Kariega Game Reserve, Port Elizabeth, South Africa
I volunteered here 18 months ago and it was an amazing experience. Volunteering brings the cost down considerably but you can visit the reserve as a normal guest, we did see the other guests throughout the day and know that they spend their days observing wildlife. I saw everything you expect in South Africa, lions, nylas, elephants, rhinos, hippos, giraffes, zebras, etc. The animals are wild and have no contact with humans, with the exception of observation. There are strict rules for observation and safe distances are adhered to. The animals display totally natural behaviour and are comfortable with observation, in fact they are indifferent to us. There is no coercion or control and animals are free to roam and behave freely. This park has armed rangers to prevent poaching and applies environmental management to ensure harmonious co-existence of animals. Our volunteer co-ordinator was very knowledgeable and there was a significant focus on education. My overall impression of the reserve was that animals were a priority and they were committed to the protection and conservation of the animals. I was very happy that any money I did spend there was direct into conservation. I was also happy that the work I did as a volunteer also contributed to their conservation efforts. I would highly recommend this reserve as an ethical destination.