Please click on the box of the project of your choice to read some wonderful testimonials that we have received on these experiences.
Eco School Challenge
– Hayley Worsfold (Trip tutor, 2016)
– Nick Haywood (Trip tutor, 2016)
– Vicki Brindley (Trip student, 2016)
– Chloe Glover (Trip student, 2016)
– Amy Jones (Trip student, 2016)
– Callum Kilpatrick (Trip student, 2016)
– Bethany Long (Trip student, 2016)
– Arianna McReynolds (Trip student, 2016)
– Aimee Notley (Trip student, 2016)
– Rhiannon Owens (Trip student, 2016)
– Sarah Thomas (Trip student, 2016)
– Adam Townsend (Trip student, 2016)
Become a game ranger
– Virginia McKenna, Founder of the Born Free Foundation
– William Procter – Field Guide Training 2011
Colobus Trust Monkeys
– Rachel Sinclair
“This experience for me was amazing. A chance to spend time with my daughter and get hands on experience caring for the monkeys is just mind blowing! Thank you to all the Colobus Trust and Worldwide Experience team for making this possible!”
– Robyn Owen
“WWE is a fantastic organisation, the staff are very friendly and always willing to help. I have now been on two WWE projects and each time they exceed my expectations. The Colobus Trust is a great project. The majority of time is spent as a group, but there is lots of opportunity for individual projects. This can be especially useful for those studying a related subject. The staff at the trust are fantastic, they are always outgoing and make mundane tasks, such as cleaning monkey poo fun!! We always had a laugh.”
Elephant and Leopard Research
– Helan Trisorio
“Hi, I went to Sri Lanka for 4 weeks in May 2006. It was amazing, I have tons of photos – hundreds!! Would love to do something like that again!! It was very scary at first, because I simply didnt know what to expect. The other volunteers I met out there were great, Rachel and Emma – were all still in touch!!
Sri Lanka is such a beautiful green country. the cities are amazing – you must go to Kandy and Colombo, we even had a night out in Colombo – a bizarre experience but one of the best nights I’ve ever had! You MUST climb Sri Pada (Adams Peak) it’s not as hard as you think!! It is 5000 steps up and then back down, but it’s such an amazing reward when you get to the top you see THE most beautiful sunrise!! And if I can climb it I’m sure you can too!! We also went white water rafting – which was fab if you get the chance to do it then do!!
The hut was really good, even though it’s very basic. You do have a toilet and shower too – so good news there! If you can sleep answer on anything then youll be fine too, I was. however if you can’t sleep very well on thin mattresses then you might need extra padding – so maybe use your sleeping bag for extra comfort!
I went on the Elephant and Leopard Research programme, which is so physically challenging, I did 10 days straight of hiking and climbing and cycling, I was so surprised I did even one mile never mind about 8 or whatever it was a day! There and back. You’ll be so proud of yourself for achieving what you do out there. I then took a slight break and did the data inputting for a few days as I was physically shattered and very sore!
I then did the teaching, which was FANTASTIC!! And a huge must for all! It’s so enjoyable! Remember to take your water, and if you take your camera all the children will want you to do is take photos! Just a warning there for you! The children are amazing out there; make sure you have plenty of new games in mind for them to play them always love to know something new!
Seeing the wild elephant in their natural habitat was fantastic too – sooo amazing its indescribable – just go and see for yourself!
If you’re going to Sri Lanka youll love it, and the markets are a fantastic way to get yourself little presents!”
– Jane Hemmingway Volunteer
“Seeing elephants in the wild was a breathtaking and awe-inspiring experience. Helping to conserve these magnificent creatures, but also helping research human-elephant conflict was so worthwhile. I loved my time there, send me back now please!”
Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre
– Susan Rodgers, May – June 2016
– Bridget Pavitt
“Worldwide Experience has excellent knowledge of the placements available and able to advise individuals. The experience at Hoedspruit exceeded expectation and the whole organisation was first class. I definitely recommend them to friends/family looking for gap years or experiences beyond holidays.”
– Lauren Scarfe
“I’ve had the best 3 weeks of my life at Hoedspruit Cheetah Project! We covered such a wide range of activities and went on so many trips outside the centre that I really feel like I got the full African experience while there. We did everything including game drives (day and night!), an elephant back safari, river rafting, vet visits and an amazing trip to Kruger. Definitely the experience of a lifetime.”
– Harry James
“The trip was everything I expected and more. I met some amazing people and animals. I got to do things I never dreamed I would get to e.g. white water rafting to stroking a baby black rhino. I definitely would recommend this programme to anyone.”
– Georgina Bedford, Volunteer
“Hello, my name is Georgina Bedford and I have just gotten back from a 3 week placement in Hoedspruit, which I organised through worldwide experience. I thought I would give you some feedback on my experience from the 3 weeks! I had the time of my life in Hoedspruit, I have so many amazing memories from my time in South Africa. The cheetah project is an excellent program, The people there were incredibly friendly and welcoming; our student coordinator, Elouise in particular was fantastic! The motto at Hoedspruit is work hard, play hard and this fits perfectly. I was in a group with 5 other girls from various countries and I feel I have made friends for life! We worked so well and hard as a group that work felt like fun! The accommodation at the cheetah project was amazing! our camp, Nungu camp is so comfortable and well equipped. You really get a feel for the bush at the camp whilst also feeling safe and at home. I felt I learnt a lot form this 3 week placement not only about animals from South Africa, but about the country itself, it was a very educational program and had such great balance with the planning of our placement there. Not once did I feel homesick and as I was the youngest in the group this came as quite the shock. I could have stayed for a lot longer! This is my only flaw in the program………make it longer!! Thank you sooooo much for giving me this opportunity!!”
Amanda Murray – HESC 2011
“The experience was amazing and the staff were helpful. I cant wait to go back again!”
– Elizabeth Stretch
It was a great, once in a lifetime experience. I learnt so much and it has inspired me to travel more.
– Katie Meacher
I loved my three weeks at Hoedspruit! Lovely people, lovely staff and a huge gain in knowledge.
