South Africa 2019

Elizabeth Purcell Start Date: Jun 13, 2018 - End Date: Oct 10, 2018
  • South Africa

My Travel Story

by: Elizabeth Purcell Start Date: Jun 13, 2018 - End Date: Oct 10, 2018
Hi everyone!

I am currently studying to become a veterinary nurse, with future plans to work with exotics and wildlife! In order to work with wild animals, I need some sort of experience under my belt. After months of searching and making lots of decisions, I finally found an incredible orgainzation with an amazing volunteer project where I could actually make a difference!

The project takes place in a small mountain town in South Africa at a beautiful wildlife sanctuary. The animals at the sanctuary have been orphaned or injured and are unable to be rereleased into the wild because they simply cannot defend themselves. Therefore, the selfless people at this sanctuary dedicate their lives to the enrichment and wellbeing of these animals. Some of the animals living at the sanctuary are lions, tigers, cheetahs, elephants, spotted hyenas, hippos, and many more!

After learning more about this particular sanctuary, I just could not stop thinking about it! I knew that I was meant to go there. After reading about some of the events that took place at this sanctuary, it compelled me even more to go there. In 2017, poachers had broken into the sanctuary grounds at night and threw poisoned meat into one enclosure housing a small pride of lions. Unfortunately, by the time everyone knew what was going on, the damage was already done and the lions all passed away. Since the tragic loss of some of the beloved lions, the team at the sanctuary has been raising money to help up the security of the enclosures, as well as the sanctuary as a whole. Volunteers have also been helping to construct higher fenses and install security cameras as well.

As a volunteer, I would live on-site at the sanctuary for two weeks. I would be working alongside staff and fellow volunteers six days a week, assisting with animal enrichment activities, feedings, enclosure cleanlieness and reconstruction, and more. This is the experience of a lifetime, especially for a longtime animal lover like myself!

Having this experience be added to my resume and skillset will definitely help in pursuing my future goals! I am so so passionate about wildlife conservation and welfare, it is sometimes difficult to put into words!

All money raised will go towards the fees associated with the project, including housing, food, travel insurance, and airfare. I appreciate any donations made, as well as prayers as I start this journey to South Africa!
  • South Africa