Volunteer Testimonials

Stephanie Smith

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Stephanie Smith

Taking part in The Handshake was incredible. I enjoyed it so much I volunteered twice – first in South Africa, then in Kenya. From the Great Rift Valley to God’s Window, I got to see nature at its most spectacular. I did some unforgettable things, like filming in Tokai Forest metres from baboons, and visiting a school in Kibera slum. But most importantly, I got to be part of a project that makes the world better to be in. So if you’re thinking about joining the Handshake, my advice is do it. See more at: http://www.linkedin.com/company/great-primate-handshake/great-primate-handshake-2012-expeditions-740922/product?trk=biz_product_logo...

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Jessica Burbridge

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Jessica Burbridge

As a young photojournalist and aspiring primatologist, the Great Primate Handshake was an exceptional entry point into the world of conservation for me. I was finally able to begin to realize my dream of marrying photojournalism and primatology and also gained some great experience to apply to my future work here in East Africa. I would absolutely recommend GPH to anyone that is interested. If you have the chance, GO! You can thank me later! See more...

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David Lawes

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David Lawes

An experience like no other. If you want to learn about and be involved with the pragmatic and amazing efforts involved in conservation , then look no further. Run by a dedicated and passionate team, with whom you create video and educational material promoting the very worthy causes you get to visit. It’s surreal working on a mac-book pro when out to your left there is a watering hole surrounded by giraffes. Traveling on the truck is the best way to see the country. It’s your trusty steed for a month and you will have a hard time saying goodbye. Especially when from its open roof you have witnessed a torrent of elephants and tracked lions under a beautiful dawning sky. You’ll laugh, cry, and be inebriated in the most wonderful places you could imagine. Seriously it’s a journey I couldn’t recommend enough. See more at:...

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Eric Okerlund

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Eric Okerlund

Joining the Great Primate Handshake in Kenya this year was by far one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life. I had such an amazing time! The other volunteers were such great people and the staff were extremely helpful, friendly, and knowledgable. I have formed lasting friendships with the volunteers and staff that I will cherish forever. I was a little nervous about travelling to Africa alone, but once I arrived I felt at home…being around fellow do-gooders, meeting all kinds of interesting people along the way and making positive changes in the world. I would highly suggest taking a trip with the Great Primate Handshake to ANYONE who asked. It changed my life in the most amazing way. Thank you to everyone who continues to make GPH such an inspiring organization! – See more at:...

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Ash Williams

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Ash Williams

The  Great Primate Handshake was an amazing experience, which truly opened my eyes to the wonders of Africa and the possibilites of international media production! Before The Handshake, I had never even been on a plane, let alone filmed primates in the Kenyan bush, but thanks to the amazing volunteers and leaders, I gained the confidence and experience to explore and produce films and animations, very much outside of my comfort zone! The staff and support were second to none! Thanks to The Handshake and the confidence I gained from them, I have since produced and helped make films and animations in China, Malaysia, Tokyo, Poland and Hungary. None of this would have happened, had it not been for the amazing and life changing experience that I gained from The Great Primate Handshake! – See more at:...

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Luke Coldman

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Luke Coldman

Going on the Handshake is one of the best things I have ever done, and I enjoyed every minute of it. Not only do you get to spend time in some beautiful locations, but you get to see some amazing wildlife, and actually make a difference towards conserving it. It’s a great way to learn skills in Media too, and even if you have no prior exerience that is no barrier. The staff are really nice and were very helpful and supportive, both before and after, and during the trip. You also get to meet lots of other nice people, and have so much fun, camping together, cooking together, and sharing a massive lovely truck for a few weeks. I will never forget those 4 weeks I spent in Kenya in 2009, from experiencing the monsoon weather patterns of the Kakamega rainforest, to feeling the wind in my hair as we drove from place to place, to seeing hippos and other amazing wildlife on a walk in the Ol Pejeta Nature Reserve. Not to forget all the different types of Primates that we saw and learnt about. The Great Primate Handshake is an experience and expedition that I would recommend to anyone, and which I hope to go on again myself, one day. – See more at:...

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Huw Diprose

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Huw Diprose

Make tracks in conservation you’ll never forget! Primate Handshake was a crash course in media and the natural world. As a part of the camera team they gave hands on training on every stage of shooting your own conservation film. They showed me how to capture the sights and sounds of conservation, take it through the editing process and output my own documentary short! I learned these skills amongst the beautiful backdrops of the Kenyan landscape, observing first hand the subjects and themes of the films and communicating directly with those on the front-line of primate conservation. If you have a drive to travel, make great friends, learn media and find out first hand the vital role Primates play in our ecosystem, then sign up! – See more at:...

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Leslie Bratton

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Leslie Bratton

Volunteering with The Great Primate Handshake is one of my fondest memories. Although I did not have a background in film, but instead anthropology/ wildlife conservation, I absolutely loved learning a wonderful tool to help wildlife conservation. We travelled all across Uganda experiencing a vast variety of living situations, wildlife, social issues, and some of the most amazing people in the world (within the group and locals). That staff were always there to listen, advise, and support. You live in very close confines with people for a month and at the end of the month it will be the hardest thing to say goodbye to all of these wonderful people. This is an experience I will never forget and look back on fondly for years to come. If only I could find enough time to volunteer again! – See more at:...

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Lauren Gribble

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Lauren Gribble

I can’t say enough about this organisation, they are amazing! I went on the Kenya 2010 expedition and not a day goes by that I don’t think back that trip- it has forever changed me. I am sure there are many great volunteer trips out there but I can’t imagine any come close to how uniquely put together this particular experience is. While traveling through the country (from rainforest to coastal shores) not only are you seeing more than most “one location volunteer experiences”, but you get to meet a variety of local people who invite you into their communities and conservation efforts. Everyday was a new experience. I would do this trip over again in an instant for many reasons including getting to work with an amazing passionate (and fun) staff, a constant variety in landscape/people/culture, and for the unique and much needed service that the organization provides to grassroot organizations through film. I love the Great Primate Handshake! – See more at:...

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Matthew Spencer

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Matthew Spencer

If you’re going to spend a month trapped in a truck with the same people 24/7 for 30 days, you can find no better company of individuals.  Each of the staffers brought their own wonderfully unique eccentricities and passions to the proceedings, with an infectious energy. I had always been a passive supporter of animal welfare, but it wasn’t until spending time with the staff that I felt driven to do anything about it personally. Guys, you inspire people to be better. It can be hard, gruelling even, at times to live on a schedule as tight as ours; wake up at dawn, cook, clean, on the road/ trekking out to the next community project or village/ editing together footage (tip: if you don’t like Macs, learn to love them or learn to break them in a way that can’t be traced back to you), lunch, return to work, dinner, packing up the camp and bed. Repeat. However, even though there are times where you border on total exhaustion, it never becomes a chore. I loved every moment of every second. I saw things I thought I’d never see: a beetle the size and shape of fear incarnate, and rhinos and lions in their natural habitat. I did things I never would have imagined myself being a part of: hiking the highest mountain in total darkness to witness the sunrise across a rainforest hundreds of metres below, only to be surrounded by bats on the way down through a cave. Heard things I’d never hear elsewhere: Carly Rae Jepsen sung by the school children of Bore, and the comic mispronouncing of the word ‘mosquito’. This experience opened my eyes and inspired me be a better person. For all this, the GPH has my eternal thanks and support. – See more at:...

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