I saw the Big 5 twice as well as lots of other animals and will never forget seeing these amazing animals at large in the wild!
WWE were very helpful and email correspondence was particularly quick and informative.
– Nina Smith
Working at Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre was an amazing experience that I will treasure forever! The people and the animals were totally incredible.
– Leanne Tunaley
The best experience I have ever had :-)! The staff are fantastic, they make you feel so welcome, look after you and are lots of fun. The animals are fantastic too, got to a lot of different wildlife that I have never even heard of before. The excursions that they plan are great too and I am hoping to go back next year!!
Kariega Conservation Project
– Phoebe Cole, Lowestoft, Suffolk, UK, 08/07/2013 – 19/08/2013
“Having stayed at Kariega Game Reserve for 6 weeks, I now consider this place my home. I take away with me a deeper knowledge of conservation issues as well as environmental adaptations relating to animals and plants. Every moment I will cherish; capturing lion, having elephant walk around the garden fence (and within touching distance past the Cruiser!) and crazy pizza nights with the rest of the gang. Everybody I have met in SA has been so friendly, helpful and open. Having been a part of Thandi’s operations (skin graft), and also the de-horning procedure of another white rhino was amazing. I am going to put together a presentation for my college class to highlight the issues surrounding rhino poaching. Thanks to everyone at Kariega … you certainly won’t be forgotten!”
– Katy Goddard, UK, 12/08/2013 – 26/08/2013
“This was my first trip to South Africa and I have had a great time on Kariega Game Reserve. We have seen so much and so much up close as well. I didn’t know what to expect but everything has been brilliant and I don’t feel I have missed out on anything. I have really enjoyed getting an insight into what goes into the management of a reserve. My top highlights would be the night drive with the lions and canoeing with elephants … all very surreal! Best working activity was chopping down the pines. Azel is a great ranger and I have learnt so much from her. I’ve also had a really fun time with everyone else in the volunteer house.”
– Susan Jackson, UK, 12/08/2013 – 26/08/2013
“I want to thank the Kariega team for providing such an amazing adventure here. It was more than I expected and I will remember these two weeks forever. There were so many amazing sightings and I will always remember the night drive with the lions. The amount of time we spent with the elephants was fantastic and it was such a surprise that they were so relaxed. I will send you some pictures to your facebook page and will recommend you to anyone I know who would love to have this type of experience. I wish everyone at Kariega Game Reserve well and for continuing success here.”
– Becky Derwent, UK, 12/08/2013 – 26/08/2013
“This was my second trip to SA working on a reserve. The first time was amazing which is why I chose to come back but these last two weeks have topped my first experience by far and that’s thanks to Kariega. My experience here has been AMAZING and I have thoroughly enjoyed every moment here. I will never forget our time with the elephants and lions and the experience that came with it. Thanks again to everyone at Kariega for my time here and thanks to all the other volunteers for making my experience brilliant. I’m sure this won’t be last time in SA!”
– Jake Dove, UK, 12/08/2013 – 26/08/2013
“Like a couple of the other who came here with me, I had visited South Africa before on a similar conservation placement at a different reserve in the Eastern Cape, so of course I thought I knew what to expect. How wrong was I?! Kariega has surpassed ALL of my expectations and I can honestly say that these two weeks have been the best two weeks of my life! Why? Simply for three main reasons:
- Kariega’s awesome wildlife
- The people that I have lived and worked with
- Our coordinator, Azel
My top memories of my trip are:
- Being surrounded by the entire elephant herd and coming within an inch (literally) of two young bulls
- Seeing not one, but THREE hippos out of the water during the day on different game drives
- Canoeing the Kariega river and having an awesome sighting of elephants (surreal but incredible!)
- An amazing night drive on which we saw caracal, jackal and then followed the lion pride hunting for a number of hours
- Seeing Black Rhino on our last game drive before camping in style on Harvestvale at Flycamp.
- Diving with Great White Sharks at Mossel Bay.
- Ziplining over the Tsitsikamma waterfalls
- Bungee jumping off the Bloukrans bridge
- Skydiving in Grahamstown
I would implore each and every person visiting Kariega to make the effort the experience some of the country’s incredible cultures and scenery. This trip has sealed in my mind my decision to come back and train for my field guide qualification and follow my childhood dream of working in wildlife conservation in Africa. Your experience here at Kariega will be what you make it – work hard and play hard and you will be rewarded with lifelong memories. Thank you to all whom I met and worked and lived with for these past two weeks. Goodbye Kariega … you will be sorely missed and fondly remembered forever!”
– Martha Spikes, Somerset, England, 04/02/2013 – 04/03/2013
“I sit here as the sun rises, listening to the sounds of Africa, wondering how I am meant to summarise the last 4 weeks. The accommodation is amazing – with the visits from the lions and elephants. I have been to Africa before but I can honestly say this experience surpassed all expectations. Azel is a star, her enthusiasm, passion and expectations at getting stuck on Mondays (personal joke!) is amazing. The extra hours Azel puts in to make this a truly remarkable experience … and “Fantastic Fridays” rounds off this experience with a bang. To see the hippos displaying aggression, a black rhino on the plains (!!), lions roaring and an elephant trying to stop the truck – so many memories and so many photos to bore my friends at home. A big thank you to Azel for making this trip and cementing Africa in my heart forever.”
– Karen Macdonald, Glasgow, Scotland, 18/03/2013 – 15/04/2013
“What an amazing experience, really really special. Azel makes each sighting special. I loved it when the lions came to visit us. Most of the other volunteers in the house were brilliant, especially Val (from Brazil), Svenja (from Germany), Pam (from USA) and Ross from Scotland too.
Enjoy the challenge of cutting down wattle trees – me and Svenja tackled some massive ones … team work is the key to having a great time! I am taking away amazing memories … Thanks Azel.”
