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South Africa Wildlife Conservation Short-Term Internship

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

A nice learning experience

The best part about the program in South Africa was the relationship with the staff and volunteers through the learning experience and developing throughout the trip.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Everything contributed to the experience

Being directly involved in research and data collection and the day-to-day duties was so rewarding, and such a learning experience. However, every aspect of the program was fantastic - the people, the environment, the wildlife, etc., and everything contributed to the experience.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

I plan to return as soon as possible!

I've learned so much, each staff member I met had passion, commitment and taught me a lot. It was great seeing some incredible things, leopard in a tree staring down at us, baby and mum servals, genet, african wildcat, lion on kills, hyena on kill, 2 day old rhino. Met with some great friends. The wonderful children of Ikhayalethemba Sanctuary, watching them sing and dance every day, their joy when we did sack races, being able to see in the children the difference you make - when they learn a new word, count to a higher number, or ask if they can go an play with the children in special needs. All these made me realize the career path I want to follow.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Africa was everything I had wanted it to be

Being in a remote area of South Africa and being able to see the wildlife. I loved the tracking work we did and the trip to Mapungubwe. The base staff were great and really helped us to understand how reserves are managed in South Africa, as well as being friendly and obliging.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

I had a great time and I loved all the animals

I loved going out in the mornings and seeing the lions and other animals. The guides were amazing and new a lot of information about the animals and the surrounding area. I also love the interaction with the people from all over the world, we had a really great group, and it made it easier to live there with people that you got along with. I also loved washing the cars and jumping in the pool.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Got a real field experience and the people were incredible

I loved all of the staff, the simple way of living, the arranged side trips to Safari Club and other places, the long and eventful days, the incredible scenery and setting (especially the wildlife there) and the simple way of living that brought everyone together for the expo and after.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

I had the time of my life!

Personally, I found it positive that I went on my own (although to become part of a group). The accommodation was less than I was expecting and because of that I had an even better time. I know that doesn't sound quite right, but to be honest I would have been happy with a tent on ground level; provided I was relatively safe! I had the time of my life and the reason was the people that I met there; both staff and volunteers.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Side trips were awesome!

Very impressed with the program organization and use of time. The side trips off reserve time were a big bonus. Staff was always ready to go and fill our time with interesting duties and trips.

I felt it was a great opportunity to see parts or the world I might otherwise miss.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Teamwork was great!

Having been on numerous safaris before it was good to feel part of the team, and to feel that I was giving something back in terms of the research, although that was understandably limited due to the short duration of the trip.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

The most amazing two weeks I have experienced

Everything about the programme was better than I had expected. I enjoyed being involved with the animals in their natural habitat, the amazing scenery and the country in general. All the field staff were hardworking, friendly and knowledgable and the other volunteers on the programme were real team players.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Life-changing experience

I honestly enjoyed every aspect of the experience, but the fact that they changed the whole schedule so we could have the once in a lifetime chance to take part in a game capture was amazing. The experience changed my life and outlook on life.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Friendly and accommodating team

I think the team at Venitia really made the trip to be honest - they were really friendly and accommodating from the outset and they went out of their way to ensure that everyone got what they wanted out of the trip - whether that was telemetry practice or tracking down the elusive Blade / Wild Dogs for picture opportunities! Mark Spicer's cooking skills are to be applauded - we didn't have the same evening meal twice in the two weeks and as a fussy eater (veggie) I was pleasantly surprised by the variety offered. I wasn't expecting the Wild Dogs insight from Wendy Collinson / EWT so that was a real bonus for me and for EWT to allow us to watch the cheetah being collared was also a highlight - it felt as though we were actually 'involved' rather than just spectating. I know my overall contribution to the research was slight, but I was grateful for the insight into how the research was gathered and the overall aims of the research being carried out. It would be really good if you had a way of updating previous volunteers / expedition members on the progress of the focus animals and research that is carried out. I'd love to know what happens to the Wild Dog pack in Venetia and whether Wendy succeeds in increasing their numbers. I feel really disconnected now I'm back in London.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Two weeks was not enough!

Location and base were superb. It was better than expected. I thoroughly enjoyed being part of the camp. The staff were integral part and made for a brilliant overall experience. It was a pleasure to meet such enthusiastic and knowledgeable people. But by the same token, they proved perhaps that i was a little out of my depth.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

I have never felt so welcome away from home before

The camp and staff were so friendly and helpful it really help to make the whole experience complete. The opportunity to get so close to wild animals and know that I was doing something that may help in the future (I believe the data is not used at present) was very rewarding. I also met and made some very good friends with whom I am still in touch. All in all it has given me a new take on life.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Day to day life was so fun!

The staff were extraordinary Chris Joubert, Franco Wentzel, Mark Spicer and Kim. Each staff member as individuals are wonderful people who are passionate about the work, which is refreshing to see. Additionally they are extremely positive and create an excellent environment to work and learn in. They also made day to day life so enjoyable and fun and it has been great to meet such good people who have become friends. On top of this the work was extremely interesting and something that I am very passionate about. The 2 weeks however, made that part of the trip limited - but gaining a general over view was very enjoyable!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Something that most tourists would not get a chance to do

It was amazing to participate in a wildlife conservation program without having to be an expert beforehand. It gave me the opportunity to learn more about something that I usually don't work with, but I'm really interested in. It was also really special to get the change to see some of the animals so close by. There was a Cheetah with 4 cubs, which we were able to observe from only a few meters distance. This is something that most tourists would not get a chance to do.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

The animals were so surreal

The sights such as the animals we saw and how close we got to them was incredible. It would just be better if the staff would encourage more group bonding and facilitate more volunteering and learning.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Great experience

It was amazing to see so many wild animals up close in this South Africa program. I enjoyed every second of it. Also, the on-site staff were very knowledgable and passionate about project which motivated me to participate more on the program.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

It was a great experience!

The opportunity to be in close proximity to such amazing animals was exactly what I was looking for. I felt that the second week of the programme was much better than the first, in no small part due to Manie! He really took the time to make sure we received the lectures we were told that we would receive and made an effort to make sure we got the most out of the experience. The trip to the animal sanctuary was really a highlight and it was great that he organised it for us. For the first week, it felt as though not as much effort was being put in (a) because we we only there for two weeks so we felt a bit more like tourists than volunteers and (b) because half the staff were clearly ready for their week off the following week! Although the overall experience was absolutely amazing and I'll never forget it.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

It is a truly wonderful and life changing experience

The opportunity to see animals in their true environment was one of my unforgettable experience. As well as the knowledge and expertise of GVI personnel and their patience in explaining ,showing and sharing with volunteers their expertise.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

People were so dedicated!

Seeing wild animals in their natural environment along side the devastation of the diamond mine, but knowing that the mine had enabled the wildlife to have their freedom. The dedication, enthusiasm and knowledge of the GVI leaders were admirable.

Institution Affiliates:

World Youth Student & Educational Travel Confederation