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Alumni interview

Article by Benedict Wilson

Benedict Wilson

Posted: June 16, 2022

Meet a wildlife conservation intern


Benedict Wilson took part in GVI’s six-month field guide internship in the South African bushveld 


After completing a wildlife conservation and field guide internship program with GVI in South Africa, Benedict Wilson, a 24-year old zoology student from the UK, confirmed a place for a master’s degree in global conservation science at Leeds University. 

He told us about his GVI experience and how it helped him take the next step in his wildlife conservation career. He also shared some amazing wildlife photos from his time in Africa!


Original photo: By Benedict Wilson @wilsons_wildlife


Did your internship give you skills you could use in other fields?

I think it gave me a better understanding of data and as a whole experience, it really engaged me with nature everywhere. So this internship would be really helpful for any job that involves data or wildlife industries.


What was a standout moment from your time in South Africa?

One great memory that sums up the internship for you? All of it! There are too many moments shared with great people to pick just one. But some of my favourites were on my first drives where I came within inches of a big bull elephant, saw a pride of lions feasting on a giraffe, and met the cheetahs and other fantastic creatures I went on to track and see on a regular basis. 


Original photo: By Benedict W
ilson @wilsons_wildlife


What are the most exciting projects you have worked on since the program?

I’ve been selling my wildlife photographs that I shot during my internship, and I’ve done some commission work off of that. I’ll also hopefully have a photographic shoot coming up with a BBC cameraman where I’ll be working on some videos of local UK wildlife badgers/foxes. Plus, I’ve done a lot of wildlife photography and engagement with UK conservation trusts since coming back.


Tell us more about the conservation NGO with which you spent the second half of your internship?

The Nature’s Valley Trust, a grassroots conservation charity based in an idyllic coastal village in the forests of the Garden Route National Park. The projects I did with them included marine microplastics research, cetacean (whale and dolphin) surveys, bird ringing and identification, flower surveys, and parks trail mapping.


Original photo: By Benedict Wilson @wilsons_wildlife


What UK conservation trusts have you worked with since returning?

I’ve been engaging with community projects and supporting my local wildlife trusts, submitting wildlife photographic content for social media and spreading awareness. With potentially more in the pipeline!


Where can people find you?

Follow me on instagram at  @wilsons_wildlife.


Disclaimer The images in this article were taken pre-COVID-19.

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