Katarzyna J

Poland | May 2016

Unforgettable weeks at Imire

Submitted by Katarzyna J | 16th May 2016

I chose Imire for the chance to get hands-on experience with animals and also because of the diversity of the programme, the positive opinions of the programme and its conservation value.

I came to Imire between jobs, at my 40th birthday. I hoped to experience the wonderful African wildlife up close and have my own impact on conservation. I got these and so much more. The programme is wonderfully diverse, no two days look the same. Whether it’s walking with the elephants, getting close to the endangered black rhinos, sneaking up on zebras and giraffes on a leisurely Sunday stroll through the bush; we got so close to the animals, I would never have believed it!

At the same time, building a hay shed for the new elephant boma, cutting trees along the fence to help protect the park from poachers or removing intrusive and poisonous tree species, you could feel you are truly helping in the conservation work!

Going to the school and helping the children, and getting to know Mai Matsika and her friends in the Women’s Group, has enabled us to see another important side of Imire - supporting the local communities. And, after each day of work and adventure, you could just relax in front of our lovely house, get to know other volunteers and feel the real joy of being here in harmony with the beautiful nature.

Those were unforgettable weeks. I do hope to return here one day, this time with my daughter to share this amazing experience!

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