After finishing uni and graduating with a zoology degree, I decided to apply for the wildlife conservation internship in Limpopo. Living and working in the bushveld for 6 weeks was one of the most inspiring and unforgettable experiences of my life! It has always been a lifelong goal of mine to work alongside African wildlife and visit the beautiful country that is South Africa so this project was a dream come true!
From the moment I stepped off the plane at Hoedspruit airport, the staff were super helpful, friendly and accommodating. I knew living conditions would be basic and day to day life different from what I was used to, but all worries were immediately put to rest. Life in the bush was fun, educational and eye opening. Every staff member and volunteer that I met were lovely and although we all had come from different backgrounds we all shared a similar passion for wildlife and conservation. I would definitely recommend staying for longer than 2 weeks if you can!
What is particularly great about GVI is that it is so accommodating to volunteers no matter their experience. Useful training is provided during the first week to ensure everyone makes the most of each research drive. No matter your background every person leaves having gained or learnt something new. A typical day will include two research drives, tracking the lion and cheetah and recording data for other species along the way. You will never be short of incredible sightings; from elephants walking right up beside the vehicle to the more elusive leopards in the trees. I was lucky enough to even see a brown hyena!
I highly recommend booking a project with GVI. I learnt a huge amount during my time there and now have an even greater appreciation for wildlife conservation. It has opened up new ideas and opportunities for me and given me confidence in my future career path. I have made the most amazing friends who I still keep in contact with and hold the most special memories. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.