A life changing experience

It is difficult to put into words how thankful I am for my time at Panthera Africa.

I am in awe of Cat and Lizaene, and everything they do. They have put everything they have into PA and created this little paradise for animals and people alike. It can’t have always been easy along the way, but the every part has come together to make PA a truly inspiring place to be. There is something special happening on that farm in Stanford. It is almost instant; as soon as you arrive you feel this overwhelming wave of happiness. The people, the animals, the energy – it feels like home, however long you are there.

I don’t think I could ever say ‘thank you’ enough for my experience at PA. I learnt so much – both about the animals, and about myself. Each animal’s story is so powerful and it really opened my eyes to all the issues that animals face in South Africa and across the world. As a volunteer, it is a mine field – there are so many places that pretend to work for ‘conservation’ and call themselves a ‘sanctuary’ when in reality so many are part of the canned hunting industry or animal bone trade. I am so so grateful that my path brought me to Panthera Africa, where I can say that I gave my time to support true animal welfare. I worked hard; and whether it was picking up tiger poo, preparing meat for feedings, building lion houses or helping with tours, I really feel like I was valued and I made a difference to these animals lives…and that’s an INCREDIBLE feeling.

I didn’t expect when I first booked my flights to South Africa that my trip would change my life and I would leave a completely new person. There was one moment where I  sat, talking with Pardus the leopard, and I realised that this was a moment of pure, overwhelming happiness. Surrounded by all these incredible animals, somehow everything else just melted away.

Thank you to the Panthera Pride for letting me become a part of your family. I am sending love and good wishes to you all every day and I hope that my path will lead me back to you very soon <3

Steph (UK)

June 2017

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