Information Volunteers South Africa
Questions and Answers for Volunteers
How safe am I in
South Africa, particularly Johannesburg has a high
crime rate and a very poor image when it comes to the issue of
personal safety. We do however make every attempt to ensure that you
are going to be as safe as possible. That is also the reason why All
Africa Volunteers has its projects in small communities, where the
people are still very calm and friendly. We will also advise you
upon arrival what you can do and what you can’t do.
cover do you suggest/should be taken out?
Personal travel insurance is compulsory when
volunteering in South Africa and can be arranged with a local travel
agency. The extent of your insurance is up to your discretion. We
suggest that you take a package that includes repatriation to your
home country should there be a medical emergency.
Do I need any
If you stay longer than 3 months in South Africa you
do need a visa although visa requirements are consistently changing.
You can check with the South African Embassy in your country what
type of visa you need and after which time period you need that
visa. The requirement of a visa will be your own responsibility.
Extensions of visa’s can be done by contacting us.
Only apply for a visitor's visas and be careful not
to mention the words 'working as a volunteer', quite simply because
today there is no difference made between a paid worker and a
volunteer, even though the volunteer receives no financial gain and
very often has to make a contribution to food costs to help their
host with this cost which the host can not afford due to the economy
of the country.
Please note that your passport should be valid for at
least 6 months after you intend to return home. You will also be
asked to substantiate that you have enough money to support yourself
during the remainder of your stay (ie. bank statements) and you have
a return ticket.
should I get?
Our projects are in the Eastern Cape, which is a
malaria and bilharzias free area but you might tour around after
your project to other places on your own for which you do need
malaria tablets. There are some injections you do need in our region
for which we recommend that you visit your local travel clinic or
Doctor for advice on health (yellow fever, rabies, etc.) while travelling in
What is the age
range of the volunteers?
All Africa Volunteers accept anyone young at heart
and willing to help.
typically be around 18 – 35 years old, although the age can range
anywhere from 17 upwards. We do cater for School Groups at some of
Can I speak to
ex-volunteers about the placements?
free to chat to ex volunteers via facebook.
How far should I
book in advance?
Due to high demand, it
is best to book at least six months in advance to avoid
disappointment. Some projects may become
available at short notice.
Is it possible to
Volunteers can combine any of our projects and tours.
How do I book a
Booking Form and we will contact you with placement details.
included in the project fees?
No flights are not included in project
fees, Unfortunately at this time we do not book flights for
Will I be met at
Yes, you will be
met by a representative when you arrive and returned to the airport
on your day of departure.
Each project will
have different types of accommodation and therefore you should check
the relevant placement for all the details. In general you will
usually stay onsite within the project boundaries.
Do the placements
cater for vegetarians?
All projects cater for vegetarians.
Can I travel after
Yes, it is fairly
common for volunteers to travel around their placement country and
beyond! We will gladly help you with advice and your bookings while
exploring Southern Africa.
Why do I have to
pay to be a volunteer?
bring a variety of benefits to individuals. You will be making a
positive contribution to support conservation efforts in Africa,
experience different cultures and enhance your CV for future
As there is at the moment no budget to run the
conservation and educational volunteer programs we still need to
charge you for your stay. Your cost will go to the
accommodation and meals,
airport transfers and transport around the placement. It will also
include a donation towards the projects. You will receive support
from our dedicated team in South Africa and the project co-ordinators.. All that's left will be put in the project. All Africa Volunteers support
the continuity and operating costs of the projects. Also see
Why pay to volunteer
What will I be
doing during my project?
The specific jobs that you are asked to do are very
dependent on the needs at the time and vary from week to week. In
general you are going to adjust in the work routine of the
Some of our projects are more set out.
What is the
climate like in South Africa?
