Please click on the box of the project of your choice to see 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):
Living with Orphaned Rhinos
Sally Bartlett (March 2018):
Desert Elephant Conservation with EHRA
Jacob Stockton and Madeline Carr (January 2018):
Colobus Trust Monkeys
“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!”
“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.”
Sri Lanka: Elephant and Leopard Research
“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:
“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.”
“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.”
“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!”
It was a great, once in a lifetime experience. I learnt so much and it has inspired me to travel more.
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.
Working at Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre was an amazing experience that I will treasure forever! The people and the animals were totally incredible.
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
Victoria Petley, UK, January 2018:
“My visit to Kariega Game Reserve on their volunteer programme was made extra special by the support I had from the Worldwide Experience team before, during and after my trip. They arranged my stay and ensured that I had everything I needed ahead of my departure so that there wouldn’t be any hidden surprises. Once in South Africa, my transfer was sorted by WWE and I arrived at Ocean View Lodge on the reserve as fresh as can be expected after an overnight flight. Whilst there, I learnt so much! How to use a telemetry kit to find collared lions, what a serval likes to eat as treat, how many species of bird are in the reserve, what a baby blesbok looks like and why a warthog’s tail is so straight when it runs. All tasks are based on the needs of the reserve and as a volunteer, I really felt like I was contributing to the daily running of the place. I left Kariega wanting to get even more involved in conservation. WWE checked in with me during and after my stay and it really felt like they cared about ensuring I had the best conservation experience I could. I’d highly recommend a booking a volunteer experience with WWE – you’ll have the time of your life!”
Hilary Omissi, UK, April 2016:
“A brilliant and memorable experience. The mixture of physical and other activity was well balanced. It was hard work at times but we had a lot of fun. We had a mix of nationalities and ages but the group I was with all gelled well together! As an “older” volunteer I was made to feel very welcome! Jarrett, our co-ordinator was brilliant: very knowledgeable, passionate about conservation and had the patience of a saint!”
Nikki Ferry, USA, March 2014:
“I have had an absolutely amazing time here at Kariega. Frances you have been amazing and very knowledgeable about the reserve and its animals. I have been able to tick everything off my list in only two weeks which has been fantastic and has inspired me to look further into conservation. I don’t want to leave! Hopefully see you again soon.”
Jack Moss, March – April 2014:
“It has been an absolutely amazing experience here at Kariega! The volunteer house holds a very peaceful atmosphere surrounded by the lush nature which is what makes Kariega stand out as such a scenic reserve. On arrival I was greeted by Frances and the fellow volunteers, who have made this trip unforgettable. I can’t thank Frances enough for such an insightful, joyful time. Her enthusiasm is infectious! Some of my highlights: coming within touching distance of the ellies and being sniffed, watching the amazing sunsets from the treehouse, seeing Mandora during a night drive under an incredible sky . I could go on. I hope to come back and visit Kariega one day again and check up on all the animals. So sad to be leaving!”
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!
“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”
“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!”
“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!”
“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!”
“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.”
“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
“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
Daniel Borley, UK – January 2018:
What can I say about Worldwide Experience and Nakavango that could possibly come close to describing the incredible experience I have had. Every person I have been lucky enough to meet on this trip has been accommodating, welcoming and so helpful.
Worldwide make sure any concerns, doubts or worries you have are put to rest to allow you to have the most amazing time. Their staff are brilliant and ensure you are kept up to date every step of the way. If I was looking to volunteer anywhere again (which I will) it would 100% be with worldwide. Nothing was too much trouble and everything was lined up perfectly for you to enjoy your experience.
As for Nakavango itself, it is a place I will never forget and will hold dear to me forever. Ian, the reserve manager said to me the whole world is trying to achieve a ‘garden of Eden’ a ‘paradise’ and there are just various ways of getting there, Nakavango and their staff have managed to create this in one small corner of Zimbabwe. Everything here is the embodiment of the programme itself, simple but perfect. The accommodation and facilities are perfect for what you need and everything is clean. Everything has been thought of from the making of your bed with included service of checking for anything dangerous to doing your laundry once a week as well so you don’t have to pack too much stuff. The communal area helps bring everyone together and eating together really creates a family atmosphere. What adds another dimension to this picture perfect piece of Africa and the only place which can come close to competing with it for beauty is the natural wonder of the world 10 minutes down the road; Victoria Falls. The activities on offer here are never ending and Justine takes all the stress of sorting away from you. All you have to do is decide what, when and the rest is sorted.
