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African Big 5 & Wildlife Conservation Project
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African Big 5 & Wildlife Conservation Project

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Brilliant

It was a good experience,truly amazing guides.had tons of fun,got to learn new things a bit each day,all of the things were well prepared,rooms were neat and tidy.loved watching the wild animals in naturals habitat.oveall it was

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    8

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Big Five Research

From the moment you are picked up ay the airport you are made to feel welcome, all the staff do there best to make you feel at home and I have never felt uncomfortable or unsafe since arriving here. Being able to go out into the bush and see all the amazing animals whilst doing research to help sustain these species is and experience I will never forget. All the guides all always there to teach you about not only the big five but, insects birds and trees, they love the challenge of answering the hard questions and the love for the job is infectious and makes every drive more exciting, meeting all the staff and other volunteers from around the world is an incredible experience and I am so sad to be going home and will always miss my Dumela family.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Community Engagement

    8

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    8

Excellent

i like the drive and the fact that we protect the animals in those park. the reptiles center was amazing. community was not my thing but it was a pleasure to help the local population and teach them how to do it.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    8

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Great experience

I had a lot of nerves before arriving to the Dumela lodge, but after meeting the staff and the other volunteers/interns, the nerves began to go away. The staff is extremely warming and always available to answer any questions we have. The staff also joined the volunteers after their work day was over and joined the volunteers play cards, board games, and ping pong. During the game drives, the guides were happy to answers questions about the animals we saw or if we had issues with our data sheets.
The other volunteers welcomed us in and made me feel conformable at the lodge, and by the end of the first week it felt like we been together for months. The were also very helpful during the game drives with our data sheets. It can be overwhelming at first, but with a lot of assistance is available, it is easy to get into the flow of things. This was an amazing opportunity and
an experience i will not take for granted. I learned more than i thought i would've about the the ecosystem and animals in South Africa, and how important this program is.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    8

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Community Engagement

    7

  • Health & Safety

    8

  • Day to Day Life

    7

Great time, great people!

I loved My time here at African Impact. I learned a lot and met a lot of New people. This was My first time traveling alone so I was a bit nervous but everybody is so Nice here and help you where they can!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    9

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Day to Day Life

    9

So cool

This overall experience is just short of excellent. because of the early starts this is unavoidable due to the nature of the project, The food and staff are very helpful and knowledgeable, making everyone feel welcome regarding of age, would recommend this experience.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Community Engagement

    7

  • Health & Safety

    8

  • Day to Day Life

    7

Not just any ordinary trip

overall I ve had the best 2 weeks stay here my only regret is that I couldn't stay longer. From arrival I was made the feel welcome and part of the team. I have people I now consider good friends. Surpassed all expectations from the individuals, the informative presentations, amazing game drives to getting immersed in data collection. South Africa it s been a blast.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Community Engagement

    6

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Day to Day Life

    8

Amazing experience

The staff are so passionate about what the do and it filters through to the volunteers. Everyone is friendly, I have made lifelong friends here and had some amazing sightings. I have learnt a lot about animals, their behaviour, tracks and birds and sounds. trees and wildlife. The staff will go out of their way to make you feel comfortable and at home.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    8

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    8

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    9

Amazing experience

Enjoyed every minute at the dumela lodge. I have seen every animal I wanted to see. Even an Aardvark whites absolutely amazing. Klasserie is one of the most incredible things I have ever seen in my life and I will definitely go back to this place. The hard work that everybody is doing here is amazing and I think it s good tat the community is involved too.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Incredible

After 8 weeks, I came back for 4 weeks more. It was an amazing experience and when I make photography before, that help as well the team conservation. I came back and I will be back. For photography or research both are awesome!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Best time of my life!

I was a little bit nervous coming all the way to South Africa by myself at the start which was a bit daunting, but as soon as I stepped foot of the plane at Hoedsprit I was welcomed by the African impact team ready and waiting to pick me up! I've loved every second I've been here and if I could have extended my stay I 100% would have done. In just 2 weeks I have done so much regarding the community, project work, research, and ecology. This is the most stress free environment you'll find doing research at the same time. Im already in the process of booking coming back here. The guides are just amazing, not just the guides that live here but also the guides completing their internship, they have made this stay the best possible, I never thought I'd become so close with Sean and Vicky! Thank you so much for my stay here.
I'll be back!
Jonny Jepson

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    7

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Engagement

    9

  • Health & Safety

    8

  • Day to Day Life

    7

2 weeks of discovery, learning and impact at Dumela lodge

I lived a great experience with African Impact. The focus is both, on learning and having impact. I enjoyed the fact that working with the community is part of the experience to have impact. I just regret that we are not more exposed to the final results linked to the data we are collecting.

