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Wildlife Research Expedition in South Africa

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Overall it was a great experience

Overall it was a great experience. I particularly enjoyed the trips to the local primary school and also working at the creche to build a fence. I also enjoyed the daily activities, the people I met, including the staff. Conditions were not what I am used to, but I enjoyed this aspect, it was, afterall, SA.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

I looked for a serious and involved program and I founded that with GVI.

I looked for a serious and involved program and i founded that with GVI. Impossible to choose only one positive thing out of all my experiences. Maybe people one is that I met and did activities with these people.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

A really good program

My most memorable experiences were meeting people of different origin, country and language. The experience with animals, with all the different techniques and all my training period was amazing! A really good program. Good organisation with a lot of different country, different project for all!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

I really liked everything

My most positive experience was going on drives in the afternoon and going to the communities to teach. But also how to make fire with nothing but wood, reflection of the sun etc...I also liked the activity we had in the reserve searching for the poachers with clues etc.. all this was fun. I really liked everything.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Learned a lot in an area I already believed I knew a lot about

Loved the staff at karongwe, they really make a huge difference in the experience there. The game drives were amazing, way too many great drives to write about. Learned a lot in an area I already believed I knew a lot about. Overall a wonderful program and would recommend it to anyone interested in wildlife, conservation, and South Africa!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

GVI knows what they're doing

I loved being able to see all of the different animals in their natural environment. I also really enjoyed being able to meet and work alongside so many different individuals from around the world during my stay.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Well organised

GVI was well organised and as described the program was amazing, my most positive experience was with the animals and my overall experience was nice. As a suggestion thought, it would be nice to have less people at once.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

A once in a lifetime experience

Getting so close to such amazing animals was a once in a lifetime experience. I learnt a lot about South Africa's wildlife and the importance of conservation and would love to have a career in conservation as a result. All the staff and volunteers made my 3 months in South Africa unforgettable.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Unforgettable Experience

Sharing the passion with other volunteers and learning from their expertise in their given fields. I mostly enjoyed the teamwork and what became a family unit only after two weeks on the expedition, and also being part of the team regardless of age or cultural background.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Priceless Memories

The best experience I had were taking part in wildlife research, and gaining experience in the field. Also meeting new people for different places and backgrounds.

During my time with GVI I experienced many new things. I adored the place I stayed. I found the project well organised, exhilarating and fun and would love to take part in another project to gain much more experience and priceless memories.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Great diverse group of people

The friendships I made with the staff and volunteers are definitely my most cherished gifts from my GVI experience. Words can't describe how fascinating and entertaining it was to interact and form bonds with such a diverse group of people. Laughter is indeed universal and even though there was a language barrier I wasn't able to fully appreciate all the knowledge we learned during training until we were physically out in the bush. I was pleasantly surprised with myself to see how many species I could identify and skills I was able to perform. The exhilarating rush you get when you're tracking a wild predator is an amazing experience.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

What Did I Enjoy Most? All of it.

I don't think this box holds enough characters to answer this fully... Most Positive Experiences - Developing a greater insight and knowledge in predator/prey behaviour and interaction - Being actively involved with research and studies that positively contribute to reserve management - Learning new skills - Being afforded the privilege of assisting with large animal relocation - Working alongside one of the most dedicated and professional teams I have ever met - The opportunity to try teaching for the first time - Sharing the excitement of amazing sightings with like-minded, passionate people - Digging in rhino poo - Being located in the middle of a reserve with no barrier between you and the wildlife (results in hyaena, impala, baboon and elephant visits) - Sleeping out in the middle of a reserve with no barrier between you and the wildlife (sleeping being a relative term) - Watching young people develop confidence over the course of four weeks What Did I Enjoy Most? All of it. See above. Sorry, I cannot possibly single out anything.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Different from my normal daily life

Loved everything about it! So many things that were great, being able to see wildlife so close, doing reserve work, sleep out, bush walks, learning about conservation, learning animal calls and tracks etc.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Love working with wildlife

The most positive experience I've had in the program were meeting new people and experiencing working with wildlife.

