Teaching Volunteer Project
Duration: 5 Weeks - 12 Weeks
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Volunteer in South Africa on our teaching project and help educate children in English as well as maths, science, sports and other subjects, providing much needed support in the community. This project is ideal for anyone who wants to volunteer, travel and teach in South Africa.
Teaching in South Africa
Although South Africa is considered to be one of the most developed African nations, there is still a clear imbalance in the educational opportunities available throughout the country. Many of the township schools are largely under-funded and under-staffed, but this teaching project will give you the chance to make a significant difference to the standard of education that so many children are deprived of.
Your Teaching Placement
You will be based in Port Elizabeth where there is a variety teaching opportunities available to you. As in every education system, there are different schooling stages in relation to the age of the children. This means you can be exposed to a range of teaching methods and standards in the townships. With the younger children, you will have the opportunity to teach English as a foreign language, aiding your students to develop their fluency and conversational confidence.
For the older children, English skills are stronger, and so there will be ample opportunity to teach a broad range of subjects that may include English Language, English Literature, Maths, Science, French, IT, RE, Design, Construction and Agricultural Studies. There may also be opportunities to teach drama, journalism or sports coaching. Although it may appear daunting, having fluent English and numeracy skills makes you a very valuable individual. It is from this platform that you can really start to make a positive difference to the lives of your students.
Your Teaching Role
You will be attached to one of the under-resourced schools in Port Elizabeth , which will most likely be in one of the townships. From here, your role will be to offer inspiring and exciting lessons that will improve the literacy, numeracy and communication skills of your class. You will probably start by supporting local teachers, assisting in lessons and helping to organise other extracurricular activities. This will allow you to build close friendships with your pupils and the local teachers. From this grounding, you will venture out and start to plan and teach your own lessons. Furthermore, help with issues such as lesson planning, discipline and cultural courtesies will be available from a number of sources, including the teachers, our in-country staff and the other volunteers. You will quickly grow in confidence as you learn how to engage your students. Before long, you will develop your own teaching style that inspires and excites the class.
Although you will have support from our staff and the local teachers, you should remember that your role is intended to be as independent and self-supported as possible. You will also be encouraged to introduce your own ideas and get involved with extra-curricular activities such as art and design, drama, music, sport or the production of a school newspaper. Above all, we want to give you the flexibility to decide how you can best contribute to the school environment and education in South Africa .
Our teaching placement is extremely rewarding, not only because of the close friendships you will form with your pupils and local teachers, but from seeing how eager the children are to learn from you. Not only is this a humbling experience, it will undoubtedly change your perspective on the educational privileges we have in the 'west'. It will help you to value the standard of education back home and, more importantly, understand the positive impact this can have on the lives of others who simply do not get the same opportunities.
CRB/ DBS (Criminal Records Bureau) Check
It is advised that participants complete a CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) check before joining this project. Changing Worlds can provide this service for you at an additional cost of £30. For more information on the application process please take a look at the relevant Add On tab.
Gap Year and Career Break Teaching in South Africa
A gap year teaching project in South Africa during your gap year is the perfect way to enjoy gap year travel while giving something back through a gap year volunteer project. Our teaching project will provide fantastic gap year opportunities, unforgettable gap year memories, close friendships, and the gap year experience of your life.
- Trip Name
- Teaching Volunteer Project
- Trip Code
- South Africa
- Port Elizabeth (airport code PLZ)
- Minimum Duration
- 5 Week
- Maximum Duration
- 12 Week
- Minimum Age
- Trip Type
- From £995 for 5 Weeks + £175 per Week
- £ 195.00
- Preferred Duration
- We would like volunteers to come on either a 5 week or 12 week trip if possible. This ensures better management of the project and also helps you get the most from the social activities and group travel opportunities on offer. Shorter durations are still available and any duration inbetween 5 and 12 weeks can still be arranged.
- No prior teaching experience is required, although some knowledge in the subject is helpful for teaching older students. Completing a TEFL course may also be useful.
- Ideal for
- Volunteer Teaching Holidays and Placements in Africa; Volunteering and Activity Breaks in South Africa; Volunteer Teaching Gap Years and Career Breaks.
- 5 weeks, 6 weeks, 7 weeks, 8 weeks, 9 weeks, 10 weeks, 11 weeks
- 5 weeks, 6 weeks
- 5 weeks, 6 weeks, 7 weeks, 8 weeks, 9 weeks, 10 weeks, 11 weeks, 12 weeks
- 5 weeks, 6 weeks, 7 weeks
- 5 weeks
- 5 weeks, 6 weeks, 7 weeks, 8 weeks, 9 weeks, 10 weeks, 11 weeks, 12 weeks
- 5 weeks, 6 weeks, 7 weeks
- 5 weeks, 6 weeks, 7 weeks, 8 weeks, 9 weeks, 10 weeks, 11 weeks
- 5 weeks, 6 weeks
- 5 weeks, 6 weeks, 7 weeks, 8 weeks, 9 weeks, 10 weeks, 11 weeks
- 5 weeks, 6 weeks
- 5 weeks
- 5 weeks, 6 weeks, 7 weeks, 8 weeks, 9 weeks, 10 weeks, 11 weeks, 12 weeks
- 5 weeks, 6 weeks, 7 weeks
* indicates you can come on this date for a full 12 week trip (maximum duration).
