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Southern Africa Discovery - 4, 6 or 8 weeks

Combining the best of travel and volunteering this fantastic group expedition takes you through some of the best that southern Africa has to offer in terms of wildlife, culture and beaches, while having the full support of experienced staff and staying in comfy accommodation!

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Begin in Swaziland where you will get involved in grass roots community projects and make an active contribution to improve the lives of orphan and vulnerable children. Then set off on a five day camping safari through the world famous Kruger National Park to spot some or all of the Big 5 and other wildlife. Then travel to tropical Mozambique where you'll spend time on some of the best Indian Ocean beaches.

You will have the amazing opportunity to see some of Africa's most incredible wildlife, snorkel with Whale Sharks and paddle to tropical palm fringed islands but you will also have the opportunity to participate in an important community development projects.

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Accommodation and Meals on the Trip

During your trip you will be accommodated in a variety of lodges as you tour Southern Africa, but home base will be an award winning Lodge in Ezulwini Valley. Three meals a day will also be provided, some on a self-serve basis and others cooked for you.

Project Start Dates

Start date for this project is the first Monday of each month except December.

What's Included?

  • Comprehensive 24 hour, 7 day a week support from our local and experienced partners based in Africa
  • Volunteer projects specifically designed to allow you to make an active contribution during your stay
  • Support of volunteer project coordinators who are experts in their fields which ensures the volunteer experience is valuable
  • Comprehensive orientation to the country, its culture and your role as a volunteer upon arrival
  • All food and accommodation throughout your stay
  • Tour guide for the duration of your tours

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There are 3 distinct parts to this travel experience each with its own unique experience.

  1. Kruger - South Africa. In Kruger you will be joining a camping safari holiday. Here your days will be spent on game drives searching for the incredibly diverse wildlife that this world renowned national park has to offer, while at night you will be camped out under the African stars, sitting around a crackling camp re listening to tales of the African bush. While in Kruger your guide will teach you about the animals and plants of the African Savannah and how important it is to protect this beautiful but fragile eco-system.
  2. Swaziland. When you arrive in the beautiful mountainous Kingdom of Swaziland your role will switch to volunteer as you get involved in projects that aim to uplift the lives of orphaned and vulnerable children. 
  3. MozambiqueThe final week of your experience is spent on the beautiful golden sand beaches of sunny Mozambique. After two weeks of hard work in Swaziland it’ll be time to relax in this tropical climate and swim the blue waters of the warm and inviting Indian Ocean. Mozambique is a colourful and vibrant African country like no other and it is here that you will get to spend the last days of your trip - a wonderful way to end an inspiring tour.

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Volunteers have the option of choosing the following projects:

  • Teaching which involves assisting the teachers at pre-schools for orphan and vulnerable children (6 week option only)
  • Building which involves projects such as laying bricks for new classrooms or maintaining the gardens
  • Sports which includes assisting with running sporting activities with children including swimming and horse vaulting lessons

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Highlights

The highlights of this rewarding experience include:

  • Safari in Kruger National Park in search of Africa’s famous Big 5
  • Sunset/night drive in Kruger, a great time to spot the large cats
  • Visit to a Swazi Cultural Village
  • Ocean Safari – snorkel with amazing creatures such Whale Sharks, manta rays and dolphins
  • Island Kayak trip through the blue ocean waters around Inhambane, Mozambique

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What will my days look like?

7:00 Wake up to see the sunshine, jump in a hot shower and get yourself started for the day with breakfast!

8:00 Travel to your placement and get ready to begin your day.

8:30 Participate in your volunteer project assisting with fun activities.

13:00 Time to either return to your accommodation for lunch, or eat the packed lunch you made that morning!

14:00 Begin your afternoon’s work with a full stomach & enthusiasm 

16:30 Return back to your accommodation and share your day’s adventures with other volunteers, maybe even a quick swim in the pool! 

18:30 Enjoy a delicious evening meal & relax......

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Itinerary

Day 1 

Fly into  Johannesburg where you will be met by a staff members who will transfer you by road from Johannesburg to the Kingdom of Swaziland. It is approximately a five hour journey from the airport to you to your accommodation in the Ezulwini Valley.

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Day 2 

The second day begins with an informative presentation that will brief you on all you need to know about the culture and country, how to effectively contribute during your volunteer experience, and what to expect on the tours.

In the afternoon you will embark on a Cultural Tour where you will visit the museum to learn about Swazi history and culture, and then will walk around a real Swazi village to experience day-to- day life in Swaziland. The tour wraps up with a local culinary delight – a traditional Swazi braai!

