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Two Cheetah cubs playing together in long grass

Chris' Big 5 Experience in South Africa

By Gap 360

Last updated: 7th March 2013

Gap 360's Chris has recently returned from South Africa and went on our South Africa Big 5 Conservation trip, read on to hear all about it...

I've just come back from a trip of a lifetime around our Gap 360 South African projects, and I thought I'd start by telling you all about my first stop-off. the Big 5 trip!

We flew into Port Elizabeth fairly late in the day, so as soon as we arrived we were picked up with someone showing a sign with my name on it. After the introductions, we jumped into a car and started on our journey to the game reserve. It was about an hour's journey, and was great to see some of the scenery along the way! Upon arrival, we met loads more people and fellow volunteers, and all sat down for an introduction about our next few days (and what for volunteers would be the next few weeks). It was great to relax for the rest of the day and appreciate our amazing new surroundings.

The next morning we had a game drive which is a common activity for our volunteers, It’s a chance to see the game and we saw 3 of the Big 5 in one morning. Volunteers gain loads of knowledge about the Big 5 during the drives- insects, birds and all the plants as well; it’s a fantastic all-around learning experience and great for those interested in wildlife and conservation!

After a great lunch, we were scheduled to see the Predator Camp where there are Lions, Tigers and Leopards who are not quite old enough to be released on the reserve. We were also really lucky as there were also baby Meerkats and a White Lion cub in the area. So cute!

The reserve has a strict non-drinking policy (as you are so close to the wildlife) but it wasn’t an issue at all, especially as the days can start as early as 6am and it does make a great atmosphere in the evening as everyone tends to congregate together to relax. The volunteers we met were all having a great time, and really pleased with the programme, food and accommodation.

This programme is a great introduction to volunteering in South Africa, you are really well looked after and there are always plenty of volunteers to mix with and the volunteering itself is so rewarding! Check it out for yourself here!

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