Group of ACE volunteers relaxing around the campfire
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Rachel Binger: female volunteer standing in airport

Rachel Binger

🇺🇸 United States

Length of Trip
21 Nights

Project Year

I had always dreamed about coming to Africa ever since I was a child. It was something I wanted to do so that I could learn all about the animals and the people who live there. I did not think I could achieve this dream, but last year somebody I know told me, “you can do anything”. This really hit home for me, and made me realise, that I can do anything! After that conversation, I started researching different conservation projects and this is when I found African Conservation Experience (ACE) so I decided to get in contact with them.

They were quick to respond and made me feel comfortable throughout the process which is why I chose to volunteer with them.

A lioness with a kill at the Okavango Wilderness Project

Everything during my experience was a highlight! I had no expectations going into this trip, everything was incredible. It was the animals and the people that made it special, and it felt like every day was the new best day of my life.

When I arrived, my first day was amazing but every day got better and better. Each day was different, the people were wonderful, and the sightings were great. It was all amazing, it was all perfect for me! 

When I returned back to Johannesburg I said to the ACE team, “I must look different, because I feel different.”

The week at the Okavango Wilderness Project changed my life and my perspectives on nature.

For example, I saw a lioness hunt a buffalo calf and in the past that would have just broken me! However, by witnessing that, I was filled with different emotions. This was not because I was becoming cold, but because my heart, mind, and soul were broadening perspectives.

Everything impacted me whilst I was there and I have grown as a person.

I would advise volunteers thinking about joining the Okavango Wilderness Project to do it, and to do it scared! I was terrified as I had never camped before. I was always too scared to even camp in my own backyard! I went into the trip with no expectations and being terrified made me come out so much braver, stronger, and wiser. If you want to change your life, this is the project to do. I am now very excited to continue my experience with ACE where I will be spending two weeks at the Phinda Wildlife Research Project!