How do I apply
for a volunteer placement?
How far should I
book in advance?
Do I need to have
experience to volunteer?
Can I join more
than one project?
Can I travel
before/after my volunteer placement?
Can I volunteer
with friends, groups or as a couple?
Will I have any
What are the
How will I keep
in touch with friends and family at home?
What kind of
support, services and benefits can I expect?
Why pay to
Can I raise funds
towards my placement?
What is your age
will I need to speak?
What should I
How much should I
budget for everyday expenses?
What is the
current exchange rate for my currency?
HEALTH, SAFETY AND SECURITY
What are the
health risks in South Africa?
What is safety
and security like in South Africa?
What are some
safety tips for traveling in South Africa?
When is the best
time to travel to South Africa?
Will I need a
visa when entering South Africa?
Do I need
Where can I get
good deals on international airfare?
What are the
different ways to travel around South Africa?
do I apply for a volunteer placement?
1) You choose one or
more projects and submit your application
2) We confirm receipt
of your application and send an itinerary for approval.
3) You secure your
placement by faxing a signed enrollment/indemnity form to +1.310.359.0269
and making a non-refundable, non-changeable, non-transferable 50% deposit by either wire transfer
or credit card.
You may also transfer
your entire volunteer contribution (deposit and balance) to save on your
personal banking fees.
4) We confirm receipt
of your paperwork and deposit and send you an Information Document for
5) You book
your flights, and organize your passport, vaccinations, medications
and travel/medical insurance.
6) You transfer the balance of your
volunteer cost at least 60 days before arrival.
7) You join your
project team in the field!
far should I book in advance?
As projects have
limited availability, we advise you to submit your application as soon as
possible to avoid disappointment. The sooner you apply, the better your
chances of securing your placement! However, it is sometimes possible to
join a project at the last minute so please contact us if you are
interested in traveling in the near term.
Do I need to have
experience to volunteer?
Enkosini Eco Experience programs are open to anyone with a love of
adventure, travel and the great outdoors! Whether you bring specific
skills or good old-fashioned elbow grease and enthusiasm, you will perform
important work on conservation projects in South Africa. A great volunteer
is... open to experiencing new cultures and meeting people from around the
tolerant and respectful of others, no matter what their beliefs or
flexible and adapts well to new situations and environments
self-disciplined with a sense of independence
to develop their own personal qualities and character while giving
something back to the planet
pro-active and looks for opportunities to experience their new
join more than one project?
Yes, many people choose
to join a mixture of projects over the course of their stay. We can give
you advice on your internal travel arrangements as well as other activities in South Africa outside of Enkosini Eco Experience as
travel before/after my volunteer placement?
Of course! Many
volunteers arrive early to start exploring South Africa or join an
Enkosini Eco Experience project halfway through a longer trip round the
world. An Enkosini Eco Experience can also offer volunteers the chance to
meet potential traveling companions or to slowly acclimatise before
heading off alone in South Africa.
Can I volunteer with
friends, groups or as a couple?
Yes, we welcome
individuals, friends, couples, families and groups to participate in our
programs. But you must book in advance so that we can ensure availability
and arrange private accommodation (where possible) again, the earlier
you book, the better your chances!
I have any free time?
Projects tend to be
reasonably flexible, and free time is available most evenings and
weekends. While the main responsibility is to our project partners and to
do the work we have been requested to carry out, we always try to allow
volunteers at least 1 day off a week to relax or explore the surrounding environments.
are the living conditions?
Volunteers will be
provided with clean, modest accommodation in rock chalets, timber cabins,
tented camps or homestays depending upon each project (shared occupancy
rooms are the standard). Lodging arrangements have basic amenities like
linens and running water, usually including hot water. Food is healthy and
safe, and volunteers always have plenty to eat. Nearly all volunteer
projects can provide for special dietary requirements.
will I keep in touch with friends and family at home?
You can buy international phone cards from
airports, certain stores and post offices which will allow you make a
call from local land lines or cell phones. To make
an international call from South Africa, dial 09 followed by the country
code of the country you wish to call, followed by the relevant area code
and phone number. You will find internet cafes in even the smallest of
towns in South Africa!
kind of support, services and benefits can I expect?
