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Volunteer Reviews

Name: Benjamin
Country: Italy
Date: April, 2016

After finishing high school I’ve decided to take a gap year and to travel a little bit around the world to have abit of experience before starting university. Africa has always fascinated me for its landscape and the animals that I’ve seen millions of times on television. I decided that I wanted to visit an African country, but not just to go on holiday as most of the people do when they go to Africa, but to do something special, like volunteering on an reserve. Whilst I was searching on internet I found LEO Africa, which offered me exactly the type of experience I was looking for, in South Africa (in a malaria-free zone).

I had the opportunity to do a lots of things while I was in a section of the Marakele National Park; things that you don’t normally do when you go on just a safari. It was hard work but fun too. They also taught me alot of things in the bush about animals and plants and also they made me understand the meaning of conservation.... what it really consists of.

I had a great time with LEO Africa Organization and during my 7 week stay I made a lot of new friends. It's an experience I'd recommend to everyone. I hope one day I will be able to return, to contribute again to the conservation of a place that I love - South Africa.



Name: Chloé Pastore
Country: France
Date: 28/05/2016

2 months ago, I was in South Africa, with LEO Africa, a Volunteer research programme. This month at LEO was the best thing I've ever done in my life. It was an amazing experiance. No one can understand how it feels before doing it. Sometimes it can be tiring, you're not on holiday. We woke up early and spend long days in the bush but it's incredible. You see so many things in just one day ! It leaves you breathless.

Every single person I met in South Africa (the staff, the volonteers, and every member of the Marataba Reserve) were awesome. I really miss that kind of people (in France people you don't know aren't so nice with you). And obviously I miss our 3 mascots, Bessie (the boss!), Ranger and Trigger!

I recommend it to every animal/nature lover, for people who wants to learn more about it, and who wants to speak English better (I went there with 3 friends and one of us didn't speak english AT ALL, and now she can have a good conversation with someone).

You will learn a lot with the passionate members of the staff. If you go to LEO, enjoy everyday. Dreams come slow and go so fast.

I hope I'll be back at LEO soon, because everytime I look at their pictures on their site or Facebook page I feel as excited as they can be.

At LEO Base, every day is a beautiful adventure and I think this is a great motivation to live a life full of happiness!



Name: Flavia
Country: Italy
Date: July 2016

One thing is certain: when you choose to  join LEO Africa you have to be ready to sacrifice your daily habits, your home comforts and safety, but above all, be ready to sacrifice a piece of your heart which will be probably stay there forever.  

LEO Africa is not a common experience, and you do not really realize how much it can give to you until the moment you are back home. Once there, you could deal with a series of small inconveniences like a basic house, extreme temperatures, early morning wake up calls, lack of 24 hour lightning, and maybe sometimes the lack of hot water, but everybody who’s been there can promise that once you will be on a LEO car, out in the bush, the emotions will pay back everything.

In front of the breathtaking landscapes of the Marataba, in front of the greatness of an elephant, the roar of a lion, everything will feel like a dream. And the best part of it is that you are going to share one of the most amazing experience of your life with lovely people from all over the world which will made your LEO experience more than unforgettable.

The young and passionate LEO field guides do their best everyday to make the game drives as interesting, successful and fun as possible. I owe them all the things I’ve learnt about wildlife, nature, park management, and all the times filled with happiness and laughs.

Nothing is taken for granted when you wake up at 5AM in the morning to go out on a game drive, you could come back disappointed, exhausted and freezing, or  you could come back excited, and feeling on top of the world. What’s certain is that it will always feel like departure day comes too soon, and you will never had enough of that place.

 



Name: Fabio Malegori
Country: Italy
Date: 2015

I participated in the photographic workshop in 2015: it was a unique and wonderful experience, the opportunity to observe wildlife a few meters away is an indescribable sensation, it's like ”living” in a documentary about African nature.

The sighting opportunities are frequent, given the number of species present, the whole days dedicated to game drives, the experience and knowledge of Sabrina about the behaviour of "her" animals.

The chance to work with Marco, a professional photographer, permit to reach high level results in a short time, thanks to the continuous suggestions, opinions and feedbacks received.

I was so well impressed that I will participate also this year!



Name: Rachael Leeman
Country: UK
Date: May 2016

After volunteering with Leo for three months in 2015 I couldn't help but come and visit the LEO team when I was in South Africa in May of this year! My stay with Leo was again a surreal and unforgettable experience. With Koos and Sabrina as my guides I learnt bush and field skills (which I still use now as a researcher). With LEO I have learnt the importance of monitoring animals for reserve management and that the bushvield ecosystem is a finely tuned machine that require constant maintenance and respect. I learnt that most of the work in conservation starts from the ground up; literally! Helping removing invasive plants and clearing up after elephants is a daily job.

The experience of being able to walk with Koos in the bush watching rhinos are memories I will never forget and hearing the roar of lions in the night makes your heart feel wild! I made so many wonderful friends at Leo and learnt so many new practical and scientific skills including tracks, data entry, ID kits for animals, bird identification, monitoring techniques, ecology, botany and more! I cannot wait to return for another life changing adventure in 2017 in the new Marataba section of the Marakele National Park where the landscape is breathtaking and the animals are even more beautiful than they seem on television.

Your adventure is calling! answer the call to LEO Africa.



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