87,358+ dreams turned into reality

Safari Conservation Impact

Experience
Volunteer
Destination
South Africa
Duration
2 to 6 weeks
Ages
18 to 75

Limited spots. Earliest available arrival is currently Apr 2024, and closing very soon.

Book now, pay later. Cancel anytime.

Trip overview

Venture off into the rugged Eastern Cape wilderness as you volunteer at a premier game reserve in South Africa. Get involved in community and wildlife projects in one of the wildest locations imaginable. 

Break out of your day-to-day routine and embark on an adventure that will make the world a better place and help you grow as a person. 

On this all-inclusive volunteer trip, not only do you get to volunteer with a trusted project in South Africa. When you go with Global, you get:

  • Community & wildlife volunteer placement – Secure your volunteer placement with our trusted partner in South Africa before you leave home. Get stuck in with the community and the wildlife with your volunteer responsibilities on this trip. 
  • Accommodation includedRelax with the other volunteers in the shared volunteer house, complete with TV, WiFi, BBQ area and a pool. 
  • Epic weekly activities includedEach week there’s an activity organised for the volunteers to get the most out of your trip. This may include a canoeing trip, a guided walk through the Big 5 Reserve, a night of wild camping under the stars, and a whole lot more! 
  • One night of luxuryAll volunteers get a night at the luxury 4-star lodge at the Game Reserve. Get a taste of the high rollers life as you lap up the luxury deep in the African bush. 

Can you picture it? You’re living near and volunteering on a game reserve in rural South Africa. Being so close to roaming wild animals gives you a totally new appreciation for the natural world. 

But it's being embraced by the local community that’s most special to you. You spend your days working closely with the community as you help them overcome their problems while rewilding a beautiful part of the world. 

For a lot of people, visiting Africa is a bucket-list experience. 

Although most people don’t get the chance to experience something like this. Being fully immersed with the local community as you maintain a wildlife reserve is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

And when you go with Global, you get the full experience for a fraction of the hassle. Your volunteer placement and accommodation is sorted before you leave, so you know exactly what you’re getting into.

Inclusions

Tap to expand

Volunteer Project Placement
Dedicated Trip Coordinator
Pre-Departure Guide
Trip Visa Guidance
Personal Travel Concierge
Return Airport Transfer
Comfortable Accommodation
Project Supplies
Epic Weekly Activities
One Night of Luxury
Certificate of Completion
Ongoing Local Team Support
24/7 Global Emergency Line
gWorld Access
Global Academy
Marketplace Deals
$250 Off Your Next Trip

Qualification

To qualify for this trip you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be between 18-75 years of age
  • Be a citizen of an eligible country
  • Have no criminal convictions in the past 5 years

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Meet your very first travel buddy, gWorld

Purpose & impact

Your main responsibility on this trip is helping manage all aspects of the game reserve. This includes monitoring predators and other animals. 

It’s important to note that the reserve is a strictly ‘hands-off’ reserve. You won’t get close enough to touch an animal and there’s no ‘petting’ involved. These are wild animals, after all.

Along with the practical knowledge, a trip like this will enrich your time in the bush. Experiencing wildlife at face value is one thing. But the more you know, the richer your experience becomes. 

Knowing why the dung beetle rolls its wares backwards, which cute critter dines on scorpions, and how the leopard got its spots (a legendary isiZulu fable that game lodge guests love) will give you fodder for campfire stories for decades. 

Community support is vital to the operation of the reserve, too. So you’ll have plenty of opportunities to get stuck in with empowering the local communities. 

Below are some examples of the different things you could be doing at the reserve. These duties are constantly changing, which means no two days at the project are the same! 

COMMUNITY PROJECTS

  • Interacting with underprivileged children from nearby villages
  • Interacting with children from a local church & preschool
  • Assisting with educational lessons at nearby primary school
  • Assisting the Foundation in designated World Days: Arbour Day, Water Day and World Read Aloud Day
  • Hosting spay/neuter, clinic days
  • Hosting international/national days of celebration with community kids
  • Running aquaponics system which provide food to local school food scheme

ECOLOGY PROJECTS

  • Predator tracking and monitoring using telemetry
  • Erosion control
  • Vegetation rehabilitation
  • Alien plant control
  • Monitor lambing season (summer)
  • Camera trap monitoring

