Travellers Worldwide

Program Reviews

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Dini
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My experiences on the Multi Marine Conservation Project in Cape Town, Street Kids Project in Knysna, plus the 7-Day Safari Tour

I embarked on this journey in revolt to my recently turning 40. As a business owner, wife and mother of two teenage boys, a month long journey to Africa seemed like something far reaching and beyond my reality. My vacation experiences prior to this were always family oriented and/or resort style, including room service, umbrella drinks, amusement parks, cruise ships, and guided tours. I wanted to see and do as much as I could and experience as much of South Africa as possible but with family and work obligations, time was an issue.

My journey with Travellers Worldwide gave me the opportunity to see and do all of the things a vacationing tourist would do, while the volunteering gave me the chance to meet many local people, and get to know so more about the culture and the people of SA. I was able to see and do more than I ever imagined possible in one month.

From my very first inquiring email to Travellers, all my questions and concerns were answered with the efficiency and accuracy of a world-class travel agency. I was put in touch with people who worked on the projects I was interested in and other volunteers as well.

My accommodations and work experiences were exactly as described and better than I'd expected. The project managers went above and beyond to ensure the volunteers had everything needed and wanted. Many of my traveling companions were recent high school graduates and, as a mother, I couldn't have imagined sending my 18 year old son on a trip like this before seeing it for myself. Now without a doubt I will be planning a volunteer experience with Travellers for both of my sons after their graduations.

All in all this was the most wonderful, fulfilling, and incredible, month of my life! Before this journey, like many people my age, I was stuck in my regular every day rut of work and routine. But after a month of diving with Great White sharks, working with orphans and street kids, animal safaris, zip-lining through jungles, and sky-diving, I have returned fully invigorated and with a new lease on life! I made friends from all over the world that I’m sure I will stay in touch with for years to come. Travellers is an amazing organization that offers life changing experiences to people of all ages, I will highly recommend it to everyone, and I will be planning another volunteer experience for myself as well as for my sons. Thank you so so much for the experience of a life time!

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Stephanie
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

This was a wonderful life changing experience! The staff were very accommodating, friendly and made the experience a pleasure. We would spend the day on lion walks in the beautiful African bush, learning about lion conservation, caring for them, assisting with feeding, cleaning enclosures, playing with the lions, etc. On certain days we would work within the community and visit the local schools and assist with teaching conservation. On other days we would go to the local orphanage, bring food and play with the children. The staff planned local events such as a ride on an ellie! We had to first clean out their enclosures, but it was all worth it. One day I went on a day safari to Botswana and viewed the amazing wildlife. Another time I took an overnight trip to a local game reserve did a private safari. Victoria Falls is another jaw dropping site, the beauty of the falls is difficult to describe in words. It is awesome is it to wake up everyday in a beautiful place surrounded by wildlife that can only be experienced in Africa. When I was there we stayed in a local camp ground because they were renovating the on site housing. The camp ground facilities were not grand, but sufficient and comfortable. If you are afraid of bugs, you may need to adjust. The baboons can be a bit aggressive, they may try to take food and belongings from you, but they can be shooed away! It is all part of the experience. I enjoyed every part of my trip and the other volunteers I met were such wonderful people. I have made friends from all over the world. I will be going back!

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JenofBorneo
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The best part of the experience was the variety of jobs to be done, learnings, adventures and close encounters with wildlife.
The only bad experience I had was with a fellow volunteer who was difficult to deal with and there was very little assistance available.

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Sarah
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My experiences on this project are ones that I hold dear to my heart 3 years on and probably will forever. I not only made friends for life but fell in love with nature all over again and can truely say my, appreciation for life the things i deem to be important has changed for good. I arrived and in three months grew up learnt alot from volunteer and locals and left a changed woman. My experiences with the Orangs were far more intense than I ever imagined, I found a maternal side to me that I had never experienced, I fell in love with them and their environment which has driven me to continue fund raising and involving myself in environmental groups since.

