Conservation Travel Africa
Set in the heart of a beautiful 10,000-acre private conservancy in the heart of Zimbabwe, the Horse Riding Safari and Hands-on Wildlife Conservation project from Conservation...
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Raising a baby vervet monkey
Submitted by Emma R | March 04, 2016
My whole experience on this project was amazing, but the most rewarding part was helping rescued animals get back to full health and fitness and being able to release them back into the wild. I loved getting hands on with all sorts of different animals and all the staff members were absolutely lovely.
A week after I arrived, a one week old vervet monkey was brought to the sanctuary. Its mother had been killed by a car, but luckily a passerby saw the baby and brought it to us. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw this wee thing, he was so small and fragile and you could see how scared he was. As soon as I saw him, I knew I was going be hooked, I was so lucky when I was told that he was going to be mine to look after for the remaining six weeks of my time at the sanctuary. He needed a name, so me being Scottish, it just had to be Hamish and it suited him perfectly.
He slept in my room, I got up in the morning, fed him, put him back to his bed for some extra sleep while I prepared food for all the other animals at the sanctuary. Once they were fed it was straight back to Hamish for another feed. Then it was playtime but it was more of a learning experience for him as he was so unsteady on his feet and didn't know how to do anything - he really needed his mother. As the days went on he got stronger and a lot braver. He went everywhere with me - clinging to my t-shirt or just me carrying him round wrapped up in his wee blankets.
It was such an amazing experience watching him grow up for the six weeks I was with him. The first time he climbed a small tree, I cried with joy when he got to the top and when he got there he started screaming because he didn’t know what to do now he was up the tree. Leaving him was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, I cried for a good hour and didn’t want to let go of him, he didn’t want to let go of me either, I put him down on the sofa, turned and started walking away, he screamed and ran to me and just attached himself to my leg and did not want to let go and as you can imagine – yes that just made me cry even more.
His picture takes pride of place in my room so I can still see him every day and I get regular updates and pictures of him from the project. And of course I plan on returning to see my boy all grown up!
Program: Zimbabwe Animal Sanctuary
A three week long dream
Submitted by Alice E - Norrkoping | November 10, 2015
It is 6am, its cold and you know you are going to freeze a lot in the back of the truck but you know it's worth it because in a short time the sun will warm you up and you have a new wonderful day ahead. The sun and the mist make a magical view and with the animals you see in the bush, it's like a dream. The best way to experience this is from the back of a horse, and to get so close to all these animals is just amazing - zebras, impalas, elephants, rhinos, giraffes, waterbucks and many more..
To hear a lot of stories about the animals from Judy, a fantastic lady, makes the time on horseback even better, and you wish you could do this forever. As well as the great riding, you come so close to the rhinos and elephants and to see them so close and so often makes you understand how important it is to keep them alive and communicate with them. You get to meet a lot of people, both adults and children and learn about their culture and integrate with them, which is amazing! You also get to know a lot of people from other countries and you become like a temporary family.
I can't choose only a few positive experiences because almost everything was amazing, but to ride with all the animals, to meet all the children in school and to learn about the Shona culture..all was just amazing. I also learned a lot about the culture and the people which I am very happy about. It was good that we got to do a lot of different activities and did most of them several times so you could get into the routine and learn about how to do it and why we need to do it.
The days are long because you do a lot of things, but at the same time the days just pass by before you notice it and suddenly the three weeks are up and its time to go home. Time to wake up from a three week long dream.
An amazing African experience!
Submitted by Sophie V - Eindhoven | November 10, 2015
Do you love hands-on experiences? Here it is!
The diversity of this programme is wonderful. From seeing so many different animals, bonding with elephants and rhinos and being involved in the community by helping at the local school. I met so many different people from different countries with different cultures. This also made my experience so interesting! And during the entire experience learned so much about the Shona culture.
The food is wonderful and you feel so spoiled that we don't need to clean up. The activities were very diverse each day and each week. A lot of the activities were lots of learning and some were physical - I liked the diversity and it was a good balance of learning and fun. My overall impression is very positive and the project is very open and family-like. Suggestions for improvements would be to split the group for all activities when it gets bigger.
Thank you for an amazing experience!
Submitted by Jenna P - Dubai | October 30, 2015
Coming on this programme was very scary for me as it was to be my very first time away from home. The first few days I was incredibly homesick but I soon began to feel better on incredible experience at a time. As the first week went on I finally realised that I could do things for myself - I had cuts and bruises, I had fought a fire, fed a lion, built part of a watch tower, learnt about the Shona culture and made some amazing friends.
Thank you for an amazing experience - I will never forget it!
Riding in Zimbabwe
Submitted by Klara K | September 01, 2015
Riding in Zimbabwe turned out to be a whole different experience than riding in Sweden! Just the fact that you can discover a giraffe just behind that tree or a herd of impala curiously looking at you through the high grass, takes some getting used to.
The rides are very adventurous and you get to ride over rocks, through thick bushes and in water. All on a safe calm horse! Its a truly amazing experience. We were guided by one of the owners tho is great to ride with. She has been there so long that you can feel she knows every plant, tree and animal you see. She also tells you a lot about everything and always looks out for you and your horse. Our two weeks of riding went by really quickly and I'd love to come back and do it all again!