Volunteering in South Africa – An Adventure of a Lifetime

Posted by: Kenzie

I honestly don’t even know where to begin. If there’s one thing that I could say about the Wildlife Sanctuary project it would be that it was the absolute most amazing experience I have had so far in my life. My aunt and I had started planning this trip over a year before our departure date and every single day my anticipation grew greater and greater. I had never been out of the country before so I’m sure you could image what was going through my head at the thought of me going on my first trip over 10,000 miles away from home.

When we finally got to the sanctuary I had no clue what to even expect. The very first thing we did was go on a lion walk. I was amazed that this is what I was going to be able to do during my stay. Over the course of two weeks I had the opportunity to walk with elephants, take a tour around the farm while getting to feed the animals of the farm and so much more. The animal interaction was out of this world. I did not think I was going to get to get up close and personal with so many of the beautiful creatures. There was definitely a lot of manual labor involved in this volunteer project such as cleaning up after the animals, building a new enclosure for the tiger cubs, and picking up trash around the farm. Although it was a lot of work it was such a rewarding feeling knowing you are helping better the lives of such fascinating animals.

In addition to our volunteering we had 2 days off a week where we were able to go on excursions, which were all so fantastic and exciting! I got the chance to go zip lining through the mountains of Africa, explore caves were some of the oldest fossils of human kind were found, and learn all about the different cultures of Africa (I even got to eat some worms with the Pedi tribe!) One of the most memorable excursion we went on was when we went to a children’s home. I knew I was going to be able to make a difference in the lives of the animals but I had no idea I would get to take part in being a sponsor for the children’s school fundraiser.

In addition to getting to play with animals I got to meet some amazing people from all around the world. It’s amazing how such strong bonds can form in such a short amount of time. Overall this was a life changing experience. These memories will forever be in my heart and I couldn’t be more happy with volunteering in South Africa at this Wildlife Sanctuary. It was a trip of a lifetime and I’m already saving to go back!