5 weeks = 35 nights, 6 weeks = 42 nights, 7 weeks = 49 nights, 8 weeks = 56 nights, 9 weeks = 63 nights, 10 weeks = 70 nights, 11 weeks = 77 nights, 12 weeks = 84 nights
dates are based on school holidays and are subject to change.
All programmes run from Saturday to Saturday
- Volunteer lodge with shared rooms (4-10 people per room); Basic but comfortable; Shared toilet and shower facilities; Communal areas for socialising and relaxation; Single and double rooms may also be available – contact us.
- 3 meals a day; Basic but nutritious.
- Airport Transfers
- Included on arrival and departure dates. Ask us for details if you are arriving early.
- Full project induction and local orientation given on arrival.
- Pre-departure help and advice; Local in-country team; 24 hour emergency support.
- Part of your fee maybe used to buy decent equipment for the project and community you work with. We also encourage you to bring any extra equipment that you are happy to give away but this will need to fall within your personal weight allowance with the airline you travel with.
- Project Transport
- All transport to and from project sites is provided daily by our staff in our team minibuses.
- Excursions and Social activities/trips.
- These vary depending on the length of your stay, but can include: Kragga Kama Game Reserve trip, Meal at Bushcamp Boma, Visit the Red Location Museum, Trip to Jeffrey's Bay with Duneboarding (Accommodation and surfing not included), Trip to Bungee location (Bungee costs not included), Authentic Braais (BBQ), Traditional dance and drumming performances.
- Equipment and Medical Discounts
- Changing Worlds customers will receive 10% off Travel Equipment, Medical Supplies and Vaccinations from Nomad Travel Store.
Although the majority of your placement will coincide with the school term, there may be times when there is a week or two of school holidays. However, there is no less need for your placement during the holidays and you will still be able to get involved in your activity (and others if you would like to!) for around 3-4 hours a day. Typically there will be arts and crafts, music and drama sessions, as well as the opportunity to organise fun and educational activities at the local orphanage.
The beauty about the holidays camps is that you will be able to go to different locations, giving other children the opportunity to join in the activities. The holiday camps really are something that the children have come to depend on and really enjoy.
Equipment Donation for South Africa
We are dedicated to sustainable development. This is why part of the fee you pay goes towards buying decent equipment for beneficiary organisations in South Africa. You will often use this equipment during your project and it is always left with the community when you leave. In some cases, an equipment donation may not be appropriate so a financial contribution is made instead.
Social Life in South Africa
We believe it is important to give our volunteers the chance to unwind and have fun while they are away. Our in-country team therefore organises a variety of social activities to bring volunteers together, to share their experiences and, above all, have a good time. The social life in South Africa really is second to none and you will return home with some truly unforgettable memories and friends for life. With so many sporty people living together, social sports teams are pretty much unavoidable and there are plenty of local teams to play for. For the less competitive, why not head to the beach for some casual volleyball and football matches in the African sunshine?
And, if animals are your thing, volunteering in South Africa is an ideal choice. With trips to Kragga Kama Game Park, the Lion Park, the Addo Elephant Park and the Oceanarium, you will certainly experience your fair share of big game and African wildlife. You'll also get the chance to experience a Boma (an authentic South African meal under the stars). What more could you want from a social life abroad?
Travel and Adventure in South Africa
Port Elizabeth is a hot-spot for travellers worldwide and with its abundance and variety of exciting activities there is no wonder why. You will be able to experience all the delights of the local area, including the game reserves, its renowned scuba schools and friendly nightlife, as well as its 40km of golden beaches which include Nelson Mandela Bay. We also provide access to a whole assortment of extreme sports and adventurous activities for you to try out - if you can muster up the courage!
These include: mountain biking, camping, shark diving, bungee jumping, 4x4 safaris, golf, fishing, scuba diving, parachuting, horse riding, dune boarding, boogey boards, deep sea cruises, tennis, squash, kayaking, badminton, water skiing, coastal hiking, power kiting and more!
Time will also be available for you to travel around Southern Africa, and beyond. Head west to Cape Town and the legendary Table Mountain, or veer north to Namibia, and the deadly skeleton coast. Our in-country staff will be able to advise on safe ways to travel and will be only too happy to suggest some of the best sights to see in Southern Africa.
Your accommodation is basic but comfortable and you will stay in a dormitory style room. The accommodation has a very sociable atmosphere and you will find it a great place to relax and unwind in the evenings. The accommodation is also centrally located to your volunteer project with shops and other useful amenities either a short walk or taxi ride away. With so many volunteers living together, you will soon find our communal house your new home, away from home.
