“Just back from an incredible experience at the game reserve in South Africa. I had two weeks over there and definitely wish I’d gone for longer. As I’m 17 I was one of the youngest in the group of volunteers but that didn’t matter at all because everyone was really welcoming and we had lots of fun. The accommodation and food was all great and I did lots of different activities across the two weeks all across the reserve. The staff at the reserve were all really friendly and helpful, and they helped booking weekend activities for me which was an amazing bungee jump. The My Oyster portal was really helpful before I went as it gave me so much information and Kate was great at making sure I had all the right paperwork as I was classed as a minor travelling alone. I would love to do a similar experience again in the future and would use Oyster again as they made the organisation of it all so easy.”

 Jack, 2 weeks July 2023



“Jacks mum here. He has already done so much on the reserve, made lots of friends, done loads of different things. His high points last week were the game drives and also loved clearing all the trees with a machete! 😂 He had an amazing weekend travelling across to Jeffreys Bay and staying in a surfers backpacking hostel and then travelled to do the world’s highest bridge bungee jump. I was both worried and proud at the same time when he sent me the video.

I heard from him today that he had been to a school in a local township and as a group they bought the kids food and made them lunch then played with them and he bought them a football. He said it was an amazing experience.

It’s safe to say that this has been a real experience for him and a real eye opener. I already have my youngest asking to do something similar so I’ve said he can when he’s 17 too so we’ll definitely be using Oyster again as the whole thing has been so well organised and given Jack such a great time – thank you for this!”

 Jack, 2 weeks July 2023

Lions walking

This is an incredible experience. I’ve met some amazing people, I’m now extending my stay to explore Cape Town which is also incredible! From the moment I enquired to the moment I returned my project manager Georgie has been so helpful. I will for sure book another trip with you soon. Thank you! ”

 Ben, 3 weeks Jan 2023

“The project offers a great way to see lots of animals up close because you are out on the reserve everyday. It’s hard to see all the animals on one drive but because you are out so much it’s likely that you’ll get to see everything at some point. I think it’s the best way to do safari. And about the Garden Route Tour, I recommended that everyone should finish their trip off with the tour if they are able too. You get to do a lot of great activities and the tour guide was excellent.”

 Emma, 3 weeks Oct 2022


“My first week has been great and I’ve been able to experience far more than I ever expected I would. It’s been great getting to meet new people and see a wide range of animals. Thank you for a your support with getting me here. All the information given to me such as the packing list and overview information was very helpful.”

 Emma, 3 weeks Sept 2022

“Just wanted to thank you very much for all your help with my queries and let you know that Michael and his friend Kyle had a wonderful time in South Africa – memories made that will last a lifetime and made friends from all over the world.  Oyster Worldwide Big 5 SA was fantastic thanks from a grateful mum!”

 Anne, 2 weeks May 2022

“I had an amazing time at the game reserve it was a great experience.The facilities were excellent with great food and the staff were all extremely friendly and would sort out any queries in a flash. I am now spending a week surfing in Jefferys Bay before finishing my trip with a week in Cape Town!”

Joe, 2 weeks February 2022


” I’m really fine! The people here, both the volunteers and the staff, are so kind and nice all the time. The activities are also fun and I could already spend time with the vet, what is absolutely amazing! Very happy to be here, really enjoying it.”

Dana, 3 weeks January 2022

Helping with conservation efforts in South Africa“I wanted to say how much I enjoyed this trip and I wanted to thank you for that. It was a fabulous experience and if you plan to run another 40+ programme there next year, I would definitely love to participate again”

Gill, 2 weeks February 2020




A group of volunteers help to do conservation volunteering in South Africa“I’m loving it here and so glad I came. Personally I don’t want to leave! Thanks for everything.”

Ros, 2 weeks February 2020


A group of over 40s volunteers in South Africa“Just want to send a personal thank you for all your help in this amazing journey I went on and for the absolutely fabulous experience it gave me.
I have returned with such a passion to do more of this and am looking at opportunities in the uk to bide me over until I can look to enroll on another trip next year with yourselves. Thank you once again for all your help with this trip.”

Trina, 1 week February 2020


Rhino at the Big 5 game reserve in South Africa“The whole experience was amazing so it has been hard to pick highlights but I think that the morning drive seeing the sunrise over the horizon and the cactus chopping was so fun and they are probably my favourite two moments. The other volunteers I met were fun and positive with stories to share about their experiences and the rangers were knowledgeable, passionate and inspiring people. ”

Bethany, 1 week October 2019


“Georgie was very helpful and was always quick with responding to my emails if I had any queries. I had a slight problem with my flights and Georgie was so quick and efficient when sorting this for me, I am very grateful!”

Bethany, 3 weeks September 2019


A lion looks at the camera at LIONSROCK“I’m having the best time ever! The staff are so knowledgeable and helpful, and everyone is so kind and friendly. The accommodation is so nice. The lions in the rehab centre roar pretty much all night but I’m used to it now. The food is delicious, I’m vegetarian and I was a little worried about that but there is always a veggie option which is brilliant. So all in all I’m loving every second!”

Lauren, 2 weeks August 2019


“I loved seeing the amazing wildlife native to Africa, meeting very friendly new people, working as a team, being able to experience South Africa
at the weekends”

Amy, 2 weeks August 2019


Zebras graze peacefully at the Big 5 game reserve in South Africa“It was amazing and I loved every second! Lived up and beyond expectations so thank you for everything you did to get me on the programme!! A week is 100% too short so I’ll be going back to South Africa in the near future to travel around it!  Many thanks again, I’ll be sure to recommend oyster world to friends and family :)”

Zoe, 1 week May 2019


A lion relaxes beneath a tree“Everything has been great so far! Very full on and always something interesting to do! I went to Plettenberg Bay with a couple of the other volunteers this weekend, and I have been cutting up cacti and trees and going on game drives!”

Lucy, 4 weeks April 2019

Girl sitting next to sedated Lion“I’ve had an absolutely amazing experience and would have been happy to stay here all year!”

Elizabeth, 4 weeks March 2018

volunteer with elephants in SA“This programme matched completely with the expectations I had for this holiday. The information is fully complete so I could chose the right programme. The facilities for the volunteers are well maintained, the food is homemade and the activities are varied. And of course being able to be on game drives as often as this was great.”

Caroline, 2 weeks March 2018

lions in africa“Everyone who helped me both at home and in Africa was friendly and very helpful, there was plenty of information about the trip in ‘My Oyster’. I felt confident that I was prepared before my trip which was great for both me but also for my parents. For me the highlights were making a great group of friends from around the world and it was incredible to be so close to wild animals. Weekend trips were also great”

Louisa, 4 weeks January 2018

big 5 volunteers“The packet I received beforehand had all the information that I needed and it also accurately talked about the activities we would be doing while away. Georgie from Oyster was very helpful and very quick to reply to any concerns. The “My Oyster” portal was an awesome way of keeping all the information in one place.”

Muskaan, 2 weeks October 2017

Black and white elephant at a reserve in South Africa“The trip was amazing, and it was brilliant to see the animals within the reserve. Staff were very friendly and welcoming. Anne was so helpful, I cannot thank her enough. She answered any questions I had very quickly and was there to help when I needed her. Regular contact was needed for a first trip alone. It was amazing and 2 weeks went way too fast. I am planning on booking again next year for the game ranger course! Thank you again Oyster.”

Faye, 2 weeks September 2017

giraffe south africa kwantu safari

“It’s amazing here! I can’t wait to come back in a few years for a longer time! I want to look at more oyster projects for next summer already!”

Amy, 3 weeks July 2017

vounteering with big 5

“It was the perfect way to experience life in an African wildlife reserve by volunteering. You work hard in the day and get rewarded with a game drive in the afternoon and it feels very fulfilling knowing that you are not only enjoying the reserve but also helping to maintain its environment. I met many lovely volunteers there as well which I will definitely keep in touch for many years to come.”

Jasmine, 2 weeks July 2017

Volunteering with big 5 in South Africa“I couldn’t have had a better experience, I had the time of my life at the game reserve. I knew I was going to enjoy the trip but I never expected to be so excited each morning at the thought of seeing something new, there’s no way I could ever get bored of it. Going through Oyster meant a lot less stress for me when organising this project as the quality of the information on the programme made it easier to prepare. Thank you for providing me with this opportunity and helping to organise it!”

Sasha, 4 weeks May 2017

Big 5 Volunteering

“My trip was absolutely amazing! Everyone out there was just so lovely and friendly – I couldn’t have hoped to work with a better bunch of people. And being able to go out and do things at the weekend was brilliant. The 3 weeks went by far too quickly. I could easily of stayed for another 3 weeks. I’m already thinking of going back to do the Garden Route next year maybe. Thank you so much for all your help with my trip. It’s definitely been a once in a lifetime experience!”

