South africa with Big Cats

Bernadette Krizman Start Date: Sep 23, 2018 - End Date: Jan 22, 2019
  • Hartbeespoort, North West, South Africa
  • Johannesburg, South Africa

My Travel Story

by: Bernadette Krizman Start Date: Sep 23, 2018 - End Date: Jan 22, 2019
Be the change
you wish to see in the world-Ghandi

 Hello, my name is Bernadette and I am a creative Veterinary Technician who loves helping animals and people. I’m born and raised in the beautiful state of Colorado, USA; It has always been a dream of mine to go to Africa and work with animals. I’ve decided!!! NOW is the time. I’ve been accepted to a volunteer program in South Africa (Volunteer Southern Africa, VSA) for 3 weeks in Mid March 2019. During my time there I will be caring and doing maintenance for many rescued and injured animals including elephants, lions, tigers, hyena, and much more at a small sanctuary in Hartbeespoort, North west, South Africa. After much research and learning about this program I am certain that my time and our dollars will go to fulfilling my desire to be helpful towards animals in promoting their environment and social conservation.

How do we change the world
"One random Act of Kindness at a time" Morgan Freeman

Volunteer Southern Africa living with Big Cats program is a sanctuary that houses recused animals that can no longer live in the wild. Animals that are sick and injured or where recused from being sold on black market. This is in no way a zoo because it gives the animals a chance to live like they were in the wild. Here the volunteers and I will have daily tasks that would include walking elephants, farm maintenance, building shade spots and enrichment areas for the animals, enclosure cleaning (scooping lots of poop), maintaining the roads on the farm, weeding out toxic plants, preparing the food and feeding the animals, lion training camp and much-loved animal interactions. These animals are given a second chance to live almost like they are free in the wild.

"Volunteering is at the very core of being a human.
No one has made it through life
without someone's else's help"- Heather French Henry

I have heard some people ask why are you paying to Volunteer or aren't there free volunteer programs? I picked this program because costs go toward support needed to take care of these animals as well as using my time to help maintain their environment.This program does incude meals, a T shirt, a room, a Donation to the program, 2 airport transfers, laundry and the wonderful experience. All other cost is the flight out there and all preparations to go to Africa. I plan on having other fundraising events to fund my trip like a Silent Auction and a silly other Pinterest idea (so, keep an eye out for those events on here or my Face book page). Anything helps…2$ or more, sharing my Fund My Travel site, donating A basket for my silent auction and any advice would be greatly appreciated! Along the way I promise to keep everyone updated! And thank you for your time and donation. Also there are some incentives for those who donate at certain levels!

Thanks again, Dankie (Afrikaans for thank you)

Also feel free to watch this video about living with big cats program: or
  • Hartbeespoort, North West, South Africa
  • Johannesburg, South Africa


  • Updated On My Trip Planning!

    Updated on my trip planning!
    IM SO FLIPN" EXCITED! i got my plane tickets today! I finally had made enough money; between work and your donations, i was able to jump in and make that leap to bye my ticket!! Thank you so very much for those of you that have donated and spreading my story . My itinerary to get out to Johannesburg and back has some long layovers in Paris and Amsterdam. Enough time to explore those places a little witch will be a added bonus. The ticket did cost me more than expected and it will take me a few days to get there/back but i am so ready to embark on this journey.

    I also want to through out there i am doing many things to earn money for my trip.... Working 2 jobs, Pet sitting, willing to do chores and fundraising. If any of you or know someone who need a ski weekend get away and need someone to watch your furry kids let me know. I charge 40$ a night (for overnights) or 20 a visit for the feline friends. Also on weekends that are not already full/Wednesdays i am free to do unwanted chores like cleaning, trimming doggy/cats nails, ect.

    I want to apologize for not getting the intensives out before Christmas/now. I plan on sending my thank you's and intensives out after i come home from my trip. i would greatly appreciate you're addresses/Email addresses for i can properly thank you. Just Email me at or message me on Facebook.

    Lastly, i want to Thank you. I appreciate all the kind words and help you have given me to achieve this dream of mine. I promise to keep everyone updated and show lots of picture of my experience.
  • So Excited For My Trip And Need A Little More Help!!

    So excited for my trip and need a little more help!!
    Hello, every one. I got my deposit paid so its Happening!!! I am going to Africa March 18-April 8th. I am super excited! Thank you for all your support and i need you help to reach my goal! please share with your friend and family as well. I really appreciate everyone and this means the world to me.