I have absolutely loved my experience in South Africa volunteering on the Endangered Wildlife Monitoring and Research project, a I am sad that I have to leave tomorrow. By the time I leave I would have spent 6 weeks in South Africa, so I have been lucky enough to have experienced all 3 of the reserves that take volunteers.
My first reserve was Imfolozi, where I saw my first wild elephant before we had even been through the gate! We also saw alot of cheetahs which was very special. The camp itself was lovely, and I especially loved the Rick where you could see all sorts of animals including elephants and rhinos. However, my highlight of my experience at Imfolozi was seeing wild giraffes for the first time, and I couldn't stop smiling all day!
My second reserve was Manyoni, and on the first day we saw an impressive male lion lying mere inches away from the car! What I loved about Manyoni was the fact that the animals had never had a bad experience with a car, so you got super close sightings. My favourite place in Manyoni was the Fever Tree Forest, because it felt magical and was alive with all sorts of incredible sounds, and the trees there were breathtaking! I also loved the camp itself, with it being a spacious farmhouse that boasts a beautiful garden and a lovely terrace.
My third and final reserve was Hluhluwe which had stunning scenery with its rolling hills and glistening rivers. Seeing animals there was a challenge, but that made it very special when you saw them. The camp was nice, and I liked the fact that the bedrooms had a wardrobe and desk. I can't choose 1 highlight, so I'll tell you my 2 highlights, the first one was seeing a leopard twice, and my second one was seeing the pack of 11 wild dogs.
The staff and volunteers alike have been extremely friendly and I felt like I was part of a family. I would definitely recommend volunteering on this project, because you can make a positive impact on the world and contribute to the conservation of South Africa's animals. I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone involved, and I can't wait to be back! :)