African Tropical Island and Savannah Conservation

Make the most out of your time abroad and experience two amazing locations, while volunteering on critical terrestrial and marine conservation projects.

Durations: 8 weeks
Critical science

Critical science

You'll contribute to vital conservation research targeted at protecting the earth's most valuable ecosystems.
Ethical engagement

Ethical engagement

Using the UN's SDGs as a framework, we've made a commitment to positive, constructive and sustainable impact.
Beautiful adventures

Beautiful adventures

You'll spend your days exploring some of the world's most breathtaking, exhilarating and remote wildernesses.

Program information

Travel to Seychelles and South Africa to contribute towards island and wildlife conservation initiatives. Conduct sea turtle or tortoise research in Seychelles and record the movements of savannah animals like lions, leopards and elephants in South Africa.

Get here for realz with up to 25% off!

Book before 30 June
Book with confidence
Travel flexibility. Transfer for free up to 45 days before travel. Because life happens. Terms and conditions apply.
Dates & Prices
What's Included
Life On Base
Free time
Cultural Immersion
Speak to alumni
Parent Info
Your Impact
Our Ethics
Program ethics
Support & Safety
Covid-19 Response
Live Updates

Program overview

Experience the untouched beauty of protected natural regions in Seychelles and South Africa while contributing directly to the preservation of these areas. Learn about the conservation challenges in these regions and what is being done by local authorities and international organisations to assist with wildlife and environmental conservation. On the weekends, go diving and snorkelling in the turquoise waters of Seychelles and visit the Kruger National Park. 


In Seychelles, you will live and work on Curieuse Island, a protected national park, along with GVI staff, interns, and other volunteers. Conduct surveys on Aldabra tortoises and research on nesting sea turtles and lemon shark pups, or carry out surveys of the mangroves. All our research is conducted in partnership with the Seychelles National Parks Authority. On weekends visit the nearby island of Praslin, home to the Valle de Mai, a world heritage site, thought by early explorers to be the original Garden of Eden, for a nature hike, relax on the many beaches, or go snorkelling in the crystal clear waters. 

South Africa

Then go on to live and work in South Africa, in a private nature reserve, only an hour’s drive from the famous Kruger National Park. Here you will have the opportunity to spot lions, leopard, elephants, and other South African wildlife while contributing to their preservation and that of their environment. Undergo extensive training to learn how to identify and track animals through the reserve and collect data that will be used by local and international organisations to ensure their conservation. Spend your mornings on a safari vehicle tracking predators and their prey across the savannah, the afternoons inputting the data into relevant databases, and the evenings learning more about conservation data collection techniques. You might also get involved in conducting environmental education programs at local schools or research projects concerning cheetah feeding behaviour and the impact of elephants on endemic plant species under threat. During your time off, get to know your fellow volunteers, take a trip to Kruger National Park or visit the Drakensberg mountains for climbing, hiking, and kayaking in this scenic region. Please note you can spend up to 12 hours a day collecting data which can be tiring, in the heat of the African sun.

No special skills or qualifications are required to join this program, as all training will be provided by our fully qualified field teams. This will allow you to develop new skills to assist with future employability.

Please note travel between Seychelles and South Africa is not included. Feel free to speak to your Enrolment Manager about options and costs involved.


  • Go on a wildlife safari adventure in a private South African nature reserve. 
  • Listen to the quiet hush of the wild open spaces, waking each morning to a chorus of savannah birds and drifting off to the nighttime hum of endemic frogs and crickets. 
  • Learn to identify predators, like lions, cheetahs, and leopards, as well as megaherbivores like elephants and rhinos. 
  • Master radio telemetry techniques and learning how to track and record animal movements.  
  • In your free time, visit the famous Kruger National Park, only an hour away from where we are based or visit the nearby Drakensberg Mountains where awe-inspiring vistas are afforded over the Blyde River Canyon. 
  • During the laying and hatching times you can watch as a female hawksbill turtle crawls out of the sea to lay her eggs, or help sea turtle hatchlings in their first journey to the sea.
  • Catch and release baby sharks after collecting valuable measurements and data.
  • Take a minute to unwind in the company of the island’s gentle giant tortoises.
  • Snorkel in crystal clear waters alongside coral, fish, turtles, eagle-rays, reef sharks, and spot dolphins from the boat.