– Ross Mercer, Ecclesmachan, Scotland, 01/04/2013 – 15/04/2013
“I never stayed long enough! I have loved every single experience here – I just wish I could have stayed longer. It has been immense. I’m so tempted to write my entire journal in here, but I know it will take up the entire book so I won’t. I’m going to be clinging to Azel’s ankles tomorrow when I have to leave; “Don’t make me go!” and crying my eyes out. She has made this trip for me. I’ve never met a more lovely person. Azel is the bomb, the boss, the man!! I can’t find more words to say how amazing she made this trip for me. My fellow volunteers were also great. The best way to describe us is one free family. I wish I could spend longer with them and I will definitely be keeping in touch with those that I bonded with most.
As for the experience .. WOW is all I can say. The work wasn’t “work” and plans were never set in stone – like following the lions for an entire morning instead of going on a game count, or finding a black rhino when we were expecting to plant Spekboom! It was all so much fun.
Enjoy your time at Kariega!! You will remember this for the rest of your life. I’m definitely coming back.”
— Joanna Wilson, 27/08/2012 – 17/09/2012
“This would have to be one of the best things I have done in my life so far. Have had an amazing 3 weeks on Kariega Game Reserve. I only wish I could stay for longer. Have managed to see all 5 big game – nearly, excluding the leopard. It was really interesting and amazing to see the elephant herd interacting with each other – each having their own personality. Was great building the fence and working on the road clearing. Justine is an asset to the programme. Really enjoyed her awesome rocky road adventures on the Cruiser. Also met some lovely people too – have enjoyed the last 3 weeks sharing the Kariega experience. Thanks so much for a great time! Hope to visit SA again soon.”
— Alasdair Young, 27/08/2012 – 08/10/2012
“A-Maze-ing! I was lucky enough to stay at Kariega Game Reserve for six weeks and I still could’ve stayed longer. I truly did have, cheesey as it sounds, once of the best times of my life! My highlights would be:
- Finding out that I’m not so pathetic and incapable of all things physical. That I can single handed take down a massive pine tree for example.
- Doing game capture … twice! Catching Zebra, Eland, Nyala and Giraffe. The time I spent helping with this was truly unforgettable.
- Pushing myself out of a plane from 10,000 feet.
- Hippos are by far my favourite animal ever, so seeing a bull hippo about ten yards from us, and out of the water was truly incredible.
- Getting so close to the Elephants that we were practically on top of them, repeatedly was awesome.
- Watteling! Who’d have thought that massacring this Australian alien tree would be so much fun?!
- Meeting some truly great people who’ve now become great friends, including our coordinator, Justine.
The staff are fantastic and very knowledgeable so you feel comfortable booking with them from the word go! I’ll definitely book with Worldwide Experience again!”
— James Jewkes, 13/08/2012 – 08/10/2012
“This has easily been the most incredible trip of my whole life. I was at Kariega Game Reserve for a whole two months, which even I thought was a ridiculously long time – but I still want to stay longer! There have been so many things that have made this trip amazing but here are a few:
- The animals – everyone has said this, and I agree. No where has such incredible animal sightings as on Kariega (apart from leopards). The animals are so calm around the vehicle and Justine knows exactly when it is safe.It made for some great photos.
- Game capture – this was so exciting and actually getting to interact with wild animals was incredible.
- Justine – she truly was incredible at staying organised and keeping us busy. I never once saw her angry or upset and she always went way further than she needed to when organising weekend trips and activities.And as she would say – nothing is impossible!
- Becoming independent – this is the first time I’ve lived away from home for such a long time. I can now start a fire without firelighters, cook and learn to tidy properly.
Once again, best trip ever. Thanks Justine and Kariega.”
— Jessica Kershaw, 23/07/2012 – 06/08/2012
“Well I had an amazing two weeks at Kariega Game Reserve and met some amazing people. Two weeks is definitely not long enough, I really wish I could stay for longer! I have had so many highs I don’t know where to start. One high was the canoeing down the river and the elephants were definitely another high. I can’t thank Justine enough – she has been so helpful and nice and I wish her all the best. I hope everyone enjoys their time at Kariega as much as I did.”
— Sally Milner, 22/07/2012 – 13/08/2012
“Words are not able to describe just how incredible Kariega Game Reserve is! Since I was tiny I have wanted to go to Africa and work with animals and now that I’ve been here I want to live here! These past 3 weeks on Kariega have been beyond amazing and have confirmed that I want to work with animals and be involved in conservation for the rest of my life. Everything about this place makes you want to smile, the wildlife and the people. I have not met a single person on the reserve or in the local town who has not smiled and waved at me – there is a huge community and family spirit that I have not seen in any other country I have visited. No two days are the same here. The elephants are brilliant and I feel like I’ve got to know them and their personalities in my time here. Love the little one who came up and kicked the front of our vehicle! Seeing the rhinos just takes your breath away and the close encounter with the black rhino was amazing. I owe a big thank you to Justine who found so many giraffe for me, you have fulfilled my childhood dream of seeing them in the wild. Justine is the greatest volunteer leader and will make even the rainiest day a memorable one. Thank you to everyone here in South African and on Kariega Game Reserve – you have given me memories I will cherish forever. I will definitely be back … very very soon.”
– Lindsay Bainbridge, 16/07/2012 – 13/08/2012
“Where do I start … I can definitely say I have had the best four weeks ever! I wish I could stay for longer. Kariega Game Reserve is a beautiful place and I am so glad I chose this for my first voluntary programme. I have met some amazing people and hopefully I’ll be friends with them for a long time. I came to Kariega shy and unconfident but by the second week my shyness had gone away and my confidence was growing. I never thought I could do half the things I could before coming here. So thank you to everyone who has had part in that. My visits to the local school, Farmerfield, were definitely an experience! The children there made me smile because you can see how much they enjoy meeting you, taking part in your lessons, but also they were just happy to be there even though they don’t actually have a lot. I want to say a HUGE thank you to the Kariega volunteer coordinator, Justine. She has been brilliant! Thank you again for the best experience yet!”
