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African Wildlife Photography and Conservation

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

Staff members love their job!

My experience with AI was amazing. Everything was better than my expectations exept for a couple of things about the first information I received that I will explain in the next fields. All the people that I knew were awesome. African Impact did a very good job with all the information about how we supposed to live in the lodge, and about the rules and the behaviour A.I. would expect from us...so all the rest it's just a consequence of a very well done job from the start. I really appreciated that some members of staff were volunteers just like us and they could really understand us in everything, anticipating our problems or giving us informations we could need, all the time. The staff was extremely helpful and highly competent. Our project manager, Tim, was always very clear about the things we supposed to do, and he prevented every kind of problem, without giving a thing as understood and in the other hand without pressing us. We were just free and well prepared to everything. Also all the other members were amazing persons, all of them. Katie was wonderful during the game drives, she always explained all the time such interesting things about the animals and plants without annoying us: it's so good to see that those people REALLY LOVE THEIR JOB and what they do with volunteers. Was so nice to see that staff have fun just like us, for example when we painted a class in Makwetse school Katie, Trico and Sabrina had so much fun! I also loved all the presentations 'cause it was so nice to know what we did and why. Whole experience was professionally organized, and all of them followed and pushed us step by step. I loved it. About the location, lodge's maintenance and the food I have nothing to say, everything was better than my expectation...after all we were prepared for Africa. At some point we used to call Dumela lodge "home"!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Photography course review

I really enjoyed being there. I learned a lot from Tim (our photography teacher) and from the other volunteers. We had a good atmosphere and everyone was helpful with each other. We all learned a lot in both photography and editing.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Wildlife photography

My experience at Dumela lodge has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I got to see lots of wildlife including some hyena, wild dog, jackal, lions and leopard during my stay which has made my experience even more wonderful. I really loved it here and hope that you come and at least visit.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Dumela lodge photography

Amazing experience!!! Thanks to all the staff at Dumela lodge for sharing your knowledge and time with so much positive energy and laughter! The effort you guys make is an example for many! Hope to see you guys again! Keep it up!!!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Best experience ever

This was one of the coolest trips I have ever taken. At first I didnt know what to think. I had never been to Africa before and was worried i might get lost, but AI immediately made me feel right at home and comfortable. I would recommend this highly to 17 or 18 year olds like myself and any other person willing to travel.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Much more that I could have ever imagined

Being able to come to South Africa with African Impact has been the best experience ever! This are my last days and I don't want to leave, before I got here I was nervous about the social situation and if there will be people my age, after I got here i realized that it that did not matter that much because here i made friends of all the ages.
Every day here is amazing. Even waking up at 5 in the morning is super exciting, going on game drives, sunrise walks, sunrise photography, everyday here is amazing.
I will never forget this place and the people I met here. There is nothing about this past 4 weeks that I would change. Everything was absolutely fantastic and life changing!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Photography project at Dumela

I had an absolutely amazing stay in South Africa! The project is really worth my time and money. I have learned so much about photography and wildlife conservation and I felt like I made an impact. The staff is amazing and the facilities are great. I surely recommend this project to anyone who is thinking about such a project!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

TIA - This Is Africa - This is amazing!

Not al the things go the way they supposed to go. Things can go wrong, this is Africa. Don't make a big deal of it, it can always be worse. Find the beauty and happiness in the things around you. Like friends, nature, a purpose in life, little things that make you happy, ... This is what I learned and will never forget!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Far beyond any expectation of mine

Everything I've been doing in this past month was far beyond any expectation of mine: I've known amazing people (both volunteers and staff members), I've learned things I'd never heard of before and I had lots of fun while doing something useful.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

My time at the Dumela lodge

The last four weeks have been the best of my life. Here at the Dumela lodge it's all about conservation, but also about meeting the most amazing people. We made a difference while we were here, under the best circumstances we could ask for (beautiful surroundings, lovely people, good organization, delicious food, etc.). I would have loved to stay longer but unfortunately it's my time to go. If i would ever get the chance to return here, I would think twice about it.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Good stuff

The photography program was a great time. I genuinely feel like I became a better photographer in 4 weeks. While I knew quite a bit about photography before the program, it was great getting refreshed on the basics as well as the fundamentals of wildlife photgraphy, a new genre for my work.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

The best 4 weeks I've ever spent in Africa

Travelling to Africa alone and spending a month working as a volunteer is definitely a daunting prospect, but I was amazed at how quickly I felt at home here. Every single member of staff was incredibly nice, outgoing and passionate about what they're doing, the lodge is situated in a perfect location and is far and away more luxurious than other volunteer projects I've been to and the organisation of every week is fantastic. I found the photography course perfectly in line with what I wanted and expected, it was fantastic to be reminded of the basic guides to photography and also to be pushed to experiment and adapt new styles to experiment with. As amazing as it is being able to photograph wildlife several times a week, it was also a breath of fresh air to be able to venture out to other locations (such as Blyde River Canyon, the trash dump and the local school and community projects) that not only gives you a more well-rounded and truthful representation of Africa but also reminds you of how everything is connected; community, wildlife and environment, and how they must all be equally focused upon if any impact is to be made. Not only do I feel as if I'm leaving as a better photographer, but above all that I feel as if I made a difference (or rather, an impact) and it's that feeling that makes me want to come back asap for longer.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Highly recommend the photography course

The photography course offered here was so good and comparing my images from week one to week four is crazy. my photography skills have excelled my own expectations and i can wait to see how they will improve even more when I'm back home with the knowledge I've learnt whilst here.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Photography volunteer

