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Pod Volunteer - Big 5 encounters and research in South Africa

Date added: Friday 19th May 2017

Jasmin tells us all about her time volunteering at the Pod Volunteer Leopard Monitoring and Kruger Conservation project in South Africa.

“The Kruger Project was just incredible, I had the best time there and my only regret was not staying for longer. I learnt so much about the wildlife, the animals and the culture and I absolutely loved it. The rangers were super friendly and supportive and made the whole experience unforgettable. I will definitely be back!!

I was initially quite nervous about going away, however from the moment I got there both existing and new volunteers were incredibly friendly, including the rangers. The diversity of the tasks and activities you get involved in are so rewarding and I learnt so much. If you love animals (including the big five) then this project is for you; getting involved in research, data, tracking and signs, animal counts and more, really helps you understand more about the environment and you definitely get hands on. By the end of my trip I had made so many new friendships, the experience was truly unforgettable and I'd go back in a heartbeat!

What did you find most rewarding?
Seeing the animals on game drives and learning about their behaviours and their tracks. Seeing the big five during my trip!

What did you find most challenging?
Saying goodbye to people along the way!

What advice would you give to others who are considering this placement?
Go for it! It's a once in a lifetime experience and opens your eyes up to other opportunities that you may never have considered before!”

The goal of the Leopard Monitoring and Kruger Conservation project is to ensure the future of leopards and other predators in the Limpopo area through scientific research and conservation. Volunteers collect data which is used to create conservation plans for predators and other species both in the area and around the world.

You can find out all about how you can join the team here: