What do you think about your next holidays? Do you want to do something different? Have you considered the possibility that you could volunteer for the wildlife in Africa?
Typically, when you go on a safari vacation, you might spend up to 7-10 days surrounded by wildlife. Some travelers might think that it is not enough to fully explore the African wildlife.
One of the options available is to get involved with volunteering organizations. By doing so, you will get more out of your holiday. So, plan your next African holiday around volunteering!
Moreover, volunteering is not only a vacation option!
Here are a few reasons why people sign up to volunteer in Africa:
- Volunteering is a way of life.
- Use their skills to help others.
- Make a difference in people’s lives.
- Build up their CVs to get ahead in their careers.
- Take a gap year.
Regardless of the reasons why you decide to volunteer, it is a fulfilling experience. You will learn new things and spend more time around wildlife.
There are different volunteering projects available in Africa. The length of the projects ranges from 2 weeks up to 12 weeks.
Who Can Volunteer?
There are many ways that you can volunteer in Africa. You could go by yourself or be part of a group (friends, college students, work colleagues).
Moreover, you can make it a family affair. There are projects available for family volunteering, specially designed for children and parents. Volunteering is a fantastic opportunity to teach children the importance of helping others.
If you are looking to take a gap year, you can combine more than one volunteering project. Why not get involved in a wildlife conservation project with a humanitarian cause or a community project?
Also, volunteering is not only for youngsters! Many volunteer organizations are looking for individuals over 50 years old for their projects. They want mentors willing to share their experience and expertise with underprivileged children.
GoEco was founded in 2005 by Jonathan Gilben and Jonathan Tal. GoEco has different projects in the following countries in Africa:
- South Africa.
- Seychelles Islands.
There is a broad range of volunteering projects you can choose from.
Here are some of the projects available:
- Wildlife rehabilitation.
- Wildlife conservation of endangered species.
- Humanitarian projects involve education and community development.
GoEco Volunteer Projects in Africa
The GoEco Wildlife Projects offer a broad range of activities. For instance, you might choose to volunteer at a wildlife orphanage. Help take care of injured, abandoned, or abused animals.
In Africa, elephants and humans have been fighting over the occupation of the territory for eons.
The main culprit is the expanding human population that encroaches on the elephant territory.
Moreover, GoEco has a research project in South Africa in which you can be involved. The research project consists of gathering data by monitoring the movement of the elephants and their feeding patterns.
The purpose of this study is to understand the elephant’s behaviors and provide them with an adequate environment to ensure their survival.
A very enjoyable way to volunteer is through a wildlife photography project, especially if you are an avid photographer. GoEco has a few wildlife photography projects in Zimbabwe. You will photograph the wildlife of the Zambezi National Park and Victoria Falls.
The wildlife photography project serves a double purpose:
- Educational tools to raise awareness in local communities about wildlife conservation.
- Build a photographic database for animal identification.
GoEco has many volunteer projects in Africa about wildlife and environmental conservation.
In the Kruger National Park, there is a research project going on about the rhinoceros. As a volunteer, your task will be to collect data and monitor the rhinoceroses population.
Lions are now considered to be an endangered species. Their number has dramatically dropped over the last 30 years. Back in 1975, the lion population in Africa was estimated at 200,000.
Nowadays, the number of lions remaining in Africa is around 23,000 to 39,000. This corresponds to a decline of 80-90% of its population!
In South Africa and Zambia, there are projects in place to help restore the lion population. As a volunteer, you will be involved in gathering data about the lion’s behaviors.
For instance, collect data about the breeding and hunting habits of the lion. Also, you will go on night drives to gather information about their nocturnal activities.
Other GoEco’s projects are dedicated to marine wildlife conservation initiatives. One of the projects is in the Seychelles Islands. It is a diving adventure to monitor the coral reef and collect information about marine wildlife along the African coastline.
Because of the overwhelming poverty throughout the Dark Continent, volunteering in Africa also includes humanitarian projects.
GoEco has projects targeting education, community development, and raising awareness about HIV/AIDS.
One of the principal scourges in Africa is without a doubt HIV/AIDS. Many projects are in place to raise awareness as well as to educate adults and children about HIV/AIDS.
You can also volunteer in orphanages, take care of children or teach kids English and Math.
Also, you can have a positive influence on the children’s life by sharing your life experience and giving them attention and care.
Furthermore, you can use your skills to help improve the quality of life of the local community. Get involved in building, restoring, and repairing rundown facilities.
Are You Ready to Make a Difference?
Volunteering is an enjoyable and fulfilling experience. There is a myriad of projects available. So, you will surely find something that appeals to you!
Volunteering is for all ages! No matter if you are a young professional looking to take a gap year or a retiree looking to share their life’s experience by being a mentor.
While on the African continent, you can make a difference in people’s lives and have fun at the same time.
Combine your volunteer work with some outdoor adventures to get the most out of your stay in Africa. Such activities include game drives, bush walks, and sightseeing of famous landmarks to only name a few!
If you have any questions or would like to share your volunteering experiences, please leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you!