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Modisa Wildlife Project, Botswana

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

First time abroad - best decision I've ever made

When I left home, I had a lot of thoughts in my head; what was about to happen, and what if this wasn't going to be something I would like?
When I arrived at the airport in Maun, I was lost, and I didn't knew what to do or where to go, but quickly I found the lodge, and everything was under control. When I arrived to the lodge I was placed in this little tent with two beds and a chair, and at that point I still didn't really knew what to think.
The day after I was picked up, and we went to Modisa. In the middle of nowhere - in the middle of Kalahari - you'll find this beautiful and stunning place, where you can hear the lions roar, the sounds from the wildebeests and much more that there are no words for.
Now I have been here for four weeks, and have one week left, but it is definitely not the last time I'm here! The place is perfect, the staff is amazing, and of course all the experiences you'll get. I have done a lot of things that I could never had imagined myself do, but Modisa has done so many good things for me, and has also given me a lot of life experience, that I'll keep in my backpack forever.
Besides all the good experiences, you'll also meet a lot of different and nice people with different stories to tell.
So - after all. I'll definitely recommend Modisa, if you're into wildlife, want to meet new people and break some boundaries!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Best time of my life!

My trip to modisa was meant to be a 10 week trip - but turned out to last for six months. This place is just absolutely incredible, and what Mikkel and Val together have established is absolutely amazing. The reason why I ended up extending my stay to six months was because I wasn't ready to leave after just ten weeks. And even after six months I felt as though it wasn't enough and I still wasn't ready to go!
The project allows people from all over the world, and everyone going there may be different in so many different ways, except for one thing that all have in common - the passion for nature and wildlife. Living in such a remote area and so close to other people you manage to establish such strong and close bonds in just a matter of days - and even some people you meet you'll know that it's a long lasting friendship :)
The locals that work there too are all amazing and you get to learn so much about their backgrounds and culture in ways you wouldn't be able to if you were to just go on a safari vacation trip to Botswana.
Everyday I would learn something new, every single day. And what I found to be the most incredible knowledge was to learn about all the small things that would add up into understanding how the nature works and knowing that it can't fully work without the small things working too. Whether it be the smallest dung beetle, or the tree with most water in it everything needs to work in balance together. And everything is so fascinating! And having the opportunity to learn all that out there in the bush and seeing it and experiencing it was to me the best thing I've done.
I highly recommend this place really to ANYONE! I can't wait to go back there again!! ;)

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Always a pleasure!

I've spend over 7 Months (photographing) at Modisa, always a pleasure to be there and to be part of the team! It's amazing to see Val and Sirga interacting, to hear the lions roar at night and enjoy the company of friends!

Great people and atmosphere!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

A life-changing and the most extraordinary experience of my life!

I spent the best 4 months of my life in this gorgeous corner of the Kalahari alongside the two truly amazing young men who run Modisa. I went there as a wildlife journalist in order to write about the project but the project and its people exceeded all my expectations.

Not only was I able to write about the wonderful work that Valentin Gruener and Mikkel Legarth do to protect Botswana's lion population, but I also witnessed the incredible bond between Sirga and Val, who actually hunt together, learned more than I could have ever hoped for about the bush thanks to Val and Mikkel's lectures, managed to get a deep understanding of the African way of life, and by the time it was time to leave, I simply didn't want to go!

Even as a writer it is hard to find the words to describe what a life-changing experience my time at Modisa was. I fell in love with the place. And meeting volunteers who come from all over the worlds is also part of what made this adventure so worthwhile.

When you spend so many days together, going on exciting game drives or game counts, take a walk in the bush with Modisa's skilled and knowledgeable local guides, help build the very camp you live in and see it grow, and spend plenty of relaxing nights by the fire under the incredibly starry Klahari sky, you end up sharing a deep connection, and after just a few weeks, you find you have made friends for life.

Waking up to see wild hartebeest or a lone jackal right outside my tent in the morning took my breath away every day and always made me want to see more. I never got enough of seeing animals on the massive farm where they run free.

This is what Modisa is like, it gives you the opportunity to taste the real Africa, to find yourself and I promise you, once you've been there, you will only want to come back for more!

I sincerely recommend this project to everyone out there looking for a life-changing experience that will literally sweep you off your feet! You will leave with a piece of real Africa in your heart, one that you will never want to let go of!

Modisa works hard to care for and try and relocate lions that who would otherwise have been shot by local farmers protecting their cattle. Sirga was one lucky lion to be saved as a cub when her mother abandoned her. While I didn't go to Modisa because of Sirga (the video of Val hugging her had not yet been released at the time), I of course quickly became very fond of her.

But the BEST thing about Modisa, is that it is NOT a lion farm, and you will not pet lions there, they are not breeding lions there, and you will see first-hand how Val and Mikkel have worked to rehabilitate this now healthy and almost fully grown orphaned lioness.

Val has helped Sirga with her first kill, and now they hunt together. Soon she will have a massive home of her own where she will be safe from humans and other lions but where she will be truly free to hunt and walk and run as she chooses.

So if you're still "thinking" about going to Modisa, stop, and just "go"! You will not regret it.

Well done, Val and Mikkel! And thank you fro the bottom of my heart for helping the animals and giving me the best memories of my life!

Much love to you all
Mahina Perrot
Freelance journalist
WSW founder