Ashley Gonder (Washington) ~ May 2017

17 May 2017 |

When I originally decided to volunteer in South Africa I was a little apprehensive because I was going to a foreign country all by myself. Once I found Wildlife ACT the process from beginning to end was incredibly smooth. The million different questions were all answered super quick and with a lot of detail. The booking process was smooth and easy. Brownen was amazing to work with!

Once I initially got there the staff was waiting at the airport with friendly faces. They were very organized and we were on the way to our respective reserves in no time.

I spent my time at Manyoni and the monitors are INCREDIBLE! I can’t say enough good things about them both. Meg and Frede are both so knowledgeable, friendly, and fun to be around. We got in a couple of scary situations with a herd of elephants surrounding us and Meg was calm and collected and instructed us what to do so nobody got hurt. The monitors made this entire experience as amazing as it was.

I’ve always had a love for animals and when I found this organization I immediately knew that I wanted to be a part of it. I learned so much about the animals, Africa, and most importantly, MYSELF while being with Wildlife ACT. The days are long but it doesn’t feel that way. Getting up every morning before the sun is so exciting because you literally have no idea what you might see or be doing. I felt like I was actually helping make a difference out there. I never realized how much monitoring animals can really help. The whole ecosystem is in such a fragile balance and it was so fascinating learning about how everything works together and balances itself out. I really feel like I made a difference out there.

I plan on returning next year! This was the best two weeks of my life and I wish I could’ve stayed longer.