Volunteer Information South Africa Frequently asked Volunteer Question

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All Africa Volunteers South Africa - Community and Wildlife Volunteers Africa

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Information Volunteers South Africa

Questions and Answers for Volunteers

How safe am I in Africa?

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.

What insurance 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 visas?

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.

What inoculations 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 Africa.

What is the age range of the volunteers?

All Africa Volunteers accept anyone young at heart and willing to help. Volunteers will 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 the projects.

Can I speak to ex-volunteers about the placements?

Feel 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 combine projects?

Volunteers can combine any of our projects and tours.

How do I book a placement?

Please complete Booking Form and we will contact you with placement details.

Are flights included in the project fees?

No flights are not included in project fees, Unfortunately at this time we do not book flights for volunteers.

Will I be met at the airport?

Yes, you will be met by a representative when you arrive and returned to the airport on your day of departure.

Accommodation?

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 the placement?

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?

Volunteering will 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 careers. 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 particular project.

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.

The 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 need?

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 suitable?

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 following questions:

* 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 independently;

* 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

All 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
We 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

- all insurance details and any emergency contact numbers

- credit card numbers

Checklist

Travel essentials

* Passport
* South African Rands (ZAR)
* All travel tickets
* Vaccination documents
* Cell Phone
* Pens
* Poncho
* Mosquito net
* Student identity and ISIC cards

* Immunisation record
* Travellers cheques
* Money belt
* Photocopies
* Toiletries ( see below )
* Medical kit
* Clothes ( see below )
* Waterproof and secure bag for documents and money
* Water bottle

Safari and travel essentials (extras)

* Visas
* Insurance documents
* Emergency numbers

* Sun cream
* Guide books
* Passport photos
* Glasses/ sunglasses/ contact lenses
* Prescriptions
* Sewing kit

Toiletries

* Deodorant
* Shampoo
* Shower gel
* Travel wash
* Tooth brush and paste
* Shaving stuff
* Nail clippers
* Wet wipes
* Conditioner
* Insect repellent
* Safety pins
* Sun screen

* Lip balm
* Patches
* Moisturiser
* Kleenex
* Bath Towels

 

Added extras

* Watch
* Film
* Adapter plugs
* Travel alarm
* Flashlight
* Camera
* Combination padlocks
* Spare batteries
* Walkman/ CD Player/ iPod
* Books
* Address book
* Telephone card

* Photos of family/ friends
* Re- sealable bags
* Inflatable neck pillow

Clothes

* Long trousers
* Lightweight waterproof jacket for wet   season
* Comfortable, lightweight trekking boots or similar; and thick socks
* 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
* Pyjamas
* Swimwear and towel
* Underwear
* Jeans
* Shorts
* Sunhat/ cap
* Comfortable/ presentable shoes
* Smart sandals
* Flip-flops
* T- shirts
* Belt
* Sweater

* Tops
* Skirt


 

Medical

* Sterilisation kit
* Medical kit

* Vitamins
* Anti-diarrhoea medicine
* Aspirins
* Motion sickness medication
* Water purification tablets
* Throat lozenges
* Antibiotic cream
* Sharp- ended tweezers



 

 
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Volunteer Information South Africa Frequently asked Volunteer Question