African Impact

Program Reviews

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Chris
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

From my point of view the whole experience of volunteering at African impact was of the highest possible calibre. The staff and people around the lodge were friendly and helpful, nothing was too much trouble. When it can to the guides who took us out on the drives, there knowledge was superb and there was a good level of really specialist knowledge in lots of very specific areas, there was not a single question I asked, that wasn't answered with great detail. I learnt so much that just cannot be taught by just watching documentaries.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
if i did it all over again, i would do it for longer. for me 2 weeks just wasnt long enough to feel like i did the project justice.
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Brigitte
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Volunteering with African Impact was the best traveling experience I ever had. I have been traveling for years but this was the first time as a volunteer. I always wanted to come to Africa as a photographer. The experience changed me. I had tears leaving the place. From the moment Jack one of our guides picked me up, I felt comfortable with the organization. I did not know what to expect. The full staff at the lodge for African Impact are amazing. Such good people! The kitchen staff are really good cooks. The lodge was always cleaned and ready to repair anything that needed maintenance. The lodge structure is well organized and maintained. I was impressed. The staff was very friendly and amazing. I had a great time with the guides on a daily basis and was impressed by their knowledge of animals. The accommodations were great. The food was great. It was different everyday and well cooked. We even got dessert on some occasions. I visited friends who had private outdoor tents as an accommodation and it was very well organized and set up for the guests. We were lucky to have a nice cleaned pool. I liked the set up as well of the outdoor fire area with logs we could sit on and enjoy the night with a cool drink and sometimes dinner. I liked the fact that we had a cozy area to relax, read and watch movies as well as sit for presentations. The lodge program structure was well organized. We knew exactly where to go and talked to if any issues occurred. The program was busy and well structured for a photography beginner’s course. Even being a professional photographer I enjoyed the program as a refresher and certainly enjoyed the daily safari drives. At night at the lodge we could hear predators calling each other. That was amazing and scary at the same time! I loved this place! I would recommend this program to anyone who loves photography and research. I will return to this program in the near future.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
My most memorable experience from the program was when we encountered leopards twice actually during the month. The first time was when we were driving on a night game drive looking for predators. We found a male calling the female for mating, but unfortunately she never came but hearing the sounds he made was incredible. Such a rare opportunity; to experience in the wild! He was big and beautiful. My favorite animal and one of the reasons I traveled to Africa as a photographer. The second time we were also on a game drive but during the day. We finally saw a female leopard sleeping. This is also a rare opportunity! My heart was beating so fast and I was hoping she would wake up so I could take a good picture of her, as I was not able to get a good one from the night drive. After half an hour she finally woke up and started to stretch before us. My stomach was having butterflies, as I was so happy to get the chance to see a leopard close and in the wild. I finally got the perfect focused shot in the bush of her. I had tears in my eyes!
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Sheila
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Volunteering at African Impact in Tanzania was by far the most rewarding and fulfilling, and hot, experience of my life! I loved every second! I felt that I contributed positively in so many varied ways, and all suggestions were encouraged by staff. I was immersed in the culture and really felt like I was living as a Tanzanian, experiencing such a different way of life than my own, appreciating getting to know the Tanzanian people, their way of life, and their laughter! I came home a better person, with a clearer perspective on what is important in life, feeling like I had accomplished a lifelong goal! I want to go back to continue teaching English and working on gender equality and health education. Thank you for the awesome opportunity!

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Tristan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

We were a bit hesitant, its a pretty big adventure to decide to go as a 17-year old to kind of 'the middle of nowhere' in South Africa. But it was just... just... GREAT. The support from African Impact before even going was quick, personal and just really caring. I felt I was in good hands, and this was confirmed during my 2 weeks there. We got to do different things, got enough autonomy without feeling lost. Learned so much. The person in charge in our project was this super cool lady that taught me every day new things. We want to book another trip for this summer!

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
The organisers took us out camping in Kruger and they offered some kind of weird fried worms. At home I wont even eat a weird vegetable (weird vegetable is any veggies that is not a carrot or a cucumber) but I ate it and yes, I even liked it (enough to have a whole bowl and be the cool dude in the group!)
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Pauline
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

This has been a dream come true volunteering in this wildlife hot spot ! The staff is extremely knowledgable and always available to answer every single question. The lodge is also very cosy with amazing surroundings. We go on drives every day searching for animals and let me tell you, you will find them ! The advantage to be in a smaller reserve and not directly in the kruger park is to be able to go off road, approach the animals closer and avoid majority of the tourists. You can still visit the Kruger park on the weekends as the lodge organise excursions every weekend. Personnaly I have done the Kruger park visit and the kloofing which was amazing for those of you in need of a little adrenaline ! In conclusion it was the best decision of my life and I don’t regret it whatsoever...

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
The best thing about the program is to be able to sleep in tents in the middle of the bush once a week !
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Winki
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Africa was a mysterious place for me before attending to this program, I was worried about numerous things! However, when I first arrived to Dumela lodge(where we live during the program) I felt so surprised and relaxing! This place is beautiful ,people here are super nice and the food is delicious ! It makes me feel likes home after a week, and I am gonna miss it forever..Besides, I learnt a lot from volunteering in this wildlife conservation! I still remember when I first saw the lion in front of our car..and I was holding my breathe and my excitement! Apart from lions, we also met rhinos, cheetahs, elephants .. and impala! There is too much to say about our game drives every day... and I have never thought that I would have made an impact on helping anti-poaching / animals protection organization to get different animals' data. This summer holiday would not be even better without African Impact, and I miss it tons!

