Group of ACE volunteers relaxing around the campfire
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Jeanne Gray: Female ACE volunteer looking down at nyala

Jeanne Gray

🇺🇸 United States

Length of Trip
14 Nights

Project Year

I have travelled to Africa solo before, so I was excited about the prospect of travelling with a friend this time around. Unfortunately, they were unable to make it last minute. However, I was not worried as I knew African Conservation Experience (ACE) was going to be incredibly supportive. 

I was greeted at the airport arriving and departing and at each transportation facility. 

I have never experienced this level of support before while travelling and I felt that it was very considerate to be met on arrival.

It also allowed me to learn wonderful things from the in-country ACE team and meet the other ACE volunteers who were coming and going that day too.

The people I volunteered with at Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre were all wonderful and from different backgrounds and ages. From this, I was able to experience new things and broaden my knowledge of Africa from different perspectives. 

Moholoholo was up close and personal work caring for a variety of animals, an opportunity I never dreamed I would experience.

However, my time at Phinda Wildlife Research Project was just the opposite. Here we were able to collect data on stunning wildlife from a distance, and we got to see them in good health in their natural environment. It was a wonderful experience and a great comparison to Moholoholo. 

There is always so much to learn and maybe some people think travelling solo at 78 is brave, but age is just a number! If you still feel young at heart volunteering is for you.

Mind over matter. I do not think I came across a single activity while volunteering that I did not feel comfortable joining in. 

There is something magically magnetic about Africa that keeps drawing me back year after year. I feel that ACE was an incredibly supportive company to work with, and I would not hesitate to work with them again. I'm looking forward to hopefully travelling with ACE next year.