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Conservation Volunteer Testimonials Nov-Dec 2011

Jone Haesslich
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Kariega Game Reserve Conservation Volunteer Testimonials Nov-Dec 2011 

What's not to love about this special, unique volunteer vacation? I was lucky to have perfect sunny days for most of my brief stay, which were made even more so by game drives, game counts, lessons in local ecology, open air rides, and sights, sounds and smells to feast on for days!! Justine, Kariega's volunteer coordinator is simply fantastic. A great combination of patient, friendly, encouraging, and steely-cool confident as guide, driver and host. I called her "G.I. Justine", after watching her navigate endless rocky steep trails, swatting spider webs while shifting and forging new paths way way way off the beaten track! I felt totally safe and relaxed with her at the wheel. Loved and appreciated the dinner at the lodge and lunch with Helena and Andrew - so kind. And was thrilled to see lions not once, but 3 times! I learned how lame I am with a saw, and rusty climbing trees ... but just trying to help felt good. My highlights also included releasing a baby rhino onto the reserve, watching monkeys in the tree house and studying the elephant ear markings. Kariega Game Reserve is a special place and the volunteer program gives the best of both worlds: hard earned adventure with a taste of luxury and lots of fun. My last day horseback riding on the beach with a (discounted!) massage at Kariega's spa was pure magic I won't forget. Can't wait to see how the program evolves in the coming years ... and seeing the camera trap capture clear shots of the elusive leopards. I hope to be back with friends in the future, but will share this secret with only special souls who will treasure it as much as I have. Good people, good fun, good cause. Thank you Helena, Justine and Kariega!

Kim McCabe, Washington DC, USA, 17 December 2011.

I was a volunteer on Kariega Game Reserve last year (2010) and just had to return. I have to say I had a great 4 weeks again. It was so nice to be back at Kariega. My time went by too quickly though. We had plenty to keep us busy – checking on leopard camera traps, eradicating black wattle and pine, game counts etc. I also enjoyed my time at Farmerfield school and hope the flower bed flourishes after it was planted (pity I can’t be there for the graduation ceremony). My highlight this time was seeing the lion cubs, black rhino and buffalo. But best of all was the canoe trip on the Kariega river with Justine (especially since I have never been in a canoe before). We also went on a great hike. I have to mention our Wednesday pizza night at Homewoods also, good fun and great pizzas. I really hope to be back again!

Alan Harvey, 24 October – 21 November 2011