HIGHLIGHTS OF THIS EXPEDITION:
- Tick two countries off your bucket-list on this action-packed, 17-day expedition through South Africa’s world-class game reserves and Mozambique’s tropical coastline
- Get up close and personal with lions, elephants, rhinos, buffalo, leopards and more while volunteering for 10 days on our ‘Big 5 Research and Conservation Project‘
- Discover South Africa and Mozambique’s iconic tourist sites and hidden treasures, including Blyde River Canyon
- Go on safari in South Africa’s world-famous Kruger National Park
- Enjoy the white sand and crystal clear waters of Tofo during your Mozambique getaway – water sports, anyone?
- Meet the locals along the way, learn any one of South Africa’s 11 languages, or try your hand at Portuguese
The first nine days of your expedition will be spent in the back of a safari vehicle, exploring world-class game reserves in the Greater Kruger Area of South Africa, just 45-minutes from the world-famous Kruger National Park. You will join our team of staff, volunteers and interns in a beautiful thatched lodge and get involved in our ‘Big 5 Wildlife Research and Conservation Project‘, helping to gather data on Africa’s most spectacular animals, including elephants, lions, leopards, rhinos and buffalo. The BEST kind of safari, as you are also helping to conserve these amazing species for generations to come.
EXPLORING SOUTH AFRICA
During your stay in the Greater Kruger Region, you’ll get plenty of time to explore some of the more hidden treasures that South Africa has to offer, including the opportunity to discover the Panorama Route (Blyde River Canyon, Bourke’s Luck Potholes and God’s Window are just a few of the sights to see). If you fancy it – and you’re not already overwhelmed animals you’ve seen while volunteering – definitely make time to do a game drive at the world-famous Kruger National Park. Adventure you’re after? Try kloofing. Want to spend a weekend relaxing? Well, there’s a pretty amazing pool at the lodge.
Of course, there’s a LOT more to see on this expedition. Namely, Mozambique. Mozambique is a beautiful, tropical country that shares a border with South Africa and has some of the most beautiful coastline in the whole of Africa. You’ll be staying in beach-side resort of Tofo, in a vibey backpackers. It is perfectly situated close to local markets, scuba diving stores and training schools, as well as local restaurants. The accommodation is dorm-style, but is the perfect setting for some R&R. It is the perfect place to mingle with the locals, as well as other travelers from all over the world and, of course, enjoy the stunning beaches and warm waters.
Arrival Day: Sunday
Arrive at Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport airport, where our African Impact guides will be waiting for you. You’ll be driven to our volunteer lodge in the heart of the African bush and perhaps even see a wild animal or two on your way. The day is yours to settle in, relax by the pool and meet your fellow travelers.
Day 2: Monday
And it begins… After a morning of induction and orientation to give you insight into the area, culture and background of our project, you’ll join other volunteers on a research game drive, where you will discover the magic of the bush. What awaits? No two days are the same in the bush.
Day 3: Tuesday
An early morning! Be prepared to get your hands dirty and help us with vital conservation activities, which could include a boundary patrol looking for snares and traps, or invasive plant removal. After lunch, get ready for an educational presentation to teach you more about conservation, before getting back in the vehicle to track more wild animals.
Day 4: Wednesday
Head to the local reptile center to learn about South Africa’s snakes and help the center with their vital conservation work. In the afternoon, pack your bag and head out to our overnight research camp (a highlight, for sure). Thought the bush was impressive in the day? Get ready to see it at night.
Day 5: Thursday
There is nothing more magical than waking up in the bush after a night camping under the stars. You’ll help collect data on the Big 5 animals we track on our way back to the lodge, before heading out into the community to help out at our fun, interactive after-school clubs for local children.
Day 6: Friday
Friday will give you an opportunity to get involved in some of our wider initiatives that help the local community. Why not try helping out at our community garden, giving youth an opportunity to earn an income. Friday afternoons can be spent on an optional town trip, relaxing by the pool or helping out with behind the scenes project work.
