Volunteer in South Africa – Big Cats Research and Conservation in the Greater Kruger Area
Kruger, South Africa
Back from South Africa, I want to go again. It was such a fun time. The location near the Greater Krueger National Park is amazing. You find yourself surrounded by unbelievable animals and a beautiful landscape. Our main work was the research which basically meant watching the animals and collecting data. We spent most of the time looking for the big predators and the big five. You will also get a chance to learn about the raptors and sometimes count all the animals in a big game count. On those drives you see hundreds of impalas, nyalas, elephants, giraffes and warthogs. But the highlights are, of course, the cats. In my month there I had seen 9 leopards and 10 lions. That was just amazing. You cannot explain how magical those moments were.
The sights are of course the thing I will always remember, but there was something that was even more important, the sense of community. It was a project for the animals, but we always worked with people. For me, that was the biggest surprise, all the great people I met there. The staff members were amazing and they were like the other volunteers just great and we all became such fast friends.
There was also a lot of hands on work. For example, digging sand for a new waterhole or clearing of unnecessary bushes. Another day we were cutting trees near the Reptile Center while the turtles and snakes are watching. We were also involved in some bird projects, were we walked and counted the birds. I was lucky enough to be were we finished an eco village in the community. That was a great experience to work together with all those kids and see how everything is done.
I highly recommend going there and enjoying Africa. – Tim