I just spent 4 weeks in South Africa on gvi's Research Expedition programme, going on game drives almost every day and collecting data on a variety on species for their research. Without wanting to endorse any cliches, I have to admit it changed my life in so many wonderful ways!
Not only did I get to meet an amaying team of drivers, guides and researchers who taught me so many things about conservation, wildlife and the bush as well as their research, but I also met people from all over the world and all ages and backgrounds, united by the common goal to contribute to wildlife conservation in South Africa. I learned much about them, but maybe even more about myself.
The programme itself was just as great, starting off with a training week to prepare us for our research drives in the bush and teach us mammal, bird and reptile identification, tracks & signs as well as how to use the equipment, take care of the vehicles and clean and cook for a house of 20+ people (very useful life skills). The daily research drives were more fun, engaging and fascinating than I could have hoped and we got to see some amazing wildlife from super close up. The staff were always willing to teach and answer questions, expanding our minds, making us think and directing our focus on the small, yet no less remarkable things around us.
There are a thousand memories I would like to share, from stargazing from a safari vehicle in the middle of the bush, being face to face with elephants, lions & cheetah, to the most beautiful sunsets imaginable. I can honestly recommend this programme to anyone interested in wildlife, research or conservation, or anyone who just wants to have a great time in the African bush and meet some great people!
I will certainly never forget my time there and I'm sure it will be the same for you!