Blue skies, green grass, fresh air, and open spaces;
New Zealand is beautiful but it's LION-LESS!!
I could write you a book on our time at Ingwe but I’m not the best writer, so I’ll do everyone a favour and shorten things up.
On our arrival into Africa nerves began to kick in. Thankfully we had 3 days in Johannesburg to get use to the climate, meet the other volunteers, and get over the jet lag. It was great to be able to see some sights and be well looked after for the orientation period.
But then there was Ingwe… A place where people have the opportunity to deal and work with animals that most people can only dream about. Lions, Caracals, Serval, Coati bear, pet Labrador, oh and did I mention Lions! Honestly it was love at first sight. In fact I thought to myself… sorry mum but I may never leave Africa, I will stay and become a lion girl and be part of the Ingwe family.
I know in blogs you are meant to talk about all the highlights of the trip but I think you can probably gather that the whole month was one big highlight of my life. There’s bottle feeding lion cubs every morning, reading a book in the sun with the caracals or Zak the Serval, play times when the animals are out and come to steal everything that you leave lying around so it’s a good way of learning to pick up after yourself!
All the extra
activities on offer; like sky diving (yes I did it, and yes I screamed), croc farm, zip lining, Kruger national park, cheetah and elephant interaction, horse riding and more. Not only are the
animals a big time highlight but so are the people you meet. I learnt a few things while at Ingwe; Eastern Europeans cant have a meal without ketchup, they find the kiwi accent hard to understand
at times (BAZAAR!), and even though we are from different parts of the world we all shared the same love and passion for animals.
A few thanks are in order. Vicki from International Working Holidays NZ.
I booked this volunteer program though her and she couldn’t have been more helpful.!
The team at Awesome travel in Johannesburg. Especially Natasha, Harry, Reuben and Nele (hope I spelt this right!) you guys were amazing. You provided us with a great stay in Johannesburg and an amazing experience at Kruger! Yadie the legend behind Ingwe.
You provide your volunteers with a great place to stay and provide us all with so many opportunities. I have no doubt in my mind that this project will continue to grow and be bigger and better in the years to come. You’re an all time animal lover who lets nothing or no one stop you from achieving what you set out to achieve.
And last but not least. Kayleen (Ray Ray Donny Jr) and Delport. Two awesome young people who are Yadies right hand men. You looked after us all so well and I truly appreciate the people you both
are. You both have a passion for animals and incredible people skills. Stay cool kids and see you fellas soon!
Megan W from Christchurch