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Me111
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

It's hard to imagine a place on earth which more accurately embodies the idea of an untouched, unexplored, natural rainforest than the area of the Manu Biosphere. If you are looking for a new experience, a fresh perspective of reality, or just a chance to step back, this trip is the one for you. The program does a good job of giving volunteers a wide array of projects to work on, from animal research to building bio-gardens for local families. Days tend to be long but interesting, and the food and general facilities are amazing. There are many opportunities to see local flora and fauna (I saw wooly monkeys on my first day), and you really get a feel for what the area has to offer. Consider carefully if you are squeamish or easily grossed out, there are a good deal of bugs (I stepped on my fair share of cockroaches on my way to the bathroom at night), although this could be just the thing you need to get over your fear of ants. However, I did feel like it was more of a vacation and less of a service project. Additionally, the program is fairly pricy for such a short period of time.

Overall I was pleased with the program because it gave me a chance to see an amazing part of South America, however if you're looking for a hardcore service project or don't have a lot of cash to throw away you may want to reconsider.

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KatieMarie
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

When I arrived in Ghana my anticipation and expectations were high. I was running on adrenaline that whole first day. I was picked up by the wonderful program coordinator, Aloysis, shown around a bit, then taken to my host family. Lizzie, my host mom, was absolutely wonderful. She treated me like one of her own kids; but the end of the first day I did not know that. When I went to my room for the night, it all hit me. The fact I was alone, the only white person for miles, and the fact I was in another country with customs far from my own. The first few days were tough. The culture shock was overwhelming and I felt entirely alone. I didn’t know if I could make it. Lizzie, Eunice, and the kids at Uniqueen academy soon changed my mind. Like I said above, Lizzie took care of my as well as one of her own. She worried when I left Kwabenya for church or to meet up with a friend, and had a huge smile on her face whenever I returned. The adorable kids at the school loved me unconditionally and the school’s owner, Eunice taught me what it means to be truly happy no matter what your circumstances.

Each day I would wake up, shower (although the water was cold, I became used to it), and head off to the school. I became familiar with the Ghanaian transportation system and was soon able to navigate myself all around the greater Accra area.

What I did at the school was probably my biggest disappointment and frustration of the trip. I had hoped to be teaching, and teaching the way I grew up with in America. Instead I was mostly correcting student’s work. I would randomly teach a lesson but it was far from the kind of teaching I knew how to do, and this was before I had graduated with an educator’s degree so I was unsure on how to make our two educational philosophies mesh together. Looking back I would have done many things differently, taught more lessons, and engaged the children more. I also wish I could have somehow taught the teachers about my personal education, discipline, and management philosophies.

Another difficult thing was the food and my lack of love for it. I found the only thing I really enjoyed was fried chicken, rice, and stew. The other Ghanaian dishes just did not sit well with me, so each one of my meals was the same. That is, until I discovered Indomie, a noodle dish sold at most stores around where I lived. I wish someone would have told me, though, to bring non perishable food , such as granola bars and crackers, so I could eat something at night when my stomach was still rumbling.
The local community was very welcoming, and even sometimes a little too welcoming. The men of the town would call out to me as I walked by and many would even propose. It was funny at first and I did not feel threatened, but then it got to be annoying and I felt like they were not understanding my wished for me to just be left alone. Some men, even when I said no to them, would continue to try to talk with me and get me to spend time with them. I did not want to and sometimes it left me feeling uncomfortable. There was only one time when I truly felt unsafe and that was because I had stayed in Accra too late and was coming home by myself way after dark. Luckily nothing happened to me, but I had my pepper spray out just in case.

I did not know any of the other volunteers, and I wish I would have. I was far away from them and never had a chance to get together with them. Luckily I was able to find my own church and from there made friends. If a future volunteer, though, does not habe that option there is a possibility of them being somewhat isolated from other volunteers. I would suggest that they make sure to tell their program coordinator that they would like to a chance to meet and spend time with the other volunteers that live in Accra.

Overall, I would recommend this program to a friend, but I would definitely tell them all of my suggestions to make the experience better and more meaningful. This experience changed my life for the better, and I would never tell someone otherwise.

