FAQ’S

Project & Internship FAQS

When is the best time of year to volunteer?
There is no best time to volunteer as our communities require support all year around. Our projects run year round, with a two week break for Christmas and New Years. This is to allow the children to spend some time with their parents and for our hard working volunteers to have a short break. The volunteer house is still open during this time and all meals, socials, support and accommodation is still included. The projects are less structured over school holidays when holiday programs and outings are run for the children (see project dates for the school holidays).
I want to make the most of my programme, what length of time is best?

The longer you can volunteer the better. Volunteers who stay longer can build stronger relationships with the children and have a greater impact on the community. We recommend a minimum of 4 weeks.

Where will I find the shuttle at the airport?

Volunteers will be met at Cape Town International airport and taken to their accommodation. If your flight lands early or you can’t find the person picking you up, please go to the information desk and we will meet you there. Or you can call +27 21 556 9369

Is it safe to work in a township?

Yes, you are very safe being in the township. We have an excellent relationship with the community and community leaders and there is always a local person with you while you are on the project.

What should I pack

  • Swimwear and beach towel
  • Wetsuit – If you have your own. Otherwise you can use one of ours
  • Warm clothes
  • Old clothes – bring comfortable clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty to work in
  • Sneakers or comfortable working shoes
  • Sunscreen (and a sun hat or cap)
  • Prescription medication if needed
  • Basic first aid requirements

What do I need when I’m on the project?

Good footwear, appropriate clothes for working with children, good sun cream, and a bottle of water.

How do I get to my project?

We drive you to and from your project.

Can I take photos of the children?

Yes, you can take your camera to the project and take photos. However, we advise you to ask permission when taking photos of adults.

I’m scared of HIV and AIDS, what are the risks?

HIV is a blood bound infection. You will not contract HIV through playing and touching the children. We do not know the HIV status of all the children we work with, therefore if there is an accident involving blood let your project leader take control.

How many hours/days will I be working?

Volunteers work 5 days a week. Usually they will work between 20 – 25 hours a week on the project. In addition, you may need to spend some time planning lessons and activities. Please note that the exact program may vary depending on special events and the project you are on.

Will I have time off?

Yes, volunteers have the weekends off unless we are organising a special event or you are on the kitesurf project. This is your volunteer program so you may take time off during the week provided you first ask the volunteer coordinator in advance, giving us time to plan around your absence.

What do I do on my time off?

Whatever you want. You can arrange tours etc. at SaltyCrax Backpackers. Once a week we organise a volunteer social activity (e.g. football game, concert, market, restaurant etc) which all volunteers may join.

Will there be free wifi?

Yes, free wifi will be available for volunteers.

When is the best time of year to volunteer?
There is no best time to volunteer as our communities require support all year around. Our projects run year round, with a two week break for Christmas and New Years. This is to allow the children to spend some time with their parents and for our hard working volunteers to have a short break. The volunteer house is still open during this time and all meals, socials, support and accommodation is still included. The projects are less structured over school holidays when holiday programs and outings are run for the children (see project dates for the school holidays).
I want to make the most of my programme, what length of time is best?

The longer you can volunteer the better. Volunteers who stay longer can build stronger relationships with the children and have a greater impact on the community. We recommend a minimum of 4 weeks.
Where will I find the shuttle at the airport?

Volunteers will be met at Cape Town International airport and taken to their accommodation. If your flight lands early or you can’t find the person picking you up, please go to the information desk and we will meet you there. Or you can call +27 21 556 9369
Is it safe to work in a township?

Yes, you are very safe being in the township. We have an excellent relationship with the community and community leaders and there is always a local person with you while you are on the project.
What should I pack

  • Swimwear and beach towel
  • Wetsuit – If you have your own. Otherwise you can use one of ours
  • Warm clothes
  • Old clothes – bring comfortable clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty to work in
  • Sneakers or comfortable working shoes
  • Sunscreen (and a sun hat or cap)
  • Prescription medication if needed
  • Basic first aid requirements

What do I need when I’m on the project?

