Wild life volunteering in South Africa

Hey what’s up guys John here back in the summer of 2014 I went to a volunteer program called living with big cats wild edition, a lot of you are familiar with living with big cats which is a separate program where you take care of animals in a sanctuary but living with big cats wild edition as the name suggests is all about wild animals and research .

Whatever you do one of these programs through volunteer Southern Africa are always looking for the places that do the most for the animals and offer the best experience from volunteers so the program was recently upgraded to a brand new location .

Living with big cats wild edition has a strong emphasis in conservation and seeing animals in their natural habitat which is something I think is really important whenever you’re looking at one of these volunteer programs with animals each day we start out really early usually leaving at about five thirty in the morning for either a bush walk or game drive bush walks are great because you’re on the same level as the animals and you get to see details that you might otherwise miss while driving in a car .

You also get to feel like you’re part of the wild because at times you’re literally walking in the footsteps of wild animals it’s, really peaceful walking through the bush listening to the sounds of nature and although bush walks are a lot of fun they’re not just done for our amusement the bush walks, the game drives, the animal tracking those things are all really essential to the research that gets out of the program so we would always monitor the animals and write down the data and we do this and monitor things like population size and behavioral habits .

On our walk we came across some hippo with a baby and that’s something I’ve never seen before in the wild in captivity or even on TV that baby hippo was the cutest little thing and that’s the beauty of which walks in game drives no matter how many times you go you never know what you’re gonna see .

After our morning bushwalk we’d usually head back have breakfast and import the information into the database then it could be resting or reserve maintenance before heading out for an afternoon game drive .

Just walked outside my room and these guys have just casually hanging out in the backyard .

Well it’s been a good day so far we are about to go out in the game drive right now hopefully we’ll see a leopard, seven times in South Africa and still I’ve never seen a leopard in the wild so hopefully today fingers crossed .

Going on a game Drive and seeing all these animals in the wild there’s nothing else like it you might see these animals on TV or in a zoo but there’s nothing like actually being there in the midst of it all it’s like that opening scene in The Lion King but getting to actually be there and be a part of what’s going on .

A term you’ll often hear me use in these videos is the big five, the big five is an expression referring to the five African animals that is hardest to hunt on foot to lion, the leopard, the elephant, the buffalo and the Rhino .

I’ve been on game drives before where I’ve been lucky enough to see four out of the five but leopards can be really elusive so people don’t always see those in the wild but this time I finally saw a leopard .

It walked out right in front of us and it was beautiful .

We saw a whole pride of lions on the move even including some lion cubs .

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again the best place to see lion cubs in the wild with their mothers because that’s how it should be .

We saw all the big five on one single game drive and that was incredible .

As you may have seen in my last video rhino poaching is one of the biggest wildlife problems in South Africa as these animals are being hunted to near-extinction so any place that has rhinos needs to have a really strong anti poaching unit on one of the days two of the members from the unit paid us a visit they showed us how to use dogs to catch poachers and protect the Rhinos .

My name is Peter this is Byron we’re here to do a demo for you guys and show you exactly what we do .

We will perform at a small demo Byron will lay a track and then i’ll use Chakkas the Malamute to track him and then we’ll do a bite at the end .

So a question I’m often asked is what is the difference between living with big cats and living in big cats wild edition .

Well as mentioned earlier living with big cats you take care of animals to the sanctuary at living with big cats wild edition the animals are in the wild they’re living in their natural habitat .

You get an amazing education in wildlife and you work directly with industry professionals and they’re researching conservation efforts so if you’re looking for a conservation and research-based program where you get to see the animals in the wild this is the program for you