Participants are advised to complete a CRB check in order to join this project. Changing Worlds has a partnership with a third party organisation that processes all CRB / DBS checks and disclosures on behalf of the Changing Worlds team. The process is extremely straight forward, making all aspects of the check as easy for the applicant as possible. Changing Worlds can provide this service for you at an additional cost of £30. For more information on the application process please take a look at the relevant Add On tab.
The South Africa Experience
After your volunteer placement in the townships of Port Elizabeth, what better way to unwind than a tour of some of the top attractions on South Africa’s Southern coast.
• Get up close to South Africa’s Big 5 at the Addo Game reserve.
• Surfing and dune boarding at Jeffrey’s Bay
• Bungee jumping and blackwater tubing at Storms River
• Visit the Knysa Heads
• Explore the Cango Caves
• Ride an Ostrich
• Take in the view from Table Mountain
• Take a trip to Robben Island
The tour kicks off with a trip to the Addo Game Reserve for a guided tour of the park with a chance to discover your wild side and get up close to South Africa’s impressive Big 5. Your journey West will give you the opportunity to discover more about yourself, learn some new skills and put your limits to the test, with activities including surfing and dune boarding at the home of South African surf, Jeffery’s Bay, followed by a trip to Storms River where you can take your pick from some awesome activities such as kayaking, blackwater tubing, mountain biking, zip-lining, bungee jumping and much more!
The next stage of your whirlwind adventure tour will take you to visit the beautiful Knysa Heads and an area known as Wilderness. Wilderness is full of exciting things to keep you on the edge of your seat, from some of the best beach views in the country, to Abseiling and Paragliding. For those who are less adrenaline fuelled, you can always take a hike to the top a waterfall or relax on the beach. From Wilderness you will travel to Oudtshoorn and the Cango Caves, as well as visiting and Ostrich Farm, where you will get the chance to ride an Ostrich!
The final leg of your experience will be to travel to Cape Town and soak up all that this amazing city has to offer. Over 3 days you will witness the dazzling heights from the summit of Table Mountain, get your taste buds tingling on a wine tasting experience at the famous Spear Wine Estate, and choose from Cape Town’s top activities, with Shark Cage Diving, Cape Point, Robben Island, Skydiving, Paragliding, and City Tours all on the menu!
- 10 nights of accommodation in various backpacker hostels.
- All transport between locations and to and from activities on the itinerary.
- Big 5 game drive; Surf Lesson; Knysa Heads entrance; Canoe Trip in Wilderness Reserve; Cango Caves entrance; Ostrich Farm entrance; Wine estate entrance and tasting session; Cable car to Table Mountain.
CRB/DBS (Criminal Records Bureau) Check
For some of our placements we require participants to use the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) Disclosure service, or as it is now referred to as - the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). Completing a Criminal Records Check is an important way for us to check your suitability for the placement, esspecially those wokring with children or vunerable people in a position of trust.
Changing Worlds has a partnership with a third party organisation that processes all CRB / DBS checks and disclosures on behalf of the Changing Worlds team so that we can make an application on your behalf. This process is extremely straight forward, making all aspects of the check as easy for you as possible! For more information on the application process you can follow this link:
You can check to see if your placement requires a CRB check on the Trip Details section of the website, in which case you should choose 'CRB Check' as an Add On whilst filling out your booking form and we will sort out the rest for you!
If you have completed a CRB check within the past 6 months and can provide a valid certificate then you will not be required to make a new application.
With seven world heritage sites, home to the Big 5, a absolute powerhouse in international sport, and birthplace of the great Nelson Mandela, South Africa is a truly diverse and captivating country. South Africa attracts many travellers from all over the world, from the rich and famous going to have a luxury safaris at Shamwari Game Reserve, or the adventure traveller looking for their own secluded piece of natural beauty on the Garden Route, South Africa is as diverse as it is large, and has a great deal to offer.
Five times the size of the United Kingdom, South Africa’s culture and landscape will inspire and amaze you, from wildlife safaris and wine tasting tours, to breathtaking surf beaches and cosmopolitan cities. South Africa will leave a lasting impression long after you return home.
- Republic of South Africa
- Bordering Countries
- Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland and Zimbabwe.
- Capital City
- Pretoria (official); Bloemfontein (judicial) and Cape Town (legislative).
- Democratic Republic
- 53 million
- 11 official languages; English, Afrikaans, Sesotho, Setswana, Xhosa and Zulu.
- Rand (ZAR)
- Republic of South Africa
- 50% of population below the poverty line
- Main Exports
- Gold, diamonds, metals and minerals, cars, machinery.
