In October 2017, I travelled with African Conservation Experience (ACE) and spent two remarkable weeks at Phinda Wildlife Research Project. Those two weeks at Phinda were truly unforgettable, every moment was such an adventure! I was able to explore the heart of the South African bush and contribute to the wildlife monitoring that helps run the reserve. Each day I would go out into the reserve with the other volunteers, and support the reserve ecologist in their day-to-day work. From this, I not only learnt so much about conservation, but I also had the opportunity to witness all the beautiful wildlife in the field.
It provided me with an entirely different perspective!
I gained great insight into the conservation efforts that are occurring in wildlife areas like this. I learnt about the techniques such as telemetry, monitoring, and data collection, which play important roles in informing Phinda's management decisions that ensure the conservation of their wildlife populations. I even got to be involved in some of these management procedures, like some veterinary work on an injured rhino, or helping transport some injured cheetahs!
Throughout the entire journey, ACE was excellent - from our initial call to the end of the trip.
Their continuous support made me feel like I was in very safe hands, particularly as it was my first time venturing beyond Europe. My time with ACE surpassed all expectations, and I feel that I am really fortunate to have experienced this first-hand. This trip will forever hold a special place in my heart.
I am definitely planning to return and travel with ACE in the future!