With ROV you will live in the heart of a Game Park. Not a one day drive peering out a bus window. You will have six days in the heart of a Game Park assisting the work of the World Wildlife Fund in preserving the endangered Black Rhino.
The most heartwarming time will be the week working at a village kindergarten/creche. You will build new classrooms, soup kitchens, water catchments etc. for the children. You will help to feed, educate and care for them. We have worked with three different communities and helped over 250 children. You will meet amazing people who share your desire to really make a difference. There are few opportunities in any volunteer work abroad program that offer an emotionally fulfilling and satisfying experience like this.
The east coast, where you can be part of our international volunteer program, is a hot-spot for nature lovers with lions, elephants, rhinos, hippos, and a coastal wet-land teeming with bird life. Some of South Africa’s most famous game parks with safari and lodge accommodation are located in this area. You will experience the real Africa living deep in the heart of a game reserve being surrounded by giraffes, warthogs and impalas and bonfires under the magnificent African starry night.
Here there are volunteer opportunities where you can have a major impact on the lives of children and on the rhino conservation efforts to save this wonderful and endangered species in Africa. You will be tracking endangered rhinos, setting night motion sensor cameras and removing illegal snares. You will work at a reptile center, visit the incredible cheetah rehabilitation center, feed African elephants and be on safari in the magnificent Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve. You can expect to see lions, leopards, hyenas, elephants and all the gang from the Lion King!
The east coast is traditional Zulu country and you will learn Zulu, watch Zulu dancing and a weapons fighting display. You will meet a traditional Sangorma (medicine-man), try Zulu beer, take a cruise among hundreds of hippos and crocodiles and, if you choose, you can even go horse riding in the national park where your horse may get up close and personal with the local zebras.
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When you volunteer abroad in South Africa with Reach Out Volunteers you can have the peace of mind that our ROV Project Leader will be waiting to collect you outside the arrivals area of the Durban Airport. They will be holding an ROV sign and wearing an ROV shirt, so you can’t miss them!
Once you are settled into your accommodation, you will have free time. The accommodation is a one minute walk from a quiet and private beach. For those more adventurous, you can hire a surfboard and catch some waves while the rest of the group arrives. For dinner you will try the local South African specialty, Bunny-Chow (don’t worry it’s not made from bunny rabbits!). It is delicious and you will love it!
After an early breakfast the volunteers will be collected from the accommodation venue and transported to Somkhanda Game Park by shuttle van. The drive from Durban to Somkhanda is approximately 3 hours.
Along the way we will stop at the Endomeni Cheetah project where you will have the chance to interact with these magnificent creatures. In addition to cheetahs you will learn about various other cats that have been rescued and are being rehabilitated. Volunteers will lunch at Endomeni.
At Somkhanda you will be living in the heart of the African wilderness. Somkhanda Game Park has 4 out of the Big 5 (elephants, rhinos, leopards and buffalo). Volunteers will arrive around 3.00pm and will learn about the Safety Procedures for the Game Park.
Nights here are usually spent sitting around bon-fires under the most magnificent starry skies and you will sleep to the sound of the African wilderness. Incredible!
Here volunteers will learn about the African wilderness and bush land. Somkhanda is home to rhinos, leopards, giraffe, kudu, and various unique African animals. A typical day usually involves some work removing alien plants after which we will go on a game drive. There will be a bush walk from the Lodge accompanied by rangers. We usually take a night drive to see nocturnal animals.
After breakfast volunteers who have purchased the Activity Pack will undertake our elephant interaction experience. Here you will meet a Bull elephant and his family, learn how they were rescued and have the opportunity to feed the elephants. If you choose to stay at Somkhanda, you will participate in activities maintaining the game park and keeping the wildlife safe. In the afternoon, after returning to Somkhanda we will be involved in a snare patrols.
Today we learn the basics of telemetry tracking and use the equipment to find and check on the Rhino population.
Volunteers will be up early in the morning to have a safari through Hluhluwe. This is a Big 5 Game park that was crucial in saving the white rhino species from extinction in the 60’s. The volunteers will have lunch in the game park and will continue to safari into the afternoon before returning to St Lucia in the late afternoon for dinner.
Today is the first day you visit the creches and orphanages. As it is a Saturday, it is a great day to get used to the workload without getting distracted by the children.
St Lucia is a UNESCO World Heritage listed site for its vast biodiversity. There will then be an orientation and lunch where group objectives for the following week are discussed.
For those who have purchased the Activity Pack in the afternoon we will visit the traditional Zulu Village where they can really experience the Zulu culture! Volunteers will meet a Sangoma ( a traditional medicine man), and will have the opportunity to dress in traditional Zulu attire, learn to dance like a Zulu and how to become a Zulu warrior!