Good footwear, appropriate clothes for working with children, good sun cream, and a bottle of water.
How do I get to my project?

We drive you to and from your project.
Can I take photos of the children?

Yes, you can take your camera to the project and take photos. However, we advise you to ask permission when taking photos of adults.
I’m scared of HIV and AIDS, what are the risks?

HIV is a blood bound infection. You will not contract HIV through playing and touching the children. We do not know the HIV status of all the children we work with, therefore if there is an accident involving blood let your project leader take control.
How many hours/days will I be working?

Volunteers work 5 days a week. Usually they will work between 20 – 25 hours a week on the project. In addition, you may need to spend some time planning lessons and activities. Please note that the exact program may vary depending on special events and the project you are on.
Will I have time off?

Yes, volunteers have the weekends off unless we are organising a special event or you are on the kitesurf project. This is your volunteer program so you may take time off during the week provided you first ask the volunteer coordinator in advance, giving us time to plan around your absence.
What do I do on my time off?

Whatever you want. You can arrange tours etc. at SaltyCrax Backpackers. Once a week we organise a volunteer social activity (e.g. football game, concert, market, restaurant etc) which all volunteers may join.
Will there be free wifi?

Yes, free wifi will be available for volunteers.
When is the best time of year to volunteer?
There is no best time to volunteer as our communities require support all year around. Our projects run year round, with a two week break for Christmas and New Years. This is to allow the children to spend some time with their parents and for our hard working volunteers to have a short break. The volunteer house is still open during this time and all meals, socials, support and accommodation is still included. The projects are less structured over school holidays when holiday programs and outings are run for the children (see project dates for the school holidays).
I want to make the most of my programme, what length of time is best?

The longer you can volunteer the better. Volunteers who stay longer can build stronger relationships with the children and have a greater impact on the community. We recommend a minimum of 4 weeks.
Where will I find the shuttle at the airport?

Volunteers will be met at Cape Town International airport and taken to their accommodation. If your flight lands early or you can’t find the person picking you up, please go to the information desk and we will meet you there. Or you can call +27 21 556 9369
Is it safe to work in a township?

Yes, you are very safe being in the township. We have an excellent relationship with the community and community leaders and there is always a local person with you while you are on the project.
What do I need when I’m on the project?

Good footwear, appropriate clothes for working with children, good sun cream, and a bottle of water.
What should I pack

  • Swimwear and beach towel
  • Wetsuit – If you have your own. Otherwise you can use one of ours
  • Warm clothes
  • Old clothes – bring comfortable clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty to work in
  • Sneakers or comfortable working shoes
  • Sunscreen (and a sun hat or cap)
  • Prescription medication if needed
  • Basic first aid requirements
  • Pocket money (drinks and souvenirs)

How do I get to my project?

We drive you to and from your project.
Can I take photos of the children?

Yes, you can take your camera to the project and take photos. However, we advise you to ask permission when taking photos of adults.
I’m scared of HIV and AIDS, what are the risks?

HIV is a blood bound infection. You will not contract HIV through playing and touching the children. We do not know the HIV status of all the children we work with, therefore if there is an accident involving blood let your project leader take control.
How many hours/days will I be working?

Volunteers work 5 days a week. Usually they will work between 20 – 25 hours a week on the project. In addition, you may need to spend some time planning lessons and activities. Please note that the exact program may vary depending on special events and the project you are on.
Will I have time off?

Yes, volunteers have the weekends off unless we are organising a special event or you are on the kitesurf project. This is your volunteer program so you may take time off during the week provided you first ask the volunteer coordinator in advance, giving us time to plan around your absence.
What do I do on my time off?

Whatever you want. You can arrange tours etc. at SaltyCrax Backpackers. Once a week we organise a volunteer social activity (e.g. football game, concert, market, restaurant etc) which all volunteers may join.
Will there be free wifi?

