You are here

Volunteer Reviews

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.

Name: Tangi Salaün
Country: France
Date: March 2016

I've had several volunteer experiences in South Africa over the last few years, each time in a different reserve or park, and with a different organization. There were many factors behind my choices, from the place itself to the type of work, the animals I was likely to see or track, the organization's reputation... In the end of the day, every experience was worth it. But LEO Africa had an extra something.

It was not the place (I went to a private game reserve, which was nice but very challenging in terms of sightings -- the new place on the Marataba Section of the Marakele NP looks a lot more rewarding in this perspective). Believe it or not, it was not the room I slept in or the food I ate (none of them was bad, but who cares?). It was certainly the work, and notably the fact that we could regularly walk to black rhinos, lions or cheetahs.

But it was above all the passion and dedication that LEO staff showed, despite being about to move to the new place. Spending your day tracking animals sounds like paradise for most of us -- and it is. But it can be frustrating when you spend hours looking for something you don't find, when rain starts pouring, when the sun is blazing and there are no animals in sight. That's true, it's sometimes all of that -- I mean, until you jump in LEO's car or, even better, walk in the LEO team's shoes.

There's one thing you can take for granted when you wake up early morning, even before sun rises, and this is the commitment that LEO team will put to make the most of that day. Not only on the field, where they will seize every opportunity, if not creating them, to get the job done (which is not always the case elsewhere, believe me). But also back at LEO Base where they will share with you -- if you wish -- their knowledge of the bush, of course, but also of the management of a game reserve or the big debates that stir up the conservation community, like hunting, rhino poaching... In a word, you will really go behind the scenes and that, more than anything, is an unvaluable addition to your stay in wonderland!

Name: Elfe Peters
Country: Germany
Date: February 2016

I had a really nice and eventful time at LEO. To monitor the animals in their habitat was amazing and unforgettable!

I've also met friendly and open-minded people from all over the world. The whole LEO Team was friendly, helpful and uncomplicated. Thank's LEO for the wonderful time! Hope to see you again!!

Name: Walter Lenger
Country: Austria
Date: October 2015

I'm 74 years old and have been to Africa many times. I have seen many beautiful places and was quite sure nothing could top my experiences until I joined LEO Africa's Volunteer Programme.

From that time on I was hooked for life on Africa. Far from overcrowded tourist locations you experience wildlife and comradeship at its best. You'll always hunger for the bush, for the lions rasping roar and long to see the elephants. LEO Africa is waiting, come!

Many thanks to Koos, Sabrina and their staff for their support and the chance to be part of a team dedicated to protect wildlife and fauna.

Name: Mike Canning
Country: England
Date: April, 2016

When you have passionate and knowledgable people overseeing the well-being of so many of our world's endangered species it is not surprising that the experience one can share at LEO Africa is beyond all expectations. Whether you are a student looking for a challenge during a gap year or, like me, someone in their twilight years who still feels there are things in life to both do and see then this opportunity is one that anyone should grasp with both hands if they can. And I can assure you when you've done your first visit you will start planning your return.