Kim, 3 weeks April 2017

South Africa WIldlife Programme“I had an amazing time. I enjoyed pretty much all of the activities and met some great people! The 4 weeks went by so quickly and I did feel sad to leave, so yes, I am missing life there. I would love to go back one day and maybe do the Game Ranger course. Thank you so much for managing my trip. it was one of the most enjoyable experiences of my life!”

Sarah, 3 weeks November 2016

sarah fierle“My trip was incredible. The people I volunteered with were great – it was so crazy to meet all these people from around the world that I would have never met otherwise. I have been keeping in touch with them since I left, along with some of those from the reserve as well! I think the thing I loved the most is that I got to go to an amazing place that I have never been to before, and it is like a vacation, but I felt useful while I was there, and felt like I was making somewhat of a difference.”

Sarah, 3 weeks November 2016

web“Game drives and game counts were always a highlight as it was the best opportunity to see the animals! I also thoroughly enjoyed the school feeding activity as interacting with the local community was great fun.”

Alex, 4 weeks September 2016

review“My highlights were waking up to the lions every morning, going on night and evening game drives, meeting the elephants and doing the sky dive.”

Olivia, 2 weeks April 2016


“Everyone was treating us very nicely and the accommodation was more luxurious than I have expected. Thank you so much for your support and for making this experience possible.”

Roxana, 2 weeks August 2016

david review“Making loads of new friends and seeing the animals up close was a highlight, as was knowing that I was genuinely helping and making a difference. Tree chopping was one of the most enjoyable activities! You will have loads of fun while making a difference. It will look great on your CV.”

David, 2 weeks July 2016

web“The whole process was much easier than I expected, as was the variety of things done on my project. Seeing animals roam freely in the wild and having a feeling that I had helped to make a difference and to put back into the community. It really is a once in a life time opportunity, that gives you such a great experience, not only in land work and conservation, but in meeting new people and experiencing different cultures. This project personally gave me confidence that I haven’t gained anywhere else.”

Georgie-May, 4 weeks July 2016

web“I actually love this country and don’t want to leave. Everyone is so happy and friendly that it’s infectious! The activities are fun and the food is great- I haven’t eaten this healthily in years. A big group of us went to Jeffrey’s bay this weekend and it was so much fun. I surfed for the first time and went horse riding on the beach.”

Luke, 3 weeks July 2016

web“Honestly the best thing I have ever done! Although I am a confident person, coming back from this trip had made me realise what I am capable of. The people I have met on the reserve, and the other volunteers, have been incredible, and I’m very grateful to have met them. The hands on experience of helping the conservation programme was more than what I expected. I highly recommend Oyster and their projects.”

Zoe, 2 weeks April 2016

web“The highlight for me was, of course, being able to see some of South Africa’s amazing animals.However there were many aspects that I enjoyed, from the independence of travelling alone, experiencing a completely different country, and for sure meeting all the amazing people at the reserve! The experience will be gone before you know it – the more effort you put into the trip, the more rewarded you feel when it’s time to go home. I couldn’t have had a better time – best decision of my life.”

Kirsty, 4 weeks January 2016

Game drive“I’m having a fabulous time; getting stuck in with the various tasks and enjoying the drives, as well as the general camaraderie. The staff are really excellent – knowledgeable and friendly, and the food isn’t bad, although I am looking forward to choosing a meal from a menu and washing it down with a glass or two of red!”

Mark, 2 weeks October 2015

P1070943“It’s a once in a lifetime experience. You get to work with some amazing people in incredible surroundings and witness some of the most amazing animals on the planet, as well as actively take part in the conservation of the reserve.”

Rebecca, 2 weeks September 2015

Big 5 conservation“It was an amazing trip. It is a brilliant reserve and I would definitely go back out again at some point.”

Jordanne, 2 weeks September 2015

Conservation volunteer“The trip was fantastic! I really couldn’t have asked for a better experience, especially since we were essentially on a safari every day for four weeks. We fed lions, played with meerkats, and saw the Big 5, so it was all truly amazing. I’m missing it very much, especially since a lot of the friends I made are still there! Thanks so much for helping us to organize this trip – we couldn’t have done it without you!”