MAINTENANCE DUTIES

  • Fence patrol and maintenance
  • Bush clearing and road clearing
  • Road maintenance
  • Removal and documentation of old farm material on the reserve
  • Monitoring and documenting water points on the reserve
  • Boma maintenance

SEASONAL & CIRCUMSTANTIAL BASED PROJECTS

  • Game capture (winter)
  • Darting and relocation (mid-winter – by invitation only)
  • Viewing veterinary completing field work on animals (mid-winter – by invitation only)

ADDITIONAL PROJECTS

  • Assisting with future projects at a nearby primary school
  • Planting indigenous trees in the community
  • Bi-annual neutering of dogs and cats in the village
  • Spekboom Project – Replanting spekboom on the Reserve and surrounding community properties

Requirements 

To qualify for this trip you must be at least 18 years old and have a decent understanding of English.

What extra costs will I have? 

Flights, travel insurance, visa, vaccinations, souvenirs & spending money.

Accommodation & meals

Once you touch down at Port Elizabeth Airport, your pre-arranged transfer will be waiting. This will be a shared car with the other volunteers, so you need to arrive before 2pm on the first Monday of your trip.  An airport transfer can be organised for a different time or day for an additional cost.

You’ll head straight to your provided accommodation in Paterson, 15 km from the reserve. This will be in a shared volunteer house. Most rooms are twin-sharing. The house has a TV, WiFi, outdoor BBQ area, fully equipped kitchen and even a pool! 

With your accommodation near the reserve sorted and your volunteer placement in South Africa organised, what will you do about food? 

The volunteer house pantry is fully stocked with meat, fruit and vegetables, as well as wet and dry goods. Since your schedule will be flexible and different every day, it’s up to you to prepare your meals. Don’t forget to pack your lunch!

Trip itinerary

Arrival

When you arrive at Port Elizabeth Airport, your pre-arranged transfer will be waiting. You’ll be taken straight to your volunteer accommodation in Paterson.  Take some time to get to know the other volunteers or explore your new home! There will be a brief orientation to welcome you to the reserve! Please note: This itinerary assumes you arrive before 2pm on Monday afternoon. Your transfer will be a shared vehicle with the other volunteers. If you arrive on another day or later in the day, we can organise a private transfer for an additional cost.

Day 1

You’ll waste no time getting stuck into your volunteering duties. There’s not much of a standard itinerary as life on a game reserve is one of adaptation. Which means no two days are the same!  Your days will start early as you get to work maintaining the reserve or helping out around the community. Remember to pack your lunch before you head out so you don’t go hungry in the middle of the day.

First Weekend

Your weekends are free, giving you plenty of time to explore the area. One activity is arranged each weekend for the volunteers. These may include:  Excursion to world-renowned Addo National Elephant Park. Horse Riding Trails Day trip to Kenton-on-Sea (for an extra cost, an overnight stay is available) Big 5 Game walk Canoeing on Sundays River APU meet and greet Bush camping on the Big 5 Game Reserve, no tents!

Ongoing

During your placement, you’ll have plenty of duties to keep you busy during the week.  While your duties on this trip could hardly be described as ‘work’, you do get weekends off to explore the area on your own terms.  Head to the coast to sample some of the world-class South African surf or dive with the beasts of the deep.  Grahamstown boasts an array of historical sites and amazing hiking trails. Or venture further afield after your placement to experience Cape Town – the cosmopolitan centre of African city life – or a diverse range of locations across the country.  Once your placement is over, you can choose to stay on in South Africa to explore what else it has to offer.  Head north to the subtropical forests of Kwa-Zulu Natal, discover ancient rock art along the Drakensberg mountain range, get lost in the galaxy while you star-gaze from the deserts of the Karoo, or experience city life with an African flavour in Cape Town.  Whatever you choose to do, we can help make it easy.  We’ll be in touch with you throughout your stay. If you ever need advice or support our team is available to answer your questions. And our 24/7 emergency support line will help with urgent matters.  Don’t go alone. Go with Global.

Why choose us

We take care of pretty much everything so you don’t have to. You’ll arrive in South Africa totally prepared with a plan of action and trusted people helping you along the way. 

Our volunteer trips are designed to help you make a real change in critical causes around the world. All while experiencing off-the-beaten-path locations with passionate locals. Our goal is to save you time, money, and stress while eliminating the risk of returning home early. Here’s how we do it: 

We’re on your side from the moment you get started. 