The very best! Enkosini
Eco Experience prides itself on its local knowledge and network of
enthusiastic and well informed staff and representatives. Our aim is to
make sure you are fully briefed, prepared and well equipped before you go.
Offering a comprehensive support structure will ensure peace of mind for
you in the field, and for your family and friends back at home!
wide choice of locations, arrival dates and trip durations
to travel with friends, partners, groups or solo
Detailed information on your chosen project
concerning safety issues and arrival/departure details
instructions and forms
Vaccination and inoculation recommendations
International travel advice
In the Field:
Transfers to/from projects (depending on project)
from our in-country coordinator
emergency support team in South Africa and the US
comprehensive on site training
Personal satisfaction from making a direct contribution to a worthwhile
Lifelong, like-minded friends from all around the globe
Impressive and unusual addition to your resume/cv
memories of a character-building experience that went far beyond tourism!
pay to volunteer?
organizations that run international volunteer programs are driven
entirely by volunteer contributions. In return for the opportunity to work
alongside the individual organisation, volunteers will fund his/herself,
and often make a donation to the project, ensuring that the host
organisation does not incur any expenses. In the words of How to Live
Your Dream of Volunteering Overseas: The process of preparing,
training, transporting, housing, feeding and supervising volunteers is not
The local organizations and projects with which you volunteer
overseas have limited resources and are seldom able to subsidize your trip
or cover the costs of hosting you. If they did have the financial
resources to pay an international volunteer, it would almost certainly be
more beneficial and cost-effective to hire a local person instead, someone
who already knows the language and culture and is likely to stick around.
raise funds towards my placement?
Yes, with prior
planning and hard work you can raise all the money for your project.
Fund-raising should be seen as part of the challenge in getting to South
Africa, as many people believe the more they put in, the more they get out
of the African experience. Because a large portion of the funds you
generate goes back into conservation it allows to you capitalize on this
opportunity. Past fundraising projects include sponsored runs, swims,
raffles and parties; letters to companies and charities; as well as
general work. When approaching companies, friends, family, foundations and
trusts for possible sponsorship, inform them that their contribution will
be going to conservation of wildlife in Africa, as well as education of
under-privileged communities about conservation. There is a lot of money
to be earned out there!
is your age policy?
The minimum age requirement for most of our
programs is 18 yrs old, however certain programs will accept younger
volunteers at the discretion of the Program Manager. Please contact
us for further details. Some projects accept families as well.
languages will I need to speak?
There are 11 official
languages spoken in Southern Africa, namely: Afrikaans, English,
isiNdebele, isiXhosa, isiZulu, Sepedi, Sesotho, Setswana, siSwati,
Tshivenda and Xitsonga. However, English is preferred as a common language
because it is seen as neutral and prevents the favouring of any one
particular dialect. It is advisable to have a basic understanding of the
English language should you come from a foreign speaking country.
should I pack?
Head torch with extra batteries
or sheath knife
Sunblock, sunblock, sunblock!
clothes for cold nights (jackets/fleeces/long pants/raincoat)
clothes for hot days (tshirts/tanks/shorts/swimsuit)
set of clothes
Cash/credit cards/travelers cheques
Drivers license (if available)
of important documents
supplies/clothes for locals
*Tent is only necessary if you
are joining the Kruger camping safari as part of the Enkosini Wildlife
much should I budget for everyday expenses?
Your meals and accommodation are included
in most volunteer contributions, so not much spending money is required
unless you want to buy gifts or curios. South Africa represents great
value for money for visitors and you can survive on surprisingly little
day to day. We recommend that you bring cash, an ATM card and a credit card for
emergencies (Visa or Mastercard are the most widely accepted). South
Africa has plenty of banks in every town and you will find a "Bureau de
Change in the airport, convenient to change money to rands upon arrival
in South Africa.
is the current exchange rate for my currency?
for the latest rates...
are the health risks in South Africa?
