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Christine and Jose Garcia

Phinda Wildlife Research Project ›

France

Length of Trip:
Three weeks
Project Year:
2019
Each morning, there was always a challenge: finding Leo the elephant who had an infection on his leg, or Steve, another elephant who had teeth surgery.

I am 63 years old and last year, in February 2018 I spent 3 wonderful weeks as a volunteer in a fantastic game reserve in South Africa. At that time, I was travelling alone as my husband still had a full time job. Despite being the oldest in the group, my experience was very positive. 

This year, with my husband retired, we travelled together and felt it was important to discover together wildlife conservation that is different from what can be seen as tourists. As we were a couple, it was important to find suitable lodging as well. Phinda has these two conditions.

We have been travelling together in East Africa for the past 13 years and as tourists we could really see a dramatic decrease in the wildlife population.

I thought it was important to understand how we could be useful at our small level.

Indeed in Phinda you can understand how and why we have to face these changes. You are always working closely every day with Winston, Charlene and Rick (the game reserve staff). Each morning, there was always a challenge: finding Leo the elephant who had an infection on his leg, or Steve, another elephant who had teeth surgery, or finding a crazy cheetah for blood tests, etc. And of course there was the daily monitoring of all the other animals.

Even without specific skills, you feel useful within this team. 

Being French, we found the food at Phinda/Phindia excellent and healthy. Brais and boomas are a great experience.

 

One piece of advice: plan your reserve of wines! If you fancy a glass with your meals.

 

Christine and Jose Garcia

France

 

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