Day 3 - 7 

Conservation tour, Kruger National Park, South Africa Kruger National Park is probably Africa’s most famous conservation area. Spanning nearly 20,000 square kilometres it covers a vast array of habitats and associated wildlife. 

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It has an aura of ancient times and offers some of the best opportunities view Africa’s big game. We venture on a five day tour into the heart of Kruger Park including four nights camping in the park and unlimited game drives exploring the vast wilderness with the expert guidance of one of our wildlife guides.

Others on the same trip have had amazing sightings of lion, elephant, rhino, buffalo, leopard, wild dog, giraffe, zebra to name just a few animals! There is an abundance of wildlife and birds to be spotted on your Kruger safari. 

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You will also have the exciting opportunity to take part in a guided bush walk (optional extra) as well as experience a night drive where you’ll go in search of nocturnal wildlife.

Day 7 

Depart Kruger for the beautiful Kingdom of Swaziland.

Day 8 - 20 

Time for the Volunteer Project in Swaziland; you will spend the next 10 days volunteering on your selected project (Orphan Care, Building, or Sports Development).

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As a volunteer, the activities you might be involved in will include any of the following practical projects:

  • Teaching basic English and maths to children*
  • Organising the children at meal times*
  • Organising creative games & craft classes to stimulate minds*
  • Organising sports days for exercise and fun
  • Participating in swimming and horse riding lessons
  • Making clay bricks and preparing land for structures to be built
  • Building structures including roofing
  • Fencing and developing gardens to provide vegetables for the children

*If you are a 4 weeks trip volunteer you will not be involved in the teaching and day to day care of children at the orphan care centres. As the children become very excited with new arrivals, the frequent change-over of volunteers disrupts the study and impacts on attachment issues experienced by the children. 6 and 8 week Kruger to Coast volunteers, however, will have the chance to participate in more hands-on teaching and direct care of the children.

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During this time you will also be assisted in obtaining your visa to enter Mozambique (the cost of visa is not included in the program cost) , and will also visit the Mantenga Cultural Village where you will have chance to experience traditional Swazi culture and lifestyle as well as witness traditional dancing and singing. You will also be invited to participate in learning the local dance moves!

Day 21- 26 

Mozambique Beach & Whale Shark Tour
Mozambique is world famous for its idyllic tropical beaches on the Indian Ocean. Tofo is a laid-back beach village in southern Mozambique and offers some of the best opportunities in the world to snorkel in the wild with the world’s biggest fish – the whale shark. 

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With diverse coral reefs, humpback whales, manta rays, dolphins and nesting turtles Tofo is a marine paradise.

You'll venture on a 7 day tour to Tofo where you will experience the laid-back beach lifestyle of this colourful and vibrant country. You will take an ocean safari to snorkel with the magnificent whale shark and also have a full day kayak trip across the blue waters to the palm fringed islands in the Inhambane Bay. 

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If you are a certified diver you will have the opportunity of exploring the spectacular fish life of the coral reefs! 

There is also the option to take part in an Internationally Accredited Open Water or Advanced Dive Course (extra cost) should you wish to dive

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  • Here you’ll have the chance to find the “Tofo Big 5” – Whale Sharks, manta rays, turtles, dolphins and humpback whales.
  • There are plenty of optional extra activities including beach horse rides, quad biking, mangrove kayaking, surfing, body boarding, deep sea  fishing and catamaran cruises.
  • A beach party or two is par for the course and some chill time on the beach is guaranteed Mozambique is a true gem on the east African coastline, an unspoiled paradise waiting to be explored!

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Day 27 

Travel back to Swaziland.

Day 28 

At the Lodge in Swaziland you will have a full day to relax, pack up and make preparations for your departure the following day (4-week volunteers).

4 Week Option
Day 29
 

Return home. Sadly all great adventures must come to an end and on your  final day you will leave the backpacker lodge in Swaziland and transfer by road to Johannesburg to catch your flight home or on to another one of our projects in Namibia or South Africa.

6 Week+ Option
Day 28 - 40 

On returning to Swaziland from Mozambique, you will head back to your assigned volunteer project and have more time to contribute to you project.

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Optional Extras

You can also add one of the following to your adventure of a lifetime prior to or upon arrival:

  • Internationally recognised Open Water or Advanced Dive Course
  • Bush walk in Kruger, to see some of the smaller creatures that reside in Kruger up close and personal
  • Zip lining weekend through the mountains, waterfalls and gorges of Malolotja Nature Reserve

 

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