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Conservation Volunteer Testimonials June - July 2013

Jone Haesslich
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Kariega Game Reserve Volunteer Testimonials

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

“The only way to describe the last 4 weeks is AWESOME. After spotting a black rhino within half an hour of our first game drive, I knew I was going to have an amazing experience on Kariega Game Reserve. Every day was so different and that’s what I loved most about this programme. Being there to watch the release of a white rhino bull was incredible. The highlight of my stay has got to be the animal captures, as I never thought I’d get to be involved with darting an elephant, lions and rhino!
Teaching at Farmerfield school was good fun and I was sad to say goodbye to the kids. Weekends were always fun – horse riding on the beach, canoeing down the driver and skydiving were my favourites. I also have to mention that the people I met at Kariega Game Reserve were amazing. I will never forget my time at Kariega and I’m sure I will be back!”

- Tabitha Howe, Sheffield, England, 20/05/2013 – 15/06/2013

“Where do I start? From my first day on Kariega Game Reserve I have been amazed at what each new day brings! My sighting of a white rhino on our way to our house in the bush within my first hour at Kariega was just the start of an amazing 4 weeks. Being involved in numerous game captures on the reserve was awesome experiences that I will never forget! Meeting a female white rhino named Thandi after reading about her online and seeing her on TV was so surreal. I never thought I would get so close to wild animals, let alone getting my picture taken touching them. I will never forget my experiences here at Kariega Game Reserve. A really big thank you has to go to my fellow volunteers over the last few weeks, all who have made my stay here really welcoming and fun. Thank you Kariega! I will def recommend this program to everyone.

 - Kimberley O’Neill, Edinbourgh, Scotland, 27/05/2013 – 24/06/2013

“At my 4 weeks stay at Kariega Game Reserve all y expectations were more than fulfilled. No day is like another. Every time you see an animal it is different, unique and special. I still cannot believe that I had the opportunity to join lion, elephant and rhino captures. I took part in two unique night drives, both of them were absolutely mind blowing. Camping in the bush was also an experience I won’t forget. Thank you Azel for the lovely pizza nights, boma night and the unforgettable ranger braai – best time ever! Also part of my best memories will be canoeing on the reserve and horse riding on a beautiful beach. I could just go on and on … I had a sensational time and met so many lovely people. It still feels like this was all just a dream – too good to be true. I will miss this place!

- Gesine Krug, Cologne, Germany, 27/05/2013 – 24/06/2013

“The past four weeks on Kariega Game Reserve have been really incredible. The wildlife sightings and the things that I’ve been able to participate in have been more than I had hoped for. From night drives to camping in the bush to close encounters with a black rhino … the past few weeks have been full of amazing experiences. I was really lucky to be a part of six different captures while I was here. The lion captures were some of the most exciting and I definitely enjoyed seeing the vet wake up a lion by poking her with a stick. I felt honored to be involved in the rhino captures and to treat Thandi. I learned so much about wildlife and conservation while I was here, especially rhino poaching and the measures being taken to prevent it. I also learned a lot about Africa and met great people. I will miss Kariega and the animals – I am so glad I came here. This experience was unforgettable!”

 - Kim Rigano, Maine, U.S, 03/06/2013 – 01/07/2013

“There is going to be no way of writing down what an incredible experience I have had at Kariega Game Reserve. My very first day consisted of two lion captures, with a wildlife vet darting from our vehicle. We then went on to do a rhino capture, Thandi times two, and two more lion captures – more than I would have ever dreamt of when I came out here. Getting involved with Thandi, the rhino, and witnessing her plastic surgery will remain as a bitter-sweet unforgettable memory. The people I have met here have been incredible. There are so many things that I will take away from Kariega … the knowledge and understanding of the massive poaching issues engulfing South Africa, the appreciation and being in the bush and lastly the respect for all those working to conserve the bush and in particular the rhino. I love this place and hope to one day return. Thank you all for making an unforgettable memory”

 - Lottie Simonson, Somerset, UK, 16/05/2013 – 29/07/2013

“Where to start. This has been the best experience of my life. I love Kariega Game Reserve – it’s full of life, energy and peace. It’s the most beautiful place I’ve ever been to, with breathtaking views and amazing animals. I go back home with memories and moments that I’ll never forget. Some of these moments are: capturing lions, being really close to elephants and seeing a new born calf, playing with the kids at the school, partying in the bush and a lot of crazy nights and conversations with all the friends I made on Kariega. I am so sad to leave here but also very happy because I learned a lot of things and Kariega has inspired me to keep moving and fighting to preserve our beautiful planet. I’ll never forget my time here.”

 - Ignacio Auger, Madrid, Spain, 08/07/2013 – 05/08/2013