Be part of the real deal

Contribute to ongoing environmental projects that address critical challenges aligned to the global UN SDGs.

Join ethical initiatives

Join local conservation partners and qualified professionals to ensure your efforts are highly ethical, meaningful and sustainable.

Experience unreal adventures

Venture outside typical travel itineraries to get exclusive access to extraordinary remote habitats, rare species and unique ecosystems.

Make friends for life

Share epic experiences with like-minded, passionate changemakers from all over the globe.

Enjoy a hassle-free, safe trip

With expert local staff and 24/7 support at every step – you can relax and enjoy the experience stress-free.

Take a break

Disconnect from the digital world and reconnect with nature, yourself and your purpose.


  • Volunteering
  • Cultural awareness
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Easily adaptable

Program details

Dates and prices

Select a start date:

Special offer!

Get up to 25% off!

Book before the end of June 2023 and receive up to 25% off this program.
COVID-19 flexibility. If COVID-19 prevents you from travelling, change your location and dates free of charge.
Payment plans. Flexible payment plans allow you to pay in instalments.

What happens next?

Once you apply, a personal Enrollment Manager will be assigned to walk you through the rest of the process.


The following itinerary is an example of the activities and project work that participants might get involved in on this program. More specific details of the program are finalised several months before each start date.


Those of you working on lemon shark conservation start the day nice and early – with a hearty breakfast!


Set up nets in the mangroves in search of lemon shark pups. Check their tags and record biometric data before releasing them.


For those not working with lemon sharks, breakfast is enjoyed while listening to the sound of the ocean.


Catch up on base duties, go for a morning snorkel, or meet with your mentor and work on your research project.


Hike to one of 6 beach sites to record data on nesting hawksbill turtles, tagging females and monitoring nesting activity.


Free time. Take the chance to freshen up, chat with loved ones back home, or enjoy some time on the beach.


Team dinner. Enjoy good food and good company, and spend some time talking about your learnings from the day.


Enjoy some solo time, socialise with your new friends, or call it a day and get some rest before tomorrow’s early start!

What’s included?

What's Included
24-hour emergency desk
24-hour in-country support
Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
All project equipment
Food (except on long-term internship placements
Safe and basic accommodation (usually shared)
Pre-program training
Group introductory call
Welcome presentation
Endorsed GVI Specialisation Course
Endorsed Leadership Course
Project work
Sustainable project work
Leadership responsibilities
Data collection and research
Real projects with partners
Remote support
Program training
Weekly group check ins
Remote Academic Internship Supervisor
Remote Career Internship Supervisor
Preferential recruitment on GVI positions
Job portal access
Endorsed Careers Course
Career coaching sessions
Certificates and achievements
PDF reference - upon request
Linkedin reference and skills endorsement
What's Excluded
Additional drinks and gratuities
Extra local excursions
International and domestic airport taxes
Medical and travel insurance
Personal items and toiletries
Police or background check
Visa costs

Life On Base

The tropical paradise of Curieuse Island and its surrounding waters is a national park, managed by our local partner, the Seychelles Parks and Garden Authority (SPGA). Our beachfront camp is located on the white sand beach of Anse St Jose and overlooks Praslin (the Seychelles’ second-largest island), a short boat ride away. With turquoise waters, lush jungle, and granite boulders all over, this remote private island has no roads, no infrastructure, and no shops.

Curieuse is home to around 150 Aldabra giant tortoises and many endemic and rare species, including the Coco de Mer palm, which is only grown in two locations in the world. While all of the tortoises roam freely, Obama the wild giant tortoise is a regular visitor to our base.


At this eco-friendly base, accommodation is in shared dorm rooms, and bathroom facilities are shared. There is cold running water available for s...