- Temperate: Mostly semiarid; subtropical along east coast; sunny days, cool nights
- Time Zone
- UTC +2
• Charlize Theron was the first South African to win an Oscar (Best Actress, Monster, 2004)
• Lekker means "cool" or "awesome"
• South Africa is the first African nation to host the FIFA World Cup
• Big 5 Safari – the chance to see lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino
• Climb Table Mountain for spectacular views of Cape Town
• Wine Tour in the Stellenbosch Valley – find a new favourite in this famous region
• Walk in the magnificent Drakensberg Mountains
• Surf at Jeffrey's Bay - have a lesson with a professional surfer
Where is South Africa?
The Republic of South Africa lies at the very southern tip of Africa, flanked by the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. The country is almost five times the size of the UK and shares southern Africa with Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland and Zimbabwe.
History of South Africa
South Africa’s turbulent history is a blend of tribal warfare, racial struggle and political activity, the legacy of which lives on in the multicultural country that you see today. The Dutch were the first European settlers to land in South Africa, way back in the 17th century. They brought a new religion (the Dutch Reformed Church) and a new language (Afrikaans) which is still widely spoken throughout South Africa. The British, however, became increasingly prominent during the late 18th century and tensions soon led to the Anglo-Boer War. The conflict saw the Boers (Dutch farmers) and the British forces locked in battle from 1899-1902. The British were victorious and finally took control of the Boer regions of Transvaal and the Orange Free State (OFS) and ruled the country until 1910 when the Union of South Africa was created.
The Union of South Africa installed political power to the whites and, unsurprisingly, extreme racial segregation, better known as apartheid, was soon evident across the country. The Afrikaner National Party was especially renowned for upholding its strict racial regime from 1948 onwards. Blacks established their own political parties in response to this oppression, the most notable being the African National Congress (ANC), and black-led protests were met with unfettered violence. During the 1960s, the leaders of the ANC were imprisoned, including Nelson Mandela, and the country left the Commonwealth declaring itself a republic state. Racial tensions continued for many years and it was only in 1989, when FW de Klerk came to power, that South Africa gained a new hope for peace. In 1990, Nelson Mandela was freed from prison and became the first black president, winning the 1994 general election. Soon afterwards, South Africa returned to the Commonwealth.
South Africa has come a long way since the days of apartheid, but the division between whites and blacks still exists today. Fortunately, as one of the most democratic and well developed nations on the continent, South Africa can now be hopeful about finally resolving its turbulent and racially-loaded past.
Climate in South Africa
South Africa has an envious climate, with sunny weather being enjoyed throughout the year, although the temperatures in winter tend to be cool and mild. South Africa’s seasons are the opposite of the northern hemisphere and the winter months are therefore spread from June to August, with temperatures ranging from around 10°C to 20°C. The summer weather blazes from November to March, with temperatures reaching about 30°C, and spring is during September and October, with autumn between April and May.
Languages of South Africa
There are 11 official languages in South Africa but English is widely spoken, especially in the main cities. If travelling through South Africa, you will undoubtedly come across this variety of language. Afrikaans speakers usually speak English well, but this is not always the case in small towns and amongst the older generations. There are several African languages spoken, of which the most common are Zulu and Xhosa which uses a variety of clicks – hard to learn but will provide a source of intrigue for listeners.
Music in South Africa
Many people are familiar with the African sounds and choral beauty of the Lady Smith Black Mambazo band, most notably for their collaboration with Paul Simon on the Graceland project of 1986, winning fans throughout the world. Their music has also been used on TV commercials such as the Heinz baked beans TV advert in 1999. The Mambazo’s music has a recognizable sound (known as the Iscathamiya style of singing) but there is an array of other South African music which you should try to sample while in country, including Hip Hop, Reggae, Jazz and other contemporary styles.
Food in South Africa
South Africa offers traditional food spanning many different cultures, from Braais (barbeques) and biltong (dried meat), to Potjiekos (cooked meat and vegetable stew) and Mielie Pap (a stiff corn meal mix).
Travelling in South Africa
South Africa offers a reliable and affordable bus network that makes travelling the country by coach a convenient option. The journey from Cape Town (west coast) to Johannesburg (east coast) takes around 20 hours and there are a number of reputable companies to choose from, including Greyhound and Translux, as well as other hop-on, hop-off services that are targeted at the backpacker market. Travelling by bus is also a great way to explore the Garden Route between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth – a stunning coastal landscape rich with wildlife and flora.
Travelling by train is another affordable option, but often slightly more expensive than bus. Travel times tend to be shorter than bus, but not in every case. For example, the train journey from Cape Town (west coast) to Johannesburg (east coast) can take up to 30 hours as opposed to 20 hours by bus.
Renting a car gives you flexibility and is perhaps the best way to discover the areas of South Africa that the bus and train networks do not service. The roads are well kept and a number of major car rental companies operate in South Africa which makes car rental simple. You must, however, make sure you have a valid driver’s licence and are fully insured to drive in South Africa.
