The Wild Ones

Michelina Pratel Start Date: May 31, 2017 - End Date: Jan 5, 2018
  • Australia

My Travel Story

by: Michelina Pratel Start Date: May 31, 2017 - End Date: Jan 5, 2018
"We will lose something deep within ourselves if we allow our wilderness to be destroyed"

Back in August 2016, I volunteered at a wildlife sanctuary in South Africa. What was supposed to be a three-week trip quickly turned into a three-month adventure that would change my life forever.

As I began writing this, I struggled with finding the right way to accurately describe the reason I was reaching out to people for help. I didn’t want to come off sounding cliché, as though I’d been bit by the “travel bug” and was now suffering from an incurable case of wanderlust. It is difficult to put into words how profound my experience in Africa was and how much it truly changed my goals and outlook on life.

During my time in Africa, I was able to work up close and personal with cheetahs, lions, and many other animals. I developed connections with these animals that I didn’t know were possible. I took care of their camps and helped them get the proper exercise and diet that they needed. I learned to communicate with them, trust them, and most of all, respect them. Furthermore, I learned that this respect was something that went both ways, and was not something easily given. I learned so much in a short amount of time and quickly fell in love with the people, the animals, and the beauty of Africa in every way.

I left with knowledge that I desire to share with others, as well as a passion that I am certain will never leave me.

My long-term goal is to get back to Africa, but my next stop is Australia. During this next chapter, I’ll be working with an organization called Global Work and Travel. This organization works closely with travelers and allows them to find jobs in foreign countries suited to their interests and goals. My hope is that I’ll be working on a farm to learn more about Australia’s land and continuing to work closely with animals to gain more knowledge and experience.

I also hope to take trips to Asia and back to Africa to volunteer on elephant and wildlife sanctuaries, as well as take an anti-poaching course to become a certified international anti-poacher. In gaining this experience and knowledge, I will be able to further my goal to help animals and make a difference for a cause that is extremely important to me.

Any donation is appreciated and will put me that much closer to achieving these goals. Thank you!
  • Australia


  • Run For Rhinos!

    Run for Rhinos!
    I was able to be a part of Philadelphia's first annual Run for the Rhinos. It was such an amazing event! People came out a showed their support and love for the beautiful creatures.

    If I can't protect these guys in Africa, I'll try my best in America.