I really don't think I could write enough good things about Son Safaris. When I decided to join a team in late February of this year, I had no idea what an experience I was signing up for. Fledge Fiamingo, the trip's leader, was with me every step of the way as I prepared to go. He kept me updated with all the information I needed and was always ready to talk if I needed any support. He even talked to my parents, reassuring after I came home and declared that I wanted to go on a mission trip halfway around the world. Seeing the funds and plans for the trip come together was amazing, but it didn't even compare to what happened once I got to South Africa.
Seeing the team come together was simply unbelievable. Ten people from around the country, most of whom were complete strangers before meeting at the airport, all built great relationships on the common ground of their love for Jesus and their belief in service. Once that happened, everything else fell into place. Our work at the children's home was something that I'm honored to have been a part of. We came into that community and did some incredible things, including work as simple as playing with the children who live there and as large as building dozens of screened windows to keep bugs out of the home. I know that I left a big part of my heart with the children there. Just as amazing was the conservation work we got to participate in. By assisting with collaring antelope and microchipping a rhino, we got to be part of what will hopefully be a solution to poaching crisis in South Africa. Stewarding God's creation is an incredible part of mission work, and getting so close to some of the most awesome creatures in the world is something that I will never forget.
Going on this trip is one of the best decisions I have ever made. I learned so much about Christlike service, and I hope these lessons will continue to impact the way I live now that I'm back home, so that I might be a force for good in my own community. Honestly, it's not possible to have an experience like this and come back unchanged, and I just can't describe how glad I am that I went.
Going on this Son Safari mission trip was one of the best decisions I have ever made. It was a very eye opening, life changing, and incrediable experience! I loved every second of it! Fledge was an amazing leader who inspired everyone about God and his beautiful creation around us. When I first signed up I knew I was going to be able to see animals close up but I never imagined that I would be able to touch and hear a Rhinos heartbeat. We did this while helping with anti-poaching efforts. We also got to spend a lot of time at The Fold which is a children's home. I loved being able to play with and love on all the kids there and build mosquito windows for them. This mission trip is one that I hope everyone gets a chance to do. I know I will definitely be going again!
This trip was so eye opening and life changing! I spend three weeks with Son Safaris in the summer of 2017. From planning months in advance through the flight home everything went so smoothly. Fledge's passion for God's creation is so evident in everything that he does. He can make you so excited about the tiniest grass seed! Meeting the kids at the fold and being able to love and serve them is something that I hope everyone gets the chance to do. I came on this trip prepared to work and serve at the Fold, however, I didn't expect to get so many hands-on opportunities with the wildlife. Being able to help with a rhino anti-poaching team, as well as a game capture for collaring animals was a once in a life time experience. I gained so much knowledge and experience that are going to help me with school and ultimately my career. The best part was being able to do all these things with the same love and grace that Christ shows me every day.
Fledge was a fantastic choice for our group! He came and spoke at one of our club meetings at Lincoln memorial University College of Veterinary Medicine. He gave the perfect amount of the gospel and love for Jesus while still being considerate of those who didn't know Christ. Everyone mentioned how much they enjoyed having him come and how encouraging he was. A month later and people are STILL talking about him! You can't go wrong getting Fledge to come speak to your group!
- Rachel Biggers
Christian Veterinary Fellowship President
I signed up for this trip somewhat reluctantly, but agreed because I was sure it was where God was calling me. I was nervous about the daunting task of raising the money, but I haven't regretted it for a second and would LOVE to go back. It was so incredible to see God's provision at work through the generosity of the
body during the fundraising process and Fledge constantly made himself available to answer questions and encourage. He is a gifted leader with a heart and passion for sharing the true wonder of God's creation and he genuinely loves people with the love of Christ. I have never been so completely overwhelmed with the delight of God's majesty as I was on safari, nor more excited to be His hands and feet than I was working at The Fold (a children's home we partnered with). I could go on, but suffice it to say that this was a life changing experience and Son Safaris is doing fantastic work for the kingdom! They are worth every second of time, every moment of prayer, and every cent you can spare. 10/10 would recommend to anyone who is ready for God to rock their socks ❤️❤️
What an amazing, life-changing trip! Fledge is a great leader who helps you through the fund-raising process. We got to work with 3 fantastic organizations to spread the love of Jesus, build relationships, provide help, and have a little fun along the way. I highly recommend going on a trip with this organization!
Son Safaris is a Christ-centered mission where you get to not only experience the amazing wildlife in South Africa by staying on a reserve but you get to witness the love for the children that the people have who run The Fold and Bushveld children's homes. By volunteering with Son Safaris, you get to work for 2 amazing children homes by either teaching or playing with the children. I'm an avid biker so I got to ride bikes with the children and it was awesome seeing the joy that was brought to these children by just playing with them! We also built bunkbeds for their rooms and did some clean-up work on the premises for both children's homes.
Not only did we volunteer at the children's homes but we also did work on the reserve itself. The reserve is trying to implement a vermaculture (work compost) area so we helped with that project also.
What makes Son Safaris uniquely different from other missions is that it is a "thinking outside of the box" mission where you get to stay on a reserve, so you get to go on game drives with the rangers. Fledge Fiamingo, the heart and brains behind Son Safaris, used to be a safaris ranger in South Africa before moving to America. Fledge has a very special relationship with the reserve and the people on the reserve where you stay so immediately you feel right at home. He uses his love of Christ and his love of being a safari ranger and combines them into an amazing experience where you serve others and experience God's creation in South Africa.
I would definitely recommend Son Safaris to anyone looking to volunteer for a non-profit.
My daughter and I joined Fledge Fiamingo on a 2-week mission trip to South Africa in June 2017. I'm well traveled, but this was my first experience as part of a mission team. During our trip, we completed projects and served at two children's homes, and worked on two conservation projects at a game reserve. The trip, alone, was a wonderful adventure, made so much more special by sharing it with my daughter. But several things made this one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Meeting so many people who selflessly serve others everyday; being surrounded by some amazing young people so strong in their faith and love of life; Fledge's passion for Son Safaris vision and his enthusiasm in sharing his story and professional knowledge as a former ranger - these are just a few things that stood out for me. Son Safaris provides such a unique opportunity to serve. We were able to work at both children's homes AND on a game reserve, while staying on the reserve surrounded by wildlife. Thank you Fledge for a remarkable experience! I came back so elated that I can't wait to go back!
Fledge has spoken at two of our Fall Retreats and he does not disappoint! The students loved his stories of his encounters with exotic animals. I loved how he used those stories to proclaim biblical truth.
God did it again, this time getting His word out to us in sin city - Las Vegas. Thanks Fledge for speaking on His behalf. GSCO Ovis Convention - Henry McNatt
Fledge is an awesome man of God working for God's glory. Fledge brought a powerful message and was submissive to the Holy Spirit who worked through him. Fledge's expertise in the field of study allowed him to capture the attention of all audiences and draw them into the scripture that did the work in lives. I am looking forward to working with Fledge and Son Safaris again in the future.