Yes, free wifi will be available for volunteers.
When is the best time of year to volunteer?
There is no best time to volunteer as our communities require support all year around. Our projects run year round, with a two week break for Christmas and New Years. This is to allow the children to spend some time with their parents and for our hard working volunteers to have a short break. The volunteer house is still open during this time and all meals, socials, support and accommodation is still included. The projects are less structured over school holidays when holiday programs and outings are run for the children (see project dates for the school holidays).
I want to make the most of my programme, what length of time is best?

The longer you can volunteer the better. Volunteers who stay longer can build stronger relationships with the children and have a greater impact on the community. We recommend a minimum of 4 weeks.
Where will I find the shuttle at the airport?

Volunteers will be met at Cape Town International airport and taken to their accommodation. If your flight lands early or you can’t find the person picking you up, please go to the information desk and we will meet you there. Or you can call +27 21 556 9369
Is it safe to work in a township?

Yes, you are very safe being in the township. We have an excellent relationship with the community and community leaders and there is always a local person with you while you are on the project.
What should I pack

  • Swimwear and beach towel
  • Wetsuit – If you have your own. Otherwise you can use one of ours
  • Warm clothes
  • Old clothes – bring comfortable clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty to work in
  • Sneakers or comfortable working shoes
  • Sunscreen (and a sun hat or cap)
  • Prescription medication if needed
  • Basic first aid requirements

What do I need when I’m on the project?

Good footwear, appropriate clothes for working with children, good sun cream, and a bottle of water. If you are on the adventure club you also require swimwear for the ocean or pool. We do have wetsuits for you to use although if you have your own it is a good idea to bring it.
How do I get to my project?

We drive you to and from your project.
Can I take photos of the children?

Yes, you can take your camera to the project and take photos. However, we advise you to ask permission when taking photos of adults.
I’m scared of HIV and AIDS, what are the risks?

HIV is a blood bound infection. You will not contract HIV through playing and touching the children. We do not know the HIV status of all the children we work with, therefore if there is an accident involving blood let your project leader take control.
How many hours/days will I be working?

Volunteers work 5 days a week. Usually they will work between 20 – 25 hours a week on the project. In addition, you may need to spend some time planning lessons and activities. Please note that the exact program may vary depending on special events and the project you are on.
Will I have time off?

Yes, volunteers have the weekends off unless we are organising a special event or you are on the kitesurf project. This is your volunteer program so you may take time off during the week provided you first ask the volunteer coordinator in advance, giving us time to plan around your absence.
What do I do on my time off?

Whatever you want. You can arrange tours etc. at SaltyCrax Backpackers. Once a week we organise a volunteer social activity (e.g. football game, concert, market, restaurant etc) which all volunteers may join.
Will there be free wifi?

Yes, free wifi will be available for volunteers.
When is the best time of year to volunteer?
There is no best time to volunteer as our communities require to support all year around. Our projects run year round, with a two-week break for Christmas and New Years. This is to allow the children to spend some time with their parents and for our hard-working volunteers to have a short break. The volunteer house is still open during this time and all meals, socials, support, and accommodation is still included. The projects are less structured over school holidays when holiday programs and outings are run for the children (see project dates for the school holidays).
I want to make the most of my programme, what length of time is best?

The longer you can volunteer the better. Volunteers who stay longer can build stronger relationships with the children and have a greater impact on the community. We recommend a minimum of 4 weeks.
Where will I find the shuttle at the airport?

Volunteers will be met at Cape Town International airport and taken to their accommodation. If your flight lands early or you can’t find the person picking you up, please go to the information desk and we will meet you there. Or you can call +27 21 556 9369
Is it safe to work in a township?

Yes, you are very safe being in the township. We have an excellent relationship with the community and community leaders and there is always a local person with you while you are on the project.
What should I pack

  • Swimwear and beach towel
  • Wetsuit – If you have your own. Otherwise you can use one of ours
  • Warm clothes
  • Old clothes – bring comfortable clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty to work in
  • Sneakers or comfortable working shoes
  • Sunscreen (and a sun hat or cap)
  • Prescription medication if needed
  • Basic first aid requirements

What do I need when I’m on the project?