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Archie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Knysna, South Africa is where I spent my time teaching English in the townships. Across all levels, there is a strong dichotomy of experiences to be had, which provides for an overall worthy experience. The town itself is wonderful, easily accessible and friendly, with lots of shops and places to go out and entertain yourself. The townships, unfortunately, are the opposite, though not by choice. There is little infrastructure and poverty is rampant. This dynamic is commonly represented across South Africa. The people of the townships however, are inspiring. Teaching the children who, despite their living circumstances, show up everyday to school dressed in uniform and brimming with enthusiasm and curiosity was heartwarming and the mark they leave upon you is genuine and touching. While those economic circumstances can also promote crime, it underlines the necessity and compulsion to help those who desire a better life and community. Knysna to this day remains one of the most meaningful experiences of my life, and I would implore anyone seeking to enrich their lives to go there or anywhere else in South Africa.

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Lydia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I had a fantastic time. I was extremely impressed by how hard the team work and I felt very much supported on a daily basis. I felt I got a great glimpse of Indian life with my host family and after my placement, when I went travelling, the team and family regularly contacted me to catch up, hear about my travels and to put me in touch with their friends and family members to meet around India. I wouldn't change a thing. I hope to go back as soon as I can!

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Anna
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I went to Zambia when I was 18, just 9 months after completing A-levels. It was the best experience I have ever had and such an eye opener at the beginning of my independance. From the moment I arrived at the airport I was very well looked after. Watching the last bag go around the conveyor belt and realising mine wasnt going to arrive I was worried, but when I found the person who was going to look after everything he assured me it would come on the next flight and took me to my hostel. Later he brought me my bag, and from that moment onwards he was an absolute star. Always made us feel welcome and safe and bought us water daily to our hostel. There were 6 of us volunteers at various schools and we each had our own driver. The school I taught at which was called Queen Victoria looked after me very well and I thouroughly enjoyed every single day. The chrildren were so eager to learn and listen to what I had to say. I wasnt pushed into the deep end, I started off assisting the teacher. The people I met along the way were amazing. One weekend we did a safari trip to Botswana where we had a couple of cruises and a river cruise with amazing food in between, we stayed in luxury tents miles from a main road, where a man made water hole was so we could watch all the wildlife. In the evening a huge elegant elephant came from the bushes and it was the most amazing thing to be a part of, we were also lucky to see the amazing sky and gaze at the milky way.

As we were so close to the Victoria Falls, our schools wrote letters for us to say we were residents and volunteering, so we got the local rate which meant we went there more times than i could count! On the evening of the full moon we were extremely lucky to see, not only rainbow caused from the moonlight over the falls but also a shooting star going over - things you'd think you'd only see in films!

Every day we would finish school at around 1ish (unless we stayed to do sport with them) then we'd come back to the hostel to have pancakes and then visit the orphanage. The kids here were amazing, so happy and excited to see us. We played football with them, drew many funny pictures and played numerous games - of which the loved the party game with balloons where your in a line, one behind the other, and you have teams and have to get the balloon over the head then under the legs of the next person and so on. They we such delightful children and it was always a pleasure to see their happy faces.

I wouldn't change my experience for the world.

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DesiLynn
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My experience abroad was like no other. It was one of the most influential things I have done in my life.
The children in the school, the culture, the atmosphere is something I will never forget. Students from the school colored me pictures, wrote me notes, and I even bought a little pre-school girl a uniform because she didn't have one and she "stole my heart" so to speak.

Every day I would wake up to my "host sisters" getting ready for school then I started my walk to Shikimana school for a day of helping in the kitchen, and teaching any classes from Mathematics, History, to P.E. which was always exciting. Then after school was over I would head back to the host family house for dinner and learn how to cook authentic Kenyan food.

The highlights of my trip were the appreciative hearts of the people. They were so kind and thankful for the help us volunteers provided. They truly don't have much but they give their all in every situation and are very hard workers. I learned so much while overseas and I would recommend everyone trying this once in their lifetime. The feeling you leave with, sticks with you forever.

Travellers Worldwide were very available when needed. A great company to work with. The only difficulty I encountered was a bit of complication with the host "dad" who was working with Travellers. I did notify travellers because they were unaware, so it was nothing on their end. OH and it was nothing major just unclear of what my job duties would be at the school.

Overall, I wish it upon EVERYONE to go get this experience!