I am nibbling on leftovers from last night’s farewell Braai as I ponder my month spent mostly in the Garden Route of South Africa. In the Western Cape, I interviewed game drive rangers, took a few walks to remote waterfalls, fed African elephants, and went scuba diving with seals and sharks. I can say with certainty that it has been one of the best months of my life in terms of work and play. I have witnessed the beauty of Africa’s diverse flora and fauna and felt the passion from conservationists working tirelessly to protect the country’s biodiversity. During my time here, Africa Media has helped me to spotlight South Africa’s natural beauty through my writing. I really cannot recommend this program enough in terms of its opportunities for exploration and publication. If you are looking for adventure and passionately love travel and the world, I highly suggest Africa Media’s environmental journalism internship in Mossel Bay.
June – August 2015
I’ve never met more passionate and amazing people like Fiona and Ryan! Their programmes are amazing and even 3 years later I still rave about my time there. There’s no better programme in my eyes and it truly is one of the most amazing things you’ll ever do!
The Environmental Journalism & Travel Writing Internship was beyond what I could have imagined what it would be. Working alongside Cassie and a field expert I was exposed to a wide variety of topics to write about and learned how to compose articles ready to be published in magazines. Adventures in hiking through South Africa’s numerous trails, cage diving with sharks and exploring the local towns and mingling with the people who inhabit them. I got a chance to live, breath and understand my surroundings and how to portray them in the journalism medium. I would recommend this program to anyone who wants to further their writing skills and travel to a place that is nothing like they have seen before.
Home safe and sound, wishing I was back in guinjata! I really met some amazing people out there and had an incredible experience. I suppose all good things must come to an end but I will be back! These two months have been awesome, I’ve seen humpbacks, whale sharks, mantas, elephants, giraffe and zebra to name a few! Thanks to all the Campfire lot for letting me come with you and thank you to everyone at guinjata for being so totally awesome, showing me what I really want to do with my life. I’m going to keep in touch with all of you, don’t worry I’ll be back soon enough! Love you all so much
You may not know how to put it into exact words but you will remember it. It gives me a sense of pride, accomplishment and (dare I say) love as I ease it to the forefront of my memory.
If you are at all like I was, Africa Media sounds too good to be true as you peruse the site for the first (or tenth) time. I can’t condense the discoveries I made during my two months in the journalism and photography internships into anything short of a novel. My long-story-made-short is like a lucid dream, deep yet immediate.
Africa media validated my passion for media and conservation. That’s the simple part. Professional fieldwork challenged me, sometimes frustratingly so. I wouldn’t have that part any other way. The appreciation I accrued for the animal kingdom, humans included, was immense. The lot at Africa Media was the most original, enthusiastic and daring I have known. We worked hard, played hard, and often the two were indecipherable.
I can’t predict everyone you’ll meet on the Garden Route. But you will remember them and probably stay in touch with the special few. You will remember the exhilaration, awe and attentive calm of seeing a great white shark for the first time. You will remember the “f-yeah!” of truly capturing the subject after one hundred clicks. You will remember the nervous authenticity of your first interview: the tingling in your fingertips when you put it into an article. You will retell the countless adventures in-between.
I’ve realized that every time I travel to an unfamiliar location, my perspective of the world warps and changes. Africa, the Underwater Photography Internship led by Fiona Ayerst with the help of Shalini Tewari and Martin Totland, all of the people I’ve encountered on this internship, and just scuba diving in general has changed every previous plan I had lined up in my life. I soon began to realize that scuba diving isn’t just a sport– it’s a lifestyle. Follow my Blog and see my new life!
I was not sure entirely what to expect when I first went to South Africa for my photography internship in July 2012. The description mentioned great whites – of which I had a particular phobia at the time – so I was quite nervous about what it would entail. In the two months I spent there, I not only overcame my fear to cage dive with great whites, I also had the opportunity to interact with elephants and cheetahs; see most of the big five on game drives and horse safaris; and photograph more different kinds of wildlife than I’d ever seen in my life! I then returned for three months as a field specialist in 2013 to assist in teaching and running the program. These have been amazing experiences, and I honestly did learn from from the internship and teaching than I ever did in a class at University.
Follow my work – Matt Nelson Photography
March & April 2013
I was a wildlife & Adventure Photography intern during this past March and April (2013) months, during which my passion for wildlife and adventure photography truly flourished. Unlike most standard 8-5 desk job internships, we spent much of our days out on an African safari, surrounded by beautiful wonders, photographing the ‘big-5’ at “Work!”. What more could you possibly ask for?
Being thrown into such a dynamic environment, my creative success as a photographer was only bound by the limitations of my own imagination. Of course, we did spend hours in the media studio learning about practical things such a lightroom, wordpress, web design, SEO optimisation and the like, but I am just as thankful for gaining that knowledge as well. Africa Media understands that becoming a successful photographer requires not only having a captivating, diverse portfolio, but also a keen business and marketing sense.
Without having basic knowledge of how to project my work to prospective clients, I would not be able to continue to do what I love! That being said, my time with Africa Media far exceeded my expectations I walked away with some of my best photographic work to date, a renewed passion for photography and adventure, a honed skill set across multiple digital platforms, and new business savvy. All in all, this photography internship with Africa Media is truly a unique and special opportunity that you will not regret.
