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Lucas Zermatten

Golola Rhino Orphanage and Rehabilitation Centre ›

Country:
Switzerland

Length of Trip:
14 nights
Project Year:
2021
It’s one thing to see orphans in the centre, but then to see them as adults with babies of their own is truly incredible.

This experience is everything I could ever wish for, it is a complete experience! It is such a special experience because as a volunteer you get to be involved in every step of the rehabilitation process. Whether it’s bottle feeding baby rhinos, feeding adults, cleaning or preparing food, joining the anti-poaching team on patrols, or helping to train the anti-poaching dogs, you really get a feel of what life is like in the bush. 

I also had the opportunity to go into the game reserve to monitor the rhinos that have successfully been released. It’s one thing to see orphans in the centre, but then to see them as adults with babies of their own is truly incredible. There are plenty of learning opportunities. The team delivers presentations and showed us films which I wouldn’t get to see anywhere else. The team is fantastic whether it’s the anti poaching team or the rhino carers, their passion is so contagious.

Every day was fantastic, towards the end of my experience I was shown a documentary about one specific rhino that had been rescued and then later that day we were able to see this actual rhino in the wild with a calf of its own. This was a reallymoving experience for me as I was able to see the result of a project that I was involved in.

My trip was quite unique as I was already in South Africa but having ACE do my planning and itinerary to make sure everything went smoothly was the best!

Rhinos have always been one of my favourite animals and I have always really wanted to work with them. Before joining any experience I wanted to make sure the project was ethical and put the well-being of the animals first. This project definitely does put the well-being of the rhinos first! 

I was really unsure whether I would be able to join the project at such short notice but booking through ACE was super easy! They were easy to communicate with and I had zero difficulty getting my trip organised and arranged. The support from ACE since day 1 has been amazing. My trip was quite unique as I was already in South Africa but having ACE do my planning and itinerary to make sure everything went smoothly was the best!

My advice for all prospective volunteers is to be prepared to fall in love with the project and the country. It is so much more than just a volunteering experience, you get to experience a new culture and meet so many different people from all over the world and you can’t help but fall in love with it all!

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