– Imogen Tingay, 29/07/2012 – 20/08/2012
“I really don’t know where to begin to explain how utterly amazing this experience has been. It has been a real eye opener and has helped me grow as a person. It is true that the volunteer house becomes home and the people you share it with become your family, regardless of their country of origin. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the best 3 weeks of my life.”
– Becca Harker, 30/07/2012 – 27/08/2012
“I’m so sad my month at Kariega Game Reserve is up! It’s been wonderful. Full of highs, so many I don’t know where to start. It’s felt like home whilst I’ve been here, something I didn’t expect at all. I’ve loved the isolation, the views from the house, the quiet, and the sounds of the African bush and the total lack of TV! There are so many moments on Kariega that I will treasure – here are a few I’d like to share:
• Watching a black rhino from a foot away
• Seeing an aardwolf (his ears a mass with bulging ticks!)
• Tracking the lions and finding them fast asleep
• The night drive where we rounded a corner to see the lions walking towards us up the track – a unique and special sensation
• Walks along Kenton coast in glorious weather and being mesmerized by the power and sound of the waves – I had to drag myself away every time
• Canoeing in zig zags along the shimmering river, relaxing with friends
• Hiking through the thorns and fynbos with the cackling wood hoopoes overhead, followed by a well-earned litchi juice
• The pleasure gained from hacking at pine trees with machetes, clearing roads and pulling out wattles – how will I replicate that kind of joyous destruction at home?
• The day at Harvestvale with the gang – mountain climbing, red cliff views and picnic on the plain
• Sky diving!
• So many more …. Chasing spring hares, collecting bones, sharpening machetes, shooting stars ….
Above all else, I have achieved what I came here to do, which was to be able to go home not wanting to! To prove to myself that I can follow my dreams and should continue to do so without fear. To future Kariega volunteers … make memories to last forever!
– Blossom Edwards
“Wow, I have had an amazing two weeks at Kariega Game Reserve. A really good mixture of work and fun! My highlights have been learning about conservation in SA, treating Thandi and seeing all the animals and taking lots of great pics. A special thanks must be said to Justine, the volunteer coordinator here – for sharing her knowledge and her great stories. I hope that Thandi continues to get better and look forward to reading all the updates about Kariega”
– Danny Guy
“After spending 7 weeks at Kariega Game Reserve, I no longer call myself a volunteer … more like Justine’s volunteer assistant! By staying at Kariega so long I’ve got to know so many people so well and meet great people from all over the world. There have been so many moments here, that I couldn’t just pick one as a highlight – every week has been a new adventure. This trip has been amazing and I can’t thank Kariega, Justine and the other volunteers enough. My only problem now is how to top this once in a life time experience!”
– Charlotte Westendorf
“Best experience I ever had! A big thanks to Jacques, the volunteer coordinator, he really makes Kariega’s volunteer programme great. The most exciting part was seeing the lion cubs and watching them play and get bigger. I had an almost buffalo capture, and a real lion capture AMAZING, terrifying and exciting! I loved Kariega as a game reserve, the scenery is gorgeous. After 8 weeks I will miss Kariega and everybody here. I am really very grateful for this great experience!”
– Ellie Ellwood-Miller
“I cannot think of any better way to have spent my summer. As well as being a totally unique experience in the bush I learnt to cook and became more confident just in time for university!”
– Eleanor Ellwood, August 5th – September 14th 2009
“WHY am I leaving?!! This has been, and always will be the best experience Ive ever had. I have met so many awesome people, done so many amazing things … some highlights have been: Canoeing on the Kariega river and getting soaked (so went swimming), our road trip to Plettenberg bay and doing the highest bungee jump in the world and the “thorn game” (you had to be here!) … to name but a few. The best bits are the game drives, we always find game with Jacques and he knows way too much so we get double the experience that the guests or anyone else gets. I now like birds more than I should – I have found myself watching them instead of elephants! Unfortunately Ill be on my way home tomorrow, but with a mass of memories, knowledge and friendship that I will never let go. I am going to miss being woken up by monkeys on the roof and watching warthogs from the tree house.”
– Julie & James Bentley, August 4th – August 31st 2009
“Best holiday of my life and at 42 I can say that! Glad my son and I were able to do this, made all my hard work back home worthwhile!”
– Gregory Gosden, July 6th – August 31st 2009
“Best experience of my life. I met some great people and saw some brilliant sightings (example a lion kill!). Thanks Jacques for all, hopefully see you soon!”
– Abby Seymour Volunteer at Kariega 16 March to 11 May 2009
“I must start off by saying that I have really enjoyed my time at Kariega. The program has a very good combination of work and fun. The work was so cool and I felt like I was actually really making a difference. Some of the work activities we got involved in included invasive plant eradications. We used a combination of methods like chopping the trees down, ring barking them as well as spraying them with chemicals. We also did game counts – which are used to estimate how much of each type of game is on the reserve. Another work activity was doing birding, where we marked down the different species of birds we saw for a week to help record what kind of birds are present in the reserve. We also recorded the individual markings on various elephants in the reserve for identification purposes. All the work was great, but be did not work all the time. We also spent a lot of time having fun like canoeing and swimming in the river. We went to the beach and learned more about beach ecology as well as played in the Indian Ocean. We went camping, had plenty of braais (barbeques), swam in the Kariega river on a full moon night etc. etc. A lot of the time we got the opportunity to view game, which was so amazing, I got a whole bunch of pictures of all the different game species. We also got to go on a couple of night drives. One of the highlights was seeing a lion kill! I have learned so much over my time here about plants, animals, birds, the environment and also about South Africa in general. One of the things that made it such a great experience was the volunteer coordinator, Jacques. He is such a great guy and so knowledgeable. He took the experience to a new level and made it amazing. My time at Kariega has been so wonderful and definitely worth it ? and I think I got a ton out of it!”
