“Where other people should go? to Shamwari conservation experience camp. what else? i mean it’s just awesome! don’t think about it just go there and i promise it will change your life!” -Ginger, Austria

“When I did my volunteering in South Africa, I’ve learned so much from animals. You learn how to take care, work in a team, like them like hell… You learn about nature, what you can do for it (never enough), and even more, you learn about your own nature… Volunteering for animals is an amazing experience and I’m greatful that I had the chance to do so!”   – Isolde, Belgium

It is one thing to visit a beautiful country like South Africa, but actually getting up close & personal working with some of the wildlife makes the trip truly unforgettable. I met wonderful people and made some great friends in sharing experiences of caring for animals on a volunteer project. I learnt new skills and enjoyed living life out in the bush, far away from the tourist trails. Thoroughly recommended! – Sarah, London

I spent a week at Elephant Sanctuary in Thailand in January 2013, a beautiful time of the year to be in Northern Thailand. I was collected from my hotel in Chiang Mai for the 3 hour scenic drive. We stopped at a large supermarket for supplies, which allowed me to stock up on western treats! On the first night, we were all treated to a traditional welcoming ceremony from the local elders. Our days started early with a western breakfast made by Emily, then off we went to shovel (extra large) elephant poo! When the elephants decided it was time to head into the forest, we would follow and observe their natural foraging behaviours that they are re-discovering after years of working in captivity. I really enjoyed these quiet times of reflection and being one with nature. Some days, Burm would bring lunch into the forest. We used banana leaves as plates! The elephants enjoy a bath every day in the river. It is amazing to be able to help them out with a back scrub!The afternoons would vary from working hard in the field cutting long grass for the elephants, getting cooking lessons from the locals, shopping for supplies in the local markets, visiting the local temple for a Buddhist blessing, helping out with odd jobs or construction or teaching English at the local school. One time we rounded up the local kids and cleaned the village of garbage, then tried to educate them on the importance of recycling and sanitation. As a reward for the kids’ hard work, we took them bamboo rafting on the local river. Nightimes were very peaceful. Burm and the local cooks made amazing traditional Thai dishes and requests were welcome. I am a vegetarian and this was accommodated although meat is also supplied.  There was an opportunity to play games later with the locals if you wanted. Alcohol is allowed, but excessive drinking or partying is not. The accommodation is basic but comfortable, a mattress on the floor with a mosquito net, a fan and usually a cat to keep you company! There is electricity in the rooms and intermittent Internet access. Diana – Australia

“I have to say volunteering with animals was one of the best and most rewarding experience in my life. It is a great feeling to know that you’re really making a difference for these animals, changing a part of their lives by caring for them and loving them with all your heart. Truth is, they also make a difference in your life: you learn so much about yourself while volunteering. Apart from that, you also learn about other countries, other cultures and of course, you meet the most amazing people on the planet!! You will remember them for the rest of your life. ” -Amy, Belgium
“I miss the bush like mad, its gotten into my blood and I long to return. My time with Siyafunda inspired me to get back to my wilderness skills in this country something I had been avoiding and so I should say thank you for that and I now spend time identifying birds and tracking anything thats out there though I was embarresingly outsmarted by a pheasant once. I am thinking of coming to siyafunda to give my boyfriend a taster of what i was privelaged to take part in earlier in the year.” -Kat, Scotland
“I would highly recommend Shamwari for anyone with a passion for helping others and learning about African Wildlife, meeting new people from around the world. Second time around this was another amazing month and hope that I will have another opportunity to take part and return to a place I love”. - Melissa, Canada
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