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Wildlife Conservation Internship in South Africa

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

It felt like home

I instantly felt comfortable on base thanks to all the staff who were always approachable and friendly. It felt like home and made it easy to learn and have fun.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

I learned a lot

Working daily with White sharks, and learning how the collected data was used were the most positive experiences. The team I spent my month working with (both field staff and other interns) made the trip hugely enjoyable.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

I thoroughly enjoyed every second of my trip

I thoroughly enjoyed every second of my trip. The staff were excellent and made me feel part of the group from the moment I arrived. The group was also brilliant. Seeing Great Whites is always an amazing experience and one that is impossible to get bored of. I just wish I had stayed longer, if not forever!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

I loved everything

I loved everything. I honestly cannot pin point one thing much more than the other. Something that really made my experience though, more than I would've initially thought, was the staff. The staff were amazing at both locations and it could've been a slightly different story if it was a different make up.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

I felt like I was doing exactly what I was meant to be doing with my life

The staff were absolutely amazing and knowledgable at there jobs. Living conditions were even a little higher than i expected. I felt very safe with the staff and knew if something happened that they would be able to handle it. Learning about wildlife, Africa and conservation was amazing and i hope to continue with it and hope to have a future career with it!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

It was the most amazing experience of my life so far

My most memorable experiences were seeing a leopard for the first time, walking with a cheetah, getting 8 meters away from a rhino and her calf, seeing lions and cheetah on a kill, having hyena cubs come right up to the truck, seeing a pair of Perigrin falcons, having elephants walk alongside our truck , holding a snake and seeing a pangolin and brown hyena.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

It was a life changing experience for me

My most memorable experience during my stay as an intern in South Africa with GVI was the opportunity to be out in the field all day, every day. It was a life changing experience for me. I would come again if finances would allow.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

It was the best time ever in my life!

What I enjoyed the most during my stay with GVI was being out in the field every day, tracking the animals and learning about them at the same time. If given the chance to join another program, I would because it was the best time ever in my life!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    9

I love Africa

I loved the interactions and helping the new volunteers. It gave me such great pleasure to answer their questions and to know that what you say and do will have an effect on their stay, of course i was aiming to help them have a great time and to learn as much as possible about the wildlife and GVI. I juat had a great time with both volunteer groups i was an intern with. I also loved the drives and the wildlife in general, going to sleep with the sound of hippos and jackals, waking up in the middle of the night to hyenas. I love Africa so my surroundings were definitely a great factor to making my stay magical.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    8

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

The field staff were fantastic

The field staff were fantastic, very knowledgable and passionate for what they are doing.

This was my second GVI program, and I was quite disappointed by it, in comparison to my previous experience. Having did wildlife research in Kenya, I felt able to contribute, whereas with this program, I felt quite useless in the work we did, and would be hesitant to do a program again, and feel the same way. I would also lean more towards a grassroots type NGO, rather then such a large organization, and have my money make a positive impact on the place I am working.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

I loved the field research

I loved the field research I took part in at Zimanga. It is an amazing place that has great potential.

But I was supposed to be given a list of options as to where I was going to do my placement. I was not given these options and was instead told by Peter that I only had one place that I could choose to go to or not go anywhere at all. This was unacceptable and because of it I will not be participating in any other GVI program.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Its something I'll always remember!

I loved being out in the game parks everyday tracking animals and its something I'll always remember! Seeing the animals in their natural habitats and sharing their daily lives and getting to know them was so special to me!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

I got what I wanted out of it

I got what I wanted out of it - I wanted to try something new, see if I could do it, stretch the boundaries etc a bit, and I did. I even ended up getting offered sponsorship by the lodge I worked at!! Really happy about that. Learning about, and working with these incredible animals was amazing. Honestly, I don't know how much good it did in the long run. GVI genuinely find animals for tourists in Karongwe, doesn't matter how much you 'sex it up' so to speak - I've seen both sides of it. Working at Karongwe and working for one of the lodges there. The problem is, the volunteers know this - and it takes away from the experience. I was also disappointed not to be more involved in the research. It didn't feel like we did that much - all we did was head out into the field each day and find animals. This was interesting to fill the boxes on the data sheets in, but I'm not walking away thinking I've made a massive difference to animal conservation which is how this program was sold to me.

Institution Affiliates:

World Youth Student & Educational Travel Confederation