You’ll have access to long-distance communications whilst on the program. Make sure friends and family know how often they can expect to hear fro...


Volunteers take it in turns to prepare meals for the group. Food is basic but nutritious.  Primarily vegetarian, optional fish or meat available ...


Most of the year, the climate in the Seychelles is relatively agreeable for the tropics, although it can be very hot in the sun when out on field...

COVID-19 Safety

Enhanced cleaning and social-distancing measures in place.

Learn more

Download our Travel Smart Checklist

Essential information you need to travel safely during the COVID-19 pandemic - including destination ratings, flight bookings and tests.

GVI experiences included in your program, at no extra cost included in your program, at no extra cost.

Offered once a month, expand your adventure with GVI Experiences. These are just some of the activities offered on your program!

We want you to make the most of the chance to live in – and contribute towards –  the most diverse and unique wildernesses and communities on earth. Introducing GVI Experiences – immersive adventure, cultural and wellness activities exclusive to GVI that have been specially designed in collaboration with our local partners to support and stimulate sustainable economic development. 

Enhance your impact. Expand your adventure. Explore your world.

Exclusive local GVI experiences
Learn to cook Seychellois Creole cuisine
Taste the islands
Experience traditional moutya dancing on the beach
Night beats
Stargaze and learn the southern constellations
A beach full of stars
Hike to the top of Mount Curieuse
Curieuse from the top
Stand up paddleboard at sunrise
Daybreak on the water
Visit Vallée de Mai in Praslin National Park
The Garden of Eden
Spend the day at a secluded beach
Secret shoreline
Sleep under the stars on Mount Curieuse
Dream of the mountain

Free time

Joining a GVI program not only allows you to collaborate with communities or work toward preserving unique ecosystems – but it also offers plenty of opportunities to explore the surrounding area or travel further to see what other parts of the region have to offer over weekends.

Field staff are a great source of advice and have helped us put together the following information on local travel options. You can choose to travel before or after your experience with GVI (subject to immigration restrictions), solidifying the lifetime friendships you’ve established on the program. Please note that the below options are not included in the program fee, and would be up to you to arrange at your own expense.

Weekend Trips

Professional diving

Over a long weekend, you may want to get your Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) Open Water diving certification. You can do t...

Praslin island swimming and snorkeling

As well as the beaches on Curieuse, there are also some fantastic spots on nearby Praslin island where you can swim and snorkel, in particular th...

Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve

Visit the Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve, which is also a UNESCO world heritage site. There are two clearly marked hiking trails within the reserve...

Local Creole cuisine and Wi-Fi

On the weekends, why not take a quick boat ride from Curieuse to the neighbouring island of Praslin, and visit the town of Cote d’Or? You’ll find...

La Digue island hike, viewpoint and cycling

Take a 20-minute boat ride to La Digue island. Here, you can take a 45-minute hike along a well-marked trail up to Belle Vue (“beautiful view” in...

Local Adventures

Opportunities on base

  • Snorkeling – we live on the beach and can often see turtles and rays from the base. You’ll have pl...

Doctor’s house

The Doctor’s House is home to a small museum which recounts the story of the island. Now a national monument, the building once housed leprosy pa...

Hiking trails and scenic viewpoints

There are five hiking trails on the island. Being the highest point on the island, the hike to the peak of Mount Curieuse offers the most scenic ...

Six nearby beach spots

Enjoy a stroll around Curieuse and take in one of the six different beach spots on the island. Boasting golden sands, massive granite boulders an...

Movie nights

Spend a laid-back evening watching movies and documentaries on the big screen projector at our base. On Monday evenings, there are a selection of...

Hammocks with ocean views

We have three hammocks set up around base, all of which have views out across the ocean. Relax in a hammock, listen to the waves, enjoy a book, a...

Further Travels

Other African nations

Kenya and Tanzania are only about a 3-hour flight  away. Both feature amazing wildlife, exciting adventure activities, and unique cultural divers...

Outer island visits

The outer coral islands (like Desroche, Bird, Dennis, Farquhar, and the Amirantes group) are further away but well worth the trip. These location...

