WHAT WILL I BE DOING?
This fantastic introduction to South Africa will show you the ropes of big five game reserve management, involve you in rewarding school and orphanage volunteering and take you on a once in a lifetime road trip from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town – an unforgettable experience of South Africa!
Game Reserve Management
The pristine bushveld and crystal clear blue skies will provide a magnificent setting to explore the outstanding "Big Five" game reserve (the lion, the African elephant, the cape buffalo, the leopard and the rhinoceros). Working within the game reserve from Monday to Friday, your main duties will revolve around the maintenance of the reserve and you may even get to help out with the reserve’s animal rehabilitation work.
Your work will be hugely varied and may include tasks such as vegetation rehabilitation and the eradication of invasive plant species – invaluable for sustaining the endemic local flora and fauna. Fence patrolling is essential and needs to be carried out to check for wear and tear and to ensure the safety of the native wildlife. Other work may include checking up on the lions or feeding and cleaning the elephants at the on site elephant sanctuary. Please note that all activities will be dependent on the time of year and the current needs of the reserve.
The reserve also runs luxury safaris and in the past some of the more experienced volunteers have been asked to help the professional game rangers run these. Who knows – you could be the next lucky one!
Throughout your stay you will also be given the opportunity to contribute to some of the many social and community outreach projects that we run in and around Port Elizabeth. This may include:
Feeding local school kids from low income areas
Helping out at an orphanage
Teaching at a school
Work programmes are flexible and your detailed project schedule will be agreed with your project coordinator on arrival.
Garden Route Road Trip
This week long tour will start in Port Elizabeth and finish in Cape Town. Travelling along South Africa’s famous Garden Route, you and your fellow travel companions will get to see some of the most scenic coastline and pristine white sand beaches in the whole of South Africa. Travelling through steep gorges and past beautiful lagoons, around the spectacular mountain ranges of Langeberg and Riviersonderend and of course marvelling at the impressive Table Mountain. You will get the opportunity to hike through ancient forests and wetlands and visit some of the best on shore whale and dolphin watching sites in the world.
You will start your journey in the bustling city of Port Elizabeth; South Africa’s second oldest city, which has a beautiful harbour and Blue Flag beaches - perfect for relaxing. You will then move onto one of South Africa’s most famous surf hot spots, the laid back Jefferson’s Bay, where you will get the opportunity to ride the waves with the best of them. If you’re a surf addict, there are plenty of trendy shops, bars and restaurants to keep you entertained. Next the awesome Tsitiskamma National Park which covers a vast area of ancient forest that extends down to the crashing waves of the Southern Ocean. You can trek along the side of ancient trees to beautiful waterfalls and for those seeking an adrenaline rush, there are a range of extra activities that you can get involved in, such as white water rafting! The quaint town of Knysna is another highlight of the trip, famous for its picturesque lagoon and quays. Go for a swim or snorkel in these pristine waters or simply soak up the atmosphere in one of the many stylish beach front cafes.
Onto Oudtshoorn! This inland town offers a unique cultural experience. It is the ostrich farming capital of the world and if you’re lucky you may even get the chance to see the famous ostrich races. Your group can then choose between seeing some more of South Africa’s wildlife at a crocodile ranch and exploring the famous limestone staligtites and staligmites at Cango Caves. Last but not least, immerse yourself in everything that Cape Town has to offer! As the home of the national parliament and one of Africa’s most popular tourist destinations the city has a strong multicultural buzz. There is plenty to keep you busy: stroll along beautiful beaches or around the picturesque harbour and learn more about the Rainbow Nation's turbulent history at museums dedicated to the plight of Nelson Mandela and the dark days of apartheid. Experience all of this set against the dramatic back drop of Table Mountain, arguably one of the most famous landmarks in Africa.