Flying is the most convenient way to travel between South Africa’s most popular areas and cities, including Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Johannesburg. Booking early will save you money and there are a number of domestic airlines to choose from.
South Africa is a haven for adventure with extreme sports, varied landscapes and famous surfing destinations, namely Jeffrey's Bay. There are also fantastic golf courses, scenic hiking routes (an ideal way of getting close to the natural environment and also an inexpensive way of exploring the country), places to parachute jump, go mountain biking, scuba dive and much more. You may want to include some of the following activities while in-country: mountain biking, camping, shark diving, bungee jumping, 4x4 safaris, golf, fishing, scuba diving, parachuting, horse riding, dune boarding, boogey boards, deep sea cruises, tennis, squash, kayaking, badminton, water skiing, coastal hiking and power kiting.
Sport in South Africa
South Africa has long been a respected and fearsome force in international sport with its rugby, cricket and football teams providing strong competition around the globe. South Africa is therefore a perfect destination for anyone who has a passion for sport, whether playing it, coaching it or watching it. However, behind South Africa’s sporting success, lies a lack of sporting opportunities for many of the children living in the townships and poorer communities.
Gap Years and Career Breaks in South Africa
South Africa is a fantastic destination for those who want a really varied gap year or career break. With opportunities to witness sporting drive and passion on another level, the experience of free falling from a platform high above the ground on the worlds tallest bungee jump, to getting up close with wildlife, and tracking the Big 5 in some of the worlds most famed game reserves. South Africa has something for everyone, so take this opportunity to make your trip truly memorable!
Before you see a placement on our website, a lot of background work has gone on. We have met with local organisations, vetted in-country staff, conducted rigorous safety assessments and thoroughly evaluated the benefits of the placement, both for you and the community. Only then do you get to see the placement on our website and book your place, safe in the knowledge that it is well-structured and beneficial to the local community.
Help Choosing Your Placement
If you are not sure which placement or country to choose, our hugely informative Travel Advisors are here to help. They are a friendly bunch, have all travelled extensively and can offer lots of advice on choosing the right placement for you. This makes the task of deciding to volunteer in a foreign country much less intimidating, and far more exciting.
Once you have booked your placement, you will be assigned a dedicated Travel Advisor to offer essential pre-departure advice on vaccinations, visas, kit lists and more. They will also be on call to answer those important last minute questions like “how many pairs of socks do I need?” and “can I take my mobile phone with me?”
Help with Flights and Insurance
We do not include flights and travel insurance in our placement fee. This avoids us having to pass on unnecessary admin charges to you. It also gives you flexibility to plan any further travel before or after your volunteer placement. We do, however, offer lots of help on this through our leading flights and insurance partners, providing you with an easy booking facility and the best prices around.
Landing in a foreign country for the first time can be daunting. This is why we ensure our in-country staff are there to meet you on arrival. There’s nothing like seeing a friendly face when you walk out of a new airport. And once we have given you a warm welcome, the in-country staff will take you back to your accommodation where you can meet the rest of the team and other volunteers.
We will take you through a local orientation and placement induction on arrival. This will introduce you to any useful amenities and local customs, and it will also show you how to stay safe while volunteering abroad. Our team also have lots of handy travel tips and advice if you are thinking of exploring the country in your spare time.
Accommodation and Food
Accommodation is included in all of our placements. Our volunteer houses, family home-stays and shared residences are comfortable and very sociable places to live while overseas. In some destinations, you may be able to upgrade to alternative accommodation. Just contact us for details. We endeavour to supply food on all of our placements, however in some cases this is not always possible. In many cases you will receive at least 1 meal a day, please see the project summary for further details.
Your safety and enjoyment is extremely important to us. That’s why we have dedicated in-country teams to look after you throughout your placement. Our staff live nearby, can be reached 24-hours a day and will check-in with you throughout your placement to ensure everything is running smoothly, and you are happy in your new environment.
24-Hour Emergency Support
In addition to our in-country staff, you will benefit from our international support network. You will be given emergency contact details before you leave which you can call in the event of a crisis. We are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Ongoing Project Support
For every volunteer who travels with us, we make a donation to support the work you do in-country. This donation funds future initiatives in the countries and supports the local community, ensuring that those living in disadvantaged communities also have opportunities to develop.
Recruiting More Volunteers
In order to provide a reliable flow of volunteers to our placements overseas, we have to spend a chunk of money on recruiting people like you. Our projects simply wouldn’t survive if we didn’t. It costs to maintain a website, an office, phone lines and a team of dedicated Travel Advisors to answer all your questions!
There are quite a few things to consider and to organise before you travel to your chosen destination to take part in your trip or tour with us.
Flights and Insurance
Flights and insurance are not included on your placement which means you will have to arrange them before you leave. But don't panic, this is simpler than you may think! To make life much easier for you, we offer a free, personal booking service through our chosen flights and insurance partner – StudentUniverse, part of Flight Centre. They will guide you every step of the way.
