South Africa

Askari WCP

The Askari programme is a hands on, adventurous, real African experience and no matter whether you are interested in conservation or not, you will have an amazing time. Not only do you get involved in exciting projects such as Cheetah monitoring and Rhino de-horning, but you will learn so so much about the wildlife on the reserve; not just the big five. It's impossible to not become passionate about conservation by the end of the project, Joe and
Katie are so knowledgeable and their enthusiasm is contagious.

Whilst there is lots of hands on conservation work such as erosion control, there is plenty of opportunities to have amazing animal sightings, so bring a decent camera!!

The research side of it is so interesting regardless of whether you are interested in ecology or zoology, and you will often spot a giraffe or some elephants during research drives.

Great accommodation, friendly, knowledgeable staff, tasty food, WiFi and a pet warthog. This project is an incredible experience for anyone even vaguely interested in animals.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: South Africa
Posted: Nov 21, 2012
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Askari WCP

An amazing experience that I will never forget. I had a wonderful time volunteering and staying at Askari as part of the two week volunteer program. The accommodations were better than expected. You share a volunteer house and bedroom with the other volunteers but you never get the sense that it's crowded or unclean. Meals are done as a group and prepared by the volunteers, I didn't have a bad meal while I was there. The meals are very mainstream to the point where I was hoping we'd get something exotic to say I ate. The staff is amazing. My birthday came while I was there and they made it feel very special. Everyone was very warm and inviting, I can't say enough about how wonderful the staff is at Askari. The work was interesting. If you are a student of the natural sciences this program is invaluable. You're going to get the opportunity to see a lot of animals and habitats you won't see anywhere else. Some of the animal tracking was a little slow for me to the point where I wanted more manual labor but it's a once in a lifetime experience for someone who isn't interested in a career in the sciences. I highly recommend Askari for anyone that wants a different kind of experience then most volunteer vacations.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: South Africa
Posted: Oct 1, 2012
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Global Vision International (GVI)

An amazing experience! I could not have hoped for a better trip. All the people i met there and all the friends I made have already made this trip worth wild. But of course the project itself was the absolute stare of the show. Having all the children run in for story time every morning was so heartwarming and I can not think of a better way to star the day. GVI made a really good work and gave me all the support and help I needed. The coordinators were so dedicated to their task and laid down so much work. To actually go there and to see the work they are doing and participating was so amazing and something that I would love to do again.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: South Africa
Posted: Sep 26, 2012
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
10

Cross-Cultural Solutions

Live-Laugh-Love South Africa!! Participating with Cross Cultural Solutions in Cape Town was an amazing, life-changing experience. From teaching high schoolers about possible future endeavors to singing lullabies to a baby falling asleep in your arms, this program will be instant joy and love into your heart. While volunteering or going abroad can be somewhat of a scary process, CCS makes you feel safe and supported while being far from home. Let your nerves never worry and just sign up - it will be one of the greatest decisions you may ever make!

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the program or South Africa or with any other topic that may arise.

"No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted."

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: South Africa
Posted: Sep 25, 2012
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

International Student Volunteers (ISV)

I traveled with ISV to South Africa during July/August 2012. The volunteer portion of my trip was absolutely outstanding. I think back on my volunteer work everyday, realizing how much it had an impact on me. Everyday was different and brought on a variety of obstacles.

My volunteer project was based in a township called Langa outside of Cape Town. There, we worked with children in preschools as well as in an after school program called Happy Feet. It was very challenging but incredibly rewarding; there was a massive language barrier with the kids but they were so grateful to have us there. Happy Feet really inspired me to follow a different course. I immediately applied to the education faculty at school and cannot wait to become a teacher. My ISV volunteer project gave me some essential experience for my education.

Happy Feet was a community development project, but ISV offers other types of volunteer projects as well. Other groups did building/planting projects, some were placed in game reserves working hands-on with animals, doing tracking work or maintaining the game reserve itself. It all depends on what you want to do. ISV is very accommodating!

ISV also offers adventure travel - all in all I visited five countries in five weeks. We did game drives, cliff jumping and abseiling in South Africa. We swam with dolphins and whale sharks in the Indian Ocean. We did a horse back ride along the beaches of Mozambique. We did mountain biking through the hills of Swaziland. We sat on the edge of Victoria Falls in Zambia. We saw hundreds of elephants and camped under the stars in Botswana. Sound incredible? I can tell you with 100% honesty that this trip was above and beyond expectations.

You can also visit other countries with ISV. They offer programming not only in South Africa, but also Thailand, Costa Rica, The Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Australia and New Zealand. There is a massive variety of volunteer projects to work on as well as different types of adventure travel. The possibilities are endless!

