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South Africa Wildlife Awareness Service Learning for Groups

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

A combination of amazing experiences

My most positive experience during my whole stay in South Africa and with the GVI team was the combination of amazing experiences on the one hand and the fact that I did something to help on the other other hand.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

It was amazing

My most positive experience throughout my stay in South Africa was knowing that a difference was being made and being able to learn more about another country, culture and primate care through the organisers.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

I have golden memories that will stay with me forever!!

Looking after baby monkeys and knowing your contributing to a worthy cause was of course the most enjoyable part of the trip !! I enjoyed meeting some amazing people, working with amazing monkeys and now I have golden memories that will stay with me forever!!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

It was just that good

I loved working with monkeys and meeting everyone. Everyone was friendly and it was rewarding work to see monkeys being shown into enclosures. If I had the chance I would like to do another program because it was just that good.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

This inspired me

The most positive experience was the new culture and way of life that Africa offers, and the wonderful people that I met during my time there. Working first-hand with vervet monkeys and getting to know them was also an extremely rewarding experience. The owners of the foundation, Dave and Josie, are very friendly and welcoming and they have a great love for the monkeys which has without doubt inspired me further to work with primates or in conservation.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

An amazing experience!

My most positive experience was helping out and being able to be hands on with the organisation, feeling like i helped to make a difference and the people i met while there. An amazing experience which I enjoyed a lot.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

I loved being away from home and exploring a new country

My most positive experience was meeting people with similar ideals and sharing the experience with new friends. I loved being away from home and exploring a new country. The Vervet Monkey Foundation is an excellent charity and i really enjoyed being part of a growing and changing project where i could see good results and the effects of my efforts.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Wildlife sightings

My most positive experience throughout my stay with GVI and other participants in South Africa was the wildlife sightings. I observed and appreciated the excellent quality and knowledge of the permanent staff.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Make a difference

Loved the monkeys! But the arrival days should be limited to one or two days and there should be a arrival and departure dinner. Some side trips should be offered. The trip to the tea garden or the waterfalls should be free and should be offered more often. There was often not a lot to eat at lunch, besides salad.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

I would never stop doing things like this

My most positive experience was becoming friends with the monkeys - the longer you stay the more they recognise you and are more likely to interact with you. If time and finances allowed, I would never stop doing things like this. Unfortunately, that is not the real world!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    9

A rich experience

Working with monkeys and learn day after day about their life was a rich experience. The program with Vervet Monkeys was quite interesting and I can't complain about the accommodation or the infrastructure, but I feel that the quality of the staff is not the best. They are not worried about the volunteers. They must be more friendly and more attentive. They have to make the volunteers feel comfortable and often do not. The foundation is great, the people who manage it are great, but the staff, who are the people closer to the volunteers, have to improve too many things. They don't realize that this is a service and apparently they don't care about the volunteers. A 'Hello' , 'Good morning', 'How are you?' or a simple smile can make the difference with people who are in a not familiar space. They don't realize that if the people are happy or comfortable, the work is better.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

I felt satisfaction in contributing to the program

My most positive experience were the close exposure and experiences with the wildlife, learning about the wildlife and the program, satisfaction in contributing to the program, and working with such a professional, friendly and helpful team of GVI staff on base. Would participate in another wildlife program but ideally in a smaller group.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Amazing experience

Being able to observe the African Wildlife from a research point of view & the much more in depth experience that gave me was amazing. Also, the incredible level of organisation provided by the staff at Karongwe when they were under extreme pressure because of the Zimanga project having been merged into the Karongwe project at the last minute.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Worth a great deal

Having undertaken independent safari experience for nearly 40 years in a number of reserves mainly in East Africa, I was inspired to be able to track and get very close to those species which were radio collared in Zimanga. The freedom to access the bush virtually at will without the usual encumbrance of tourist vehicles getting in the way as an experience is worth a great deal.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

I was fortunate to see some amazing animals

I was fortunate to see some amazing animals, it was a privilege to witness them in their habitat and have the benefit of the staff's knowledge to understand more about the animals. I enjoyed the whole experience and that I can make a difference and make a contribution.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

I really enjoyed looking after the orphaned babies

I LOVED forming relationships with individual monkeys and getting to know their communications styles and ways. I really enjoyed looking after the orphaned babies. I enjoyed persevering in the extreme heat and hard worked managed by an understaffed crew of volunteers. I like how it tested my metal! I liked it being tough, and raw and seemingly a little dangerous! I loved having to deal with my fears of bees, and spiders and snakes and biting monkeys.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

The staff at the foundation contributed greatly to my experience

Once I had paid my fees and completed the forms necessary I didnt hear a great deal from GVI. I found a lot of my additional information from the website of the foundation and with a number of matters found that website more helpful. However when I called GVI directly I found the staff very helpful and enthusiastic about the work and the program I was joining. The most positive experience I received from the program was seeing a different way of life and not just from the local people. I was living with a wide variety of people and they expanded my views on life and things around me. The work with the monkeys was amazing and I was lucky enough to have been given responsibility on a number of areas on the foundation. I also had a lot of contact with the orphan babies and was classed as a point of contact for the other volunteers. The staff at the foundation contributed greatly to my experience

Institution Affiliates:

World Youth Student & Educational Travel Confederation