Sara, 4 weeks August 2015

Evan Burdett“I had a fantastic time in South Africa. I got to do everything that I wanted during my 2 weeks, such as the elephant sanctuary, school visit, hike, night drives and taking part in all the different tasks. I do miss South Africa and all the people I met; I made lots of good friends from all over the place, which I am staying in touch with. Overall it was a great experience!”

Evan, 3 weeks August 2015

Ciara Odonoghue“The highlights were definitely meeting different great people and seeing all the animals up close, as well as helping with conservation. The programme was really great, the rangers did a great job and the organising staff too. Thank you for all your help!”

Ciara, 2 weeks August 2015

Conservation volunteering“I had a fab time and would thoroughly recommend this to other people. The night drive was definitely a highlight, as was game capture. At the weekends I did shark diving, which was as equally terrifying as it was exciting, and Jeffrey’s Bay. I was very happy I used Oyster for my trip; you have been very helpful and the information pack was extremely useful – it meant I was so well prepared! I was very impressed with your attentive service. Thank you again for all your advice and support, I would definitely use Oyster again!”

Anna, 2 weeks July 2015

Big 5 conservation“I had an amazing time, absolutely loved it!! We got so close to the lions and elephants, which was awesome, and I got to take part in a game capture!”

Kayley, 4 weeks July 2015

Big 5 conservation“I’m having a fab time! I’m loving the activities and have met some really great people. I don’t know what else to say! I’ve seen and done so much that I can’t think what the best bits are, but I am really enjoying the whole project. I have found myself doing things I never thought I would; it is a real eye-opener and has pushed me out of my comfort zone.”

Nicola, 4 weeks July 2015

Conservation projects overseas“It’s been an amazing first week even though it rained heavily the first few days! It’s still cold on a morning and evening so I bought a thick hat in PE this weekend! Went whale watching and saw 7-8 humpbacks really close to the boat which was amazing! I’ve seen all of the Big 5, except the leopard, and plenty of plain game! It still feels very surreal being here, it’s incredible!”

Allanah, 4 weeks June 2015

South Africa“Thank you very much for helping me to organise my trip. I really enjoyed myself and even had time for a quick weekend trip to Cape Town. I really miss the people, just knowing they are still out there having fun! I also miss how it was not stressful at all and life was so simple. All us Oyster volunteers really appreciated your help, so thank you again.”

Emily, 3 weeks May 2015

Wildlife conservation“I had a wonderful time in Africa. Lovely project and lovely people with lots of interesting work. It was so chilled out which is perfect for me. The people and rangers were brilliant. Highlights included social life and the opportunities that I wouldn’t normally have. Thank you for all of your support throughout my little adventure =)”

Jordan, 4 weeks April 2015

Big 5 volunteering“I had the best time of my life in South Africa. I loved meeting the elephants in particular! I really enjoyed my time at the Big 5 reserve and the people that I met. I really want to go back next year and do the game ranger course!”

Jess, 3 weeks November 2014

Conservation gap year“I would just like to say thank you very much for everything. You were so much help and it was probably the best trip I’ve ever been on! I met some amazing people and the days were so fun 🙂 I’m missing it so much already and I’ve only been home for a day!”

Jonny, 4 weeks October 2014

Big 5 conservation“2 weeks definitely wasn’t long enough! It was so good and I really enjoyed it! I loved all of the staff at the reserve too, they were amazing! Thank you ☺☺”

Ashley, 2 weeks October 2014

Big 5 conservation“My experience in South Africa was amazing. I meet amazing people, both local and volunteers, therefore it was very difficult to say goodbye to them. The opportunity to watch the animals’ behaviour in their natural environment was definitely the highlight of this trip. My experience was amazing and I would like to say big thank you for your help and support. All information and advice which I received from you helped in preparing myself for the trip. Many thanks!”

Natalia, 4 weeks August 2014

Elephants on the game reserve at Kwantu, South Africa“This project was amazing. I learnt so much and feel privileged to have been part of this. It really does give you the best life experiences and puts everything in to perspective. I’m so glad I did it and would definitely recommend it! The reserve is smaller than Kruger or Addo, which means you really get to know the rangers, animals and the whole reserve starts to feel like home. It’s prepared me for my future travelling too!”

Elizabeth, 2 weeks August 2014

Big 5 conservation“Absolutely amazing and a once in a lifetime experience. I want to come back! Thank you!”