August 2014 & 2015
The beginning of my journey, flying solo to Mossel Bay from Australia, was nerve-wrecking to say the least. Luckily, from the moment I touched down in Africa, I knew I was set for an amazing month.
We experienced everything under the African sun at Africa Media. The Wildlife and Travel photography internship not only exposed me to Africa’s amazing Big 5, Great White sharks, walking with elephants and playing with Cheetahs, I was also able to expand my knowledge into the business side of photography and networking with companies.
I began my journey to Mossel bay with high hopes and left with some of the best experiences, friendships and memories that will last a life time.
I throughly enjoyed my internship with Africa Media. It gave me more confidence in my filmmaking abilities, so many awesome memories, and friends that will last a lifetime. Getting to spend 10 days in the African bush just filming wildlife was one of the best experiences of my life. The things we saw and captured on film are things people only dream of. The course leader and the field specialist were especially helpful in making my experience enjoyable and teaching me loads of new things about filmmaking. I am forever grateful for my time with Africa Media and I hold all my memories from that month near and dear to my heart.
My time with Africa Media was one of the most amazing moments of my life. I was so driven by my passion for wildlife to sign up for the wildlife filmmaking internship. I had a chance to mingle with different nationalities and I will never forget the warm welcome I received the moment I set foot into African Campus. My internship felt a lot like my first job (only that I wasn’t getting paid)
I was even honoured to spend time in the Great Karoo which is a large wildlife sanctuary split into 3 private reserves; Samara, Mount Camdeboo and Asante Santa. In my mind “I was John Varty for a month”, I will never forget the moment the bakkie was hit by a rhino while in the Karoo. I have never met someone as amazing as Annie; I hear she was nicknamed “Motheroo” by previous interns thanks to her good cooking. Aspiring wildlife filmmakers, aim your sights at Africa Media!
The Africa Media Wildlife Filmmaking Course is truly amazing. I learned more about filming wildlife and creating stories then I thought I would. I also visited some amazing places and seen some unbelievable things. The 10 days filming in Schotia Wild reserve was definitely one of the highlights. It was truly a once in a lifetime experience and I want to say a huge thanks to Ryan Johnson and Annie Post for all the tips and advice. It was an incredible experience that I would advise to everyone
Loved loved LOVED every second I spent with Africa Media! I was blessed with an incredible group of people, one that I consider family forever, and learned about the South African culture, from braais to the language, to the people. Highly recommend the underwater photography course to ANYONE interested in spending a month diving with a camera in hand to capture all the magnificent creatures Africa has to offer.
I participated in the Wildlife and adventure photography internship during June this year (2014) with Africa Media, and can honestly say I had the best experience of my life. With apprehension and fear before and during my first arrival, Oceans staff helped me settle in and feel right at home.
I can honestly say my knowledge and photography skills have developed in ways I have never imagined; I left Africa a more advanced photographer with a colorful portfolio and a renewed passion for photography and adventure, not to mention unforgettable memories and friends from all over the world. I would recommend this trip of a lifetime to anyone with a passion for wildlife photography. I gained more vital knowledge within this course to my future progression than my current BA degree, and this is an opportunity not to be missed. Thanks Oceans Campus for developing my skills as a professional and changing my perspective as a whole.
It was an awesome experience I met people who will be family to me forever!!! I learned a lot underwater photography and about Braai!! The cultural of South Africa will be brought back to the states !! Love you all
My name is Ryan and I study Zoology with Herpetology at Bangor University in North Wales in the UK. I love studying the natural world and finding out its secrets. I have known for a long time that I wanted to go into wildlife filmmaking.
I remember working one night on a report for university and while I went on a five-minute break I was on Facebook and I noticed an advertisement from Africa Media. I clicked on the link and started looking on the website. I spent about 20 minutes looking through everything, and I immediately sent an email saying, “I would love to come and learn wildlife filmmaking, how do I apply”. Within a few months I was packing my bags to go South Africa to fulfil my dream.
I had the honour of meeting two people who were going to be the driving force behind my film; the first was Annie, who was a previous intern and now works at Africa Media, and the other was Ryan Johnson (world Great white shark expert, documentary filmmaker and producer). They both taught me so much, and I cannot thank them enough for their kindness.
The highlight of my time there was when we travelled to Scotia private Game reserve for 10 days of pure filming and living in the bush at the mercy of nature. Apart from the filming, I made friends and connection there that will stick with me for life. I have made friends from all over the world, from India, to America and everywhere else in-between. Africa Media started my career of and whatever success comes my way, it has all been down to them. The incredible journey I have been on with them was beautiful and I hope one day to go back for another month.
My internships was by far one of the most amazing experiences I was fortunate to come across through my career. Coming from a traditional filmmaking background, having studied film directing for 4 years, I was hoping to expose myself to more of a specialized insight into the wildlife filmmaking industry focusing mainly on practical and field knowledge and that was exactly what I got. Having the core of the course structure revolving around the process of making a short wildlife documentary from scratch assured that each participant will have a fully-hatched product to showcase as soon as he/she finishes the course. The only thing I kind of missed was the mentorship and guidance necessary for taking future steps, which I hope It’s been already taken notice of, and going to change soon. I’m so happy that I was able to gain full confidence in my ability to fulfill my dream of becoming a wildlife filmmaker, and that wouldn’t have been achieved without the great help from Ryan, Dan and whole team of Africa Media. Thanks a lot and I hope we’ll stay in touch.