Please only use this service here and do not go into one of their branches as this can complicate things for us.
Browse or book flights using our search engine. Click here to access it.
Alternatively you can call them on 03300 585032 and mention you are considering or are going away with Changing Worlds and let them do the hard work. They will also be able to provide you with adequate travel insurance.
Travelling after your trip with us? Need a round-the-world ticket? Not a problem... just discuss this with them too.
Why are flights not included?
By not including flights in our trips and tours, it avoids us having to pass on unnecessary admin charges to you. This keeps the cost of your trip lower and also means you have the freedom to search around for the lowest fares and most flexible tickets that fit your travel plans. It also means you can benefit from the expertise of our preferred partner.
What happens when flights and insurance are booked?
When you book any trip with us, you will gain access to our online Travel Centre, personalised for you. In here you will have all the information about your trip and how to plan for it, including the contact details for our in-country team and address you will be staying at.
There are also some forms we need you to complete before you depart, covering areas like your dietary requirements, next-of-kin, medical information, flight arrivals details and more.
Do I really need travel insurance?
We take the safety of our travellers very seriously. You must therefore book adequate travel insurance before you come away with us – you simply won’t be able to participate in your trip or tour if you don’t. Although policies vary, your insurance must include emergency medical expenses, personal accident cover, and repatriation. We also recommend that you book baggage, personal liability and cancellation cover.
Some of the countries where we work will require you to have a visa. We provide guidance for this against the Trip Summary tab so you can check whether your nationality requires it. If a visa is required we will provide a letter of invitation, if the embassy requests this, as well as all the relevant information you will need to complete the visa application process. This information is provided after you book with us. With all visa applications it is important that you have sufficient space available in your passport for the relevant visas required for your travels, and that your passport is valid for at least six months after your planned date of return.
Please note we have no control over the issuing of visas and this is at the embassies discretion. We will help wherever possible though.
At least 6 – 8 weeks before your chosen travel date you should visit your local GP or Nomad Travel Clinic to discuss your vaccination and medication requirements. Your medical professional will be able to advise you of any recommended and required vaccinations for your chosen destination(s).You should inform your doctor of all of your destination countries, and what activities you plan on doing, and in which regions you plan to stay while you are there, as different regions and activities have different health risks in some countries.
Some destination countries will require you to produce a certificate of vaccination in order to enter the country, so be sure that you understand any vaccination requirements for your chosen destination, so that you do not have any issues when passing through customs.
Above all you should make sure you are well prepared for your travels, so that you have the best experience possible whilst overseas!
If you have any questions or would like some more information, simply contact one of our friendly Travel Advisors. They will answer any queries you have and tell you what it’s really like to travel overseas. You can give us a call, request a call back or drop us an email.
Book Your Place
Once you have decided to travel with us, you can secure your place by paying a small deposit. You will then be able to pay the rest of your project fee in easy-to-manage instalments.
Once we have received your deposit, we will send you a welcome email confirming your booking. This will contain your personal login details for your Travel Centre – an online account full of useful information about your destination, you chosen trip and all the things you need to do before you depart.
We will ask you to provide some key information to help us create the best experience for you, such as medical and dietary requirements, any previous relevant experience you have, and what you’re hoping to get out of your time abroad. We may also ask you to complete a police background check depending on the nature of your trip.
Flights and Insurance
You will need to book your flights and travel insurance before you leave, and then provide us with these details. We do not include flights and insurance in the project fee (to avoid passing on extra admin costs to you) but our partners will help you find the best options around.
Visas and Vaccinations
Next you will need to get your vaccinations and visas for your trip. Your travel nurse or local doctor will tell you exactly what you need. We will also provide you with lots of information to make obtaining your visa very straightforward.
We will ask you for your final payment 90 days before your scheduled departure date. Once paid, you will be ready to pack your bags, grab your passport and get on the plane.
Our in-country team will give you a warm welcome at the overseas airport before taking you to your accommodation. You will then receive a comprehensive orientation to help you settle in to the country and prepare you for your time overseas.
"I have grown so much as a person, made so many close friends, and been able to give quality time and attention to children who do not normally receive it. I will always treasure the memories I have of my time in Port Elizabeth."Harrison Nash
"It’s been amazing! The teaching has definitely been a challenging experience but a very good one. I have been bungee-jumping, seen elephants and lion cubs and spent plenty of time sunbathing on the beach."Emily Smith
"I’ve had the best year of my life! It’s given me the opportunity to live in and contribute to the development of a wonderful country that I can’t wait to return to."Sam Murphy
We generally recommend that our volunteers are at least 18 years old when they volunteer on our projects in South Africa. However, we are happy to accept volunteers who are 17 years old, provided we receive written consent from a parent or guardian. Please contact one of our friendly Travel Advisors for more info.
2) Are meals included in this trip?