Good footwear, appropriate clothes for working with children, good sun cream, and a bottle of water.
How do I get to my project?

We drive you to and from your project.
Can I take photos of the children?

Yes, you can take your camera to the project and take photos. However, we advise you to ask permission when taking photos of adults.
I’m scared of HIV and AIDS, what are the risks?

HIV is a blood bound infection. You will not contract HIV through playing and touching the children. We do not know the HIV status of all the children we work with, therefore if there is an accident involving blood let your project leader take control.
How many hours/days will I be working?

Volunteers work 5 days a week. Usually, they will work between 20 – 25 hours a week on the project. In addition, you may need to spend some time planning lessons and activities. Please note that the exact program may vary depending on special events and the project you are on.
Will I have time off?

Yes, volunteers have the weekends off unless we are organising a special event or you are on the kitesurf project. This is your volunteer program so you may take time off during the week provided you first ask the volunteer coordinator in advance, giving us time to plan around your absence.
What do I do on my time off?

Whatever you want. You can arrange tours etc. at SaltyCrax Backpackers. Once a week we organise a volunteer social activity (e.g. football game, concert, market, restaurant etc) which all volunteers may join.
Will there be free wifi?

Yes, free wifi will be available for volunteers.
How do I get to the project?

We recommend that volunteers fly to and from Hoedspruit Airport (cost around R2000). We will organise a transfer from the airport to the project and back. Choosing this option will save you a six hour bus shuttle from Johannesburg to Hoedspruit and back.
What kind of people volunteer at these projects?

You don’t have to be a wildlife expert to volunteer with us and we don’t have an age limit either. You should be 18 years or older (if you are younger – you need permission from your parents) …and you should be reasonably fit to join in with our activities.
What time do we start work?

Times do vary depending on the season. You must expect early starts in the morning and sometimes late nights. We work when the animals are out and about.
Summer:
Leave at 5:30am and are out for 4 to 5 hours. In the afternoon we leave at 16:00 for another 3 to 4 hours
Winter:
Leave at 6:30am and are out for 4 to 5 hours. In the afternoon we leave at 15:00 for another 3 to 4 hours
We also give lectures and presentations 2 or 3 times during the week over the lunch period. For the remainder of the time between monitoring, volunteers are required to enter all the data they have collected onto our databases.
What is the weather like?

The projects are situated within the Limpopo Province which is characterised by very hot weather in summer, where temperatures may exceed 40ºC from September to April.
The cooler months are May to August with temperatures reaching as low as 5-6 ºC and average daytime temperatures around 20ºC.
What should I pack?

Due to the fluctuating temperatures experienced during the day whilst out on activities, we recommend that you bring lots of layers, especially during the winter. It can feel surprisingly cold on the back of a safari vehicle, even in summer!
What kind of clothing should I bring?

We recommend that you wear neutral coloured clothes for drives and especially walks – khaki, green, brown and navy blue. Black and white are not suitable, especially when walking, as they are most recognisable by the wildlife.

Closed-toe shoes such as hiking boots or trainers/sneakers are mandatory for all drives. Open shoes such as flip flops/thongs are not permitted to be worn on the vehicles. Hiking boots/shoes with good ankle support are also recommended for walking in the bush.
Habitat work involves some manual labour, so please bring some clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty or possibly ripped on thorns!

In addition, the following items are essential for all projects:

        • Casual working clothes for hot and cold days
        • Semi formal clothes for functions and for trips to town
        • Jackets
        • Sunscreen and hat
        • Swimsuit and towel
        • Personal toiletries and bath towels
        • Raincoat and boots (gumboots)
        • Insect repellent
        • Laptop with own dvd’s if desired
        • Pocket money (drinks and souvenirs)
        • Flashlight and batteries
        • Notebook and pen
        • Proof of all inoculations
        • First aid kit and personal medication
        • Water bottle

What about laundry:

There are washing machines available for use at camp, washing powder is supplied. Clothes are line-dried, no dryers available.
What about electricity?