Cultural Immersion

Engaging intimately with a new context teaches global awareness, adaptability and critical thinking – skills highly valued in the modern marketplace. Local and cultural immersion is encouraged on all our programs around the world, and will also be one of the most enjoyable aspects of your experience. Luckily, there are many different activities that you can get involved in during your free time, or before and after your program.

On our community programs, the focus is on cultural topics, while on marine or wildlife programs the emphasis is more on the environmental element. Use your evenings and weekends to explore topics like local cuisine and religion, or how sustainable development challenges are affecting local contexts.

Curieuse Island

GVI’s island conservation program in the Seychelles is based on the island of Curieuse. Both the island and its surrounding waters are a national...


The Seychelles is a tropical archipelago off the east coast of Africa, consisting of 100 islands. The main, or so-called inner islands, are made ...


There are festivals throughout the year, the most notable being the Seychelles International Carnival of Victoria in February, which celebrates t...


Seychellois Creole is spoken by the majority of the native Seychellois ( 95% of the population). Because the island country was once a British co...


Linda Jeffrey

25 Aug, 2022

I had concerns about Sam joining a program because of his age (15) and the fact that he had never been abroad before! Once he arrived in Thailand he was met by GVI staff and I felt ...

Gill & Brian Williams

25 Aug, 2022

We were reassured through efficient communication with GVI staff members. The information provided was clear and concise; the links to essential information were relevant and usefu ...

Neil Owen

25 Aug, 2022

I would just like to say a very big thank you to you and your team. Steph had a great two weeks and has arrived home safe and sound. The professional nature of your team has been e ...

Pippa Bowler

25 Aug, 2022

Just wanted to say a big thank you to you and the team. I collected Katherine at six last night and she talked virtually non-stop throughout the four-hour drive home. All news was ...


20 Jan, 2022

I really enjoyed my time with GVI. I learned so much and really grew as a person over the duration of my internship. I now have a stronger idea of the roles I want, and how to work ...


21 Dec, 2021

This internship was very helpful. I was able to work with a diversity of people that all had advice that help go one step closer in the right direction. I gained a lot of research ...


12 Nov, 2021

The remote internship with GVI was an incredible experience, it was interesting, helpful, informative and overall an incredible experience.


20 Aug, 2021

I enrolled to help me figure out where in Sustainability I want to focus on. It was a great experience for my career exploration and to add to my resume . I enjoyed my time with my ...


18 Aug, 2021

Coming into this internship, I was just looking for more career experience but the people I met through it were so much more rewarding than that. The other interns and supervisors ...


19 May, 2021

I will recommend further workshop sessions because there are many important tools that we are unaware of.


08 Apr, 2021

I really enjoyed doing my virtual internship with Breathe Conservation and found researching the company and their cause of plastic pollution inspiring.. I gained new graphic desig ...


27 Mar, 2021

I thought this course was very interesting and gave me a lot of great tools to utilize moving forward in my career. Being a young professional, sometimes it's difficult to know exa ...


23 Mar, 2021

I took a similar marine conservation course in my university, so I was expecting to learn similar things in this course. But I'm glad that there were still new things that I learne ...


08 Mar, 2021

I loved the program in general! Would definitely recommend, the only thing I missed was more contact with the organizations where I did the projects for. We had just 2 meetings and ...


04 Mar, 2021

My GVI experience was like nothing I've ever been a part of before, it really opened my eyes to new experiences and it allowed me to be challenged. Not only was it an amazing exper ...


01 Feb, 2021

I really like how it helped prepare us to be able to professionally conduct a successful interview without feelings of doubt or lack of preparation. It has also equipped me to be a ...


06 Dec, 2020

A detailed course focusing on all different aspects of how to stand out in a job search as well as how to find out if you will be happy in said job or career field, which is often ...


30 Nov, 2020

I absolutely loved this course, even though I study marine biology so I knew a lot of the scientific component, I learnt a lot about the economic side of conservation surrounding l ...