GVI makes it very easy to volunteer as everything is included and organised for you before you arrive.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Great experience!

The most exciting experience is that I went to another park with other volunteers and we touched cheetahs.

Although the vehicles should be fixed. And the bathroom is pretty large, but I think it can be separated to 2 bathrooms so the space would not be wasted, and volunteers don't have to wait for a long time to use bathroom.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

It's a good escape from everyday life

My most positive experience during my stay in South Africa in the Wildlife Expedition project was watching the Wild Dogs and Cheetahs hunting right next to us and participating on improvement work at the Camp Base.

  • GVI responded to this review March 24, 2016 at 8:53 AM

    Wow! That sounds like you had an amazing experience :)

    Thanks for taking the time out to review our program. Hope to have you back one day soon!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

It was a great experience!

My most positive experience during my stay in South Africa was the nice people I met (especially the staff). The encounters with the cheetah and the countryside were also nice.
It was a great experience! Good addition to my studies.

  • GVI responded to this review March 24, 2016 at 8:55 AM

    Hi Theresa,

    Thanks for taking the time to review our program :)

    It's great to hear you felt the program complimented your studies. It's wonderful to hear about your experience and your feedback regarding our staff in the field.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

I really enjoyed my trip!

Basically the entire trip was wonderful. I had never been to South Africa so I was very impressed with South Africa, the scenery, and wildness of the area. The whole program was well run, staff were incredibly knowledgeable and outgoing and enthusiastic about the program and their jobs. Everyday was different based on field conditions so never boring even though the daily routine was the same. Just thoroughly enjoyed the trip.

  • GVI responded to this review March 24, 2016 at 8:57 AM

    Hi Sally,

    It sounds like you had an incredible time in South Africa! What a way to get to know the country on your first trip.

    We hope you get to come back soon, visit us and explore more of the country!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Amazing sights

My most positive experience during my stay in South Africa with GVI was the amazing sights that I had in the bush.

I felt that the programs are really interesting and very well organized, but too expensive to join more than one

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

I loved all the other volunteers and the staff

Living with people who have similar interests as me was so much fun. I enjoyed the lifestyle and being able to see amazing things every single day. Planning trips on our days off was also a fun way to experience more.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

It was a great experience

My most positive experience during the South Africa Wildlife Expedition were the surveys and the internship.
It was a great experience and perfectly organized. But next time I think I would do a volunteer work where I would not have to pay for. This project was perfect to start with though :)

  • GVI responded to this review March 24, 2016 at 9:05 AM

    Hi Maximillan,

    It's great to read that you had such a positive experience at our project in South Africa.

    It's even better that it has inspired you to volunteer again in the future!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

Would 100% recommend

I spent three months in Africa with GVI and loved every second, the two drives a day give you a chance to not only see the animals in their natural habitat but gives you ample time to learn about them and how important each animal is. I went there as on my own and came back with a huge range of new friends who I am staying in contact.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

I enjoyed the beauty of South Africa

My most positive experiences were the thrill of getting up close to the animals and learning about all the wildlife, meeting people from around the world and the staff, and just enjoying the beauty that South Africa has to offer.I think that the program is good and that you wouldn't have the power to change any of the factors that could have been better. (The fact that at Karongwe your at constant battle with reserve rules and tourist vehicles/lodges, and that the staff guiding all have very different experience/confidence levels, so some were better than others)

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

loved the experience

I totally loved the experience. The best part and what made my experience more enjoyable of the South Africa Wildlife Expedition of GVI was being out on a drive looking for wildlife every day. It was amazing!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

I loved my GVI experience

I loved my GVI experience and would recommend it to others. Getting so up close with the wildlife, meeting cool people from around the world who will now be friends for life , learning about the wildlife and overcoming personal fears (ie. heights and snakes) are some of my favourite experiences.

Institution Affiliates:

World Youth Student & Educational Travel Confederation