South Africa: Crèche (Nursery) and Game Park

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About

Come and join us on one of our South Africa programs and experience the wonders that this country has to offer. Volunteers will spend one week working at a crèche for local children and another week working to protect endangered animals on a game reserve.
At the crèche, you will work to improve facilities and resources for the children and their carers; teach English, play games and help with the children’s daily lessons. Previous volunteers have built jungle gyms, clean water facilities, play areas and classrooms for over 180 children. You will be a part of the on-going quest to build and provide safe and secure learning environments for the children of rural South Africa.
During your second week in South Africa, you will be living on a Zululand Game Reserve. Here you will be tracking and monitoring amazing wild animals such as cheetahs, leopards and white rhinos and have a day dedicated to the “Big 5”. Experience working on the front line of conservation and make a real difference!

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Questions & Answers

Students can purchase a phone to have while on the program or alternatively they can organize a Skype account before departure to enable telephone calls when Internet access is available. An emergency contact number for the Program Leader and the accommodation are also provided to participants before departure. Some locations have good internet and some don't (the island and game parks typically...

Reviews

100%
based on 8 reviews
  • Impact 9.6
  • Support 9.9
  • Fun 8.1
  • Value 9.6
  • Safety 9.6
Showing 1 - 8 of 8
Marco
10/10

Best Experience Ever!

Every part of the trip was something that was on my bucket list, and for me to check off a whole lot of points says it all. Between going on trail walks through the game reserve, completing the foundation of a schoolhouse, and riding horseback through the wetlands I experienced all my life dreams in two weeks! I do not regret any decision or moment!
One story that makes me laugh is one night on the game park when my tent mate had to go to the restroom but I was too tired to walk all the way to there so I told her to go at the back of the tent. Two seconds after she went to the back of the tent, she runs back in telling me to turn my flashlight on. As I turn on my flashlight, we hear ruffling through the tall grass behind the tent. I start to feel a rush running through my body, it made me realize how close to nature we actually were. I was so tired that night, that I told her to go to sleep and forget this ever happened. But it was a cool experience.

How can this program be improved?
More communication prior to departure. There were times before I had that I was doubting the organization because I hardly received any emails or any contact at all. Sometimes I thought that I'll just show up at the airport and hope someone was their.
Make the forums easier to communicate on between your group members. Maybe find a way to get everyone in the group to e-introduce themselves by telling a little bit about each other so it feels like we already know people when we get there.
The elephant interaction should be included in the price, not extra. Its one of the big five and big reason why people are engaged to go.
Yes, I recommend this program
Aaron
10/10

An Incredible Experience

It was my first time traveling to another country on my own, I was nervous at first but meeting other volunteers from around the world made me felt less nervous. At the end, we became really close with each other. It was an experience I will never forget, volunteering at an orphanage, going on game reserves while I learned many new interesting things, feeding and petting elephants, riding horses and the best part was doing all of these things with great friends I've met during this trip. I will definitely do this again, again and again!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Seema
10/10

Life changing experience

You live everyday as it comes which is a a great way to live in general. You work hard but also get to socialise and be a normal tourist. You meet amazing people and make life long friends. I still always think about all my friends that I made and the experiences we shared. You get to learn valuable lessons which can be a very personal and moving experience. All in all it's a massive learning experience that you will value for the rest of your life.

How can this program be improved?
The program should run for longer. 2 weeks isn't enough!
Yes, I recommend this program
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Jaime
10/10

A LIFE CHANGING EXPERIENCE.

I do not even know how to describe my volunteering experience in St Lucia, South Africa as its hard to put into words how life changing it really was, working for the first week in the creche truly took my breathe away, helping these children with nothing brought tears to my eyes everyday, they were so happy and full of love and just appreciated having us there to help them, they were actually on school holidays when we arrived but yet everyday they were there to greet us with smiles on their beautiful faces ready for a day with us, the smallest gestures like food and water was enough to bring you to tears and i can speak for the whole team when i say if we could have brought everyone of them home with us we would have. We successfully built concrete slab for future purposes along with weeding the vegetable patches, digging up the ground from scratch and mixing all our concrete by hand in wheelbarrows, it was really strenuous work but seeing the kids everyday made it more then worth it, saying goodbye at the end of our week was one of the most emotional moments of my life but knowing that i helped made it easier, i miss their faces more everyday and I know that those children will always have a special place in my memory and heart.