02 Nov, 2020

My internship supervisor was understanding, engaging, and kind, but I felt assured of her knowledge on the topic of concern and her focus on my experience in the program. I feel as ...

Oliver Willskytt

11 Oct, 2018

Each day started with completing base duties – which could be making breakfast, preparing the boat and dive equipment, or filling the tanks with air. You would then go on two dives ...

Ida Jones

27 Nov, 2014

Taking part in this programme has been one of the best decisions I have made in my life, I had a fantastic experience and have found a career that I am determined to follow in. Eve ...

Christie Chandra

17 Jan, 2014

I feel I need to share this with past, present and future volunteers. Children don’t just make small talk; they don’t make conversation just to fill the silence the way adults do. ...

Speak to alumni

If you’d like to find out what the experience of joining a GVI project is really like, simply contact us and we’ll put you in touch with one of our many Alumni.

We’ll try to match you to an Alum based on your location, nationality, age, stage of academic career, gender, and program interests. This allows you to gain insights into the experience that is most relevant to you.

Depending on your location you might be able to speak to an Alum over the phone or online, or meet up with them face-to-face at a coffee shop nearby. We also run a series of small events around the world where you can speak to GVI Alumni, Ambassadors and staff members.

Get a first-hand perspective

Meet us

Meet the team

Get acquainted with the GVI Africa, Seychelles, Curieuse, South Africa, Greater Kruger National Park family

Jasmine Taberer

Program Manager

This is Jasmine, also known as Jazzy, our wonderful Program Manager at the GVI base on Curieuse Island, Seychelles. Jazzy grew up with a keen interest in conservation which lead ...

Parent Info

‘If only every student could do this. It changes your life in all the right ways,’ says Chris Heritage, parent of Luke Heritage, one of our teen volunteers who has participated on two GVI programs, one in Costa Rica and another in South Africa.

We are a parent-run organisation that is incredibly serious about health and safety, and increasing the impact, as well as the long-term career benefits of our programs. Our programs help young people develop the skills to select a career path that is personally fulfilling, and live a life aligned to the well-being of our planet and the global community.

GVI is a proud member of the Gap Year Association.

Ken and Linda Jeffrey, whose son Sam volunteered with GVI in Thailand, talk about how the experience affected Sam. He also went on to volunteer with GVI again in South Africa. ‘I know it sounds like a cliche but in a sense, he did go away as a boy and he came back as a young man. Both of us could recommend GVI without any hesitation to any other parent thinking about exploring an opportunity for their children to explore the world and to see different parts of it.’

Parent Info Pack

Download the Parent Pack and learn more about:

Our staff: All our projects are run by staff, selected, vetted, trained, and managed by our central office.
Health and safety: Our safety practices include a child and vulnerable adult protection policy and high participant ratios.
Staying in touch: See what’s happening on base, by following a hub’s dedicated Facebook page.
Free parent consultations: We would love to talk to you about exciting opportunities available for your child.


When it comes to support, we ensure that each participant is provided with unparalleled, 360 degree support, from your initial contact with the GVI Family, all the way through your program, and even after, as you become part of the GVI Alumni Team.

As part of this promise, we will ensure, whenever possible, that one of our dedicated staff will be available to meet you at the airport. In most locations, we also set up a Whatsapp group to help with managing airport arrivals. We will arrange with you prior to your departure that, should you arrive in the agreed upon pick up window, a member of our staff will be there to welcome you, easily identifiable in a GVI t-shirt or holding a GVI sign and wearing a friendly smile. This means there will be someone there to greet you as you land, and from there you will be transported to your GVI base to start your adventure and meet the rest of your team.

COVID-19 safety

Enhanced cleaning and social-distancing measures in place.

Learn more


Download our Travel Smart Checklist

Essential information you need to travel safely during the COVID-19 pandemic - including destination ratings, flight bookings and tests.

Your Impact

All of our programs have short-, mid- and long-term objectives that align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). This enables us to report on our collaborative impact across the world in a streamlined manner, measuring which UN SDGs we are making a substantial contribution to. Furthermore, this will help our local partners and communities measure and visualise their contribution to the UN SDGs.

