Are you going on a Gap Africa project? Here are our five top tips for you!
Take a look at our gallery to gain an insight into all of the incredible memories that have been made across our once in a lifetime experiences. And whilst you’re here, keep on scrolling to read all about our most popular projects, as well as what everyone has to say about GAP Africa upon their return…
“My entire experience with Gap Africa Projects and the staff, activities and accommodation at the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre was fantastic! There is not one thing I can think of that I did not enjoy. Right from the beginning of my journey I have been highly impressed by the support given by the staff from before I went right the way through to when I came home again. It was the best experience of my entire life and I cannot wait to go back one day. I would highly recommend this to anyone and cannot thank the staff and coordinators enough for their brilliant support.”
“As an immediate feedback I would like to thank you and all the team members as HESC so very much for a really wonderful experience!! She has not stopped talking and telling stories and showing 1000s of photos! She was by far the youngest participant, but that seemed to make no difference. She learned SO much from everybody, and with her lovely nature of friendliness and enthusiasm, she fitted in very well!
I was most impressed by the administrative handling of matters and the incredibly friendly, warm , immediate response I got from Mark at the UK branch. I never for a moment doubted that my child would be safe and in good hands with such a team.”
“Had the best experience and would like to thank everyone who was involved both at Gap Africa and Shamwari. I have never experienced anything like this before and would recommend this to everyone! Everyone at Shamwari was brilliant! Mark from Gap Africa was also amazing with the information provided and making sure we had everything we needed, was a great help! Thank you again for everything!!!”
“Shamwari is beautiful and the people are amazing. The best part is that it isn’t a leisure holiday. You go there to do some work and learning, but you have fun while you do it. Gap Africa will make it happen and they are great at it.”
“I had the most amazing time and can definitely say that I have made lots of friends and learnt so much about the game reserve whilst seeing all the animals. The level of advice and help we received from Gap Africa was amazing and they sorted out all our transfers and B&B accommodation. I would definitely recommend them and Kariega Game Reserve.”
“How do you put into writing the Shamwari experience and put across to others how exciting and challenging the project is? The truth is, you can’t! No two days are the same and the feelings and emotions you have when face to face with an elephant, following a pride of lions on a night drive and being lucky enough to see a leopard is out of this world.
Whilst working hard and helping with the Shamwari conservation, you are rewarded with amazing sightings, sceneries and watching your own personal development. From darting Impala, to camping out under the stars, this South African experience is one that will stay with me forever.”
“This trip was amazing, and I loved every second of it. Thank you to everyone who made this possible and helped with every question and query to such a high standard!
I want to thank everyone involved in making this trip amazing! I would recommend Gap Africa Projects to everyone and anyone. It is such an amazing service and will defiantly use them again! Thank you, Lorna”
“Georgina had a great time and as the weeks go on we are hearing more tales of her adventure, although the animals and the bungee jump will be a lot to live up to in her future adventures!
There are so many companies etc on the Internet that one can become a bit bemused by everything and your company has certainly proved to be a good one for her – so much better for her future career than simply just following a conservation project.
Thank you for your support and care for her welfare and enjoyment of the whole experience, I will certainly be recommending your company to others”
“Whilst at Shamwari Conservation Experience we were very well cared for and had an exceptional time encountering some of the most amazing experiences of my life let alone the students! We are returning again this year but with a few extra students and for a longer period of 3 weeks.
Although we are only in the early stages of organising the trip, yet again nothing has been a problem for Gap and we are sure to have another amazing experience! I would strongly recommend Gap as a conscientious travel organisation who cares both about their customers here in the UK and at the project abroad.”
“I had a totally awesome time at Shamwari, I think it was even better than I was expecting! Even though I am hoping to become a cow vet after graduation I still found the work on the reserve extremely interesting and very relevant; such a great opportunity to experience a completely different way of life and path of vet work! I also really enjoyed everything else not specifically vet related that we did at Shamwari such as the talks on game capture and anti-poaching, the visit to the day care centre in Paterson, rifle shooting etc. I would thoroughly recommend the trip to anyone considering it.
Thank you so much for organising it all for us!”