Day 7: Saturday
What you do on Saturday is completely up to you, but we are on hand to make sure you make the most of it. What would we suggest? Perhaps a full day spent in the Kruger National Park (not included in the price)? Perhaps just relaxing with a book? It is your holiday after all.
Day 8: Sunday
Sunday is another free day, meaning you can fill it with as many activities as you’d like (not included in the price). A tour through the Panorama Route is a must-do, but other cool activities include taking to the skies on a microlight flight, or facing your fears on a kloofing trip (SO. MUCH. FUN).
Day 9: Monday
Haven’t spotted all of the ‘Big 5’ just yet? Well, it’s back in the game vehicle to continue researching these amazing species, so keep your eyes peeled. Today you could be collecting feeding behavior data on elephants, mapping leopard corridors or taking photographs of lions that contribute to our ID database.
Day 10: Tuesday
You will learn how to compile and collect data, which is analyzed and used to create reports, maps, and up-to-date profiles of the animals that we observe. Using whisker patterns, scars and ear notches you will understand how to distinguish individuals in order to create and update ID kits which will monitor their movement and their health in the years to come.
Day 11: Wednesday
Pack your bags, it’s time for your next adventure. You’ll be collected from the lodge (with other members of your expedition) and driven to Nelspruit, where you’ll spend an evening of relaxation. A good time to reflect on what you’ve learned about South Africa, conservation and its culture.
Day 12: Thursday
Today you’ll be leaving Nelspruit to drive to the coastal paradise of Tofo, Mozambique. Don’t worry, you’ll get plenty of time to stop in at the small villages along the way to meet the locals and buy souvenirs. Get ready for your jaw to drop to the floor once you reach Tofo and check in to your beach-side backpacker accommodation.
Day 13: Friday
Welcome to your first full day in paradise. It’s time to enjoy relaxing on the Mozambican beach or using your day to explore the town of Tofo. Water sports, island-hopping and relaxing should definitely be on your agenda.
Day 14: Saturday
Venture into Africa’s waters today on a complementary Ocean Safari – keep your eyes open for manta ray, dolphins, sea turtles, whale sharks and many tropically colored fish. Does life get any better than this?!
Day 15: Sunday
Sundays in Tofo mean one thing to us… Hammocks. Grab a spot, open a book and lose a couple of hours. You deserve it.
Day 16: Monday
Whether you’re a qualified scuba diver or not, a dip into the ocean is a must on a Monday in Tofo and today will be your last opportunity to. Check out some of the dive shops, or even grab a snorkel to really make the most of Tofo’s incredible underwater ecosystems.
Departure Day: Tuesday
Today may be the hardest part of your expedition… saying goodbye to the beach and the awesome people that you’ve been with the past 17 days. You’ll depart in the morning to head back to Nelspruit, where you can either catch your flight home (strict flight time restrictions apply) or spend one final evening at a hotel before catching tomorrow’s flight home (final night accommodation not included in the fee). Hamba kahle and see you again in Africa soon!
The Finer Details
- Airport pick-up and drop-off
- 16-nights accommodation
- Meals day 1 to 10 only
- All transport and transfers explained in the itinerary
- All game drives, overnight trips and game reserve entrance fees while volunteering
- Project fee, which covers all training and resources needed to make an impact
- Ocean safari in Tofo
- 24 hour support throughout from our staff team on the ground (while volunteering) and our Destination Specialists
- Medical and travel insurance
- Flights to your chosen destination
- Weekend trips and other non-project activities
- Any additional excursions or trips not specified in the itinerary
- Meals from day 11 onwards
Why do an expedition with us?
We believe that when you travel, there should be no compromises. Even if you are limited on time you should be able to explore while still doing some good in the world. This is what we do. In fact, we are the experts in Africa. We create volunteer travel experiences that change lives (and not just your own).
Named the Top Volunteer Abroad Organization in 2017, we are expanding our extremely popular Expedition Programs that take you #BeyondVolunteering. They are not your average tourist holidays; they are the ultimate way to see, do and achieve as much as possible in a short space of time. Join our team of passionate staff on the ground for a week or two of volunteering with local communities or wildlife, before heading out on a road-trip to discover some of Africa’s most iconic destinations.