Living by the beach and surrounded by Africa’s most magnificent wildlife, a life-changing experience in rural Zululand awaits you as you educate and support orphaned and needy children and families in an underprivileged remote village in South Africa. Working directly with the Chiefs of the village and the families living in poverty, African Impact and volunteers help support the young children and contribute to bigger and brighter futures for them!
AS A VOLUNTEER, YOU'LL GET TO:
- Get hands-on in the local pre-schools, providing care, education and fun for the village children that will contribute to a positive start in their schooling
- Use your energy and enthusiasm to help an After School Club for orphaned children
- Support and provide assistance to local Zulu families struggling with limited resources
- Spend your weekends on safari, spotting elephants, lions or rhinos under the stars of the African bush or join in some of the many optional sightseeing tours this area has to offer
- Live in the home of South Africa’s largest population of hippos and crocodiles! St Lucia is a bustling tropical tourist town, only a short walk away from the beautiful and warm Indian Ocean, long stretches of beaches and surrounded by nature!
About the Destination
St Lucia, Zululand, is a coastal paradise in South Africa, warm all year round, home to the largest population of hippos and crocodiles in the country and wildlife around every corner. Imagine waking up with monkeys rummaging through your breakfast cereals, spotting hippos dipping in the river before lunch and spending your evening under the stars, on a night safari drive through some of the most infamous Game Reserves in Africa and spotting everything from leopards to hyenas! In between all that, you still have time to meet some of the more interesting characters you’ll come across; the traditional Zulu villagers you’ll be volunteering with on a daily basis.
Zululand is an area still ruled by the Zulu Royal Family and surrounding the tropical tourist town of St Lucia are a number of villages, impoverished, underdeveloped and in desperate need of resources and this is where volunteers work each day, on our Education and Medical programmes.
Also surrounding the tourist town of St Lucia (In fact, one of the only towns in the world to be) is a stunning World Heritage Site made up of long stretches of untouched beaches, huge plains filled with Africa’s most magnificent wildlife and endless rivers and lakes, so whether you want to get out on the ocean to spot whales or turtle hatchlings or hit the safari
vehicles to spot the elusive black rhinos, you have it all at your doorstep.
For the most adventurous volunteers, how’s about a trip to Mozambique to swim with wild dolphins, or diving into the warm waters of the Indian Ocean to snorkel and scuba dive? Failing that, why not spend the night in the beautifully fully-furnished volunteer house having a traditional South African Braai (BBQ!), lying under the unpolluted and crystal clear skies and relaxing with your fellow volunteers and staff?
Oh, but keep an eye out for the hippos who come walking through town each night!
South Africa has the highest rate of HIV/AIDS anywhere in the world and it is impossible not to see the effects of this in the rural villages in remote Zululand, St Lucia. HIV and AIDS can cripple families and it is not uncommon for children to be orphaned at an early age and either taken in by wider families or cared for by the community.
During your time volunteering you will meet many young village children and Zulu families and understand how they are dealing with the daily struggles of village life, while also giving a helping hand and making a lasting impact for future generations.
Fun & Travel
Fun Evening Activities
The iSimangaliso Wetland Park (only a short drive away!) is ideal for great game viewing, as well as nearby world-famous game reserves where you can go on endless safari’s. Besides the regular game drives, you can enjoy a hippo and crocodile boat cruise up the estuary, go for a horse ride on the beach or go on a night game-drive at nearby Thanda Private Game Reserve.
Although your volunteer work will give you a fantastic opportunity to be immersed in Zulu culture, you can also watch Zulu Dancing, taste homemade Zulu beer, go on a Cultural Village Tour and for a traditional Zulu meal. There are also many curios and crafts on sale in the town, which is a five-minute walk from the base.
Extra Trips and Tours
Weekend sightseeing options include a one-night trip with an amazing Elephant Interaction experience at Thanda Private Game Reserve. You can also take a two-day trip to Mozambique, where you will indulge in delicious seafood, swim, snorkel and soak up the sun. There are also plenty of places to head to up the coast for day trips.
Dates & Rates
Our project fee includes:
- Accommodation throughout your entire stay at our African Impact volunteer home in St Lucia – a cozy, safe and lively house shared by our volunteers, interns and staff
- 3 delicious meals a day cooked by chefs from the local community (weekdays only)
- Airport pick-up and drop-off by the African Impact team
- Experienced international and local staff members who live and work alongside you every day
- A full induction, orientation and training session to ensure you can contribute sustainably
- All necessary project equipment and resources you’ll need on the ground
Our project fee excludes:
- Flights to your chosen destination, but we can guide you on this
- Medical or travel insurance
- Visa-related costs
- Weekend trips or tours, or any other non-project activity
- Snacks, soft drinks, gifts or souvenirs
- WiFi – it’s pretty slow here anyway!
“In my 3 weeks here, I have listened and gained wisdom from some of the strongest women I have ever met, I learned to garden, and learned how to build a crèche” Chelsea Ruocco, UK
“I will definitely be leaving South Africa with a new set of eyes. I will be taking home with me so many memories of my time here. Until you are out here you don’t realise just how lucky you really are.” Charlotte Stewart, UK