  • African Impact responded to this review March 05, 2018 at 5:03 AM

    Hi Martin. Thank you for the lovely feedback. Unfortunately with these projects, data is collected over a long period of time until findings are delivered to different wildlife organizations. If you have any more questions please don't hesitate to contact us at marketing@africanimpact.com.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    7

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    9

Maaike's review

I had a amazing time here by Africa Impact. When I came here the fist day I already felt really comfortable. You have enough personal space. You are sharing your room with others but you have enough places where you can be if you want to sit somewhere by yourself. I think I struggled the most in the beginning that you have to get used how to do the data's and forms. But that is something you just have to do a few times before you really understand what you are actually doing and how it works. What really made my time here amazing is the people around here. I had from the beginning a good connection with 2 members of the staff , Vicky and Sean. If I was not comfortable with something I always could came to them to chat about it. It is super nice that the guides and the volunteers can just hang out together in their free time to develop a better relationship because that made me even more comfortable. The food over here is amazing. Lunch and dinner is extended. You have always a bin with fruit and a box with bread you can take whenever you want. If I think about it I have nothing to complain. You can always go to the staff if you have questions about some things and they will solve it for you directly. So if I saved enough money I really would love to come here again ! thank you so much guys for making it a great time for me in South Africa. I hope I will see you again.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Awesome weeks at Dumela Lodge

This 7 weeks were the most amazing of my life. I see a lot of animals, cheetah, giraffes, leopards, lions, zebra and a lot of birds. During my time here, I made 8000 pictures incredible. If you are not afraid to wake up early, you need to come as volunteer for African Impact South Africa.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Engagement

    9

  • Health & Safety

    7

  • Day to Day Life

    9

Community project

That was the best moment for me, to go at the school with all these children, read a book and play outside with them. We could learn about the cultures of each other and try to communicate although English is not our first language.
To see their smiles on their faces was for me the best part of this trip. Personally, I wanted to have more activity and time with them.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    8

  • Program Administration

    6

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    7

  • Day to Day Life

    8

Learning experience

When I join the project, I was expecting more contacts with the animals. If you expect direct animal contact, this project is not for you but if you are really into research, then you will find what you want. However, the community projects provided me with the contact I was looking for.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Mathieu

The staff and guide are very professional, I learned a lot during these 2 weeks and everything was very organized. I really understood why we were doing these activities and I really enjoyed all of them.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    7

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Engagement

    6

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    8

Stan review

Before I came to african impact I did other volunteering projects. Compared to that african impact is really well organised. The food specially was really nice and you take very good care of your volunteers. I enjoyed all the presentations a lot, they are really interesting and informing. Especially the hunting presentation was cool. I really enjoyed my time her. thank you!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    8

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Day to Day Life

    9

A wonderful experience

The African Big 5 & Wildlife Conservation Project is a big very well organized project. The staff is very friendly, patient and helpful. The Lodge has a swimming pool and I stayed in a cute rondafel. Luxurious!! Food is excellent. You go on drive almost every day and I enjoyed taking data, which makes the drive more meaningful. Then ID ing pictures to find out, which individual we saw, is very much fun. Sitting trees and weeding is a good work out! Together you feel you are making an impact!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    7

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

The time of my life

My experience volunteering in African Impact's Big 5 Wildlife Conservation Program was the best thing I've ever done. I really had the time of my life and fulfilled my life-long dream of experiencing Africa's wild in person. There were all sorts of magical experiences: encountering a leopardess with her cub for almost half an hour; sleeping in a tent in the bush to the sounds of lions, hyenas and elephants; and coming face to face (from the safety of a vehicle, obviously) with majestic rhinos. Weekend trips were also amazing: one day, we went to Kruger National Park and saw the entire Big 5 before breakfast! Overall, it was a great experience and totally worth the money. African Impact is very professional and Dumela Lodge is a great place to stay (the food is great! And trust me, I can be quite picky).

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Mary's review

I loved staying with African Impact. I learned so much and the people were great. Every activity I did had a purpose and I felt like I was really making a difference. I highly recommend it to others, and I would love to return.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    8

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

What an experience!

Not easy at first to integrate a group with people who speak only English when you are so bad with this language BUT everybody try to help you to speak and understand and this is so generous! At the end, I can say that it was not easy but I'm so glad to be in the African Impact family who shared me so many beautiful knowledges, friends, and happiness.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    8

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Engagement

    7

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Big 5 review

My stay at Dumela Lodge was absolutely amazing!
Starting from the first day, I knew I was going to have a wonderful time. The staff was super helpful, from the research managers to the kitchen staff. They make you feel at home from the very first moment you arrive there. Everybody working there is so very capable and excel in what they are doing (guides, coordinators, managers, security, kitchen staff). They have an amazing team working there, which makes it so very easy to acclimatize to the new surroundings. The amount of work the staff is putting into all the research and other projects happening at the lodge is unbelievable. As a volunteer you realize what an impact the organization you are working for is having with all the research and community work they are doing, which is I think a very important thing to experience when doing volunteering work. I am very grateful for all the incredible stuff I got to learn while going on game drives. And of course for all the other wonderful experiences I had while staying here.
It will always remain an unforgettable experience!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Research at AI

I really enjoyed the stay with AI it was an overall amazing experience, wether it was the photography project or the research project.
It was excellent organized and the staff was happy to help me on every occasion and need that I had.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    8

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    8

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Day to Day Life

    8

Earlybird

My time in Dumela Lodge was really nice. I liked how most of the days I had to wake up really early, something that I do not usually enjoy back home. By waking up early I took more advantage of my time here and felt productive. I loved seeing so many wild animals in their natural habitat and recording data on them to help conserve their species. I also learned a lot through the presentations that the staff gave and from the research guides.

Institution Affiliates:

World Youth Student & Educational Travel Confederation