Prior to your arrival on base, you will be educated about the UN SDGs. Then once you arrive on base, you’ll learn about the specific goals we have in this particular location, our various objectives, and also clarification of how your personal, shorter-term involvement contributes to these.

Our aim is to educate you on local and global issues, so that you continue to be an active global citizen after your program, helping to fulfil our mission of building a global network of people united by their passion to make a difference.

GVI’s primary partner on this programme is the Seychelles Parks and Garden Authority (SPGA). Data collected from your efforts is passed to the Seychelles Ministry of Environment as well as participating NGOs, to be used in creating local conservation policies. It’s also shared worldwide with other conservation teams and efforts. We work on various environmental conservation initiatives, such as safeguarding sea turtles, mangrove mapping, giant tortoise population censuses, and sicklefin lemon shark monitoring. 

In collaboration with SPGA and University of Seychelles, we track neonate sharks around Curieuse island. Through this research we can see if the boundaries of the Marine National Park are adequate, and get a better understanding of their activity, space and habits. 

The UN Sustainable Development Goals

All of our programs have short-, mid- and long-term objectives that align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals or UN SDGs. We want to be able to measure our collaborative impact across the world in a streamlined manner. Staff and volunteers know which UN SDGs they’re making a substantial contribution to. This also helps our local partners and communities measure and visualise their contribution to the UN SDGs.

Prior to your arrival on base, you’ll be educated about the history of the UN SDGs. Then, once on base you’ll learn about the specific goals of your location, the long-, mid- and short-term objectives, and also insight into how your personal, shorter-term involvement contributes to these goals on a global level.

Our aim is to educate you on local and global issues, so that you continue to act as active global citizens after your program, helping to fulfil our mission of building a global network of people united by their passion to make a difference.

The support we offer our local partners assists in the conservation of the island’s flora and fauna, and addresses many of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, such as Goal 14: Life Below Water, Goal 15: Life On Land, Goal 4: Quality Education, and Goal 17: Partnerships For Goals.

Our partners

Project objectives


GVI Curieuse Long-term Objectives:  

1. Increase scientific knowledge and baseline data on the health of ecosystems on Curieuse Island.

2. Increase awareness of GVI Seychelles projects and the ecological value of the Curieuse Island National Parks within the country.

3. Build local capacity to support long-term conservation of biodiversity and sustainable community development in the Seychelles.

4. Continue to minimise our environmental impact on Curieuse Island and raise awareness of environmental issues amongst participants and visitors.

Our Ethics

Below is a list of core ethics and best practices we believe are essential to the operation of high quality, ethical volunteer and sustainable development programs. We believe that all responsible volunteer and sustainable development operations should focus upon these principles. If you are considering volunteering, these are some of the key considerations you should question, to ensure that your time and money contributes towards positive change.


We want to constantly develop our own understanding of ethical best practice. In so doing, we aim to provide an exemplary industry standard for other education institutions, international development organisations, and social enterprises. Our Badge of Ethics stands for the drive to always do good, better. Find out more, click on the Badge below.

Our 10 ethical commitments


Locally Driven, Collaborative Projects

We aim to design all our projects in collaboration with local organizations and communities and ensure that they are locally driven.


Clear Objectives & Sustainable Outcomes

We aim to clearly define short-, mid-, and long-term objectives with sustainable outcomes for all our projects.


Impact Reporting

We aim to track, record, and publish the impact of each of our projects.


Working Against Dependency

We aim to build in-country capacity by assisting local organizations in becoming self-sustaining.


Responsible Exit Strategies

For each local organization we work with, we aim to have a plan in place for withdrawing support responsibly.


Clear Roles & Specialized Training

We aim to ensure that every participant is assigned a clear role and that they are fully trained and supported to carry out their work by specialized staff.


Respect for all

In all our actions we aim to respect the skills and efforts of all and seek to protect the rights, culture and dignity of everyone who engages with GVI.


Local Ownership

We work to ensure that credit for the results of any project, along with any data collected, research conducted, or Intellectual Property developed, remains the property of local organizations.