– Andrew Dainty
“One of the best parts of the Kariega experience was Jacques, our volunteer coordinator. He is a wonderful guide and a mentor. Some of the highlights were watching the lions hunting and following their hunt from beginning to end. Another one had to be the elephants. We worked with and watched the elephants for hours. Seeing the elephants at night was also a great experience. I also did a fantastic canoe trail and spent the night at a rustic, but great tree house on the trail. Thanks very much to all for this great experience.
– Adam Howson, UK
“My name is Adam Howson and I joined Kariega Game Reserve’s volunteer programme for a month during 2007. I left the UK and headed to South Africa not knowing what the road ahead had in store. However, I can honestly say that it was the experience of a lifetime.
My reason for joining Kariega’s volunteer programme was to collect data and information for my third year university project. On my arrival, the Kariega team provided me with a wealth of information, time and support in helping me complete my tasks. The team here are so talented and working in the field with such people was awe inspiring!
I was really shocked at how much I was involved in during my short stay. I remember thinking back in the UK – “come on, as if I’ll get to do that”. The next thing you know I’m in the back of a truck with a sedated zebra! I was actually involved in all the research and conservation projects the web site advertised – no joke. However, they always made time for my individual needs – sorry for all the questions guys! The team have great personalities too and play just as hard as they work! They allowed me to explore local towns, visit the beach, party (oh!) and skydive from a plane at 10 000 feet. Yes people, I have video evidence – what a day that was!
This has been so much more than a uni trip for me. The memories I brought back to the UK, I will keep with me for the rest of my life.”
– Jane Scott
“Some places come into our hearts and quickly go, but Kariega stayed leaving footprints in my heart. Being a volunteer on Kariega Game Reserve was an experience that I will never forget. I learned so much in my six weeks out there. My personal favourite work activity was tracking and studying the elephants. The work we did was satisfying and rewarding and I really felt that my contribution helped improved the reserve. This is definitely an experience that I would recommend to anyone.” – Jane Scott, Scotland
– Fiona Roberts
“I cannot say thank you enough to the volunteer programme team at Kariega Game Reserve. I left the UK not sure what to expect on the other side … well, was I in for the surprise of my life! I can truly say that this was an experience of a lifetime. My memories at Kariega will stay with me for the rest of my life. I did things that I have never done in my life before (and probably never will, unless I return to Africa one day!), and learnt about things that I never even knew existed. I enjoyed every single work activity (even the hard, physical ones!), and the sense of satisfaction that we got as a group watching the African sunsets after an exciting day in the bush … well, that is something that I can’t explain. All that I can say is that I will talk about Kariega for the rest of my life and I encourage everyone to go there and to experience it for yourself. I can assure you, it is certainly worth it!” – Fiona Roberts, UK
– Sam Burchell 24/10/2011 – 04/11/2011
My two weeks at Kariega went by way too quickly. My absolute highlights were observing hippos one day (amazing) and happening across lions at a dam.
I had a great time doing eveything on Kariega – from cutting down black wattles to watching an elephant family have their afternoon snack. Our teaching sessions at Farmerfield School was also great fun and I hope the kids like their newly white painted rocks! Make sure you do the beach horse riding on a Saturday – its amazing.
Thanks so much to Justine, the Kariega volunteer and coordinator, for all her knowledge and patience with us!
– Allan Harvey 24/10/2011 – 21/11/2011
I was a volunteer on Kariega Game Reserve last year (2010)and just had to return. I have to say I had a great 4 weeks again. It was so nice to be back at Kariega. My time went by too quickly though. We had plenty to keep us busy – checking on leopard camera traps, eradicating black wattle and pine, game counts etc. I also enjoyed ay time at Farmerfield School and hope the flower bed flourishes after it was planted (pity I cant be there for the graduation ceremony).
My highlight this time was seeing the lion cubs, black rhino and buffalo. But best of all was the canoe trip on the Kariega river with Justine (especially since I have never been in a canoe before). We also went on a great hike. I have to mention our Wednesday night pizza night at Homewoods also, good fun and great pizzas.
I really hope to be back again!
Nakavango Conservation Experience
– Emma Hatfield
“The Experience was excellent and I thoroughly enjoyed the programme. My favourite part was tracking animals by spores and learning about animals. My least favourite part was leaving! The accommodation was always clean and comfortable and the staff were all really hind and friendly place I would like to return to.”
– Alex Scott
“I had a great experience and the programme is excellent the staff were very welcoming and helpful; and knowledgeable and made you feel at home.”
– Jessica Snow
“I loved it and had an amazing time. My favourite part was learning about tracking, helping out in the reserve with regards to tree protection. Very helpful and knowledgeable staff.”
O.R.C.A. Marine Foundation
– Ruth Atkinson
“My stay at Plettenberg Bay is something that will stay in my heart and soul forever. The scenery was breathtaking whilst the work was so worthwhile I felt I was really making a difference. I would go back in a heartbeat!”
– Esther Jacobs
“Worldwide Experience organised my trip to South Africa after I contacted them looking to do a marine based volunteer program. They set me up with ORCA Foundation who not only helped me develop my passion for marine life, but got me thinking about the general marine environment and conservation. It was great to not only be learning but to be working towards a goal of achieving a certification for marine guiding… which I did thanks to the program! It was great to get involved in local community activities and see the townships way of life, and also to work on the organic farm helping to stamp out our carbon footprint through various tasks. I had the most amazing time of my life on the program and would very highly recommend it, there are lots of different things to get involved in so it would suit almost anyone. Ive also since had a job offer in South Africa and have both Worldwide Experience and ORCA Foundation to thank for getting us involved in so many different things which opened up the opportunity.”