The wildlife is what people come from all around the world for and on this reserve everything is precious. There is no bias here, it is exactly as nature intended everything plays its part and this is why this reserve is so successful with all of the big 5 present and thriving. After a matter of hours, you felt a sense of responsibility and love for this reserve; it sucks you in and consumes your appetite for wildlife and the wilderness. The work, which never feels like work, more a labour of love, is fun and varied. You honestly feel like you are making a difference rather than just a token effort. What you learn out on the reserve in incredible, with the most informative and passionate guides you could wish to meet. This is the real way to see Africa, sweat on your face, dust in your boots admiring the work you have done as nature happens all around you. I honestly cannot think of one task I would not happily do again and every day of work is spurred on by laughter. From sipping ice cold beers sat by the dam to ripping up Lantana to watching a bull rhino snooze in the shade every moment is unforgettable and an experience you don’t get anywhere else because what makes it so special is working for it. Here the lines between work and play are blurred, there are no boundaries. Work becomes fun and while you’re having fun your working, you just don’t notice it. I never thought I would get the chance to track elephants on foot, camp in the African bush, come face to face with a bull rhino but every day was full of surprises.
And what makes this place work…the people. The staff are the driving force behind this reserve, from the kitchen staff and the fantastic food which you come back to every day to the guides who show you the ropes. The passion of these people is what makes Nakavango the most special place I have ever visited. The beauty of the reserve is the fruits of the labour of the team at the programme. Ian’s love of wildlife is infectious and is always accommodating to sit down and chat conservation. The man who truly made my person experience at Nakavango special though was Dean, who was in charge of the work we would do on the reserve and take us on game drives/walks. The enthusiasm and dedication Dean has to every single living thing on the reserve truly is inspiring. I have limited experience of guiding around Africa but I would challenge anyone to find a guide more passionate and informed about wildlife then Dean.
If you want to see the real Africa, make a difference as well as new friends then Nakavango is the perfect programme for you and Worldwide is the perfect partner to take you there. The Stanley and Livingstone game reserve is somewhere I will always hold deep in my heart and is a piece of paradise on the doorstep of one of the natural wonders of the world. I would love to return and one day I will, to see how the reserve I cared for so much the 2 weeks I was lucky enough to be there has changed as well as the people who will leave a lasting impression on me. I wouldn’t just say I could visit Nakavango again, I could have lived there. However the best compliment I could pay Nakavango and the Stanley & Livingstone game reserve…Most days we would drive past the 5 star hotel which shared the game reserve, it is a fantastic resort with every luxury you could imagine with game drives sipping gin and tonics at you’re leisure. My thoughts every time… give me Nakavango any day!
“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.”
“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.”
“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
“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!”
“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.”
Vets Go Wild
“Vets Go Wild 2017 was a dream come true. The hands-on experience was genuinely invaluable. I’ve wanted to do this course for over 6 years, therefore already had very high expectations – they were easily exceeded. I’ll never forget these 16 days and you can definitely expect to see me back for the internship.”
“I used all the money I had saved over the past few years to come on this programme and I’m so glad I did. It was incredible experience – I learned so much and made friends with a fantastic group of people, both staff and peers. If I was given the option I would quite happily never leave.”
“The most incredible experience. The opportunity to have responsibility over the anaesthesia of a wild animal was incredible. The lectures were really interesting and gave us more confidence in the procedures. Will has an incredible ability to constantly inspire and is a phenomenal teacher with never-ending patience. Can’t forget Uncle Bill’s pub at Amakhala. All staff at Amakhala was incredibly friendly and me feel at home. I don’t want to leave!!!”
“This was the most incredible experience of my life and has left me with the best memories which will stay with me forever. Working with Will and his nursing team was fantastic – I found them all very inspiring.”
“I had a fantastic experience! I learned so much because Vets Go Wild is very hands on. This is waht I want to do with my life and this program gave me a realistic experience. I loved every moment!”
“Amber, Gemma and Candice were amazing! They were helpful and calm and made a difference to everyone’s confidence – as did Will.”
“Will was a very inspirational speaker/mentor who we all looked up to. He always remained calm and I fully trusted him when in a potentially dangerous situation with the animals. The whole team were great!”
“One of the absolute best experiences of my life. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect two weeks. Vets Go Wild opened my eyes to so much more in this world.”
“The most amazing experience that someone could ever have in the professional and personal way. All the members of the staff always caring about us, for every detail making all days incredible. Thank you very much; I hope I could come back soon! Love being the first Colunbian doing this program of Vets Go Wild.”
“I just want to thank everybody and say I’m proud and honoured to be a part of the Amakhala family! Loved every minute of my experience! Thank you!”