We actually only have 2 seasons in South Africa,
which is Summer and Winter. The Summer period in the Eastern Cape is
from around November till May and Winter is from around June to
September. The months April and May could be Spring and the months
September and October could be Autumn.
projects of All
Africa Volunteers are in the Eastern Cape Coast area, which is well
known for its mild climate. Summers which are not to hot and Winters
which are not to cold. You are looking at around 25°C -30°C in
Summer and 17°C -23°C in Winter. Although in the winter your
evenings can be cold and we recommend to pack warm clothing with for
the Winter evenings.
What clothing do I
Clothing should be appropriate for physical, dirty
work. Old clothes are perfect. Even in summer we suggest you have
light-weight, long-sleeve clothing, for protection both from the
sun, mosquitoes, and scratches. Good sturdy shoes are a must.
What is our organizations mission?
All Africa Volunteers mission is to upgrade the
smaller communities in the Eastern Cape. These townships and
communities don’t get a lot of attention from any other
organizations and do need help to grow and develop. We are
constantly increasing our breeding stock of endangered animals for
our breeding programs to save these animals for the next generation.
The breeding programs help get fresh bloodlines in.
How many days do I have free to do other things?
A work week is 5 days in a week, which means that you
are free for two days in a week. However this doesn’t mean that this
will be always the weekend.
Do I need any qualifications for volunteering or am I
There is most of the time no specific need for
qualifications, but you have to consider yourself if you would be
suitable for the project you choose. You can ask yourself the
* Am I open to experience new cultures and I am able
to adjust in new cultures;
* Am I flexible to adapt well to new situations,
environment and other people;
* Do I have self discipline and can I work
* Am I innovative to come up with new ideas to help;
* Do I stand behind the project I choose and see it
as a rewarding way in which I can develop my own qualities and
character while giving something back to other.
What is the time period of the projects you offer?
To be able to work as a volunteer for All Africa
Volunteers you do need to be at least 2 weeks available.
What to bring
Africa Volunteers has compiled a very helpful list combining safari and
travel essentials which are useful to volunteers and travellers alike.
This list will help you not to forget any important stuff.
Important documents – working and travelling in Africa
advise you to make 3 photocopies each of all your important travel
documents such as visas and passports. You should keep one copy in your
backpack, one for your day-bag and one to give a set to your parents.
To be extra safe we recommend making copies of the following documents:
- driving licence
serial number of flight tickets
international driving licence
serial numbers of travellers cheques
insurance details and any emergency contact numbers
credit card numbers
* South African Rands (ZAR)
* All travel tickets
* Vaccination documents
* Cell Phone
* Mosquito net
* Student identity and ISIC cards
* Immunisation record
* Travellers cheques
* Money belt
* Toiletries ( see below )
* Medical kit
* Clothes ( see below )
* Waterproof and secure bag for documents and money
* Water bottle
Safari and travel essentials (extras)
* Insurance documents
* Emergency numbers
* Sun cream
* Guide books
* Passport photos
* Glasses/ sunglasses/ contact lenses
* Sewing kit
* Shower gel
* Travel wash
* Tooth brush and paste
* Shaving stuff
* Nail clippers
* Wet wipes
* Insect repellent
* Safety pins
* Sun screen
* Lip balm
* Bath Towels
* Adapter plugs
* Travel alarm
* Combination padlocks
* Spare batteries
* Walkman/ CD Player/ iPod
* Address book
* Telephone card
* Photos of family/ friends
* Re- sealable bags
* Inflatable neck pillow
* Long trousers
* Lightweight waterproof jacket for wet season
* Comfortable, lightweight trekking boots or similar; and thick
* Warm clothing: jacket, jumpers, gloves, woolly hat, scarf for
Winter (May–August). Mornings and nights can be quite chilly.
Tracksuits are quite useful for colder months
* Long- sleeved shirts
* Swimwear and towel
* Sunhat/ cap
* Comfortable/ presentable shoes
* Smart sandals
* T- shirts
* Sterilisation kit
* Medical kit
* Anti-diarrhoea medicine
* Motion sickness medication
* Water purification tablets
* Throat lozenges
* Antibiotic cream
* Sharp- ended tweezers