Experience the wildlife of South Africa’s Kruger National Park, volunteer in communities or conservation projects in Swaziland, and explore the coast of Mozambique, all in this safari, volunteer and coastal adventure trip that will bring memories to last a lifetime.
This trip is for those who want to return home having done a little bit of everything that southern Africa has to offer. Snorkelling with whale sharks, undertaking a PADI diving course, and catching a glimpse of the Big 5 on safari are all very real possibilities on top of the volunteering focus of this trip.
Starting in Swaziland – the smallest country in the southern hemisphere and the only remaining African monarchy – the first part of the trip is about getting orientated before heading out to the Kruger National Park. The Kruger is all about being in the wilderness of the 20,000 km² conservation area and spotting the wildlife, big and small, who call Kruger home.
The second phase is about getting stuck in to help communities or habitats in Swaziland. Volunteers can choose a project that they feel most passionate about, whether it’s running lessons and activities for orphans, organising sport sessions for children of a variety of ages, or helping conserve Swaziland’s savannah and the threatened species living there.
The final phase of the trip is all about exploring Mozambique, the country famous with visitors for its glistening coastline and idyllic islands. Based out of Tofo, this final week in paradise is all about enjoying the coastline adventures on offer. A trip that gives participants memorable wildlife and coastal adventures while giving something back in crucial volunteering work, this all-under-one-roof trip will make you see the world in a new way.
During the four night trip to Kruger National Park, days are spent going on a variety of game drives, including a night drive, led an expert local tour guide. You’ll learn about the local habitat and all the creatures who live there while trying to locate some of the big game local residents, including lions, rhinos, elephants, buffalos, leopards and wild dogs.
Back in Swaziland after the safari, you’ll spend the next ten days helping out at one of three volunteer projects:
Volunteering with orphans (only available on six week trips): Swaziland has one of the highest rates of HIV infection in the world, which has resulted in tens of thousands of orphaned children. As a volunteer at the orphan project, you’ll help to look after some of the many orphans in Swaziland, assisting with lessons, running fun activities and helping at meal times. Your help in giving the children some basic education in maths and English is especially important, while fun activities such as singing and dancing help keep the children entertained. You’ll catch the bus to the orphan project at around 8:30 and leave again at lunchtime.
Teach sports: Unemployment is high in Swaziland with up to 50% of the population unable to find work. This can lead children towards boredom and anti-social behaviour, damaging their prospects at being able to support themselves in future. As a volunteer at this project, you’ll help keep children focused and fit, while they gain confidence and new skills through the sport and play activities you organise. Your day will start at around 9:00 when you’ll pack up the sports equipment you’ll need for the day and head over to a local community centre. Once there, you’ll organise activities for 3 to 6 year olds, which could include song and dance, ball games, obstacle courses, tricycle riding and swimming lessons. Some days you may even organise a sports day. After lunch, you’ll head over to a local sports centre, where you’ll coach older children in a variety of sports, which could include football, netball, volleyball or tennis until around 17:00. You might also organise dedicated training sessions, mini competitions, sports tournaments or football leagues.
Savannah conservation: Many species are threatened across southern Africa, so as a volunteer on this project, you’ll help conserve their habitats by undertaking field-based monitoring of species. You might get involved in monitoring the nests and roosts of threatened birds and bats, log information about the habitat and weigh, measure and tag young birds. Your day will start at 7:30 and you’ll leave again at lunchtime.
The next phase of the trip is all about exploring Mozambique’s coastline. If you’re an orphan project or savannah conservation volunteer, some of the activities you’ll undertake include an ocean safari to snorkel with whale sharks, and a kayak safari to palm-fringed islands. If you’re a volunteer on the sports project, you’ll take a PADI Open Water or Advanced Dive course and explore the ‘Tofu Big 5’, including whale sharks, manta rays, turtles, dolphins and humpback whales. As well as all the adrenalin-pumping activity, you’ll also have plenty of time to chill out on the beach.
This trip is available for a duration of either four or six weeks. If you’re on the four week trip you will return to Swaziland before flying home. If you’re on the six week trip, you will return to the volunteer project you worked at in Swaziland for an additional two weeks.
Kruger National Park, South Africa and Ezulwini Valley, Swaziland and Tofu, Mozambique.
Teaching and activities with orphans, sporting events and activities with children or observing habitats and populations of endangered species (depending on the chosen project).
Activities in Mozambique
Ocean safari, kayak safari, PADI course (depending on the chosen project).
Various wildlife safari excursions.
First Monday of each month.
Monday to Friday from morning to noon (orphan and savannah project); Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm (sports project).
Minimum age 18, knowledge of English, travel insurance.
Accommodation in Kruger National Park
Tents (maximum two per tent), shared bathroom and showers.
Accommodation in Swaziland
In a backpacker’s lodge, in bunk beds in a dormitory, or in safari-style tents in normal beds. Shared bathroom and showers.
Accommodation in Mozambique
Bunk beds in beach villas, mosquito nets and hot water showers.
Food is provided for three meals a day. In Swaziland, volunteers take it in turns to cook together in the evenings. In Mozambique, the guide cooks for you.
Included at Matsapha International Airport (MTS) on specified arrival date.
In-country orientation, briefing at the volunteer projects.
Pre-departure information, local in-country support and 24 hour emergency support.
Donation to the project
Included in the rate.
In addition, you need to arrange:
- Travel insurance (necessary)
- Vaccinations (please contact your GP or a travel medical clinic)
- Visa (on arrival at the airport)
- Daily travel costs to and from the project
- Additional recreational activities
Starts from €2,141
4, 6 or 8 weeks
The Kruger experience gives you the chance to encounter wildlife and surroundings that take you out of your comfort zone, and many describe a safari trip in South Africa as being a life-changing adventure. You’ll spend evenings on a secure and comfortable campsite in the national park, where you’ll cook dinner using the camp’s cooking facilities and sleep in tents of two. You’ll love the sound of silence in the middle of the bush, while enjoying the creature comforts of the hot showers and shops on-site.
Volunteering in the heart of communities or helping conserving the environment in Swaziland gives the Swazi people a valuable and often life-changing gift. As well as getting to know local people and exploring the habitats of the country, you’ll also be able to get to know more about Swaziland and southern Africa as a whole. In Swaziland, you’ll be staying in a picturesque backpacker’s lodge, which is surrounded by gardens, in either a dorm room or safari-style tents. Food is provided and you’ll take it in turns to cook with the other volunteers, either in the kitchen or on the braai (barbecue) and relaxed evenings are spent on the veranda by the fireplace.
The Mozambique phase of the trip will feel like a week in an idyllic coastal paradise. Days spent partaking in coastal adventures meld into breezy evenings eating meals cooked by your tour guide by the ocean, as well as the occasional beach party. You’ll be sleeping in bunk beds in charming beach villas, which come complete with hot water showers and mosquito nets. There are optional extras for those who seek even more adventure, such as beach horse rides, quad biking, mangrove kayaking, deep sea fishing, catamaran cruises, surfing and body boarding.