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Conservation Volunteer Testimonials Jan-April 2013

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Kariega Game Reserve Volunteer Testimonials

Find out what the Wildlife Conservation Volunteers had to say about their stay

“I have had four great weeks at Kariega … so many highlights that I don’t know where to begin – lions, elephant herds, baby rhinos, crazy camping, even crazier pizza nights, horseback riding on the beach, Farmerfield school, getting stuck and of course chopping pines.

Thanks to all of you that made my stay here so special, but especially a big thanks to Azel. You are the soul of this volunteer programme. Your energy and love for the animals and nature are amazing!

Kariega, Azel and my new friends have given me so many new and fantastic memories. You will all stay in my heart for a long time and I hope we meet again.”

- Malin Noren, Stockholm, Sweden, Kariega Volunteer 28/01/2013 – 25/02/2013

“What a place to live for two weeks! I was promised on my first day of arriving on Kariega Game Reserve that my short time here would be stuffed, and it really has been. Lots of lion sightings, elephants, rhinos etc. Two super Friday’s – one with the elephant herd (including close up of Big Bull) and one with close up of both black rhinos, roaring lions, grumpy elephants and hippos! Impossible to put it all down to a piece of paper in a few minutes. Thanks to Azel for spending so much time and energy on us – taking us to town, the beach, pizza nights, horseback riding, camping, etc. etc. – and always with incredible enthusiasm … Amazing!

Two weeks has been way too short. I hope to be back sometime and see you all again.”

 - Agseir Damaas Pedersen, Harstad, Norway, Kariega Volunteer 18/02/2013 – 04/03/2013

“I sit here as the sun rises, listening to the sounds of Africa, wondering how I am meant to summarise the last 4 weeks. The accommodation is amazing – with the visits from the lions and elephants. I have been to Africa before but I can honestly say this experience surpassed all expectations. Azel is a star, her enthusiasm, passion and expectations at getting stuck on Mondays (personal joke!) is amazing. The extra hours Azel puts in to make this a truly remarkable experience … and “Fantastic Fridays” rounds off this experience with a bang. To see the hippos displaying aggression, a black rhino on the plains (!!), lions roaring and an elephant trying to stop the truck - so many memories and so many photos to bore my friends at home. A big thank you to Azel for making this trip and cementing Africa in my heart forever.”

- Martha Spikes, Somerset, England, Kariega Volunteeer 04/02/2013 – 04/03/2013

“Amazing experience!! The Kariega volunteer programme is the perfect mix of work and play. It was great to work hard and contribute, but also have time to relax, have fun and enjoy the beautiful surroundings and incredible wildlife. Azel is a great ranger and group leader and her enthusiasm is contagious. Her knowledge and love of Africa is apparent and I learnt a lot while I was at Kariega (I did come in 2nd in our Kariega wildlife quiz .. haha!) My advice to future volunteers … enjoy your time here, push yourself to experience everything and appreciate all the great moments that happen here!! Have fun!” 

- Pam Powell, USA, 01/04/2013 – 15/04/2013

“What an amazing experience, really really special. Azel makes each sighting special. I loved it when the lions came to visit us. Most of the other volunteers in the house were brilliant, especially Val (from Brazil), Svenja (from Germany), Pam (from USA) and Ross from Scotland too.

Enjoy the challenge of cutting down wattle trees – me and Svenja tackled some massive ones … team work is the key to having a great time! I am taking away amazing memories … Thanks Azel.”

- Karen Macdonald, Glasgow, Scotland, 18/03/2013 – 15/04/2013

“I never stayed long enough! I have loved every single experience here – I just wish I could have stayed longer. It has been immense. I’m so tempted to write my entire journal in here, but I know it will take up the entire book so I won’t. I’m going to be clinging to Azel’s ankles tomorrow when I have to leave; “Don’t make me go!” and crying my eyes out. She has made this trip for me. I’ve never met a more lovely person. Azel is the bomb, the boss, the man!! I can’t find more words to say how amazing she made this trip for me. My fellow volunteers were also great. The best way to describe us is one free family. I wish I could spend longer with them and I will definitely be keeping in touch with those that I bonded with most.

As for the experience .. WOW is all I can say. The work wasn’t “work” and plans were never set in stone – like following the lions for an entire morning instead of going on a game count, or finding a black rhino when we were expecting to plant Spekboom! It was all so much fun.

Enjoy your time at Kariega!! You will remember this for the rest of your life. I’m definitely coming back.”

- Ross Mercer, Ecclesmachan, Scotland, 01/04/2013 – 15/04/2013