Shamwari Game Reserve
– Holly Hill
– Naomi Collins
I spent 5 weeks volunteering on the CNSV XP – and it didn’t feel like enough time! Every day is very different and unpredictable. Some days you may be doing physical work like road maintenance, or you may need to leave at 6AM to help the Vet amputate a lion’s tail, or help the Anti-Poaching Unity track down a missing rhino! The activities I was involved with were incredibly varied and gave me a holistic insight into the ever-changing day-to-day management of a game reserve. The coordinators were a great part of my experience at Shamwari. They were very friendly and passionate about their work. The coordinators thoroughly explained the reason for each activity we participated in and were open to discuss or debate these reasons. I learned a great deal about animal management and conservation issues from them. I think a really positive part of the experience was the opportunity to meet such a diverse array of people. The volunteers were all different ages and from all over the world- Australia, Germany, Switzerland, USA, Denmark and even South Africa. It was great to hear about all their cultures and make friends for life! If you’re looking for a fun and exciting opportunity to learn about and work towards the ethical conservation of Africa’s endangered animals then look no further than Shamwari… I can’t wait to return!
– Helena Gadley
– Charlotte Bishop
– Sarah Bradshaw
– Linzi Cave
– Cassandra Acres
– Clare Jones
– Rachel Laws
– Rebecca Walker
– Jennifer OBrien
– Stacey Wlodarek
– Claire Hutchinson
– Chloe Wright
– Simone Cutler
– Nicholas Waugh
– Alun Goodwin
– Jamie Bray
– Natalie Flinders
– Philippa Booth
– Caroline Philips
– Roisin Warner
– Domenico Cutrone
“It is an experience that you must absolutely do at least once in your lifetime. Africa is a wonderful country, I only spent 2 weeks there but the memory will remain forever. Thank you to all the staff at Shamwari, people like Conrad, Braun, Nadia and Graham are amazing and what they do is simply magnificent. I hope to go back even if only to breath African air again. Thanks also to WWE for all their efforts to help preserve animals all over the world”
– Sarah Turner
– Stephen Duffy
– Gareth John
“Since I have been here in South Africa I have seen some amazing wildlife and the work we do is actually quite fun as well, I am actually enjoying cutting down trees and there is something very satisfying about doing it. We were lucky enough to experience the relocation of five elephants a couple of weeks ago, which apparently only happens every other year. The elephants were being relocated on Shamwari’s sister reserve Sanbona, which is near Cape Town. We had to wake up at four in the morning to help out, but it meant we got to see the sunrise, which made it worthwhile. When we arrived we pulled up alongside these trucks with massive containers on the back of them, which reminded me of Jurassic park. The elephants were darted and hauled into the container by a crane. Once we had got all the elephants into the trucks we had to move quickly as they were starting to wake up, so we all ran to help close the doors of the containers. The translocation was a success, so look out for me on animal planet!! We were also involved in the darting of a black rhino that had been fighting some of the other rhinos, but after four hours of searching for him all we found was a mother and baby, which we darted and then clipped. It was really exciting as they wake up pretty quickly after being darted and with the rangers shouting quick she’s waking up it was quite an adrenaline rush. The vets on Shamwari had to do surgery on two leopards to have a monitoring device implanted into them, which looked painful as we were observing the first leopard, but we suddenly heard a growling coming from the second operation room, so we peeped round the corner to see what was going on and there was the leopard standing up sneering at the vets as they were trying to hold it down and inject more anaesthetic into it, which was really amazing to see this and see how the vets dealt with the leopard. We have been on lots of game drives, which have been very eventful as well. One drive we had two white rhino come within about 12ft of our vehicle and as we were watching the rhino the ranger told us that the last time a rhino had got this close it stunted the vehicle making us all hold our breaths with fear, but she thankfully drove away. We saw a pride of lions, one male and three females. The male lion came about 15ft away from us when we were told to stay completely still and carried on snapping away on our cameras. Another time we got stuck behind a herd of elephants, which took about 15 minutes for them to move off in the direction of the watering hole. We also got to feed Themba the orphaned baby elephant that they are planning on releasing back into the wild. He lives with a sheep called Albert, which he likes to push around and bully. I thought this was a weird sight until I saw a local dog playing with a warthog. The other day we were taught how to make fire with a bow which was great fun. We then had a bush walk and learnt a lot of interesting things about the plants. We made a cream with the juice of the bull vine and aloe ferix plant, which I expect I will be using on potential future sun burn, shame its green though. I had a great weekend at Addo Elephant Park where you can ride on one of the trained elephants and feed them. They are such beautiful creatures and compared to some other places I have seen a similar set up they are treated really well here. In passing one of the girls said how amazing it would be to stay at the lodge and the ranger gave us a huge discount, everything was all inclusive and we had a really nice Braai. We ended up having a limbo competition, which I won. We had a survival sleep out a couple of nights ago and had to compete for shelter and food, which was torture, but enjoyable torture like shooting targets and other tasks. I have missed so much out too. The whole experience was amazing!!”
– Volunteer, 2009
“Im so glad I took part in this adventure to South Africa. I learnt a lot about the animals and how the reserve works as well as the culture of South Africa and how things are so different to England. It has made me even more determined to pass my NVQ Level 3 Veterinary Nursing as one day I would like to experience working in South Africa with these amazing animals. Im hoping to return to South Africa someday soon to complete the Vets Go Wild course, which involves more veterinary work which would be more relevant to my course and interest. I will never forget my time at Shamwari Game Reserve and the fun I had. Not only did I enjoy my time in South Africa but I also met some fantastic people have made some great friends that made the trip what it was.”
– Katie Merchant
“I cannot think of one minute of my month at Shamwari when I wanted to be somewhere else. From the moment I arrived I had the most incredible time, met amazing people and had so much fun. From rhino monitoring to erosion control, from fishing to watching a lion being darted, everyday presented a fantastic new experience. I enjoyed my time at Shamwari immensely. I had the time of my life, and while I didn’t wish myself anywhere else during that month, I have definitely wished myself back!”
– Lucy Granger
“My 3 months at Shamwari were truly the best of my life. Never have I had so much fun, learnt so many new things or been so close to such magnificent animals. I have countless memories which include, darting Lions ready for transportation by plane, feeding Born Free cats, close up encounters with Elephants, playing with local children, great evenings at Louis Bar and even a skydive! Although it is hard to pick a favourite experience, I think it would have to be assisting Murray – the vet with an operation to fit a tracker to a Cheetah. Unforgettable! I have made so many good friends and felt really at home during my time with the project. It is almost impossible to sum up this inspiring, challenging and rewarding trip in so few words, but the fact that I would go back and do it all again at the drop of a hat, says it all!”
