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African Wildlife Photography and Conservation
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African Wildlife Photography and Conservation

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Wildlife

I have had an amazing experience with AI South Africa. I have learned so much more than anticipated outside of wildlife photography. My workflow and editing skills have increased as well as learning macro and portrait photography. This is an experience I will never forget.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    9

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    9

A unique experience

At first I just wanted to learn more about photography, but now, after having had this amazing experience with African impact Photography I am passionate about wildlife photography. This program has given me incredible opportunities that I will never forget! It is a unique experience, where I met amazing people, saw beautiful landscapes, and stretched my limits like holding a spider in my hand! Thank you so much African Impact.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    8

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    9

A great way to experience African wildlife for both novices and experts!

The Wildlife Photography project is one of the best things I've ever done! Everyone here from staff, volunteers and coordinators is so passionate about conservation, wildlife and the local community.
I have always been skeptical about many volunteering organizations, and it's been so great to discover that African Impact is the real deal. Everyone here places the professionalism and impact of the projects first, and are always aware of the sensitive nature of the work that they are doing. The projects are well thought-out and have the best interests of the community in mind. At no point did I feel that my own "fun" experience came before the importance of our impact here, which I genuinely appreciate as someone who came here to try to do something more with my love of travel, wildlife and photography.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Fantastic experience

This is nothing like paying a lot of money and doing a week long African Safari where you are essentially a tourist looking in from the outside and taking photographs. Here we are involved, we are part of it; with the guides, getting to know them, tracking, learning, sitting around the camp fire, listening to stories and of course taking photographs.
It’s not a holiday because we work long hours, some of it quite tiring work, and we have deadlines to meet. It’s certainly not work either. It’s a lifetime experience where you become involved, contribute, hopefully do some good, end up with thousands of amazing pictures and memories that will last forever.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    9

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Day to Day Life

    10

4 weeks aren't enough

Four weeks are gone like nothing, the staff and projects keep you busy all the time. As a photographer you just stay here for four weeks, what feels like no time in the end. After this short time it feels a little bit like home, and now that this time is over i wish i would have a time machine =)

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    7

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Amazing

I had a really amazing time thank you african impact. I have learned a lot and will try to continue to learn even more. African impact enabled me to open my horizon and appreciate the little things in the world.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

An unforgettable experience

From all the pre-departure information I was confident I was going to have an amazing time. However it didn't prepare me for how truly inspiring and incredible it was going to be. No day is the same, in fact wildly different, one day you are focusing on a tiny insect, the next a huge elephant. I have learnt so much about photography in general that I can use in all kinds of situations from Tim and Sam. I have also gained so much knowledge about the wildlife in Africa from all the guides, the amount of information they hold in their brains really is mind boggling.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    8

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Day to Day Life

    10

My month in photography with African Impact

Come ready to wake up early, go on game drives, see amazing animals, shoot thousands of photos, edit hundreds of photos, show your work, get feedback, develop your craft, and become a better wildlife photographer. I had a great stay with African Impact and went from shooting mediocre wildlife photos to amazing photos I can be proud to put on a wall.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

My amazing experience

Well where to start... My experience here has been amazing! I loved every minute of it. Africa is a beautiful place and I loved coming here I experience new things and met new people I was a little homesick at times but everyone here made me fell like I was back home. I have had an awesome time getting to know everyone and getting to experience new things I will never forget this place and all the amazing staff they are all amazing and funny and I will never forget the first time a saw a lion or an elephant in there natural habitat I have had an amazing time here one i will never forget with people I will never forget this place is my home away from home. For future volunteers come don't be scared you will have an amazing time and a wonderful experience this trip was a unforgettable moment for me and I sure it will be for you as well.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Photography Janvier, Volunter Iris

The discovery of other volunteers is extraordinary, lots of sharing and kindness and feelings of not being unique to have a sensitivity to wildlife and flora. Comforting when you live in town ... An experience full of wealth!

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 wildlife photography and conservation

This was my fourth time attending this project in different locations. This reflects how each time the experience has been memorable and special. I have learnt so much not just improving my photography but also my knowledge on conservation and making an impact and difference. I would recommend this project to all.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Staff members love their job!

My experience with AI was amazing. Everything was better than my expectations except for a couple of things about the first information I received that I will explain in the next fields. All the people that I knew were awesome. African Impact did a very good job with all the information about how we supposed to live in the lodge, and about the rules and the behaviour A.I. would expect from us...so all the rest it's just a consequence of a very well done job from the start. I really appreciated that some members of staff were volunteers just like us and they could really understand us in everything, anticipating our problems or giving us informations we could need, all the time. The staff was extremely helpful and highly competent. Our project manager, Tim, was always very clear about the things we supposed to do, and he prevented every kind of problem, without giving a thing as understood and in the other hand without pressing us. We were just free and well prepared to everything. Also all the other members were amazing persons, all of them. Katie was wonderful during the game drives, she always explained all the time such interesting things about the animals and plants without annoying us: it's so good to see that those people REALLY LOVE THEIR JOB and what they do with volunteers. Was so nice to see that staff have fun just like us, for example when we painted a class in Makwetse school Katie, Trico and Sabrina had so much fun! I also loved all the presentations 'cause it was so nice to know what we did and why. Whole experience was professionally organized, and all of them followed and pushed us step by step. I loved it. About the location, lodge's maintenance and the food I have nothing to say, everything was better than my expectation...after all we were prepared for Africa. At some point we used to call Dumela lodge "home"!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    9

