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  • Writer's pictureLEO Africa

Volunteer of the month! Walter, 4 times with us!

My name is Walter, I live in Vienna and I’m 75 years old turning 76 in December.

You may think life has not much to offer any more? This is my story:

I’ve been to many beautiful places in South Africa and neighbouring countries, staying in nice and expensive lodges, but deep in my heart I knew “something” was missing.

As I started to plan my next trip to South Africa in 2014 I came across LEO Africa’s homepage. I was instantly fascinated by the idea of joining this team of volunteers, but at my age? I contacted LEO Africa and was promptly informed that there was no age limit and everyone is welcome at LEO.

I made the booking and was looking forward to a new adventure. I was quite anxious when I arrived at LEO base but was greeted with smiles and friendly words making me feel like I was coming “home”. Volunteers from around the world, young or old, come to assist LEO in protecting wildlife and assisting in a range of conservation work.

The role of the volunteers not only includes monitoring the movements of the “Big Five” but also important conservation work including road clearing, removal of alien plants and tree wrapping. It can be exhausting sometimes but you are rewarded with that happy feeling of satisfaction and pride of having contributed to the protection and care of the environment.

On game drives out in the bush you “lose contact” with reality, carried away by the beauty of the scenery and the variety of wildlife. Your mind is at ease and all your troubles are far away.

I am currently volunteering at LEO for the fourth time and, God willing, I’ll be back again.

I’m very grateful to the management and staff of LEO Africa for their commitment and dedication, doing their utmost to protect wildlife for my children, grandchildren and future generations.

Many thanks also to my fellow volunteers for their friendship, assistance and patience.

When you let your mind wonder,

Let it go to a wonderful place, a place I call LEO Africa.

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