In the afternoon volunteers will get an orientation of St. Lucia, and have the opportunity to check out the local shops, craft markets and cafes. In the afternoon volunteers who have purchased the Activity Pack will enjoy a sunset hippo and crocodile cruise on Lake St. Lucia to see the amazing animals up close.
After the cruise all volunteers will have dinner prepared by our local chef.
Volunteers will spend the next two days working on a construction project at the local crèche. Reach Out Volunteers has helped support over 200 children to receive food, education, sanitation and medication.
Volunteers will be involved in building projects which may include building new classrooms, bathrooms, soup kitchens, general maintenance, and assisting in the cooking.
Lunch each day will be enjoyed at the crèche alongside the children.
You can spend the afternoon working on the construction project or assisting teachers in the crèche with lessons.
The evening activities over the next two nights will include a night drive through St. Lucia where you will be on a safari truck with flashlights spotting hippo, as well as a Zulu lesson and Zulu dancing performance from locals.
This will be the last day the volunteers will be working at the crèche. You will be finishing off your project work and in the afternoon children at the crèche will throw a good-bye party to celebrate your time there.
After dinner you will participate on a night drive through St Lucia to spot the hippos, various deer and the elusive leopards.
Volunteers will enjoy a sleep and will have some free time to do some last minute shopping in the markets of St Lucia.
After lunch the volunteers will bus down to Durban to stay at our Backpackers where you will have dinner.
Volunteers are taken to the airport in time for their flights.
In Durban: Bungalow close to the beach.
In St Lucia: A comfortable hotel.
Game Park: Bungalow or comfortable tent.
Volunteers will be separated in rooms by gender. All linen, pillows, towels provided. Rooms have own private bathrooms, and doors with locks.
South Africa: Trek & Trail - 7 Days
|You will be on safari in a Big 5 reserve, walking in the African bush, tracking animal footprints and camping out at night.|
South Africa: Orphanage and Game Park - 14 Days
|Provide safety, shelter and food to young children in impoverished communities and help protect the endangered rhino populations.|
Mozambique Adventure - 14 Days
|Volunteer at a village school, go dolphin diving, eat dinner in the home of a local family, learn the local language and much more.|
African Volunteering Adventure - 35 Days
|This is an amazing experience that allows the more adventurous spirit to be deeply immersed in the real Africa.|
Arrival Airport: King Shaka International Airport (DUR) - Durban
Departure Airport: King Shaka International Airport (DUR) - Durban
Arrival Day: Is the first day of your program
Departure Day: is the final day of your program.
Airport Collection Times: 8am -12am (Midnight) on arrival & departure day.
Travel insurance is strongly recommended. It is recommended to purchase travel insurance as soon as you've been accepted for your program or at least by the time you pay your Progress Payment or book your flights. When you volunteer abroad it is important to ensure that your policy includes emergency medical evacuation as well as program and flight cancellation.
We suggest that you check the policy you intend to purchase and make sure it has at least the following benefits;
The World Nomads policy accessible below is one of the few Travel Insurance policies that covers volunteering.
The information below was correct at the time of writing, however visa requirements can change overnight. You must ensure that the details below are still relevant to your situation as it is ultimately your responsibility to organize a visa for your program.
Citizens of the European Union, Australia, Canada and the US do not need visas. If you are not a citizen of these countries please check the website of your nearest South African embassy.
If you need to arrange a tourist visa prior to travelling, we can assist you with documentation. Please send our admin team an email at email@example.com
You can select the Flight Booking Service from the available Add-Ons once you have created a Profile with us. Don’t have a Profile? Click on the Apply Now button above and create one now.
* Cheaper flights with alternative airlines may be available. However, sometimes you may end up paying much more with hidden costs and extras :( we avoid this and help to make the travel element of your ROV experience hassle free :)
This project is Tax Deductible for US citizens.
For US tax-paying citizens:
We are a registered 501(c)3 non-profit. On this program you can claim up to US$1,999 as a contribution to our non-profit helping to protect wildlife.
For this project as you are required to fly to your project location to undertake your volunteer service, you may also be eligible to claim the cost of your return flight to the project. If your airfare includes travel before or after your project you may not be able to claim your flights. You should seek your own tax advice on this. You should seek your own tax advice on this.
Your taxable receipt will be sent upon completing your final contribution payment for your project.
For Australian tax-paying citizens:
On all of our projects we work with local community leaders to help those that need it most. Our volunteers make a significant contribution to bettering the lives of children, families and wildlife.
Whilst many of our projects are tax deductible, as a non-profit there are strict regulations that we must follow.
Due to the nature of this project and the benefit components involved, it does not qualify for tax deductibility in Australia.
What is a benefit component?
A benefit component is a benefit that you receive as a consequence of your contribution to a charity.
Due to the nature of this project, there may be periods where you are not directly volunteering or you are receiving a benefit above the acceptable limits.
It is a life changing experience that gives people an opportunity in making a difference in our world. It was an amazing experience and I would definitely do it again.Breana, United States.