There is electricity at camp. If you are staying at the Endangered Species project you can charge batteries etc. at the research camp. South African electricity is 220/230 volts AC at 50 cycles a second, plug outlets are 15 amp, three-pin (round). There are NO 2-point outlets for shavers.
Cell phone reception:

Your cell phone will automatically switch on to the South African Vodacom or MTN-service if you have international roaming activated. Alternatively you can purchase a South African SIM for your mobile phone or an international calling card.
Will I have internet access during my stay?

If you require internet access at the camp, you can arrange this for a small cost with the camp manager. On our weekly town trip you will also have the opportunities for internet access at the internet café in town to check your emails and do bookings.
Food & Beverages:

Cordial fruit drink, tea and coffee are provided. Soft drinks, alcoholic beverages (beers and ciders) and snacks like chocolate are not available in camp but you can buy them on the weekly town trips. All food for breakfast, lunch and dinner is provided, as well as fresh fruit. However, food is only re-stocked once a week so once it’s gone it’s gone! If you have any special dietary requirements please inform us before your arrival so that we can accommodate them if possible.
Is the water safe to drink?

Fresh, drinkable water is available from the taps and is absolutely safe to drink at all the camps– we have our own boreholes. Bottled water is also available for purchase from town when we do weekly town trips.
Should I take precautions against Malaria?

Malaria is endemic throughout the Kruger National Park and surrounding private reserves including the this reserve. Note: The projects occur in a Malaria Low Risk areas. Peak transmission occurs between November to May, with little between June to October. Please consult your doctor with regards to a good and suitable malaria prophylactic. Best of all is to minimize your contact with mosquitoes by using repellent lotions, sticks or sprays such as ‘Tabard’ or ‘Peaceful Sleep’.
What is the time difference?

The South African Standard Time is 2 hours ahead of the Greenwich Mean Time in European winter time and 1 hour ahead of the Greenwich Mean Time in European summer time.
Money/Credit Cards:

The South African currency is the Rand. It is helpful to carry a small amount South African Rand (e.g. ZAR 500) with you; you will find a currency exchange bureau at the international airport or in Hoedspruit. In town you also have the opportunity to access ATMs with your credit card and purchase items with your card.
Security:

There is no concern about safety at the projects. Our game reserves are guarded / fenced and town is also safe during our town trips. But, like everywhere in the world, security is everybody’s responsibility.
VISA:

Most visitors to South Africa receive a 90 day tourist/travel visa. However check with the South African embassy before you leave your country.
How do I get to the project?

Volunteers will be met at Cape Town International airport and taken to their orientation venue. On the project start day, you get transported to the bus stop to catch the bus to Mossel Bay, the project location. On your last day, you get dropped off at the bus station again and you take the bus back to Cape Town. From there, you should take a taxi back to the airport.

What kind of people volunteer at these projects?

You don’t have to be a wildlife expert to volunteer with us and we don’t have an age limit either. You should be 18 years or older (if you are younger – you need permission from your parents) …and you should be reasonably fit to join in with our activities.

What time do we start work?

Your day will start at 7:00 am with a breakfast and then you are out for 2 to 3 hours. About 10:00 am you will have a short break in the reserve after which you will start/continue with your projects. At 13:00 you will have lunch. In the afternoon we leave at 14:00 for another 3 hours. The Afternoons are used for research and monitoring. Your working day will end about 17:00 with a cold drink at lookout point.

What is the weather like?

Average day temperature during winter (May – September) is 15 degrees Celsius nights can drop to -4 degrees Celsius in June, July and August.
The average day temperature during summer (October – April) is 30 degrees Celsius (January, February and March can reach up to 40 degrees Celsius).

What should I pack?

