Volunteering in South Africa – More Than Just a Tourist

Posted by: Ezgi

This experience has been truly life changing. The Diverse Wildlife Sanctuaries project started with an orientation program in Johannesburg and it was very fun. It is not just like sitting in a tourist bus and taking photos while driving without understanding. You get to see the artists of Johannesburg, live in the city like a usual citizen and learn about the local artists, people of Africa, history and politics. You get to meet new people who are really helpful. Orientation is important to understand what South Africa is and what is going on in there.

After the orientation, you go to this beautiful house in Hartebeespoort, which is in a complex. In the middle of the complex, there is a huge beautiful lake where you can boat ride even if you just make friends with a local. There are kudus running freely in the complex, bush babies and vervet monkeys hiding in the trees. You wake up early in the morning and someone drives you with all the other volunteers to the sanctuary where you are working that day.

We helped a Monkey Sanctuary, Elephant Sanctuary, Cheetah Sanctuary, and Ostrich Manor in schedule. On our free and half days, we went to a dog and cat shelter, or to the mountain areas looking for snares.

I study politics, I am a vegetarian and I simply went there to learn about Africa and animals. I got to meet the most amazing people from all over the world including the best Africans. I don’t regret a single day, I have never had this good of a holiday and I learned how important volunteering is for Africa and for ourselves to get to know Africa truly.