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: South Africa
Posted: Oct 1, 2012
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

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