Yvie A

United Kingdom | April 2017

I volunteered in Hwange National Park and right from the start I loved landing at Victoria Falls Airport, and then being whisked literally 40 minutes down the road in a no-roof 4x4 vehicle to what felt like the middle of the bush, and being instantly asked to set up my tent for camping!  I felt instantly exploded away from my usual daily life of spreadsheets and computers, into Africa veldt - being up close and present as herds of elephants took advantage of one of the many Chamabonda vlei water pans maintained by the trust.

I learned a lot about animal and bird observation by helping with recording and monitoring local birds and wildlife seen by the Zambezi river (albeit manually using paper and spreadsheets).  I also really admire the work Stephen and Sue are doing on an absolute shoestring, where they seem to be propping up the local Zimbabwe Department of National Parks, providing lifts and petrol to help rangers in the monitoring of the Painted Dogs project.

I loved volunteering; it enabled me to get right out of my comfort zone, try camping, see the night sky, get stuck into practical hands-dirty work, get away from computers and mostly, what a privilege to to be able to walk up close and look an elephant or rhino in the eye!  What a way to really meet with amazing wildlife!

Choose volunteering and participate - it's way much better than sitting in a safari vehicle gazing outwards.

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