What was your funniest moment?
The funniest moment was we (all volunteers, interns and stuffs!) taking the light painting photos! That was my first light painting experience and I had no idea how it works, so I kept moving when they took the photos, and I ruined most of them haha! Finally I tried so hard to keep still and the picture looks awesome!
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Victoria
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

In April 2019, I volunteered with the Girl Empowerment Programme in Zambia.
During the few weeks I was there, we focused on working with girls to teach them about the importance of self-confidence and how to deal with toxic people; teaching the women about methods of earning income independently; and talking to boys about the importance of consent among other areas. It was incredible to see how keen everyone we worked with were to learn, and how grateful they were to us for spending time sharing our experience with them. Working within the community was very rewarding and it was difficult to leave, even after such a short amount of time.
Getting involved with Girl Empowerment was a truly awesome experience; a steep learning curve, an opportunity to meet and support some incredible people, and hopefully a positive impact left on at least a few young Zambians!
Livingstone was an amazing place to spend three weeks and the amazing accommodation and staff made me feel at home as soon as I arrived. I made some great friends in Zambia, many of whom I've seen since being back in the UK. I had a brilliant time and can't wait to go back!

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would go for longer! I only volunteered for 2 weeks and spent 3 weeks in total in Zambia - next time I'd love to volunteer for longer and give myself enough time to visit some other African nations I'm interested in visiting!
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Ruby
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Right from the very start of my time with African Impact I knew I was in a safe and fun environment and immediately felt at home at the lodge. The other volunteers and interns were all so welcoming and we had a lots of laughs throughout the stay!! The food provided by the kitchen staff was always delicious, and I enjoyed every single meal. The guides were very kind and not once did I feel as though I was causing them an inconvenience. They are so knowledgeable and really try to help you get the most out of your stay by teaching you loads invaluable information about the plants and animals in the bush. Obviously you can’t predict nature so game drives can be quite hit and miss, however I was lucky enough to be able to see loads of amazing animals during my 2 week stay. My only regret is that I didn’t stay longer!

What was your funniest moment?
My funniest moment was singing Lion King really loudly on the way to Kruger with some of the other volunteers.
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Sarah
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

It's hard to sum up the two weeks I spent in St Lucia as the whole experience was amazing! So to give it some context, I'm 23 from the UK and have volunteered with African Impact previously in Cape Town, both times I went as a solo traveller.
For anyone worrying about going on their own, don't! You will soon become best friends with the other volunteers and staff members! (Plus it's pretty cool to say you went on your own)

I spent two weeks on the Rural Medical and HIV/AIDS Awareness programme and I absolutely loved it. Sometimes doing the same thing day in and day out can get boring, but every day I seemed to do a different project, or one I hadn't done for a while. From home based care, wound care, clinic transfers, clinic sessions, physiotherapy, nutrition, every single project I loved. Genuinely, there wasn't one that I didn't enjoy.
One of my favourites was the clinic sessions, we helped the doctors and nurses by taking patient's vital signs, something which the doctors and nurses were so appreciative of as it meant that they could see patients quicker.
Another of my favourite sessions was physiotherapy. I worked with a man who at the start of my project couldn't walk, instead he used his crutches to swing himself instead of walk. We gave him exercises to improve his strength. My last ever project was also physio. We returned to the same man and with the aid of someone holding onto his upper arm, he managed to walk from one side of the room to another. He was beaming afterwards and this is a memory I will always cherish.
Not only do you make a difference to other people but I promise they make a difference to you too.
Every single patient we met thanked us for everything we did. One day we provided home assistance to a blind couple. We scrubbed, we cleaned, we tidied and at the end of the morning project, we had given the house a real spring clean. We guided the couple around the house and let them feel where everything was. They could not thank us enough for the help as something so simple meant the world to them.
Outside of project the volunteer house is awesome! I can't recommend enough going to the balcony that over looks the estuary and watching the sunset. St Lucia itself is beautiful, there are plenty of restaurants where the food is good and also cheap! Its a very calm and chilled out town. Its harm to sum up my trip but all I can say to anyone thinking about going is to do it, you won't regret it and you'll leave with life-long memories.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Be open-minded. The communities that you work with live a very different life, it can be hard to see the poverty that these people live in but it just makes everything that you do feel so much more worthwhile.
Also if you're gluten intolerant, I'd say bring some gluten-free basics, like pasta, snack bars etc.
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Jennifer
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I can’t say enough good things about my volunteer experience with African Impact Greater Kruger Big 5 program. It’s always been a dream of mine to research and make an impact in wildlife conservation. I loved all aspects of my experience from learning about wild animals social and feeding behaviors on game drives to helping in the community on projects that benefit people’s lives. Every day was a new adventure seeing elephants, lions, leopards, giraffes, and hyenas in the wild. Camping overnight in the bush under a million stars with the milky way and southern cross visible was another highlight. Lodge life was wonderful. I made friends with people from all over the world, ate great meals, enjoyed quiet time by the pool and loved being able to take walks along the walking path around the property. It was hard to leave this remarkable experience and I hope to return. I highly recommend African Impact.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
We were observing an elephant on the side of the road then he walked directly toward our open-air vehicle. I'm usually brave, but I wasn't sure what the elephant was going to do and was starting to feel nervous as he kept coming. He came right towards us then walked around the car to get to the other side of the road. He then continued to eat on the the other side of the road.