Better than a safari!
Submitted by Tami - Westfield England | August 06, 2016
If you had told me two months ago I would PAY to get up before dawn, ride on bumpy roads in the back of an open truck in 50 degree weather, struggle through a water shortage, marinate in bug spray to avoid mozzie bites, drag dead aromatic carcasses around (all in the name of conservation), and live without TV, music, and a lot of times Internet, I would have called you crazy!
If you asked me if I was ready to go back today - I would ask how soon can I leave?!
Wildlife Act is simply phenomenal. From emailing before my departure, to organizing every transport Monday, answering all my questions and providing a truly ethical conservation experience - they by far exceeded all my expectations.
Mkuze, PJ, and Cole are amazing. PJ is a passionate monitor who is simply fun to be around. Long mornings, short mid-day breaks, and long evenings were never boring and worth every moment. At times it was heart-breaking, Seeing snared animals, watching animals struggle through the drought) other times amusing, (dealing with marauding vervet monkeys, watching the wild dogs play before a hunt) but at all times an experience I will never regret or forget.
Tembe's uniqueness is breath-taking. Hayden, Dani, and Leo were all a joy to be around. The elephants are beautiful and plentiful and monitoring sessions with Leo never disappoint; the sand lions simply gorgeous. The lion call up was awe-inspiring, and the wild dogs have my heart.
The accommodations are simple and adequate. Trust me, exhausting days make the beds FEEL like heaven! Both camp sites were kept as clean as possible - and yes - you are expected to pitch in and clean up after yourself as well. The food is more than enough, and I lost 5 lbs I believe because of the very lean venison we ate daily! Volunteers cook for themselves (and the monitor) and that experience is a true treat. The coming together of different nationalities introduced me to some wonderful culinary experiences.
The training is hands on and all the monitors are patient and helpful. The days are long, BUT I can honestly say my four weeks was not long enough. The feeling you get when you successfully use the telemetry equipment and track down collared animals to the point you get a visual is sheer triumph. I even miss the data entry - an important part of Wildlife Act's mission to protect and strengthen endangered species.
If a safari is on your bucket list, and you don't need 5 star accommodations, take your experience further by being apart of a global concern - endangered species conservation. Join Wildlife Act for an adventure of a lifetime!
Volunteer with purpose, experience an adventure
Submitted by Robin Shepard - Riverside, California United States | April 21, 2016
Wildlife ACT is a grass-roots, on-the-ground, hard-working group of conservationists, who do not pad the pockets of their owners. In fact, the owners are out in the field, doing the dirty, dangerous conservation, relocation, veterinary work and planning for the protection of key critically endangered species like the Wild Dog, Black Rhino, Cheetah, Lion, Leopard, Vulture, and Turtle. You work in small groups, monitoring focus species, working on projects or dealing with any endangered animal emergencies that come up. I was lucky enough to feed and water a wild cheetah in a temporary boma, participate in the removal of a deadly snare from a pregnant Wild Dog female, build a vulture hide, and so many other once-in-a-lifetime adventures. The staff is passionate and dedicated to the animals. Camp is rustic but comfortable, food is what you make of it, since volunteers take turns cooking and preparing meals. Every day you spend several hours tracking and managing several of the focus species. You'll learn to use GPS, telemetry equipment, and many other tools to find, monitor and track animal movement. Photo opportunities abound. So much to talk about such an amazing experience, you can see my full review on Trip Advisor, or I'd be happy to talk with you or answer any questions about the program that I can. It was something I researched and took very seriously and was well rewarded with quality experience. This is such an affordable way to do a lot of good on the ground for conservation, while working with a group of people who are truly in it only for protecting the future of these critically endangered species, not for profit. I can't recommend this organization highly enough, as they continue to expand their scope into new reserves, I also can't wait to go back for a new adventure!
An Inspirational Experience
Submitted by Galen - Cape Town | September 14, 2015
Whenever I am back in nature, something very deep within me reawakens. I recently decided to act on this feeling, and after spending some time with Wildlife ACT in 2015, I have since quit my job and have now started working in wildlife conservation!
The Wildlife ACT staff are highly experienced and knowledgeable. They are also some of the most inspirational and dedicated people I have ever met. Witnessing first hand how hard they work and how much they care about making a REAL difference, really makes one reconsider what is important in life. They are working tirelessly to save our endangered species and natural habitats and deserve all the support they can get.
I can't recommend this program enough. There are so many unethical organisations out there claiming to be doing good, but are really just in it for a profit. Wildlife ACT are by far the most ethical and legit wildlife conservation organisation I have ever come across - and there are plenty of past and current volunteers who would agree!
Don't hesitate. Do it. Experience and feel something spectacular for yourself. You won't regret it.
The best to do!
Submitted by Maya von Dach - Hünenberg | September 08, 2015
I will join the wildlifeACT-Team for four more weeks this October and December, after four two week programs with my partner before. It's the best way to learn about wildlife, community work, poaching, tourism.... We travel a lot through Southern Africa (and other places), but for me -especially when I travel alone- it's a good opportunity to support a worthful and helpful system. Not always you can expect to experience the big things - but there are such a lot of smaller things to see, do and learn in these amazing Parks! You find diaries (in German) and lots of beautiful pictures on www.manfredsuter.com!
An African Adventure
Submitted by Joe Marriott - Aberdeen University | September 02, 2015
Volunteering for WildlifeACT proved quite a memorable experience. As well as being involved at the front of conservation for some of the world's most endangered wildlife, I got to experience the social life of being on a reserve, and learned a number of key skills that enhanced my employability to work in the field. An experience that I cannot recommend enough if you are interested in wildlife and are passionate about making a difference.