While certain parts of
South Africa fall within malaria areas, we are fortunate that most of our
conservation placements fall in malaria-free areas. However, for those
projects that do fall in malaria areas (check individual projects for
details), it is incumbent upon each person to decide whether or not to
follow a prophylactic programme. Additionally, you must ensure that your
vaccinations are up-to-date prior to arrival (hepatitis A/B and tetanus) and that you have adequate medical/travel insurance for the
duration of your stay in South Africa. Tap water can be drunk in South
Africa; however it is advisable to consult with the coordinator at your
selected reserve before doing so. South Africa has very good medical
emergency facilities in cities and larger towns our private hospitals
are clean, efficient and professional. Rural clinics and hospitals are
definitely more basic than private hospitals, however if a situation does
arise medical attention is never far away! The most serious health risk
you are likely to face is from the South African sun so please come
prepared with adequate sunscreen, UV filter sunglasses and a hat. For
further information relating to health issues:
is safety and security like in South Africa?
Your safety and
security are of paramount importance to the Enkosini Eco Experience team.
In view of this, Enkosini has compiled strict systems and procedures for
the introduction of new project partners, as well as for the day to day
running of volunteers in the field. Experienced conservation managers,
appointed by the individual projects, are responsible for each volunteer
during their placement - from the time of arrival until departure.
Volunteers are constantly surrounded by other volunteers and/or volunteer
coordinators, and we ensure that volunteers are in the safest environment
possible. Each project has staff qualified in first aid and other
emergency procedures as well as on-site communication systems (telephones,
radios, cell phones, etc). We are always apprised of the most up-to-date
local and regional developments. You and your family will have the
assurance of a safe and meaningful project, developed by professionals and
supported with a global network.
are some safety tips for traveling in South Africa?
When traveling in South
Africa, tourists should follow a few simple rules of safety so that you
can enjoy our beautiful country without incidence. If you are alert to
potential problems, you are already halfway to avoiding them!
Avoid walking alone
at night Dont wear flashy jewelry or expensive cameras around your neck
Never leave valuables unattended When traveling in a car, keep your
doors locked and windows halfway up Always use reputable transport
services, and avoid driving or using public transport at night Be alert
when drawing money from ATM machines, and avoid drawing money in the
evenings Don't carry large sums of money Never get out of the car to
view wild animals in game reserves
is the best time to travel to South Africa?
Due to South Africa's
favorable climate, it is great to visit South Africa all year round! We
have a mostly temperate climate, with lovely warm sunny days most of the
year. As Southern Hemisphere seasons are the reverse of those in the
North, winter peaks over June and July and summer over December and
January in South Africa. Temperatures in winter generally range from 15-25
degrees centigrade. The days are warm but the evenings get very chilly!
Temperatures in summer generally range from 25-35 degrees centigrade.
Summer days are very hot with cooler nights. As with all things there is a
trade off, expect to queue for major attractions during the summer, and be
prepared for the odd storm during the winter. Whatever time of year you
arrive, you can be sure to find a wonderful variety of activities and
attractions available to you, together with dramatic sunsets, great food
and wonderful South African hospitality!
Will I need a visa
when entering South Africa?
At present, volunteers
from the EU, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand do not require a visa
to enter South Africa and will be granted a temporary visitors permit
valid for 90 days on presenting their passport on arrival. If you are
intending to stay longer than 90 days, you can apply for an extension in
your home country or at the Department of Home Affairs in South Africa.
Volunteers from other
countries should apply for tourist visas (not work visas) at the nearest
South African Embassy, High Commission or Consulate at least 4 weeks
before your departure for South Africa. It will take about 10 days to
process the application, and you will need to supply two passport photos,
a valid passport, necessary visa fees, and details of your travel
arrangements. We do advise that you consult with your South African
Consulate as the visa regulations are subject to change!
It is always a good
idea to have adequate travel/medical insurance before you travel anywhere,
and Africa is no exception! We recommend that you have fully comprehensive
insurance when joining an Enkosini
Eco Experience project.
Travel insurance doesnt have to be expensive there are always great
deals available for backpackers, gap year students and other travelers (www.endsleigh.co.uk, www.statravel.com).
It is important that your policy covers you for theft, loss, illness,
injury and repatriation in the event of a medical emergency. Check your
policy to see if medical benefits are paid 'as you go' or on your return
home. You may not appreciate having to pay for medical costs out of your
own pocket if you are unlucky enough to need long-term treatment of any
can I get good deals on international airfare?
The agents below
provide the best ticket prices year round, especially for students!