This is an excerpt from an article written by Sarah Dyer of Voice4Lions and published online by Learning Service on 14 January, 2020
So you love lions? Me too! Learning about how desperate a situation our lions are in nowadays, who would not want to try and do something they felt would improve their situation?
People have many reasons for looking at voluntourism projects that include wildlife – for example, friends have done it and recommended, it looks a bit of fun and something different to your standard holiday, some look at it for experience for a future career, and others do it for the love of the species and the hope that what they will do has a beneficial impact to the animals they are going to work with. Volunteering can be a great way of aiding wildlife AS LONG AS YOU DO IT RIGHT!
As a mature volunteer I set off to South Africa in December 2012 to volunteer with lions. I was someone who had previously volunteered at a wildlife rescue in the UK, and I wanted to take things a step further and work with an animal I had always loved and revered. I tried to do some research on the place I was going to, but it was not that easy to do and being naïve (yes even mature volunteers can be naïve!) I never thought about the real impact of this kind of volunteering nor the industry associated with it.