You’ll be assigned a dedicated Trip Coordinator. They’ll guide you through the next steps and answer all your questions. They’ll also help you with the pesky visa. No guesswork – only the right paperwork, approved the first time, in your hands before you leave. 

Your Personal Travel Concierge will help with flights, insurance, and any add-ons you’d like for your trip. These are real humans too – no robots here. 

We maintain relationships with a huge network of screened and vetted partner organisations all over the world. We know they’re trustworthy and that you’re in good hands because of all the successful trips Global Travellers keep having with our partners. 

Our team is well travelled so you can rely on our experience. We’re with you every step of the way. 

Join 75000+ travellers – giving us 10000+ 4 & 5 star reviews – by choosing Global to make your travel dreams come true. 

Most travellers book their trip 6-12 months in advance. Dates are flexible, but spaces are limited. So if you’re serious about volunteering in South Africa, don’t delay. 

With our Book Now, Decide Later feature, you can get started with a small deposit today, and take a full year to choose your dates. 

We’ll take over from there, helping you with visas, flights, accommodation, and setting you up with our partner in South Africa. 

This is the trip for you if you’re after the ultimate volunteering experience in South Africa, complete with everything you need and 24/7 support.

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Frequently asked questions

Why go with Global Work & Travel?

As the world’s leading gap-year and "work & travel" company, we provide a premium service for Global Travellers. Choose from a variety of awesome experiences worldwide. We assist with visas, pre-departure, flights, insurance, and tours. Our cool tech features support you throughout the journey. As a Global Traveller, access gWorld, our personalized app. Keep important documents and trip details handy. Enjoy exclusive Marketplace deals, a social network, language learning, side trips, meet-ups, and more. It's like all your favorite apps merged into one, but better! Our support doesn't stop there. With a 24/7 emergency team, 90+ staff, and ongoing assistance, we ensure you feel like a local. Join the 80,000+ Global Travellers who have turned their travel dreams into reality with us. We proudly boast the most & best reviews in the biz!

Are flights & insurance included?

While we would love to include flights and insurance in our trip packages, it is not feasible to have a fixed price due to the diverse destinations, trip durations, and individual coverage needs of our travellers from around the globe. However, once you register for the trip, we will assign you a dedicated Travel Concierge. They will work closely with you to arrange the ideal flights and insurance tailored to your specific adventure. Rest assured, our team is here to ensure you have a smooth and hassle-free travel experience from start to finish!

Why do I have to pay to volunteer?

The trip fee covers all the essential trip inclusions that ensure you have a meaningful and safe volunteering experience. It includes comprehensive pre-departure support to assist you throughout your journey. Once you arrive at your destination, the fee covers transportation, accommodation, and in most cases meals and some amazing excursions you'll do alongside other international volunteers. This comprehensive support is essential to provide you with a positive and secure volunteering experience, which is of utmost importance to us. Your trip fee allows us to ensure your well-being while making a meaningful impact, and it contributes to the sustainability and effectiveness of the volunteer projects we support.

Will I receive guidance and support before starting the volunteering trip?

Absolutely! Before starting your volunteer placement, you will receive comprehensive pre-departure support, which includes project-specific information, cultural orientation, and advice on preparing for your journey. Additionally, most trips include on-site training and an orientation to ensure you are well-prepared and confident in your volunteer role.

How do I choose the right volunteer trip for me?

With so many incredible options, we understand that selecting the perfect volunteer trip can be tricky. That's why we recommend booking your favourite one, and your dedicated Trip Coordinator will guide you through the project details. They will consider your interests, skills, desired location, and the impact you want to make. If we find another trip that better suits your preferences, we can easily swap you over to ensure you have the ideal volunteer experience. Rest assured, we're here to help you find the right fit!

How long should I volunteer for?

We offer flexibility in our volunteer trips, allowing you to choose the duration that best suits your schedule and desired experience. While most volunteers join us for 3 or 4 weeks, our trips accommodate durations as short as two weeks or as long as 12 weeks, and even extended stays. The choice is yours!

What ages are most volunteers?

The ages of our volunteers can vary depending on the project, but we have a wide age range. Our volunteers typically range from 18 years old to 85 years old! Our Trip Coordinators ensure that all volunteers are vetted before embarking on their journey. While age may differ, what unites our volunteers is their shared passion for travel and their dedication to making a positive impact in the community or wildlife conservation efforts they are involved in. Regardless of age, anyone with a passion to contribute and explore is welcome to join our volunteer trips.