– Georgina Smith
“I went to Shamwari twice in 2005 because I loved it so much. The mix of work and play is great at Shamwari. The staff are friendly and helpful and the bond you share with other students makes it even better. I would highly recommend it because staff are willing and want you to get involved in anything on the reserve. The weekends are free for you to see the area and what an area it is. Activities include bungee-jumping, shark cage diving and visiting local animal sanctuaries. Overall an experience I cannot believe anyone would be disappointed with.”
– Anthony Emery
“When i thought about travelling back in 2005 typed in Working abroad to Google. I had no idea what it would lead to. After browsing the Worldwide experience website and getting in touch with them I attended an open event in Birmingham where people from the company spoke to us and provided information about the packages they offer. Throw in a DVD presentation and I didnt have to think twice. I spent 3 months on Shamwari Game reserve and it was without a doubt the best 3 months of my life. I saw and did things that none of my friends who travelled to bum around on Australian beaches will ever do. The level of involvement you get from the experience is something that will live with you forever. From assisting in operations on Lions and Cheetahs, to getting up at 4am to do game capture – it was an experience that you have no idea what it is really like until you are there. But the people you meet are a huge part of it too! Over the 3 months there I met 16 amazing chaps and chappettes who were all there for the same thing. We gelled like family and had a ball of a time. We spent weekends away from the reserve, had fancy dress down at the local pub, played sport with the local community and made friends with the locals. Its hard work at times but the more you put in, the greater the experience becomes. All the staff from the UK to the team out in South Africa were great on every level. They give all the help you need and will be there whenever you want them. This testimonial could go on forever but to get a true feeling of what I have said you have to do it yourself. The memories of Shamwari and my time in South Africa are and will probably remain my fondest ever! My only regret… Not staying there! Talking of which if anyone in the right places is reading this Id gladly take a job out there if one is going!”
– Anna Reeves
– Davina Pope
– Grant Downie
– Poppy Freeman
“The reserve was magnificent, the animals incredible, the people fantastic and the accommodation exceptional. The only place that you could dart a buffalo before breakfast, help with the controlled burning of the land in the afternoon and then feed the Born Free leopards at sun set. The night might be spent following a pride of lions or having a Braai (BBQ) with the rangers. A truly unforgettable experience.”
– Dr. Johan Joubert, Wildlife Vet, Shamwari Game Reserve
“Worldwide Experience students are continuously enthusiastic and are valuable volunteers that make an exceptional contribution to conservation and our work.”
– Claire McBride – January 2011
“An amazing behind the scenes experience of Shamwari Game Reserve. Extremely rewarding fun and informative insight into wildlife conservation issues. A dream come true!”
– Carolyn Haslett
“Shamwari gave me the most amazing experience of my life. I did, saw and experienced things I never ever thought I would do in this lifetime. It was a truly life changing and uplifting experience. The animals were absolutely amazing. I LOVED IT!!!!”
– Heather Robinson – February 2011
“It was an incredible experience, Id love to do it all again & stay longer. I didnt want to leave!!”
– Grace Clarke – Shamwari 2011
“Shamwari is an amazing place, with lovely people and lots of gorgeous wildlife. I highly recommend it to people who are interested in wildlife”
– Alicia Hallatt – Shamwari 2011
“Take an open heart and an open mind. Dont expect anything but take every opportunity offered – it may sound dull but the bush has a habit of throwing up surprises. Appreciate every moment, its over too soon!”
– Kay McAdams
Everyone at Worldwide Experience and Shamwari Game Reserve were absolutely fantastic at helping me have an amazing time in Africa. I could not of done it without them.
– Claire Troman
– Cara Hallowell
– Natasha Robertson
Life changing experience! Enjoyed it so much that I am already looking to go back. Its a must do!
– Daniel Guy
– Lisa Eldridge
– Johanna Mullhaupt
I went to Shamwari Game Reserve in March and it was a really great experience. We performed a variety of different tasks, all enjoyable including the physical work and it was very rewarding to be able to get invovled with the conservation work. Definately recommend this trip to animal and conservation lovers. I am planning on going back soon.
– Alexandra Kahler
The staff at WWE were so helpful and understanding. They helped alleviate any worry or questions that I had.
Shamwari was amazing! Everyday there was something new and exciting to take part in. The staff get you involved in everything and make you feel like you are really helping.
– Tania Camacho Regneir
Volunteering is more than a self rewarding activity. If you are in search of having some awesome holidays, adventures and making a difference in the world, then this IS WHERE YOU NEED TO GO !!
– Corrie Bowman
Travelling over to South Africa solo was a daunting thought, but it was made easier by the fact WWE had taken care to prepare me as much as possible for the trip. With the great information packs that were issued out I felt I could organise and plan my trip beforehand, so I knew where I was going. This meant I was able to concentrate more on my excitement at going to Shamwari Game Reserve, and fulfilling a childhood dream. Working on the reserve is an experience that will last me a lifetime, though I plan to experience it many more times.
All the activities were directly linked to the conservation and protection of the animals meaing I felt I was making a difference. As well as all the amazing wildlife that we got to see we also got to take part in weekend activities, such as skydiving, which made the trip even more spectacular. Being out there meant a whole new culture was explored and so many new friends were made. As a whole the trip was so diverse and phenomenal, definitely something I think everyone should experience.
– Emma Doran
– Katie Lyons
I had the best time ever! I did so much and learnt even more. Learning about all the animals and the plants and helping out in the community was great, just to give something back to those who have nothing. I loved sleeping out in the bush, hearing all the animals and going on night drives to see how different the animals and reserve looked at night. Helping move and tracking the animals and watching the vet opperate on the animals were also highlights of mine.
I would go back again! I loved every second of it!