I enjoyed my time very much in the photography project and I'm so happy that i can stay longer in this beautiful place, when i change to the researchers. It was very helpful and a great experience. I learned so much about Photography and I can see how much better my Pictures are now. To stay in the Dumela Lodge is great because you have a lot to do, you have clean rooms, the Staff members are very friendly and helpful, the food is very tasty and it has a beautiful surroundings.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

African Impact Photography and Conservation Projects

This time was my first experience in Africa as a volunteer. The program was better than I could have ever imagined. It was such an amazing experience to work and connect with more people from across the globe. Everybody is friendly and helpful.
My favorite parts were always the game drives. I could smell the freedom at all times, even when it was heavily raining. Watch the sunrise/sunset in the jeep with stunning landscape and with all the wild animals around. Thought me so many things, especially patience and dedication to taking pictures. Did not mind getting dirty and sweaty. It was worth everything.
On our "days off" were hanging out by the pool with music and some beers, having conversations endless laughs or just enjoying the bright sunshine.
Weekend trips are also available and they are really great.
If you have the opportunity to volunteer here, do it. It was the best possible experience I could have asked for. Priceless.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    9

A month in South Africa!

The whole experience as been way more than I expected. The areas we've explored have been beautiful, the wildlife we have seen have been breathtaking and the people working to give us this opportunity have been fantastic.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Photography Experience

It’s truly amazing to see that your work here really does have impact. Coming into this project I didn’t really understand too much about how my photos would make a difference. During my first week here I was more focused on making the best photos, not really knowing they could have other uses other looking “artsy.” However, I really do want my photos to make a difference and to be used for something greater than an ”epic” Instagram post. With there being three different programs run here (Community, Photography, and Research), It can get pretty hectic, which I am completely okay with. Growing up with seven siblings, you learn to love all different types of personalities and energy levels. Coming into this project I was scared out of my mind. I had never been out of my comfort zone let alone put of the USA. I was scared that I didn’t have a fancy enough camera, or that my beginner level in the passion would get in the way of other. This couldn’t have been more false. I have been able to take photos and get very creative with a different side of art I haven’t really had the opportunity to explore yet. Tim is absolutely amazing and is always able to take sometime good out of a photo. He and his assistant, Diana, were able to give me a confidence in my world that I don’t think I would have found anywhere else. Lets just say that I definitely caught the bug here and will, hopefully, be back soon.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

Volunteering at Dumela Lodge.

My experience here at Dumela Lodge with African Impact has been life changing on a multititude of levels. It has made me grow as and individual and also to respect animals and appreciate all kinds and continue conservation education throughout my life.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Community Impact

    7

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Program Administration

    6

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

Outstanding!

I have had an absolutely incredible time, the biggest highlight had to be the people I shared the experience with, its true, you do make friends for life! Also I came away feeling way more confident and have wonderful photos I am proud to show my friends and family!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Impact

    8

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    9

Amazing experience

One of the most diverse volunteering experiences, they have everything from overnight game drives to insect bush walks. All events were organized and ran smoothly maximizing the time you spend there.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

This was amazing!

Amazing experience! I had a great time, the country and the people were amazing. I would recommend the photography course to anyone who s interested in photography. The games drives were so exciting.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    8

Beautiful and amazing learning experience with great people!

I did the 4-week photography project with four other people. Coming into this project, I was super excited for the photography aspect of it, but I wasn't very sure about the social situation because of the varying age range. However, once I got here, I was very happy to see how everyone of all ages (ranging from late teens to early 30s) were so friendly with each other. It was so international here, with people from all over the world coming together in an open-minded learning environment. The staff here know so much and are always eager to help, explain, and impart their passion and knowledge onto the volunteers! They are all very friendly and accessible to all of the volunteers! The lodging is clean and comfortable. I shared a room with three other people who were amazing roommates! The food is amazing here, and they are so good with catering to all kinds of dietary requirements. We work on improving our photography skills through photography shoots on game drives, at the community where we work in once a week, and through conservation work on the lodge property. Our mentor, Tim, is very nice and knowledgeable and is always happy to help. Overall, the location is absolutely stunning (especially the sunsets, sunrises, and starry skies), the people are so friendly and open-minded, the lodging is great, and the program is great! It was a great learning experience in terms of photography but also socially, environmentally, and especially personally!

Thank you, African Impact!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Great people, amazing location, beautiful animals!

I was here for 4 weeks photography and it was amazing. We also had community and conservation work which was fun! Staff was really friendly, funny and they helped whenever needed! I shared my room with 3 others and it was super and the bed was comfortable :). Food was awesome! Summary: I had an amazing time here and I will never forget that experience!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

:)

I really enjoyed my time in South Africa!! Tim was an amazing photography master :) He explained a lot and answered to each question. He was very patient and helped us as much as possible. My photography skills improved while my time here in Dumela (I hope so!)
And I met a lot of great people all over the world. The social life was amazing and I'll never forget those people. Thank you very much for everything!!!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    8

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    7

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

:))))

I came here because i wanted to challenge myself to see if i was actually able to go so far away from home. When i arrived i was so scared but now, after one month, i fell like i found another place in the world that i can call home.
Here i met amazing people and i felt, for once in my life, that i was finally doing the right thing and that i was in the right place at the right moment.
So i just want to thank every single person i met in here, because Dumela changed my life.

Institution Affiliates:

World Youth Student & Educational Travel Confederation