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African Big 5 & Wildlife Conservation Project
Volunteers and local kids playing Volunteers and local kids playing

African Big 5 & Wildlife Conservation Project

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    8

Yann's Review

It is not always easy to choose to embark on an adventure, but I can say that I made the right choice for this one. It is a real chance to have the opportunity to help while learning in this type of volunteering. This project is a magnificent fauna and flora, many things learned and above all wonderful encounters.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

African Impact big 5

Very rewarding experience being able to experience the thrills of seeing these animals in there natural environment and do something to help at the same time, all the staff made me feel at home and very comfortable and all situations from being collected from the airport to camping out in the bush. There is so much knowledge between every one at the lodge which everyone is willing to share.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

October 2017

I had an amazing 2 weeks volunteering at this project. The staff are awesome and so so knowledgeable, I have learned so much! Thank you to everyone for making my stay in South Africa a very memorable one.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    N/A

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Steve & Heidi's experience w/ African Impact

Our stay at Dumela Lodge during our two week research/conservation volunteer project was one of the most outstanding experiences of our travels abroad. This was our second Africa visit. What makes this program so exceptional is the process and variety of activities, personal growth opportunities, and encounters. From learning about important research that directly affects the environment, to researching during game drives, to working with children at the local school, to cooperating on physical conservation work, we were able to challenge ourselves at every turn.

Part of the reason we selected the Big 5 project was to see the game of South Africa. Instead, we came away with a wealth of knowledge and understanding about the South African bush, ecology, efforts for sustainability, and appreciation for the diversity of this amazing part of the World. It was really the staff that brought a thorough understanding and love of the land to each and every drive, and each and every life form.

We are active folks in our early 60s and quite a bit older than the average volunteer. This in no way affected our sense of inclusion. In fact, we feel that we were valuable contributors to the project because of our perspective. More folks should look into this opportunity and consider it as an option for part of their African Experience. It feels really great to come to a place and make a difference.

Every single staff member is 100% committed to this place. You feel this commitment when you are met at the airport, all through the project, and upon your bittersweet departure.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    7

  • Health & Safety

    8

  • Day to Day Life

    10

A month of adventure, laughter and breath-taking moments

From my first day meeting a very happy Guide at the airport I have felt welcomed and a part of the African Impact family. The month spent at Dumela Lodge has been an rewarding experience. I have had some incredible sightings with the Big 5 and many other animals and has opened my eyes to the natural world surrounding me. I definitely would recommend this experience!!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

I would rather not leave

I feel like I really lucked out coming here. I fully believe in African Impact and the work that goes on here. Also to be able to offer such an experience to so many people from around the world , but also locally, is 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

Amazing 2 weeks with Dumela Lodge

Had an amazing stay with the guys at Dumela. Every day offered a different opportunity and experience. I can't wait to come back.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Incredible experience

Such an amazing experience with incredible staff who encourage and help you to make the most out of your African Impact experience. I have had some amazing sightings of wildlife such as seeing Hyena Cubs, 4 Leopards, Jackal cubs just to name a few. The community work shows you how the projects take an active role in improving the livelihood of the local community through the Sasekile Gardens, Conservation Education and Reading Club. I've had an amazing time and I would highly recommend African Impact.

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 project

i really enjoyed my staying, wish i would stay for longer. all the staff are very kind and very approachable, and even though there can be a lot of volunteers everyone will get a personal treatment and will feel well taken care of.
I sure everyone that will come here will see the great value of the work that been done here (in all fields - research, community and photographing), and even though i've only been here for 2 weeks I felt part of what been done here and part of the high impact the come from this place.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    8

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Couldn't stay away

This was my second time volunteering in South Africa and I absolutely loved it. I spent a year thinking about coming back almost every single day, and I am so glad that I did - nothing about the project disappointed, from the amazing staff, the wonderful activities and the incredible sightings I have had the best month I could have imagined.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Is my time up already!?