Megan, 2 weeks August 2014

Conservation experience“We did a game capture which was very exciting. The people were also incredible. I also went along the Garden Route, which was really enjoyable. It’s a good chance to see many safari animals and learn about the animals and the reserve. You meet loads of great people.”

Katy, 4 weeks July 2014

Big 5 conservation“The project was amazing! I really wish that I had gone out for three weeks instead of two – it was one of the best experiences of my life and I didn’t want to come back! I met some lovely people too and one of my main concerns was about not making friends, but we’re all still keeping in touch because they all live relatively locally.”

Yvonne, 2 weeks July 2014

Game ranger course in South Africa“The experience was great, Oyster were incredibly helpful as a company, and far more informed than any other company I’ve travelled with before. The project itself was so much fun, and unbelievably educational. I haven’t learnt that much in such a short space of time ever.”

Shane, 8 weeks June 2014

Lioness and cub at the Kwantu game reserve, South Africa“I had the most amazing time in South Africa – the only downside was that I was there for only two weeks! The staff were all so lovely and helpful. The accommodation was so much  nicer than I expected – it was like a proper hotel but with ten beds to a room! I met so many lovely people from all over the world and some of us have kept in touch. And the animals were fantastic! Thank you so much for all the help”

Robyn, 2 weeks May 2014

Cub at Kwantu game reserve, South Africa“I had good time in South Africa and I am missing my little balls of fluff haha. I enjoyed the work I did and the rangers were nice. You as well were extremely helpful in the run up to the trip, and I was so prepared due to the information you sent me.”

Angela, 4 weeks January 2014

Volunteers on jeep patrol at Kwantu game reserve, South Africa“I had a incredible time in South Africa, and I’m already missing the friends I made out there!”

Emily, 5 weeks January 2014

Cubs resting at Kwantu game reserve, South Africa“I saw many amazing animals and got to do lots of things I wouldn’t normally have done, such as cub sitting! The work could be hard, but was always rewarding. I really enjoyed my time here. All the staff and rangers were really friendly and knew lots about the wildlife and environment. The food was amazing and the rooms were always clean. The weeks have gone really quickly!”

Hannah, 4 weeks January 2014

Wildebeest at Kwantu game reserve, South Africa“This was everything I wanted and even more. For me it was a life changing experience which really opened my eyes to animal conservation and the damage humans cause to the environment, and also to how other people live. Getting so close to wild animals, and watching them in the natural habitat, was something I always wanted to do. I would like to thank everyone for the best 2 weeks of my life!”

Amy, 2 weeks January 2014

Oyster Worldwide review“Highlights for me included cub sitting, elephant riding and game counts. Anyone who is interested in making a difference should do this, especially if they also want to see some incredible wildlife.”

Alex, 3 weeks October 2013

Elephants with babies at Kwantu game reserve, South Africa“I have just got back from 3 weeks volunteering in South Africa with the Big 5, all organised by Oyster, and absolutely loved it! It was such an amazing, rewarding experience and I just wish I could have stayed for longer! We got so up close to the Big 5 it was surreal! We took part in everything from game captures, to feeding the lions, to monitoring elephants, to interacting with a baby white lion cub!!”

Emma, 3 weeks August 2013

“I’ve eBig 5 volunteering in South Africanjoyed the program. It was really hard to leave Africa – it’s an incredible place and the people are just great! The best part about the program is the possibility to learn not only about the wildlife in detail, but also about a different culture, to meet wonderful people and to make some difference in this world. It’s a perfect way to discover wildlife and help to preserve it.”

Anna, 3 weeks July 2013

“The reBig 5 volunteering in South Africaserve is beautiful and something to be proud of. I am enjoying my time here.”

Karla, 2 weeks, July 2013

Big 5 volunteering in South Africa“Fantastic experience. The work was hard but rewarding. The highlights were lion feeding, the dawn/night drives, the amazing wildlife… the list goes on. Be prepared for some fairly demanding physical work. The more effort you put into it the more you will benefit. A lot of what you experience in South Africa will be something new to you, so just embrace that fact. This was an amazing experience!”

Hugh, 3 weeks June 2013

For more information about volunteering with the Big 5 in South Africa, have a look at our game reserve volunteering web page.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Receive our Newsletter
  • View our Privacy Notice to see how we store and use the data you provide.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.