Southern Africa Discovery

Planning your OE? Welcome to International Working Holidays
Southern Africa Discovery – 4, 6 or 8 weeks
Combine travel and volunteering in this fantastic South African expedition. You’ll look after wildlife, see beaches, culture and more in this unforgettable experience! Make new friends and get the support of experienced staff in this 4, 6 or 8 week trip.
At a glance:
Volunteer: Travel and volunteer expedition of South Africa
Accommodation: Shared volunteer lodges
Meals: x3 varied and delicious meals a day included
Dates: The first Monday of each month except December
About the Southern Africa Discovery
There are 3 distinct parts to this unique volunteer travel experience each with its own exciting activities.
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 ecosystem. You’ll get the opportunity to spot the ‘Big 5’: ‘Big 5’:Lion, Leopard, Rhinoceros (both black and white species), Elephant, and Cape Buffalo and other wildlife!
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.
The 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!
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
  • You also have the option to go to the Research Centre for 2 weeks of volunteering* to be a citizen researcher. So 1 week in Swaziland. Week 2 you will be transported down to Mbuluzi Game Reserve to the research centre where you would assist our team of researchers with conservation efforts in the game park. They have just started a new study which involves tracking giraffe in the park, monitoring their behaviours, breeding patterns, numbers, eating patterns etc. This data will show how growing populations outside of the park, are effecting the wildlife inside. This is just one example of many of the projects that are going on at the research centre. On week 4 you are picked up on the way to Tofo to have the last week on the beach.
*this option requires an additional expense to cover the private transfer costs.
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
  • Join an Ocean Safari – snorkel with amazing creatures such whale sharks, manta rays and dolphins
  • Take an island Kayak trip through the blue ocean waters around Inhambane, Mozambique
What will my days look like?
Your typical day will be something like this:
  • 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

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

  • 18:30 Enjoy a delicious evening meal & relax!
Your 4, 6 or 8 week itinerary:
Day 1
Fly into Johannesburg South Africa where you will be met by a staff member who will transfer you 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.
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.
n the afternoon you will embark on a Cultural Tour where you will visit the museum to learn about Swazi history and culture, and then we 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 (BBQ)!
Days 3 – 7
You’ll be on the incredible conservation tour at Kruger National Park. South Africa’s Kruger National Park is probably Africa’s most famous conservation area, spanning nearly 20,000 square kilometres.
Kruger offers some of the best opportunities to 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 our wildlife guides.
Others on the same trip have had amazing sightings of lions, elephants, rhinos, buffalos, leopards, wild dogs, giraffes, zebras to name just a few animals! There is an abundance of wildlife and birds to be spotted on your Kruger safari.
As an optional paid extra, you will also have the exciting opportunity to take part in a guided bush walk, as well as an exciting night drive where you’ll go in search of nocturnal wildlife.
Day 7
Depart Kruger for the beautiful Swaziland.
Days 8 – 20
Roll up your sleeves; it’s 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).
Depending on what you choose 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 on a 4 weeks trip, you will not be involved in the teaching and day to day care of children at the orphan care centres. This is because the children become very excited with new arrivals, and the frequent change-over of volunteers disrupts the study and impacts on attachment issues experienced by the children. The 6 and 8 week Kruger to Coast volunteers will have the chance to participate in more hands-on teaching and direct care of the children.
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
Next you’ll do a spot of sightseeing on the Mozambique Beach and 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.
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. Here you’ll have the chance to find the “Tofo Big 5” – Whale Sharks, manta rays, turtles, dolphins and humpback whales.
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 (at an extra cost) should you wish to dive.
There are plenty of optional extra activities including beach horse rides, quad biking, mangrove kayaking, surfing, bodyboarding, 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!
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! On your final day you will leave the backpacker lodge in Swaziland and transfer by road to Johannesburg to catch your flight home, or go on to another one of our projects in Namibia or South Africa.
4 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.
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*
During your trip you will be accommodated in a variety of shared lodges as you tour Southern Africa, but home base will be an award winning shared Lodge in Ezulwini Valley. The Kruger Park accommodation are two person tents.
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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