Although I had attempted to do plenty of research online to ensure I was volunteering with an ethical, productive organisation, there was always going to be some doubt until experiencing it first hand. It wasn't long after arriving at Dumela Lodge that those doubts were well and truly put to rest.
The passion the staff here have for wildlife conservation and the community is incredible, and very contagious.
Some how they have managed an ideal balance of laughing and having a good time, with seeing and learning about the stunning wildlife, as well as putting in hard work and effort to ensure the projects are a success.
I found the time here incredibly rewarding but offer a word of warning for future volunteers- you will not want to leave!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    8

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Short but sweet experience

Even though I was only here for 3 weeks, I've had the experience of a lifetime. I have been incredibly lucky to have learned so much about so many species, and to have even seen some very special animals (leopards, aardvarks, and wild dogs). The guides are always on board to teach you anything you'd like to know and if they don't know the answer, they make an effort to go out and find out for/with you. The schedule each week was always jammed pack full of interesting drives, conservation work, and the occasional class at the local schools so it lets those, like myself, who are only here for a short while experience as much of the conservation project as possible. It always felt very well organised and thought out which made a huge difference. It enabled you to just focus on the work you were doing and to leave feeling like you made as much of an impact as you could. After all, it is called African Impact.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    9

My review

My experience with African Impact has been amazing. I've had the best three weeks of my life and I'm not really to leave, every day I've seen something different and learned so much. All the staff here are so friendly and helpful as soon as I arrived I instantly felt at home.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

My African adventure

I felt supported and welcomed right from the start, and with only two weeks here I loved that at the end I feel like I've really gotten the most out of my stay here due to the great schedule that was always filled up with awesome opportunities. Everyone was very friendly and helpful, the food was great, the housing was awesome and work we did I thoroughly enjoyed.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

My African volunteer experience

From the moment we arrived at the airport we felt welcomed and well-supported. With only two week to experience the program, we wanted to do as much as possible and we were not let down. The schedule was packed full of amazing projects and opportunities. The camaraderie was exceptional! An awesome time!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    9

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Time flew

It feel like I got here yesterday, time flew! But when I look back I can't believe how much I've learned, how much I've done, how much I've seen, and how much fun I've had in my (too short) two weeks stay.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

My review

My time with African Impact at Dumela was incredible. I met some amazing people who I will never forget and learned so much. I loved every moment of my time in Kruger, and sincerely hope that I will be able to return one day soon!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    9

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

A life changing experience

Most amazing experienced I've ever had. Best exposure to wild life and community. It gives you a fantastic opportunity to meaningful conservation and community work. Partnered up with other like minded individuals on an adventure you only live once!! So grateful I got to do it!!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    9

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Elia's review

The dumela lodge is beautiful the people you get to know are amazing you meet knew friends from all over the world and 100% motivated staff members. You do something useful but still have enough free time for example at the weekend. To sum up if you like new things exploring the African wildlife and doing something that helps others and has an impact DO IT.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Charlie's review

Dumela and South Africa was amazing. I fully regret not extending my stay and will most definitely be coming back here. The research and game drives opened my eyes to many career opportunities I did not know about and I thoroughly enjoyed this amazing experience with some amazing new friends.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Annabel's review

I have had an amazing time here at Dumela Lodge! It has been an experience of a lifetime and I am definitely going to come back another time. I have had so much fun and the work that gets done here and for the projects is absolutely amazing. I would recommend coming here to anyone, it is the best place.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Maddie's review

I HAVE HAD AN AMAZING TIME HERE AT DUMELA LODGE!!!! It has been the best couple of weeks of my life and I wish I could stay for longer (ever). I have learnt so many things over the course of my stay and had so much fun. I can't wait to come back.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

Thankful

Before my arrival at Dumela I was admittedly a little scared. The second I was picked up and Katie was there with my chauffeur sign (I felt very fancy) all of my troubles seemed to fall away. Since that moment everyone was so kind, understanding and passionate that I knew I was in the right place. The staff and the lodge so far exceeded my expectations, I'm so thankful for choosing this project over the others I had looked at.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    9

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Who knew collecting data could be so much fun?

African Impact was nothing like I expected it to be, but that's what made it so special. I never expected to become a part of a family that consisted of volunteers and staff from around the world. I never expected to gain an in-depth understanding for African wildlife and to be able to actively apply this new knowledge as I was out in the bush collecting data. I never expected to have such astonishing sightings of the diverse wildlife. And most of all, I never expected to understand and observe the impact research can have on African wildlife.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    9

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Gareth's review

Really glad I chose to volunteer with this project. Great food, friendly and engaging staff and an amazing overall atmosphere!
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Institution Affiliates:

World Youth Student & Educational Travel Confederation