Due to the fluctuating temperatures experienced during the day whilst out on activities, we recommend that you bring lots of layers, especially during the winter. It can feel surprisingly cold on the back of a safari vehicle, even in summer! But for Summer you should also pack cool clothing, hats, shorts, swimwear, sun block, swimming towel and flip flops.

What kind of clothing should I bring?

We recommend that you wear neutral coloured clothes for drives and especially walks – khaki, green, brown and navy blue. Black and white are not suitable, especially when walking, as they are most recognisable by the wildlife.

Closed-toe shoes such as hiking boots or trainers/sneakers are mandatory for all drives. Open shoes such as flip flops/thongs are not permitted to be worn on the vehicles. Hiking boots/shoes with good ankle support are also recommended for walking in the bush.

Habitat work involves some manual labour, so please bring some clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty or possibly ripped on thorns!

In addition, the following items are essential for all projects:

      • Old neutral (khaki, brown, green) clothing that you don’t mind getting dirty
      • Shoes – Comfortable worn in boots for field work, sandals or flip flops, Sneakers, Gumboots
      • Sunscreen, Hat & Sunglasses
      • Insect Repellent
      • Toiletries – Make up, Toothbrush & Toothpaste, shower gel, Shampoo/Conditioner, Towel
      • First Aid Kit – Anti-diarrheal meds, anti-inflammatory meds, antihistamines, paracetamol/aspirin, anti-bacterial ointment, bandages, plasters and tweezers
      • Lightweight travel Sleeping bag and small rucksack
      • Working Gloves x2, Flashlight, Power Adapter, Water Bottle, Books & Games
      • Still Camera/Hand Camcorder, Binoculars, Multi tool knife, Alarm Clock</li
What about laundry:

There is a weekly laundry service available by the trusty cleaning lady.

What about electricity?

South African electrical power is 240 volts AC. Appliances from North America will burn out if they are not switched over or have a properly – rated power transformer (not just a plug converter) attached. Think twice about that hair dryer! South Africa is also prone to electricity cuts (load shedding) due to short supply. Please turn off lights and heaters when not in the room. The plug adapter needed for South Africa plugs is very difficult to find in your home country, we suggest you buy the adapter in South Africa.

Cell phone reception:

Your cell phone will automatically switch on to the South African Vodacom or MTN-service if you have international roaming activated. Alternatively you can purchase a South African SIM for your mobile phone or an international calling card.

Will I have internet access during my stay?

If you require internet access at the camp, you can arrange this for a small cost with the camp manager. On our weekly town trip you will also have the opportunities for internet access at the internet café in town to check your emails and do bookings.

Food & Beverages:

Cordial fruit drink, tea and coffee are provided. Soft drinks, alcoholic beverages (beers and ciders) and snacks like chocolate are not available in camp but you can buy them on the weekly town trips. All food for breakfast, lunch and dinner is provided, as well as fresh fruit. However, food is only re-stocked once a week so once it’s gone it’s gone! If you have any special dietary requirements please inform us before your arrival so that we can accommodate them if possible.

Is the water safe to drink?

Fresh, drinkable water is available from the taps and is absolutely safe to drink at all the camps– we have our own boreholes. Bottled water is also available for purchase from town when we do weekly town trips.

Should I take precautions against Malaria?

Malaria is endemic throughout the Kruger National Park and surrounding private reserves including the this reserve. Note: The projects occur in a Malaria Low Risk areas. Peak transmission occurs between November to May, with little between June to October. Please consult your doctor with regards to a good and suitable malaria prophylactic. Best of all is to minimize your contact with mosquitoes by using repellent lotions, sticks or sprays such as ‘Tabard’ or ‘Peaceful Sleep’.

What is the time difference?

The South African Standard Time is 2 hours ahead of the Greenwich Mean Time in European winter time and 1 hour ahead of the Greenwich Mean Time in European summer time.

Money/Credit Cards:

The South African currency is the Rand. It is helpful to carry a small amount South African Rand (e.g. ZAR 500) with you; you will find a currency exchange bureau at the international airport or in Hoedspruit. In town you also have the opportunity to access ATMs with your credit card and purchase items with your card.

