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GoEco volunteers GoEco volunteers

South Africa - Wildlife Sanctuary

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Wonderful experience for young and not so young adults

My experience at Glen Afric cannot be summed up in one word. There is so much that this experience provided for me. As a first-time volunteer who was a bit older than the others, I was never made to feel like an outsider. The balance between work to make the sanctuary a better place and the contact allowed with some of the animals (which most volunteers came for) in their care was more than appropriate. I made many friendships with the volunteers, the group leaders, the owners and the staff. There were plenty of opportunities to learn about the animals and animal conservation. The accommodations and food were good, as well. Outside excursions were offered to learn more about the people and culture of South Africa or just to have plain fun. It would be hard to pick a favorite activity of my 3-week stay. I enjoyed walking with the elephants, working with the lions and tigers, and getting to know briefly some of the great people associated with Glen Afric. I would highly recommend this program.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Out of Africa

This experience was, by far, one of the best I have ever had. I have never volunteered abroad before and can say that the Wildlife Sanctuary was the perfect place to start. The people and workers on the farm were a big part in my positive outlooks. Everyone was very friendly and willing to help you feel as comfortable as possible. Don't get me wrong, you did have to pull your end of the job and get down and dirty sometimes, but, for me, it lead to some of the best memories. Just being around the animals created a happy place for me. As we did conservation work, we also shared the time with animal work, which was the best part. We were able to interact with various types of animals up close and personal. The farm was like one big, happy family which made me feel at home. I learned a lot about nature and conversation, as well as, the animals and their habitats. Every day I spent on the farm was a moment to cherish and realize just how beautiful Africa is and all it has to offer. Thank you GoEco and Glen Afric for one of the most memorable experiences I have ever had the pleasure of being a part of!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

África Mía

I never imagined this experience like a change in my life. Go to Africa always was a dream, since I was a little girl, when I was wishing to see closer a lion, touch a big elephant, and live in the wild. I planned to be a volunteer thinking about it like a break in the year, a month of fun, just that… but I didn´t realize the kind of revolution this would be in my life, a before and an after. The prints each wonderful animal left in me, the traces in my hearth of every amazing people I met, each forever friend made... there are enough reasons to say: that one was the best month in my whole life. I can´t wait to go back, to meet with Africa again, to feel my soul is at home.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Wildlife sanctuary at Glen Africa

When I first arrived in South Africa, the program GoEco provided someone to pick me up at the airport, who was there on time waiting for me, to bring me to my volunteer project. The driver was very nice and talked about how much fun I was going to have. I checked in at the front desk when I arrived and was given a tour of the park and was able to rest before attending to a new volunteer meeting later in the evening. The meeting helped me meet the new volunteers and addressed all aspects of the project. For the volunteer work, 6 days out of the week we woke up at 7:30 to take care of the horses and clean the stables and clean out the elephant enclosures. Some mornings you could sign up to go on a walk with the elephants, or you could walk the perimeter of the park to check the fence to make sure it was safe for the animals with no traps. Everything was set on a schedule time wise, but everyday different activities would happen after breakfast, which ranged from seeing a cheetah up close, to feeding lion cubs, and for the work part, it was cleaning and washing animal enclosures, painting the enclosures, helped keep the roads paved, pulling weeds. Lots of shoveling was involved, but it was fun to feel as though you were making a difference! Every Thursdays and Sundays were considered activity days, which let all the volunteers take day trips to do activities in different areas and experience South Africa! The trips were an additional cost, but were fairly priced, and there was a list of things to choose from. Being able to experience the life In South Africa and feel like a part of the reserve was truly amazing. The only thing I wish I could change would be to have made my trip longer! It was a wonderful experience I will remember forever!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Adventure of a lifetime

I looked forward to this trip for almost a year, and I have to say it was one of the best experiences of my life. From arriving at the airport I was completely taken care of by the local representatives. Any questions I had were answered completely, and the two day orientation in Johannesburg was one of the highlights of my trip. As soon as I got off the plane I was greeted by the local staff and met the other volunteers who were on my project. We were taken to the hostel and just allowed to relax and get to know one another. The next day was the orientation, and it was amazing to hear about the history of the country and see the resilience of the people. The day after the orientation I was taken to the project where I would spend the next two weeks. In my first few hours there I played with three rescued servals, and watched all the big cats receive their food. In the next several days I had the opportunity to go zip lining and visit a local market for souvenirs. Mondays are the "bad" days because we have to clean out all the poop from around the camp and clean out the poop trailer. The next few days were spent clearing out a local stream, clearing rocks from roads, and cleaning the facilities. Although there was work, there was a lot of animal interactions too. I got to help train the lions and tigers, get up close with the cheetah Bailey, and play with the leopard cub Kodi. My favorite part was having Bailey kiss my face and nuzzle my neck, I think my heart about melted. Thursdays are the excursion days, and I was able to go to a local monkey sanctuary and caves which only added to the whole adventure. We were also allowed to go on walks with the elephants in the mornings and it was amazing to be able to touch their skin and rub their ears. In the afternoons and morning we had the option of going horseback riding around the farm which allowed you to see the free roaming zebras and giraffes. During the project we weren't always told exactly what we were doing or when we would be going places, and that is one of the only things I would have changed. Although there was sometimes a lack of communication, the staff was more than helpful assisting with any problems that arose. This experience was once in a lifetime because not only did I get to be up close with the animals, I was able to make friends with people from all over the world who had the same mindset as me. I made life long memories and more than anything I had the adventure of a lifetime. I think the thing I miss most (beside hugging Bailey) was waking up every morning and seeing zebras and giraffes outside my door. My only advice to those considering coming, is to keep an open mind, don't have too many expectations, and don't hesitate because this is an amazing experience.