The day I arrived at Buffelsdrift Game Lodge I was blown away. As I stepped out onto the deck overlooking the dam I was taken back by the beauty. The lodge is perched on the edge of a pristine dam with hippos and fish swimming around and birds chirping. As you look off into the distance you see springbok scattered on the hillside.  I was surprised that it only took a few days to become fully immersed and apart of this place and the environment here in Oudtshoorn. I never thought I would find it normal to look out my window and see springbok and elephants grazing in my back yard.

I have already experienced many new things here such as tasting ostrich and spending hours watching elephants eat and interact with one another. I have learned so much about tourism in South Africa and how many hard working people it takes to run a lodge like Buffelsdrift. What really has made this experience so positive for me so far is the kindness that all the people working at the lodge have shown me. Being in such a comfortable environment has made it so easy to enjoy this experience and truly dive into it. I never thought I would feel so comfortable in a place so far and so different from my home in America.

After being here for five days I still feel like Buffelsdrift is a dream. With animals everywhere I look, friendly people, delicious meals and comfortable accommodations it’s hard to see the hours I spend volunteering as being work at all. I have really enjoy all the work I have done here so far. I am so happy that I get to spend the next 3 weeks in such a wonderful place.

Volunteer: Emily Robinson – USA