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Lucy: My Raleigh South Africa Experience

Lucy was a venturer on Raleigh South Africa Cycle 3 from October to December 2023. Now she is a full time staff member in South Africa. Lucy is an aspiring conservationist and mountain guide.

Lucy says, “I absolutely loved my time as a venturer in South Africa. I got to meet so many amazing people from all over the world, most of whom I’ve stayed in touch with. As a venturer, I felt like I contributed a lot to the local environment and community. Now that I am working as a staff member, I can continue to help others do the same and offer advice based on my own experiences. I am an operations assistant, so I help with logistics, management of the programs, and generally making sure everything runs smoothly on the ground here in South Africa!”

What Was the Highlight of Your Raleigh Expedition?

My highlight of my time as a venturer was Trek. To say you have lived out of a rucksack hiking and camping for almost 3 weeks is such an achievement. The views and different landscapes that you walk through are so incredible and is something that only Raleigh offers in this region of the world. I only did 7 weeks, so I completed the trek and the environment project. The environment project was so incredible. There was a lot of physically demanding work and the heat was definitely difficult to bear with at times, but it was so rewarding to see the result of our actions at the end of the 19 days. The obvious highlight was living with the animals 24/7. We saw elephants almost every day as well as hippos, impala, buffalo and so much more!

What is Your Favourite Part of Your Work? What Do You Look Forward to the Most?

My favourite part of my work is getting to see even more people enjoy themselves and get stuck in helping others around them. I’m definitely looking forward to some site visits so that I can see the work that venturers are getting up to in person. I feel lucky to be able to bounce between different projects and see different people achieving cool things.

Could You Describe a Typical Day Volunteering in the Bush and Working on Ecological Conservation and Invasive Species Eradication?

We wake up early on environment, (around 4:30AM) and make some breakfast (eggs or porridge and peach slices). We then head out to the reserve in the game viewers to the work site, seeing so many cool animals on the way! We typically spend a few hours working in the Bush; removing invasive plant species like Datura, cutting down trees that are overgrown in the area, litter picking, soil sampling, mapping the area, fence line removal, snare removal and more. You then head back to camp to rest during the hottest part of the day to have lunch and relax (and hide from the elephants that can wander into camp!). In the afternoon you head back out for another few hours of work (3-4PMish) before coming back to camp to make dinner (anything from vegetable hot pot to sausage and mash). You have a nice cold shower before getting into bed at 8pm. If you’re lucky, the guides might take you out for a night drive or some star gazing.

What Challenges Have You Encountered During Your Time in South Africa, and How Have You Navigated Through Them?

There were some difficult days on trek where the terrain was tricky or we would get lost and tensions can easily rise among everyone in the group. To help get past this we would have a morning and evening debrief everyday to help get everyone on the same page and ready for another day of trek. Everything is about teamwork at Raleigh, and that’s what makes it so special.

Need more information about Expedition?

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