Our in-house staff at your volunteer house will prepare you 3 meals per day (breakfast, lunch and dinner).
Breakfast: Cereal and toast (self service) from 7:30-9:00 Monday to Friday and 8:00-9:30 at weekends
Lunch: Travellers make their own packed lunch (sandwiches, crisps, fruit) during the breakfast period to take with them to their placement. Lunch boxes are provided at the beginning of the placement. Lunch at the weekend is served between 12:30-1:00.
Dinner: The evening meal is served between 5:00-7:00. Dinner is saved for people who have placement commitments in the evening. Typical meals include - rice dishes, burgers, lasagne, bolognese, curry, pie etc
Water is considered safe to drink in South Africa, although you may prefer bottled water.
3) What accommodation is provided?
You will stay in our volunteer house located in Newton Park, a small suburb of the coastal city Port Elizabeth. The accommodation is located approximately 10km from the airport in a residential area. The beachfront is a short taxi ride.
The accommodation is comfortable and you will find it very easy to relax after your day's activities. You will live alongside the other travellers and our in-country team. This makes for a very safe, fun and extremely social environment. You will be staying in a dorm room of 4-10 people and will eat most of your meals together.
• Several communal areas for socialising including a TV
• Games room that has table tennis and a pool table.
• Swimming Pool
• DSTV (the South African equivalent of Sky) with nine 24hr sport channels.
• Are there laundry facilities available at the accommodation?
Four coin-operated washing machines and two tumble dryers are available for laundry.
• Can I make international calls at the accommodation?
Emergency international calls can be made from the accommodation, however for catching up with family and friends will need to be done using the international pay phone at the local internet café. There is a internet café and shop 5 minutes walk from the accommodation selling everyday items such as snacks and drinks, toiletries, SIM cards, phone top-up vouchers and international call cards.
• Can I book a private room?
Yes there is the option to book a private room, however this is subject to availability and will incur an extra cost per week. Ask one of our friendly Travel Advisors for more info.
• Where can I store valuables at the accommodation?
Lockers are provided in the dorm rooms for you to store your valuables. There is also a safety deposit box in the accommodation office that volunteers are able to use to store their passports, and personal documents.
4) How many hours a day will I be volunteering on the Project?
You can expect to work for approx. 4 – 6 hours per day in total on your volunteer project, weather and schedule permitting. This will travelling to 3 different township schools per day (Monday – Friday).
5) What Activities take place throughout the day?
As a volunteer on our projects in Port Elizabeth you will attend 3 schools per day (Monday – Friday), with each school session lasting approximately 1hr 30mins. Most evenings and weekends will be free for social activities and additional travel. If you require a few days off around the weekends for additional travel our team can be flexible and assist you with your travel plans.
6) Will I run the class or assist in the teaching/ coaching?
You will be supporting local teachers and coaches, however when you feel ready you will have the opportunity to run your own lessons. If you feel more comfortable, you can also run lessons alongside another volunteer.
7) What experience do I need?
You do not require any specific qualifications or coaching/teaching experience to take part in this project, however we do recommend that volunteers do have a keen interest in their chosen activity. The more experienced a volunteer is in their respective activity, the more beneficial it will be for the project and their children involved. Enthusiasm for the project is the most important element of the project!
8) What support will I receive in country?
Your volunteer project will not begin straight away, you will receive a comprehensive 2 day long induction and orientation, where you will learn more about the structure of your programme, and also receive some project specific training to prepare you for your time volunteering overseas. You will not only receive some great training, but you will also have a chance to get to know the other volunteers in your group. You will then receive 24 hour support from our in-country team, and also will have access to our 24 hour emergency support team based in the UK.
9) What can I do in my free time?
You will have your evenings free after your volunteer placement, and your weekends will be free, where you will be free to explore the city and take part in some awesome social activities with the other volunteers. Our in-country team will arrange some awesome excursions and social activities for your group during your free time, and you are welcome to explore locally and further afield, including:
• Trip to Jefferys Bay – surf lessons, sand boarding, horse riding, and more!
• Trip to Storms River
• Trip to Cape Town / Table Mountain
• Bungee Jumping
• Visit to Shamwari Game Reserve
• nd more…
10) When can I arrive?
Airport pick-up is included on arrival. You should arrive at Port Elizabeth Airport (airport code PLZ) on the project start date (Saturday). When you have cleared customs and collected your luggage please make your way through to Arrivals where a member of the team will be waiting for you and holding a sign for you to recognise us. You will be taken back to the accommodation, approximately a 15 minute drive from the airport, to receive a warm welcome from the rest of the staff and other volunteers.
11) When should I book my Departure?
You should book your departure flight for the end date of your project. This will fall on a Saturday. Your return airport transfer is included in your trip fee.
12) Is transport included?
Airport transfers and transport to and from volunteer placements and included excursions is included in your fee and will usually be by minibus. Transport to and from optional / additional social activities is not included. We can also provide transport for independent social activities (not included in the itinerary) subject to an additional charge.