ISV will not let you down. The entire trip was an experience of a life time, I would do it over and over and over again if I could. I cannot wait to visit South Africa again!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: South Africa
Posted: Sep 20, 2012
Overall:
10
Support:
9
Value:
10

African Impact

Always wanted to see Africa and the famous Big 5. I when in South Africa to be a reasercher for a month and it is the best exprerience of my life. People who work on the project are really nice. The food was mostly rice,potatoes, salad, ground beef, chickens but if you are lucky, you'll have a cook with a reallllllyy good recipe of a cake. I'm a french canadian and it is all in english but i got used to it and even improve my english. Days started at 6h30 and ended at 18h but you'll enjoy every moment. Reaserchers were sent for 3 days of camping in another reserve in Pongola. Next summer I will go again in Africa with African Impact because I was very pleased of my experience.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: South Africa
Posted: Sep 10, 2012
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Connect-123

My experience with connect-123 was one of the most enriching experiences of my college career. Cape Town is a beautiful city and fun to explore and Connect always had great social programs going on that we as interns could be involved in.

On the academic side, UCT was a great school and I enjoyed the classes I was enrolled in. The lecturers were good, and the content was especially good. Every class asked us to engage in many 'real-world' situations in the coursework such as finding a local business to analyze throughout the semester, and interviewing small scale entrepreneurs for reports in class.

Connect 123 also arranged for me to intern for SASDI ( a local NGO involved in development work). The internship was extremely demanding with very real stakes for the people who we worked with and were helping. Being in such a scenario pushed me to excel at the work I was given. It was a fun and exciting internship and our work resulted in a childcare center being built in one of the township areas, which was important to me that the work we did really did matter.

Connect 123 was extremely helpful from day one. They were always there to answer questions and check in with me when I needed it. They facilitated a great overall experience and I would highly recommend it to anyone. The time I spent in South Africa through connect-123 is the reason I have the job I have today, so it truly was life changing!

Program: Study Abroad
Location: South Africa
Posted: Sep 4, 2012
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Global Vision International (GVI)

GVI is one of the few companies that offer volunteering trips for under 18s and I highly recommend them. I had an absolutely incredible time in South Africa with GVI Foundations. The whole trip was well organised from the point of leaving on the group flight from Heathrow and arriving back again three weeks later. All the staff were really friendly and relaxed only being strict when need be, which made the whole trip more enjoyable for everybody. More importantly, our leaders made us feel very safe and aware of what to do in an emergency whilst out there. Being able to spend two weeks at Marine Primary School was wonderful, all the teachers were really welcoming and so appreciative of our work that it made this a truly uplifting experience. Having the opportunity to teach sports as well as basic literacy and numeracy to the kids and paint alphabets, number charts and hop scotches etc. on the walls and playgrounds was fantastic as it gave us a taster for the other types of projects available through GVI. There were a range of side trips including Cape Point, Robben Island and travelling to various places on the Garden Route, all of which introduced us to the South African culture and helped us learn about some of the country's history. This was a truly worthwhile trip, an amazing experience and I cannot wait to go back. Anyone thinking about volunteering with GVI or GVI Foundations should stop thinking and get going as this company is fantastic!!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: South Africa
Posted: Aug 24, 2012
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Global Vision International (GVI)

I would think long & hard before I do another volunteer placement with GVI. I found it to be a mediocre experience at best. The program at the orphanage appeared to be very disorganized.
We seemed more like sitters rather than teachers.
One coordinator who shall go nameless seemed to be on her laptop more often than doing anything hands on at the orphanage.
Before I booked the trip the organizer, James, strongly encouraged me to book side trips during my free time. I can only assume that GVI receives some sort of kick-back from these companies.
My suggestion is to look at Globalteer.org, I had a much better experience in Peru.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: South Africa
Posted: Aug 14, 2012
Overall:
5
Support:
7
Value:
4

International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)

I was very satisfied with IVHQ - South Africa. I spent 3 months volunteering there (teaching) and I had the time of my life. The program is very organized and the 2 leaders are always available when you have concerns or need support. Financially, I didn't break the bank on my experience and I am grateful for that. For a relatively small cost I got to take part in the adventure of a lifetime. IVHQ is the only program I found that seems to take into account the fact that young people don't have thousands upon thousands of dollars to spend. You don't have to be rich to do a trip like this. So thank you IVHQ for your AFFORDABLE volunteering!

The experience is what you make of it and if you go there with a positive attitude you will have the greatest time of your life. Be ready for adventures of a lifetime. Expect the unexpected. I miss the kids I taught and the beauty of the country of SA. What an experience.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: South Africa
Posted: Aug 11, 2012
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Comments

Thanks for sharing your experience from South Africa. We're happy to be able to provide affordable volunteering opportunities and it's always great to hear from our volunteers making the most of the experience!

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