By Dian Hasan | June 14, 2009
In our increasingly globalized and interconnected world, the idea of travel has taken on a new meaning beyond the adage “been there, done that”. Gone are the days when travel was more about “taking” and less about “giving”. When the modern travel industry was in its infancy, travelers commonly considered that their travel already contributed positively to the local economy wherever they were traveling to. Today, however, there’s a push to do more. Stemming from the yearning to continue to explore – as travel’s primary reward – while concurrently gaining a more meaningful experience. Involving a life-altering, self-less, engaging type of trip, under which realms falls Eco-tourism, and all the variation on the theme, ie. VolunTourism, Responsible Tourism, Green Travel, Wildlife Habitat Conservation … in short “doing-good travel”. I will not dwell on the inexact definition of ecotourism and all the different components it entails, but more of the positive attributes it has for both the traveler and the environment, communities, and economies of the travel destination.
So if your inner self calls for Humanitarian-related travel through Volunteer Travel, saving the rainforest, or helping save endangered species, 21st century travel couldn’t be more accommodating. Virtually every conceivable travel niches are available, awaiting your whim to explore. All promising to reward you with a unique travel experience.
In the area of protecting endangered wildlife, South Africa beckons with its Enkosini Eco Experience. A unique self-funding volunteer opportunity to work at some of Southern Africa’s leading wildlife conservation, rehabilitation and research projects.
A conservation placement is the ultimate life changing and rewarding experience. Placements range from 1-12 weeks, giving volunteers the opportunity to become involved in a wide variety of conservation activities; including anti-poaching patrols, animal care and feeding, monitoring and counting of wildlife, erecting and checking of game fences, bush rehabilitation and everyday reserve maintenance and management.
Volunteers can choose from single projects or multiple projects. All conservation projects have a strong element of continuity, where the work of one volunteer is carried on by subsequent volunteers and, collectively, the Enkosini Eco Experience network makes a lasting impact on local communities, wildlife and wildlands in Southern Africa.
Founded in 2003, Enkosini Eco Experience allows volunteers to maximize their passion and financial contribution to the projects they choose. Enkosini’s carefully selected projects are not just “placements” – they also involve external colleagues, mentors, partners. Part of a tight-knit Southern African community, working together to achieve higher standards in conservation, and fight unethical wildlife activities through advocacy, media exposure and legislative change. Enkosini Eco Experience supports partner wildlife projects with the necessary financial and volunteer assistance required to achieve their goals in conservation and community development.
Volunteers are not defined or limited by anything, coming from all walks of life – from gap year students to career breakers to retired people – of all nationalities. Promising a new direction in life while experiencing travel in a unique rewarding way, Enkosini Eco Experience calls out to anyone who is enthusiastic about conservation and the environment. For more info: Enkosini Eco Experience.