Security:

There is no concern about safety at the projects. Our game reserves are guarded / fenced and town is also safe during our town trips. But, like everywhere in the world, security is everybody’s responsibility.

VISA:

Most visitors to South Africa receive a 90 day tourist/travel visa. However check with the South African embassy before you leave your country.

What do I do at the airport?

You will be collected from Johannesburg International airport or anywhere in Johannesburg area. When you arrive at the arrivals hall at the airport look out for your shuttle driver, he will be holding a signboard with your name on it. If you can not see him go to the information desk and wait there. If for any reason you have issues with the shuttle please contact + 27 73 333 4338 or + 27 72 834 7212
I have booked the Johannesburg Orientation package, how does that work?

You will be taken from the Airport to Home Base Backpackers in Melville where you will be welcomed by our SAVE staff. Once you have settled in you will be given Orientation about your project and dinner. The following day you will have a chance to visit Johannesburg on the hop on hop off city bus.
How do I get to the project?

Upon arrival to the airport, look out for our driver holding a sign with your name on, standing next to the information desk. If you are not coming via the airport, call 082 416 4796 for directions or alternative arrangements.
When is the best time of year to volunteer?

Our projects are active year round, and you are welcome any time.
I want to make the most of my programme, what length of time is best?

We are active over two sanctuaries and a research centre. A minimum of 14 days, from Sunday to Sunday, will help you get the most exposure, but many volunteers stay for 4 weeks.
How many people sleep in a room?

Our accommodation sleep 2 to 6 people per room.
What is the facilities like?

Home-stay accommodation with shared facilities.
Is there a danger of snakes?

Our projects are out in open country, but sightings of snakes are extremely rare.
Will I get to interact with the animals?

All the animals at our sanctuaries are rescued, and some have severe human imprints on their behaviour. We do not encourage interaction, but, due to the nature of our work, close contact and interaction is inevitable.
When do we start working and for how long and for how many days a week?

We work from Monday to Friday, from 07:30 in the mornings until our goals for the day have been achieved, or or tasks are done.
Will there be a possibility to go shopping, (for food or groceries etc) while at the program, or are we just staying on the farm?

We provide complimentary shopping shuttles on Mondays and Thursdays only. These shopping opportunities are for extras, luxuries and items of a personal nature.
What animals are on the project?

We have rescued exotic monkeys, 4 species of endangered vultures, and a host of injured/rehabilitated small cat species.
What do I need when I’m on the project?

Adequate sun protection, water bottle, garden/working gloves.
Will I have time off?

Weekends and South African public holidays are free for you to explore the region.
How much does water/soda cost there?

Bottled Water: R6.00 per 250ml bottle (Tap water is safe to drink)
Soda: R10.00 per can
Tizers: R16.00 per can
Where can I do my washing?

Laundry facilities are available at the accommodation, and cost is determined by the weight of the bundle.
What do I do at the airport?

You will be collected from Cape Town International airport or anywhere in Cape Town area. When you arrive at the arrivals hall at the airport look out for your shuttle driver, he will be holding a signboard with your name on it. If you can not see him go to the information desk and wait there.

If for any reason you have issues with the shuttle please contact + 27 73 333 4338 or + 27 72 834 7212

I have booked the Cape Town Orientation package, how does that work?

You will be taken from the Airport to Saltycrax Backpackers in Table View where you will be welcomed by our SAVE staff.
Once you have settled in you will be given Orientation about your project and dinner. The following day you will have a chance to visit Cape Town on the hop on hop off city bus.
How do I get to the project?

After your 2 day Cape Town Orientation you will receive a shuttle to the project.
I want to make the most of my programme, what length of time is best?

The longer you can volunteer the better you will get to know the animals and be given more responsibility
How many people sleep in a room?

It is 2 to 8 people per room. You can request a private room at a additional fee.
When is the best time of year to volunteer?

