FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
I don’t have any conservation experience, can I still take part on the project?
No experience is required - the programme accepts people from all backgrounds, as the main aim while on the project is to learn! This programme is designed to give volunteers a hands-on experience, whether you want to work in conservation, or just want to experience life on a wildlife reserve in Africa!
What does my programme fee include?
The programme fee includes accommodation, all food, transfers to and from Port Elizabeth airport, and all reserve activities while on the project.
How do I get to the project?
A transfer will be waiting for you when you arrive at Port Elizabeth Airport. They will provide a transfer to the reserve.
When is the best time of year to volunteer?
The programme runs all year, this is really up to personal preference. Summer months in South Africa are November - April. Winter months are May - October. In winter we still have plenty of sun but mornings and evenings are cold.
What is the best length of time to join the programme for?
You can stay from a minimum time of two weeks. As a general rule, the longer you can stay the more you will get out of the programme; all of our work is dependent on what is available at the time so the longer you stay the more varied your experience will be. For this reason, we recommend 4+ weeks. The maximum amount of time on the project is 11 weeks.
What is the project accommodation like?
You will be staying in a shared ‘volunteer house’, with bathroom and kitchen facilities, plus wi-fi. The housing is both safe and comfortable. The accommodation also includes a small pool for leisure time.
How many people sleep in a room?
This depends on how busy the programme is, but expect 1-3 people in one room.
How many people are on the programme at a time?
In order to make sure volunteers get a good experience on the programme the maximum number of people at one time is capped at ten. This makes for an intimate, hands-on experience.
Will there be a possibility to go shopping (for snacks, toiletries, etc) while on the programme?
All meals are included in the programme fee but if you do need anything extra there are shops available in nearby towns to visit at weekends. You may need to arrange a taxi to get there. Alternatively, stock up on your way to the reserve from the airport.
What animals might I see or work with on the project?
You will be working on a Big Five Reserve, with all the usual species of African wildlife, including elephant, buffalo, rhino, cheetah, lion, giraffe, zebra and many different antelope species to name but a few!
Unless doing veterinary work with immobilised animals all conservation work is 'hands off'. We do not promote the taming of wildlife for conservation reasons.
What do I do on the weekends?
Weekends are free time! Staff are happy to help you plan and book any activities or tours - local activities available to you are listed on our project page.
Volunteers can also plan a weekend away or hire a car. This can be arranged while on the project. Please note that although staff are usually willing to help, they need a few days' notice.
When do we work, and how long for?
We generally work Monday-Friday, for 7-9 hours a day. Hours vary a lot so be prepared for anything and always take enough food and water with you for the day!
The project conservation work and is very varied. For more details on activities please visit our programme information page, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to request a detailed brochure.
Wi-fi will be available in the volunteer house, however 'This Is Africa' and we cannot always guarantee the wi-fi working smoothly! Wi-fi will most probably be a lot slower than you are used to at home.
Can I do laundry while on the project?
Laundry is available to volunteers twice weekly.
Do I need any vaccinations or anti-malarial medication?
You will be staying in the Eastern Cape of South Africa, near Port Elizabeth, which is a malaria free area.
With regards to vaccinations prior to travel it is best to consult your doctor, as this varies from country to country. We strongly recommend that you take your doctor's advice and comply with any vaccines that they suggest.
See below for a suggested packing list.
Suggested Packing List
You should pack the following for all weather conditions:
•Sweaters/jumpers and a jacket (that can get dirty)
•Working shoes (boots or sneakers that can get dirty)
• Work tops (tank tops or t-shirts that can get dirty)
•Work pants (shorts and long pants that can get dirty)
•A few weekend day outfits (for weekend activities)
• A few weekend night outfits (for the occasional evening out at local bars/restaurants)
• Warm night clothes
• Camera and charger
• Backpack or small bag for packing lunch
• South African/International power plug converter/adapter
• Insect Repellent
Sunglasses + Sunhat/cap
Notepad/Diary + Pen
Hot Water Bottle for Winter Months
Keep in mind that you will be working within the reserve. You should be prepared to get your clothes dirty and they should be comfortable and easy to move in.
It is important to take extra of all medications & prescriptions.