The second half of the trip was spend at the Thanda Game Reserve helping raise awareness for the endangered animals such as the wild dogs and cheetahs, we would track them everyday by foot and car as well as learning about preserving our nature and how it will affect us if we don't, the most important part about this for me was the Rhino poaching where more then 700 were killed last year for their horn alone, we learnt about the effect its having on the species with less then 2000 left in South Africa alone, its heart breaking to see such beautiful animals and natural habitats being destroyed for nothing, the information I learnt while at Thanda will definitely be something I will never forget.

One of the best parts of the program was my amazing team, a group of girls that all came to South Africa with no expectations and for different reasons but mostly to help out the less fortunate, this experience ended up being so much more then we every could have imagined, we made some friends that will last for a lifetime, these girls helped me change my views on life and appreciate that there is so much more to the world then a superficial life style and i feel that my life is a alot happier since i had this experience with you.

Finally My team leader Ben Fox, I cannot believe that you have the privileged of working and living the way you do, it has made me completely reconsider my career path and i value everything you taught us more then I can ever express to you, i couldn't have asked for a better person to lead our experience, what you do everyday has truly inspired me to be a better person and im so thankful that i met you.

How can this program be improved?
the only thing I feel could be changed about our program is very minor.. The quality of some of our accommodation was too nice I felt the money could have been spent better on supplies for the children and animals, other then that I could rate the program any higher.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Chelestina
10/10

Life Changing

From walking up at 4 am to track endangered animals too building the children a place to learn and see the smiles on their faces, this was the best experience of my life. I felt extremely safe at all times and the staff that we worked with were comforting and great people to be around. I encourage any person who has the opportunity to go and take part in this life changing experience. You will be bettering your life and someone else's.

How can this program be improved?
If I had to change anything about the program I would probably increase the length of the trip. For the amount of money that we paid and all the amazing things to do it should have been a little longer.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Brit
10/10

AMAZING EXPERIENCE!

Cannot even begin to explain how incredible this program is! So much so that I will be doing it again at the end of this year!

Every morning I woke up with anticipation and purpose and every night I went to bed feeling satisfied and happy!

The first week with the kids was the highlight as we built a concrete slab by hand that will be used to build another creche so that kids who live further away do not have to walk as far. Yes, it was hard work but it doesn't matter at all because you know that you are helping these kids who have close to nothing. Not only did the volunteers mix the concrete but the kids (about 5-6 years old) were always willing to lend a helping hand. We fed the children everyday and watched as they were over the moon about a bowl of soup and a piece of bread. The older kids also chose to share their meal with the younger children even though they had nothing themselves. These people are beyond amazing! They danced and sang for us and we played games with them and taught them English so as they grow up they have a better chance of getting a job!! :)

The second week involved animals. We had to find the endangered animals and make sure that they ate, slept and were not injured everyday! We also got taught about rhino poaching which hit all of us badly. We have come home with so much knowledge and passion to fix this problem and we are thankful to this program for educating us in this horrible matter.

Lastly, the friends I made on this program are friends I will have for a lifetime. This program brings together people with common interests and team work is most important! My team leader Ben was absolutely amazing! Someone who dedicates his life to the children and animals of Africa! I look up to him!

I really do think everyone should do this program! It changes your view on the world and helps children and animals so much!

How can this program be improved?
Perhaps staying in not as nice accommodation so that we can completely immerse ourselves into what it is like for the people we are helping :)
But other than that I would not change a thing, this program changed my life so much for the better!!!!
Yes, I recommend this program
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Carter
10/10

Amazing

The team leader Ben was amazing, he was so friendly and listened to any issues you had. He packed the trip with great evening activities.

The best moment of the Game Park was seeing both, South and North prides within a matter of hours. The Bonfires in the evenings were a lot of fun and completed the experience.

The Creche was an amazing experience, seeing progress in what we were doing. the evening activites were alot of fun. The best was the meal with the hotel owners, due to issues with our rooms they took us out for an amazing meal which was unnecessary but great fun.

Overall it was the best experience I have had so far in my Life and I would not change a second of it.

How can this program be improved?
The cost of the program, and would be nice if it was slightly longer.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Isabelle
10/10

Unforgettable

The experience was amazing, the kids are so lovely and the team leader made conversing so easy. I enjoyed every second of this adventure with nine other enthusiastic volunteers, whether it was digging, weeding, and even mixing cement. Every action is so fulfilling and though they don't have much the villagers are grateful for any small input. The hardest thing was leaving the creche. I wouldn't change one second of this experience, every moment is a moment I treasure. One piece of advice is to take a camera! Luckily i did and now i can relive all my happy moments.

How can this program be improved?
A better supply of water to the game park facilities. Other than that it was fantastic!
Yes, I recommend this program

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