Transitioning from the Orphanage Model

We do not condone and aim to withdraw support of orphanages and residential care centers.


Child and Vulnerable adult policies

We will live by our Child Protection and Vulnerable Adult policies.

Continual Development

As an organization, GVI is committed to striving toward best practice, and to educating both our potential participants, our partners, and the world at large about them. Both the volunteering and sustainable development sectors are increasingly, and rightly, under scrutiny. Many recent local and global articles highlight poor practices and questionable ethics. GVI is widely recognized for striving to apply global best practice in the volunteering, education and sustainable development sectors throughout our operations by reputable organizations such as ChildSafe.

However, global best practice is always evolving and we dedicate both time and resources to engage with internationally respected experts and learn from the latest research to ensure our programs both fulfil their potential to create maximum positive impact, and minimise their potential to create unintentional negative impact. Along with and as part of the sustainable development and volunteering community, we are constantly learning and applying this learning to practice. We do not always get everything right, but we seek feedback from our community members, partners, participants and our staff, and react accordingly. We know are already doing a great job, and feedback we have received confirms this, but we aim to do even better and are continuously refining our operations to improve upon our already excellent reputation.

Program ethics

No orphanage programs

We don’t support or allow participants to work in institutional residential care facilities, also known as orphanages. We partner with ReThink Orphanages and Freedom United.

Learn more
Child and vulnerable adult protection policy

Our Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection Policy requires all our staff and participants to complete a criminal background check and to learn why you shouldn’t reveal a child’s identifying factors in photographs. We support the ChildSafe Movement.

Learn more
No medical volunteering

We don’t offer any programs where our participants engage in medical treatment. This is because our participants aren’t typically qualified to do this work and would therefore not be able to do this work in their home country. Our participants only assist with public health programs.

Learn more
No disability support programs

We don’t offer any programs where our participants work directly with people with disabilities. This is because our participants aren’t typically qualified to do this work and would therefore not be able to do this work in their home country.

Learn more
Aligned to local objectives

Each one of our initiatives is aligned to objectives set by a local organisation or professional. Our staff and participants work to support these local actors in achieving their specific goals.

Local employees remain employed

Our participants don’t replace the staff employed by local organisations. Rather, they support currently employed staff with achieving their objectives. Our goal is always to increase local capacity to address local problems.

Local employees remain focused

Participants require training and support to ensure that they carry out tasks correctly. Our staff provide this training and support so that local staff can focus on what is truly important to their organisation at the time.

No entertainment-based activities

We don’t support the use of wild animals for entertainment purposes. This includes riding animals, having them perform tricks, feeding or bathing them or getting close to them to take photos

No orphaned animal sanctuaries

We don’t encourage, support or allow the rearing of “orphaned” wild baby animals kept at a “sanctuary”. The conservation value of these types of programs is negligent and would only ethically be used in extremely rare cases

Guidelines for touching or movement restriction

When wild animals are restricted for conservation purposes we follow the guidelines of Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa (FTTSA), approved by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council.

Animal welfare guidelines

We ensure that the Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare are followed. These include the freedom to express normal behaviour and freedom from distress, discomfort, hunger, thirst, fear, pain, injury or disease.

Local community empowerment

We ensure that conservation efforts are also always locally led, that community needs are front-and centre of any conservation effort and that our participants, projects and partners work to increase local community engagement in local conservation efforts.

Learn more
No veterinary programs

We don’t offer any veterinary programs or animal rescue and rehabilitation programs. We don’t allow participants to do any work they would not be able to do in their home country.

Learn more

Support & Safety

We won’t sugarcoat it — traveling abroad is usually a complex process that carries an element of risk. But this is exactly why we’re passionate about providing extensive support throughout the process as well as the highest safety standards during the in-country phase. We believe that volunteering abroad should not only be impactful, but an enjoyable experience that carries as little risk as possible. This is exactly how we’ve been able to maintain our reputation as the most highly respected volunteering organisations in the sector over the past two decades.