South Africa

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

Global Vision International (GVI)

An amazing experience! I could not have hoped for a better trip. All the people i met there and all the friends I made have already made this trip worth wild. But of course the project itself was the absolute stare of the show. Having all the children run in for story time every morning was so heartwarming and I can not think of a better way to star the day. GVI made a really good work and gave me all the support and help I needed. The coordinators were so dedicated to their task and laid down so much work. To actually go there and to see the work they are doing and participating was so amazing and something that I would love to do again.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: South Africa
Posted: Sep 26, 2012
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
10

Cross-Cultural Solutions

Live-Laugh-Love South Africa!! Participating with Cross Cultural Solutions in Cape Town was an amazing, life-changing experience. From teaching high schoolers about possible future endeavors to singing lullabies to a baby falling asleep in your arms, this program will be instant joy and love into your heart. While volunteering or going abroad can be somewhat of a scary process, CCS makes you feel safe and supported while being far from home. Let your nerves never worry and just sign up - it will be one of the greatest decisions you may ever make!

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the program or South Africa or with any other topic that may arise.

"No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted."

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

International Student Volunteers (ISV)

I traveled with ISV to South Africa during July/August 2012. The volunteer portion of my trip was absolutely outstanding. I think back on my volunteer work everyday, realizing how much it had an impact on me. Everyday was different and brought on a variety of obstacles.

My volunteer project was based in a township called Langa outside of Cape Town. There, we worked with children in preschools as well as in an after school program called Happy Feet. It was very challenging but incredibly rewarding; there was a massive language barrier with the kids but they were so grateful to have us there. Happy Feet really inspired me to follow a different course. I immediately applied to the education faculty at school and cannot wait to become a teacher. My ISV volunteer project gave me some essential experience for my education.

Happy Feet was a community development project, but ISV offers other types of volunteer projects as well. Other groups did building/planting projects, some were placed in game reserves working hands-on with animals, doing tracking work or maintaining the game reserve itself. It all depends on what you want to do. ISV is very accommodating!

ISV also offers adventure travel - all in all I visited five countries in five weeks. We did game drives, cliff jumping and abseiling in South Africa. We swam with dolphins and whale sharks in the Indian Ocean. We did a horse back ride along the beaches of Mozambique. We did mountain biking through the hills of Swaziland. We sat on the edge of Victoria Falls in Zambia. We saw hundreds of elephants and camped under the stars in Botswana. Sound incredible? I can tell you with 100% honesty that this trip was above and beyond expectations.

You can also visit other countries with ISV. They offer programming not only in South Africa, but also Thailand, Costa Rica, The Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Australia and New Zealand. There is a massive variety of volunteer projects to work on as well as different types of adventure travel. The possibilities are endless!

ISV will not let you down. The entire trip was an experience of a life time, I would do it over and over and over again if I could. I cannot wait to visit South Africa again!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: South Africa
Posted: Sep 20, 2012
Overall:
10
Support:
9
Value:
10

African Impact

Always wanted to see Africa and the famous Big 5. I when in South Africa to be a reasercher for a month and it is the best exprerience of my life. People who work on the project are really nice. The food was mostly rice,potatoes, salad, ground beef, chickens but if you are lucky, you'll have a cook with a reallllllyy good recipe of a cake. I'm a french canadian and it is all in english but i got used to it and even improve my english. Days started at 6h30 and ended at 18h but you'll enjoy every moment. Reaserchers were sent for 3 days of camping in another reserve in Pongola. Next summer I will go again in Africa with African Impact because I was very pleased of my experience.

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

Connect-123

My experience with connect-123 was one of the most enriching experiences of my college career. Cape Town is a beautiful city and fun to explore and Connect always had great social programs going on that we as interns could be involved in.

On the academic side, UCT was a great school and I enjoyed the classes I was enrolled in. The lecturers were good, and the content was especially good. Every class asked us to engage in many 'real-world' situations in the coursework such as finding a local business to analyze throughout the semester, and interviewing small scale entrepreneurs for reports in class.

Connect 123 also arranged for me to intern for SASDI ( a local NGO involved in development work). The internship was extremely demanding with very real stakes for the people who we worked with and were helping. Being in such a scenario pushed me to excel at the work I was given. It was a fun and exciting internship and our work resulted in a childcare center being built in one of the township areas, which was important to me that the work we did really did matter.

Connect 123 was extremely helpful from day one. They were always there to answer questions and check in with me when I needed it. They facilitated a great overall experience and I would highly recommend it to anyone. The time I spent in South Africa through connect-123 is the reason I have the job I have today, so it truly was life changing!

Program: Study Abroad
Location: South Africa
Posted: Sep 4, 2012
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

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