Emma’s Volunteer Experience in South Africa – Making A Real Difference

Posted by: Emma M.

To say Africa is a dream come true would be an understatement. I’ve always been passionate about wildlife conservation, but after seeing these animals up close, I have a whole new perspective and appreciation for these creatures and the people who work to save them. The Wildlife Sanctuary project really makes a difference in the everyday lives of these animals and raises awareness to further protect future generations.

I was so excited for so long about this opportunity to bring a dream of mine to fruition, that when the moment finally arrived it didn’t even feel real. I remember being nervous to leave my family and friends but so thrilled to be going to South Africa and really feel like I was helping a cause I felt so passionately about. The beginning transition in Johannesburg went smoothly and I was very appreciative of having the opportunity to explore the city and learn about South African culture before heading to the Wildlife Sanctuary project.

Being on the sanctuary was definitely one of the most amazing things I have ever experienced. There were so many incredible animals, all with unique stories as to why they ended up here, but hopeful futures as they are under such amazing care. I felt honored to be able to partake in many activities with them, including elephant walks, feeding, horseback riding, and so much more. These are all memories I will treasure forever.

I could go on and on about all of my experiences, however I think the best way to sum up would be to mention the amazing staff and other vollies (volunteers) that make the sanctuary what it is. I was so thrilled to have made so many new lifelong friendships in such a short amount of time and I will forever be grateful to the GoEco team for this unforgettable trip.