Student Volunteer’s Experience Going on a Safari in South Africa

by Sarah Harris|Jun 20 2016|South Africa
safari zebra

Monday morning was safari day and a flurry of activity at the Bobbi Bear house when we came down form our rooms. I sat in the sunshine and talk to one of the Bobbi Bear staff, one of the longest serving. We talk about the history of South Africa, the challenges with corruption on all levels, the unbearable growing un-employment, the broken education system, cultural differences and the history of this beautiful country. It was all so much to take on. My brain active with ways to help. 


We are collected from the Bobbi Bear HQ and drive through green rural parts of Umbumbulu, watching children play in school, past yurts and sugar cane fields. We arrive at Tala Game Reserve, a private game-reserve; not an average Monday this was.

The air was so fresh, so pure and we had the park practically to ourselves. The smells were so clean, so natural. I sat with my head leaning out of the window, deep breaths watching animals pass by like a dream I once had. To see these beautiful animals in their natural environment was such an honour. I felt incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to spend a part of my trip with Allen, Jackie’s husband listening to him speak so utterly highly of all her hard work. Another inspiring member of the extended Bobbi Bear family. Watching the animals was awe-inspiring. Hippopotami, Zebras, Giraffes and Rhinos. The real Lion King (minus the lions) 

We stop for lunch in the heart of the safari park and enjoy the sunshine and food before hitting the road again, taking dirt tracks to unknown places to discover animals I didn’t know existed.

The world is a beautiful place. South Africa is a beautiful place.

So much beauty and yet so many ugly problems. Thank goodness for organisations like Bobbi Bear who work so hard to tackle some of these problems.


We drive back from Tala Safari, through the endless green pastures. What huge potential South Africa has? The children are pouring out from the schools as we drive through villages. Teenagers are the same in any culture. Little five-year-olds run home to their mothers. The afternoon sun has lost some of is ferocity and it’s home time. Family time. We all rest, make dinner and enjoy sharing our thoughts with the other volunteers.

Seeing so much of the rural landscape and the animals that make Africa so desirable make me feel so lucky to have been able to come to Operation Bobbi Bear. It was the perfect break to digest the information received over my time here. By bed time I flick through the photos taken over the day, and over my time here. This has become a regular evening routine for me. My mind is full of ways to help. Ways to support these incredible people. These inspiring women.


Would you like to Volunteer with us or know more?

You can read more about our volunteering programmes in South Africa here. Furthermore, you can find out more about Volunteer Invest here.

Questions? Would you like to participate? That’s great – feel free to email us or call/whatsapp us on: +44 (0) 7704 129 816

Alternatively, complete an application to begin the process of volunteering, and we’ll be in touch with more details!

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