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Conservation Volunteer Testimonials August 2013


Kariega Game Reserve Volunteer Testimonials

Find out what the Wildlife Conservation Volunteers had to say about their time spent at Kariega

“Having stayed at Kariega Game Reserve for 6 weeks, I now consider this place my home. I take away with me a deeper knowledge of conservation issues as well as environmental adaptations relating to animals and plants. Every moment I will cherish; capturing lion, having elephant walk around the garden fence (and within touching distance past the Cruiser!) and crazy pizza nights with the rest of the gang. Everybody I have met in SA has been so friendly, helpful and open. Having been a part of Thandi’s operations (skin graft), and also the de-horning procedure of another white rhino was amazing. I am going to put together a presentation for my college class to highlight the issues surrounding rhino poaching. Thanks to everyone at Kariega … you certainly won’t be forgotten!”

  - Phoebe Cole, Lowestoft, Suffolk, UK, 08/07/2013 – 19/08/2013

“This was my first trip to South Africa and I have had a great time on Kariega Game Reserve. We have seen so much and so much up close as well. I didn’t know what to expect but everything has been brilliant and I don’t feel I have missed out on anything. I have really enjoyed getting an insight into what goes into the management of a reserve. My top highlights would be the night drive with the lions and canoeing with elephants … all very surreal! Best working activity was chopping down the pines. Azel is a great ranger and I have learnt so much from her. I’ve also had a really fun time with everyone else in the volunteer house.”

 - Katy Goddard, UK, 12/08/2013 – 26/08/2013

“I want to thank the Kariega team for providing such an amazing adventure here. It was more than I expected and I will remember these two weeks forever. There were so many amazing sightings and I will always remember the night drive with the lions. The amount of time we spent with the elephants was fantastic and it was such a surprise that they were so relaxed. I will send you some pictures to your facebook page and will recommend you to anyone I know who would love to have this type of experience. I wish everyone at Kariega Game Reserve well and for continuing success here.”

- Susan Jackson, UK, 12/08/2013 – 26/08/2013

“This was my second trip to SA working on a reserve. The first time was amazing which is why I chose to come back but these last two weeks have topped my first experience by far and that’s thanks to Kariega. My experience here has been AMAZING and I have thoroughly enjoyed every moment here. I will never forget our time with the elephants and lions and the experience that came with it. Thanks again to everyone at Kariega for my time here and thanks to all the other volunteers for making my experience brilliant. I’m sure this won’t be last time in SA!”

  - Becky Derwent, UK, 12/08/2013 – 26/08/2013

“Like a couple of the other who came here with me, I had visited South Africa before on a similar conservation placement at a different reserve in the Eastern Cape, so of course I thought I knew what to expect. How wrong was I?! Kariega has surpassed ALL of my expectations and I can honestly say that these two weeks have been the best two weeks of my life! Why? Simply for three main reasons:

  1. Kariega’s awesome wildlife
  2. The people that I have lived and worked with
  3. Our coordinator, Azel

My top memories of my trip are:

  • Being surrounded by the entire elephant herd and coming within an inch (literally) of two young bulls
  • Seeing not one, but THREE hippos out of the water during the day on different game drives
  • Canoeing the Kariega river and having an awesome sighting of elephants (surreal but incredible!)
  • An amazing night drive on which we saw caracal, jackal and then followed the lion pride hunting for a number of hours
  • Seeing Black Rhino on our last game drive before camping in style on Harvestvale at Flycamp.
  • Diving with Great White Sharks at Mossel Bay.
  • Ziplining over the Tsitsikamma waterfalls
  • Bungee jumping off the Bloukrans bridge
  • Skydiving in Grahamstown

I would implore each and every person visiting Kariega to make the effort the experience some of the country’s incredible cultures and scenery. This trip has sealed in my mind my decision to come back and train for my field guide qualification and follow my childhood dream of working in wildlife conservation in Africa. Your experience here at Kariega will be what you make it – work hard and play hard and you will be rewarded with lifelong memories. Thank you to all whom I met and worked and lived with for these past two weeks. Goodbye Kariega … you will be sorely missed and fondly remembered forever!”

  - Jake Dove, UK, 12/08/2013 – 26/08/2013