“I had an absolutely amazing time! Couldn’t have enjoyed it any more! Already wishing I chose to do it longer and am hopefully going to do it again next year! And yes it is a shock! wish I was still there! I really managed to get out with everyone and see Ghana as well which was great, and also managed to get involved in teaching and going to the orphanage too. I have attached some pics of me coaching, the team I coached and also one of the team I trained with in the last week.
Thank you very much for all of the help in getting it sorted out!”
“This project was amazing!!! I would come back in a heartbeat. Everyone at Shamwari and Gap Africa Projects are wonderful!
If you are looking for the experience of a lifetime – look no further. Shamwari has provided me and my fellow students with memories we shall never forget and experience second to none. All the staff at Shamwari including vets, guides, conservationists, cooks and everyone else are all very down to earth and make you feel like you are home.”
“My four week work experience placement at Kariega Game Reserve has come to and end, and I could not have wished for a better place. To be living in the middle of a Big 5 game reserve with nothing but a bit of wood and wire between you and the lions is an experience that everyone should have. Watching them pass by at night is frightening and breathtaking, and is only topped by them brushing past the game viewer vehicle. I have got to see so much here on Kariega and it was especially impressive to see both black rhino, the elephants and white rhino in one day. Azel is so much fun and she has the knowledge and enthuisiasm that surpasses any other ranger. I wish I could stay for longer!”
“What an eye opening experience! I’ve had an amazing month on Kariega Game Reserve and met so many great people. Azel, what can I say. Thank you for taking us under your wing, you taught me so much. Your constant enthusiasm and genuine care about our interest, always making sure we got to do our requested activities (whilst still getting all the conservation work done), was just amazing. Kariega really has been a once in a life time experience. It’s so beautiful here and to see all the animals in their natural environment this way really has been special. I’m so happy to have been a part of it all and to be able to give a little back through this great volunteer programme. I’m going back to Merrist Wood College having had the best work experience I could ask for!”
“These past 4 weeks on Kariega has been more than just a work placement or a holiday. It has been a life experience. I have met so many great people, learnt so many great things but above all I have enjoyed it beyond. I would like to thank Azel for all that she has done as this trip wouldn’t have been the same without her. To all at Kariega Game Reserve … thank you!”
“I thoroughly enjoyed the experience as a whole and will definitely get in contact with Gap Africa Projects in the future if I’m looking to do some similar hands on voluntary work. The Shamwari experience was far greater than anything I could have hoped for during my half term break! I had such an amazing time especially with the diverse amount of activities the volunteers could participate in and I only wish my stay could have been longer than two weeks.
I have Gap Africa Projects to thank for my experience. Their great service and personalised help with expedition organisation was extremely useful. I have already found myself recommending them, and the project I took part in, to anyone interested in a similar experience.”
“I have met representatives from many school trip providers over the last few years and there have been very few that I have trusted, Gap Africa is one of the select few.
Gap Africa has the flexibility to tailor bespoke trips to our designs, making for an experience that is truly unique. One of the biggest advantages that Gap Africa provides is the assurance they know what to do when things go wrong. These trips often involve a relatively large number of students so it is inevitable that problems will occur at some point; Gap Africa maintain excellent communication links with the school team and Shamwari and are able to advise and coordinate actions where required.”
Shamwari is a fully operational reserve and the experience is based on the requirements of various short and long term projects and the need for assistance by the award winning Conservation Department. The project specialises in wildlife conservation, with a focus on ecology and environmental education with local community and sporting interactions.
For those students who are sure that veterinary medicine is what they want to study, we offer a unique course at Welgevonden Game Reserve. The Pre Vet Programme offers students the opportunity to work alongside Welgevonden’s pioneering veterinary staff. The programme itself is split into both theoretical and practical activities, all based around veterinary science and conservation in relation to African wildlife.
Our group expeditions are incredibly hands on and are suited to those groups wanting to gain valuable work experience as well as those just looking for a once in a lifetime experience. Activities are incredibly varied and each group will have the opportunity to work alongside the award winning conservation team at Shamwari assisting with day to day conservation activities, research projects and even veterinary work and game captures!
If you’re looking for an experience or placement that will contribute towards and enhance your EMS for Veterinary Science, this programme in South Africa is for you. Working alongside wildlife vets, you will study both the practical and theoretical elements of wildlife veterinary medicine and conservation in Africa.