I'll say this right off the bat - what you will see and experience in South Africa will be unlike anything you've ever seen. The cost for this program, just to witness the incredible majesty and life of the bush, is worth it alone. If you're looking for adventure, if you're looking for true exploration that goes past trite tourism and surface level traveling, you've found your place. Contributing to research was such a simple addition to the trip, yet made all the difference - never once did I doubt that I was genuinely helping a cause. We did a spot of anti-poaching that further cemented that belief, and at that moment I knew the volunteering was concrete. I can't say any more than the staff of African Impact - guides, house staff, project managers - being absolutely perfect and hugely a reason why I look back on the adventure so fondly. It's hard not to love South Africa. It's a country of the world, offering so much; the Rainbow Nation is too apt of a name. Bring a camera.
How can this program be improved?
I would like to see more community outreach. I'd be more than okay exchanging a few game drives for opportunities to engage in the community. I know it's a bush oriented experience, but we're so close to the community that it felt slightly disappointing. I'd also encourage sending photography volunteers out with research volunteers - it would be much more helpful to the research, and help consolidate the database for wildlife pics. That pairing would also tie both sectors of work together greatly, and allow for even greater contributions to research.
Would you recommend this program?
Yes, I would