Ask the Alumni: A South Africa Trip through the Eyes of a Discover Corps Traveler

For Cathy, the South Africa: Wildlife Conservation Experience trip offered the educational aspects she was looking for while helping her cross seeing the Big 5 off her bucket list (almost – the leopards remained elusive!) with two of her girlfriends. According to Cathy, while this trip focused on wildlife, meeting with some of the children in the area was also an unexpected highlight.

Read about her experience below to learn what she wished she had known before traveling, her most memorable moments, and other insider tips.

King Arthur, a member of the rhino sanctuary

Why did you choose Discover Corps versus another travel company? 

The reviews were amazing and the trips looked like it would be a wonderful opportunity to volunteer and also go behind the scenes. I really wanted to see the Big Five and liked the volunteer opportunities this trip provided, so took the leap and gave it a shot.

In the end, it changed my life!

What is one thing you wish you’d known before traveling to South Africa?   

How cold it would be in the morning. I didn’t believe it when Discover Corps told me!

Tell us about the most memorable experience from your trip.  

Being at the orphanage and seeing the way some people in the world live. I was most surprised by how safe it was and how nice all the people were. The 9 different languages really amazed me!

I also really enjoyed the small groups. Our group was seven people and we all got along like family. We will be keeping in touch and hopefully plan a future trip together through Discover Corps. This was very surprising to me, but I can’t imagine having traveled here without the group.

What did you think of your guide and your accommodations? Are there any clothes/shoes/toiletries/ camera equipment items you’d say are must-brings on this trip?

Our guides and the accommodations far exceeded my expectations, but bring warm clothes for the morning drives if you are there in their winter season. I also only had my iPhone and wished I had brought a real camera with a zoom lense.

This trip was absolutely educational – our guide seemed to know everything and had so much passion for the area and animals that call it home.

What you would say to someone thinking about traveling to South Africa with Discover Corps?

DO IT!!!! It was a life changing experience for me and I will go back and volunteer at the rhino sanctuary again. South Africa is such a diverse country and the people there are lovely. My next trip will definitely be with Discover Corps on the other side of South Africa near Cape Town.

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