Research, tracking and fun

Impact: 10
Support: 10
Fun: 10
Value: 10
Safety: 10

I had never been to South Africa before but I spent six months over there, spending 4 weeks at GVI Karongwe. I did this straight out of high school as a lone travelling female with a love for wildlife. I had heard a lot of tales of some companies being misleading in their contributions to wildlife so I didn’t really know what to expect before I arrived but it was better than I could have ever imagined. I saw so many amazing animals and had the opportunity to experience many of them up close. I also met so many incredible and interesting people from all over the world which helped make the whole experience even better and I’ve remained in contact with several of them! The GVI staff were so helpful in the months leading up to the trip and were so kind and lovely too when I was there it was one of the easiest and well organised programs I spent my time with.

Every day we went on game drives and collected data on a variety of species for their research.I have to say it changed my life in so many ways and actually guided me on my path to the career I am pursuing now.
The team was made up of incredibly skilled drivers, guides and researchers who taught me so many things about conservation, wildlife and the bush as well as 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 which was incredibly refreshing!

The first week was pretty busy with 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 but I’m so glad they did that! It makes a world of difference to anyone who has nerves about being new to the South African wilderness.

I would recommend to any traveler looking to visit an unknown country to do it through the GVI programs, it’s an incredible way to learn and contribute to the community/wildlife in a hands-on way. I can’t recommend it enough, it’s put me on the path of wildlife research for the rest of my life!

Would you recommend this program?
Yes, I would
Year Completed