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Participant Reviews

not as expected

I’ve been to Leo first as volunteer to learn about marketing and promotion and of course see the beautiful animals. The animals are great, the nature around and the location is just stunning. The organisation is not great. The two managers, a Italian woman and an Afrikaans man, are a couple who work together, but they are not capable of putting their emotional feelings on a side when it comes to work. So during my first visit, every staff member who was working there, was planning to leave the project. They had internship with Bushwise, and even the students were leaving one by one. The woman manager tries to keep every volunteer (especially Italians) close to her, worried that at some point she will end it up alone. In addition, when there is the opportunity to go out one evening to have something different to eat, she will have crisis since her boyfriend likes to drink alcohol and she doesn’t like that. It happened when I was there that she started crying in front of everyone because he wanted to go to a party and she disagree. He is really male focused, he likes to be bossy and imperative towards woman especially and volunteers. That creates sometimes really difficult situations, where the staff members are obliged to take control of the project to avoid volunteers to feel what is going on. I know that because the second time I went there, I was working as camp coordinator, without salary, without off days and without the possibility to enjoy Africa for its animals and beauties. The food was never enough, the volunteers are having two drives per day where it says they do research, but they just driving around looking for animals, and if the Marataba lodge has guests around they will have priority leaving the volunteers in the car waiting for their turn. I wouldn’t call a volunteer project, but rather a cheap safari. That was my experience.
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