Is it safe to volunteer overseas?

Safety is our utmost priority, and it drives our thorough trip planning process and comprehensive inclusions. With a successful track record of safely sending tens of thousands of travellers overseas since 2008, we prioritise your well-being throughout the journey. Before you depart, we provide full support, ensuring a smooth and secure experience. Upon arrival, we take care of every detail, including secure airport transfers, comfortable accommodations, usually meals, and dedicated project supervision. Additionally, our 24/7 emergency line ensures immediate assistance whenever needed, providing peace of mind throughout your entire volunteer experience.

Why should I book now?

Covid-19 threw us a curve ball and pretty much halted all travel. This means that we have a backlog of travellers, just like you, who are desperate to get out and explore the world! Global Work & Travel works on a first-in-best-dressed basis. Booking earlier ensures that you don’t miss out on the best intake, season, placements and more! We recommend our travellers take 6-12 months to plan their trip for a reason - to make sure you’ve got everything organised perfectly, stress-free. As a Global Traveller you’ll get exclusive access to gWorld, our personalised app where you can keep all of your important documents and trip details in one spot and gain insider access to everything Global. This is where you will find exclusive Marketplace Deals, a unique social network to connect you with other like-minded Global Travellers, access to our Academy with an ever-growing range of skills & languages, and so much more. Think all of your favourite apps merged into one, but like, better? Why not give yourself something to look forward to by booking that trip!

Can I travel with a friend?

Yes you can! Simply tell your Trip Coordinator after booking that your friend is also going and they can link your profiles. For most of our trips we should be able to have you and your friends placed together or nearby. Meaning that you can live, work, play & travel together! But wait there's more! Not only can you travel the world with your besties at your side, you can also earn some extra cash towards your own trip just by referring your friends to Global Work & Travel. You can learn more about the great referral rewards program inside your gWorld account once you join. And for those who decide to go-it-solo, we’ve made it easier to meet other Global Travellers in the same region as you. Just like any other social platform, you’ll be able to interact, share, chat and meet with some really cool people who are doing trips just like you!

Can I bring my pet along?

At Global Work & Travel, we share a deep love for animals and fully understand the special bond you have with your pet. We recognise the challenges of embarking on a trip without them. Due to travel restrictions, requirements, and limited pet-friendly accommodations among our host organisations, we regretfully cannot facilitate their inclusion in the journey. However, many of our customers choose to entrust their pets to a family member or friend, embark on their adventure, and return home to wagging tails and furry cuddles.

What happens if I want to cancel my trip?

We know that life can get in the way of travel, so all our trips come with a great deal of flexibility. In most cases, if you cannot travel on your selected date, you can place your trip on hold to deal with whatever is holding you back, and continue in the future without incurring any penalty. You may also have the option of transferring to an entirely different trip and destination as well, or even transferring your trip to a friend or family member. In the event that you need to outright cancel your trip, if you give us 84* days notice you can do so with only a 50% cancellation fee. Your refund of the balance will come in the form of a Store Credit which you can put toward any other trip that we offer, including tours through third-party providers, as well as holidays through DealsAway.com, and is valid for 2 years from date of issue. As international travel can be complex, your options are based on the progress of your trip organisation and our support team can assist you in finding the best solution for your needs.

How it works

1. Choose a trip style

Find your dream experience & destination, then secure your spot with a flexible & low deposit. Activate your gWorld to unlock some cool perks. Well done! The hardest part’s over!

2. We become friends

Book a time to meet your dedicated Trip Coordinator who knows all the ins & outs of your trip. They’ll be by your side and working behind-the-scenes to pull everything together.

3. Time to go!

We’ll get your tickets, accommodation & transfers ready. Our in-country team or partner will have everything prepared & waiting for your arrival. Get on the plane with no worries!

4. 24/7 support

Never stress, knowing we’re there with you when you need us with ongoing & unlimited local team support and check-ins. And just in case, we’ve got an emergency team on stand-by, 24/7.

Still have questions?

Why go Global

Flexible trips

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Worldwide support

Know that someone is always ready to assist throughout the journey & they’re only a call, tweet, comment, text or double tap away, 24/7.

We're the experts

With over 10 years in the industry and a team of over 90 passionate pros, you can bet we know our stuff better than anyone else.

Partner network

We have over 1,200 partners around the globe, so we have access to plenty of exclusive opportunities to make your trip the best it can be.

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