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Photography course review

I really enjoyed being there. I learned a lot from Tim (our photography teacher) and from the other volunteers. We had a good atmosphere and everyone was helpful with each other. We all learned a lot in both photography and editing.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Wildlife photography

My experience at Dumela lodge has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I got to see lots of wildlife including some hyena, wild dog, jackal, lions and leopard during my stay which has made my experience even more wonderful. I really loved it here and hope that you come and at least visit.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    9

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Dumela lodge photography

Amazing experience!!! Thanks to all the staff at Dumela lodge for sharing your knowledge and time with so much positive energy and laughter! The effort you guys make is an example for many! Hope to see you guys again! Keep it up!!!

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 experience ever

This was one of the coolest trips I have ever taken. At first I didnt know what to think. I had never been to Africa before and was worried i might get lost, but AI immediately made me feel right at home and comfortable. I would recommend this highly to 17 or 18 year olds like myself and any other person willing to travel.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Much more that I could have ever imagined

Being able to come to South Africa with African Impact has been the best experience ever! This are my last days and I don't want to leave, before I got here I was nervous about the social situation and if there will be people my age, after I got here i realized that it that did not matter that much because here i made friends of all the ages.
Every day here is amazing. Even waking up at 5 in the morning is super exciting, going on game drives, sunrise walks, sunrise photography, everyday here is amazing.
I will never forget this place and the people I met here. There is nothing about this past 4 weeks that I would change. Everything was absolutely fantastic and life changing!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Photography project at Dumela

I had an absolutely amazing stay in South Africa! The project is really worth my time and money. I have learned so much about photography and wildlife conservation and I felt like I made an impact. The staff is amazing and the facilities are great. I surely recommend this project to anyone who is thinking about such a 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

TIA - This Is Africa - This is amazing!

Not al the things go the way they supposed to go. Things can go wrong, this is Africa. Don't make a big deal of it, it can always be worse. Find the beauty and happiness in the things around you. Like friends, nature, a purpose in life, little things that make you happy, ... This is what I learned and will never forget!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Far beyond any expectation of mine

Everything I've been doing in this past month was far beyond any expectation of mine: I've known amazing people (both volunteers and staff members), I've learned things I'd never heard of before and I had lots of fun while doing something useful.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

My time at the Dumela lodge

The last four weeks have been the best of my life. Here at the Dumela lodge it's all about conservation, but also about meeting the most amazing people. We made a difference while we were here, under the best circumstances we could ask for (beautiful surroundings, lovely people, good organization, delicious food, etc.). I would have loved to stay longer but unfortunately it's my time to go. If i would ever get the chance to return here, I would think twice about 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

Good stuff

The photography program was a great time. I genuinely feel like I became a better photographer in 4 weeks. While I knew quite a bit about photography before the program, it was great getting refreshed on the basics as well as the fundamentals of wildlife photgraphy, a new genre for my work.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

The best 4 weeks I've ever spent in Africa

Travelling to Africa alone and spending a month working as a volunteer is definitely a daunting prospect, but I was amazed at how quickly I felt at home here. Every single member of staff was incredibly nice, outgoing and passionate about what they're doing, the lodge is situated in a perfect location and is far and away more luxurious than other volunteer projects I've been to and the organisation of every week is fantastic. I found the photography course perfectly in line with what I wanted and expected, it was fantastic to be reminded of the basic guides to photography and also to be pushed to experiment and adapt new styles to experiment with. As amazing as it is being able to photograph wildlife several times a week, it was also a breath of fresh air to be able to venture out to other locations (such as Blyde River Canyon, the trash dump and the local school and community projects) that not only gives you a more well-rounded and truthful representation of Africa but also reminds you of how everything is connected; community, wildlife and environment, and how they must all be equally focused upon if any impact is to be made. Not only do I feel as if I'm leaving as a better photographer, but above all that I feel as if I made a difference (or rather, an impact) and it's that feeling that makes me want to come back asap for longer.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Highly recommend the photography course

The photography course offered here was so good and comparing my images from week one to week four is crazy. my photography skills have excelled my own expectations and i can wait to see how they will improve even more when I'm back home with the knowledge I've learnt whilst here.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Photography volunteer

I enjoyed my time very much in the photography project and I'm so happy that i can stay longer in this beautiful place, when i change to the researchers. It was very helpful and a great experience. I learned so much about Photography and I can see how much better my Pictures are now. To stay in the Dumela Lodge is great because you have a lot to do, you have clean rooms, the Staff members are very friendly and helpful, the food is very tasty and it has a beautiful surroundings.

Institution Affiliates:

World Youth Student & Educational Travel Confederation