2 independent reviews for Family volunteering and safari vacation, South Africa

Reviews for Family volunteering and safari vacation, South Africa

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review 6 Feb 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Oh, there were so many! We spent the first week at a school in Rural South Africa, and watching my kids play and bond with the local children was really special - my 12 year old just sobbed when we had to say goodbye on the Friday, even though it had only been a week. Everyone was really kind and accomodating and hospitable. But I guess the most memorable thing was the safari we went on. We were taken by Francois, who is the husband of the woman who runs the education project, and he was the most wonderful guide you could imagine. Too many highlights to list - it was pretty much perfect.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

If they were planning to take children to a school, as we did, I would encourage them to be in touch with the school before leaving and discuss how their children could be kept occupied. I was helping to teach classes - and on two days, was teaching full-time - so my kids had to look after themselves. They were fine, but I think that some kids could find it tricky and boring to be on vacation, but attending classes. Iīd also suggest that people consider the time of year - we were there in the S. African winter, so the snakes were hibernating. I would have been a bit tense if my children had been wandering freely round the playground and village, knowing that black mambas can and do appear.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Hmmn. I donīt know. I like to think that my teaching was good - I have over 20 yearsīexperience; but I certainly donīt consider it had any lasting impact. I guess a lot of the money we paid for the trip (which we found to be very reasonable) went back to the community, which was good. The people who ran the project said that it was great for the children at the school, who were all black, to mix so freely with white kids - apparently the effects of apartheid are still quite strong. Environmentally - Our flights to and from S.A and Limpopo canīt have helped the planet much, but I donīt think we did any other damage.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

As a fabulous, trip - I think the most memorable vacation I have ever been on. Everything went smoothly and we were well-looked after and cared for at all times. Re the ratings below - Iīd give it five stars, except that the descriptor for four stars is much more suitable. How many people are reborn after their vacations? And at the age of 50, and pretty we-travelled, Iīve had some incredible trips, so I donīt know if itīs the best.

review 21 Sep 2016

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

The people were so friendly. Especially Jacky, Ellanie and Francois and of course all the teachers and pupils at the school. The experience we had (both my son and I) was unforgettable. Seeing the good the school does for the community was heart warming. The Kruger National Park trip was amazing. We saw 63 species of animals and birds in two days thanks to the wonderful Francois's eagle eye!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Hire a car between the volunteering and the hotel. You are on your own and public transport is very poor. For a white woman and a child we were very definitely told not to use public transport which meant we spent a fortune on taxis or remained pretty isolated

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

We were at the volunteer house for only one week which is not enough time to feel you made a personal difference- except for the fact that we decided to sponsor two children for ongoing basic needs deliveries. If you really want to feel you personally input I would recommend at least 3 weeks at the house/school as a minimum

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

The volunteer part was five star in terms of experience and friendliness - the Kruger visit was amazing again, five stars but the hotel part was less enjoyable due to feeling isolated. Only 4 stars for that reason but the hotel itself(casterbridge) was lovely and again the people very friendly.

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