“I had an amazing time, some of the best moments in my life have happened here – reversing a black rhino was the most exhilarating experience and will never forget it. My group, the people I’ve met and the animals I’ve had the opportunity to see and work with I will never forget about and so glad I’ve got enough photos and videos to remember it all! Thank you to everyone who makes this possible. I can’t wait to come back and will miss everyone. This experience was everything I had hoped for and surpassed all expectations.”
Dr Rodrigo Rabello:
“This experience changed our lives, thank you very much, I hope to see you in Brazil.”
“I had an amazing time on Vest Go Wild. All staff were lovely, and knowledgeable.”
“Amazing experience, would repeat in a heartbeat. Amazing stuff, diverse activities and so much fun, nothing compares.”
“This was the best experience of my life! All the VGW team are living my dream! Even though I was the only SVN, I felt so welcome and was never treated any different. Thank you so much for everything! Hopefully I will see you all soon!! Thank you a million. PS: I cried a lot due to the amazing opportunity and experience.”
“No words can really describe my experience with Vets Go Wild. I had a wonderful time and really do not want to leave. All the staff were amazing and let us do so much. I got to work with all the animals I’ve dreamed of working with. I will definitely be back!”
“Vets Go Wild was honestly the best two weeks of my life. I cannot thank you Will and Emily enough for all the help and patience when it came to my learning. Africa feels like home to me.”
“It really has been an amazing experience. I looked into a lot of placements before picking VGW and this course 100% stands out. To be involved in the whole process for each procedure has been incredible and given us real insight to the problems and risks involved in working in this environment. The responsibility we are given has meant we have learnt a lot more due to the pressure of re juggling plans when things don’t run smoothly. Thank you so much and I can’t wait to come back one day!”
“Such an incredible 16 days. Every animal I could have dreamed of working to work with. It has been great for both team building and practical skills. I have such amazing memories that I can’t even begin to process yet – the baby rhino was definitely a highlight! I cant put into words how great the friends I’ve made and things we have seen have been and just want to thank you so much for such an incredible opportunity!”
“I had an amazing time, thank you so much! I’ll definitely be recommending this trip – I cannot believe all the amazing opportunities and beautiful animals we worked with and my newfound skills and confidence.”
“I have no words to sufficiently explain how amazing this trip has been. I knew I was going to love it, but that doesn’t cover it. All the staff, rangers, vets and nurses have made it all the more special and I can’t thank everyone enough. The procedures were phenomenal and we were so luck to have so many amazing opportunities with awesome species. Thank you!”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“The course surpassed my expectations for how hands on we got and how much responsibility we were given.”
“Amazing experience, brilliant hands on work. Would love to come again!”
“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.”
“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!”
“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!”
“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!”
“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.”
“The experience I had at Vets Go Wild was better than anything I could have imagined. I would wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone”
“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.”
“This was an unbelievable experience. I hope I have the opportunity in the future to do this type of work again.”
“The most amazing experience and one which will stay with me forever. Truly life changing!”
“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!”
“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.”
“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!”
“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!”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
Unbelievable! Incredible! Wish I could be back there right now. Everybody was so knowledgable and friendly. Made me feel right at home. Thank you!
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!
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.
Vets Go Wild Impact
“Will and the team at Amakhala are a great bunch and made the whole experience very enjoyable. I learnt so much and thoroughly enjoyed the responsibilities we were given and having the opportunity to get to touch such amazing animals!”
“This course was worth every penny and I didn’t stop smiling for 12 days. I would happily return again and again!”
“An amazing course – one I shall never forget. Made some friends for life and learnt so much about your beautiful reserve, conservation, humanity and myself. Thanks so much to everyone involved – you are all incredible!”
“An amazing chance to explore a whole new side of veterinary medicine but beyond that this course changed me for the better, making me look at the world we share more closely and want to shoulder more responsibility. This has been an incredible experience, I didn’t realise how emotional I was going to be. Thank you – I hope we meet again.”
“Amazing experience that will provide lifelong memories, fantastic to work with so many different species in their natural habitat and to learn so much in the process. Everyone is friendly and engaging and made lots of new friends.”
“Amazing experience. Life lessons learnt not just work experience. This place has been a dream and I will treasure the memories, people, animals and scenery forever!”
“Thank you so much to everyone involved in Vets Go Wild Impact course. Our guides were brilliant, interesting and very knowledgeable, the staff were extremely kind and helpful and the vet team were fantastic teachers and supported us through every experience. I have had some of the best days of my life in the last 12 days, and really hope I’ll get to come back someday.”