– Megan Luffman
– Sarah Fischel
– Alice Jenkins
– Natasha Hamilton
– Cherith Marshall
– Olly Dent
Had an absolutely awesome experience there at Shamwari. Everyone was very friendly and we saw a great number of animals including some hamds on experience. I would definitely recommend this to anyone!
– Jackie Marshall
Vets Go Wild
– Evie Stickland
– Becki Coverdale
“I wasn’t really sure what I was expecting from the course, but I’ve ended up having the best 16 days of my life. Getting so close to the stunning wildlife in this country, and gaining hands-on experience with species I’d never have imagined, is something I’ll never forget. Everyone helping with the course is so welcoming and knowledgeable. I would recommend this course to anyone.”
– Rachel Cummins
“I made my reservation later and everyone was very helpful. I got quick responses with good information. This program was amazing! The lectures go hand in hand with all the hands on experience. I loved all of the procedures.”
– Kerry Voice
“This trip was absolutely fantastic and I had the most amazing time. Wouldn’t change a thing and would do it all again in a heartbeat.”
– Vanessa Nokes
“The course surpassed my expectations for how hands on we got and how much responsibility we were given.”
– Anjali Naik
“Amazing experience, brilliant hands on work. Would love to come again!”
– Alexis Bogosian
“I absolutely loved my time in South Africa with Worldwide Experience and Vets Go Wild. It was by far the best time of my life. South Africa is a beautiful country full of eye-opening experience. I know that my time spent in South Africa has changed my life for the better and opened my eyes to a world that I did not know much about. I learned a lot about poaching and issues in the world that Americans have very little knowledge of (regrettably so), and I won’t take my experiences with these issues for granted. I will learn from them, and will educate others as well. I miss it there, and I definitely will be returning one day.”
– Dr Nicola Holdstock
BA., MA., Vet.MB., Cert.EM.(Stud Med), LVI., FHEA., PhD., Dipl.ECEIM., MRCVS
European Specialist in Equine Internal Medicine & RCVS Specialist in Equine Stud Medicine
“For the last 7 years, I have organised groups of Cambridge University clinical veterinary students to go on one of the Vets go Wild courses. These are so professionally run that in my opinion they are second to none. As quoted on the website the course genuinely gives a ‘unique and life changing experience’. Our students stretch themselves in their academic knowledge but also have an incredible opportunity to have ‘hands-on’ exposure with wild animals in their natural surroundings, gaining clinical experience which is unmatched anywhere else.
The Course is officially recognised as Extra Mural Study by the University and counts towards the students’ compulsory 26 weeks in this regard.
I recommend this course wholeheartedly, without any reservations.”
– Katie Meacher
“Vets Go Wild is all I expected and more! I had an amazing time, met great people and got closer to some incredible animals than I could ever have dreamt!”
– Stephanie Duncan
“Absolutely amazing experience! I never imagined I would get to work with wildlife in this way and I have made some great new friends! Can’t wait to go back and visit!”
– Katy Drummond
“It was an amazing experience we were stuck in and involved by day 1! The staff were amazing friendly and knowledgeable, my vets go wild experience was one in a million which I’ll never forget.
I made some amazing friends, met some amazing animals and learnt a lot – Thankyou WWE!”
– Cara McManus
“I have always had an interest in the exotic medicine and after going on the Vets Go Wild programme I am only more thoroughly convinced that wildlife medicine is going to be incorporated into my future career somehow. Dr Fowlds is an amazing teacher with a true heart for his profession. I will always be extremely grateful to him for passion along his passion to me and others.”
– Eleanor Newall
“The experience I had at Vets Go Wild was better than anything I could have imagined. I would wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone”
– Callum Patterson
“Amakhala truly is a stunning piece of our planet and the staff there went out of their way to make the two weeks completely brilliant. Never has parasitology been so interesting.”
– Elizabeth MacDonald
“This was an unbelievable experience. I hope I have the opportunity in the future to do this type of work again.”
– Emma Rowe
“The most amazing experience and one which will stay with me forever. Truly life changing!”
– Virginia Blott
“The Vets Go Wild course was fantastic, we had lots of opportunity for hands on work and the lecture content was really interesting. I never would have thought we would be able to fit so much into 16 days!”
– Jennifer Meredith
“The time I spent in South Africa at Vets Go Wild was the best two weeks of my life. I learnt so much and made some special friends. It is an experience I will never forget and a place that I know I will visit again.”
– Gioia Gregori
“I’ve seen things and made things that most people wouldn’t believe. I just wish I was still there! Thanks so much to all the team!”
– Shula Berg
“Not only were the animals and the reserves breathtaking, but William and the rangers made this a truly unforgettable experience. I learnt so much and made some great friends. It was a once in a lifetime experience!”
– Stephanie Davies
“The Vets Go Wild course surpassed all of my already high expectations and was definitely an unmissable, once in a lifetime experience. William Fowlds is an inspirational person to be around and somebody to aspire to be like.”
– Victoria Jordan
“Vets Go Wild exceeded all my expectations I got to improve my clinical skills, on species I’d never even got close to before. I hope this isn’t the last time I get to work with wildlife and I am confident that it will not be my last time in Africa.”
– Morwenna Hughes
“I had the most fantastic time on my placement on the Vets Go Wild Elective course. it was the most beautiful awe inspiring place. the people were great and we couldn’t have been looked after better. I’ve had some of the most amazing experience of my life there and memories that will make me smile for a long time to come.”
– Jessica Guerow
Unbelievable! Incredible! Wish I could be back there right now. Everybody was so knowledgable and friendly. Made me feel right at home. Thank you!
– Amy Coleman
The most extraordinary two weeks of my life to date. I can think of no way in which the course could be better – just perfect!
– Michaela Shilleto
Was amazing! Best 16 days of my life! It was incredible to work with such fantastic animals and it was an experience I will never forget!
Thank you to everyone at Worldwide Experience.
– Rachel Simmons
An unforgettable experience, made some amazing friends. The vet who hosted us was an amazing person with so much knowledge he was willing to share. I learent so much!