13) Will I need a Visa?
You do not need a visa to travel to South Africa for a visit of less that 90 days. You will receive a visitors stamp at customs on arrival into South Africa, which is valid for 90 days. You will have to request a visa extension while you are in-country if you wish to stay longer than 90 days.
14) Will I need vaccinations?
No, you will not need any specific vaccinations to travel to Port Elizabeth. Our volunteer projects are located in a Malaria free zone, and there are no required vaccinations to enter South Africa. You will need to consult your local Travel Nurse or GP to check your vaccination history and personal requirements with regards to boosters.
15) What is the climate like in Port Elizabeth?
The coastal city of Port Elizabeth enjoys a daily average of +/- 7-8 hours of sunshine annually. In winter (from May to November) the temperatures range from 7 to 22º C. In summer the temperatures range from 14 to 26+º C (from December to April). Rainfall is well distributed around the year and disturbed weather can occur in both winter and summer. Although the summer months (Jan and Feb) tend to be slightly warmer and drier.
16) Can I bring donations to my project?
Our in-country team appreciates any extra help from volunteers, so if you wish to bring donations, or purchase equipment whilst in South Africa to support your volunteer project, your support will be gratefully received. Project related equipment is provided for all volunteer projects as part of your trip fee.
17) Will I meet the other volunteers before I travel?
Our dedicated team of Travel Advisors will try to put you in touch with other volunteers arriving in Port Elizabeth at the same time as you, so hat you can get to know each other, or even plan to meet up, before you travel!
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''I used this opportunity to gain work experience, and getting a new perspective of a health care service in a Third World country made me realise how much we take for granted in the UK.''Magalee Nahas , Medical & Health, Ghana
''It was great fun working alongside the locals and we shared lots of laughs and stories. It also felt great to know we were leaving something behind that the community really needed.''Andy Hoyle , Building & Construction, Ghana
''Ghana is a fantastic country and the people are so welcoming and warm, especially the Ghanaian staff. What makes the placement is being part of a team who all have the same viewpoint to help others.''Lisa Paige , Building & Construction, Ghana
“Great people, great experience and there is some great sport to be played in Ghana. Something I'll never forget.”Matt Pheasant , Sports, Ghana
“I have had a fantastic time out in Ghana and what they are trying to acheive out there is truly incredible. I hope to able to do something like this again.”Dale Bradley , Sports, Ghana
“It was fascinating to associate and live with a number of different cultures. The experience of helping other who lived an extensively sheltered and innocent life was invaluable.”David Holmes , Sports, India
"The most amazing experience i've ever had. From the coaching to the social side, the staff and people were amazing both within the organisation and also within the schools."Charlotte Williams , Sports, South Africa
"A demanding, thrilling, incredible insight into this beautiful and stunning country and to top it off: an entirely rewarding project that makes you appreciate everything."Ross Green , Sports, South Africa
"This was the best way to spend my gap year! Sun, sea, sand and sport all whilst coaching amazing kids. This was one of the best experiences I have ever had and I would jump at the chance to do it again."Rosie Wells , Sports, St Lucia
"My overall experience was fantastic, I enjoyed all aspects of this trip and there is never a dull moment in St Lucia! "Sam Evans , Sports, St Lucia
"This experience was unforgettable, I have met people that I will stay friends with for many years to come and completely fell in love with Argentina!"Jamie Henderson , Languages, Argentina
"I was so surprised how quickly I picked up the language! The school was great and really supportive throughout the learning process and it was amazing to practice what I had learnt in real life situations."Melissa Cutler , Languages, Argentina
Not only did I have tons of fun I've also gained a qualification that means I can continue my travels around the world whilst getting paid to teach English!Helen Turner , Teaching, Argentina
This was probably the most worthwhile experience I have ever had. The organisation and staff at the school were amazing and really supported me throughout the whole process. I wish I could go back!Tom Mitchell , Teaching, Argentina
''It was an ideal opportunity for me to combine travelling with my passion for sport.''James Hairsine , Sports, Ghana
“This was a fantastic opportunity to gain some experience in sports psychology, which has really helped with the psychology element of my sports studies degree.”Anthony Gibson , Sports, Ghana
"What a great way to get hands on experience in the field of finance and economics! I feel like I have acquired many skills that will stay with me for years to come!"Jenny Allen , Business & Law, Kenya
"This was such a sustainable way to support the community in Kenya, and I would love to return to continue helping out."Paul Taylor , Business & Law, Kenya
"I had such an amazing gap year! this project was challenging but completely worth it."Francesca Le Poideven , Business & Law, Kenya
"Lake Nakuru National Park is just incredible. The game rangers were so friendly and helpful, going out of their way to make sure I had an amazing time during my placement. I would love to do it all over again!"Maria Rossi , Wildlife & Conservation, Kenya