There is no best time to volunteer as our animals require support all year around and there are always improvements to be made on the farm.
I want to make the most of my programme, what length of time is best?

The longer you can volunteer the better you will get to know the animals and be given more responsibility.
Is there a danger of snakes and spiders?

The black mamba occurs in the North West, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and northern Kwazulu Natal provinces in South Africa. They are not found in the area we are situated.

Potentially dangerous snakes around the farm are:

      • Puff adder: these snakes are the cause of most snake bite deaths due to the fact that they are common and they are slow moving meaning they won’t move out of the way when approached. Most bites are accidental because they are so well camouflaged and not easily seen.
      • Boom slang is another snake that is very common in South Africa, but are very docile snakes. They are extremely venomous but hardly encountered. They stay in trees unless they need to travel from one tree to another.
      • Snouted cobra, Mozambique spiting cobra and the night adder which are our most common snakes found on the farm.

The spiders we have here are: Black widow, wall crab spider , Violin spiders
There are many more to mentioned, but these are the most important. The spiders mentioned above are rarely seen in rooms and if found, its pure incident. However, we are fully equipped for snakes and our staff will help you in the rare case of an emergency.

When do we start working and for how long and for how many days a week?

Volunteers work 6 days a week, Monday to Saturday. Volunteers usually work 8 hours a day. Saturdays depending on the programme might be a physical day. Starting time 7:30, breakfast 8:30 – 10:00 Lunch 12:00 – 14:00 and dinner at 18:00.
What will I be doing?

Volunteers will usually be involved in two projects (we can have upto 4 projects running at the same time). All volunteers will be involved with the day to day running of the wildlife sanctuary. This project is called “Improving the Lives of Animals.” This project involves lots of different tasks and each day is likely to be different.
Will there be a possibility to go shopping, (for food or groceries etc) while at the program, or are we just staying on the farm?

Yes, there is a grocery store very close to the farm.  All you have to do is ask your volunteer leader or one of the staff and they will take you on their next visit.
What animals are on the project?

Lions and monkeys
Why are the animals on the farm?

The animals that are on the farm are mostly part of a project one way or another. If the animal is workable enough they get to do film work, which is all done with the reward system, the other animals make up of rescues and animals that have been on the farm for over 28 years.
What do I need when I’m on the project?

      • Sleeping bag (you are responsible for providing your own bedding at the project, bedding at the 2 day orientation is included)
      • Small daypack
      • Work gloves x 2
      • Torch with extra batteries
      • Towel
      • Personal toiletries/medications
      • Books
      • Camera/film
      • Warm clothes for cold nights
      • Light clothes for hot days
      • Hiking boots
      • Underwear/socks
      • Sunglasses/sunhat
      • Cash/credit cards/travellers cheques
      • Passport
      • Driver’s license (if available)
      • Travel insurance certificate
      • Copies of important documents

Keep in mind, winters can get very cold and summers very hot – so pack accordingly.

Will I have time off?

On days off activities tours can be organized, or you can do some shopping, or relax at the pool. (There is quite a lot that can be done around the area)

We can assist to arrange the appropriate transportation etc.

What do I do at the airport?

You will be collected from Johannesburg International airport or anywhere in Johannesburg area. When you arrive at the arrivals hall at the airport look out for your shuttle driver, he will be holding a signboard with your name on it. If you can not see him go to the information desk and wait there. If for any reason you have issues with the shuttle please contact + 27 73 333 4338 or + 27 72 834 7212
I have booked the Johannesburg Orientation package, how does that work?

You will be taken from the Airport to Home Base Backpackers in Melville where you will be welcomed by our SAVE staff.
Once you have settled in you will be given Orientation about your project and dinner. The following day you will have a chance to visit Johannesburg on the hop on hop off city bus.
How do I get to the project?

Upon arrival to the airport, look out for our driver holding a sign with your name on, standing next to the information desk. If you are not coming via the airport, call 082 416 4796 for directions or alternative arrangements.
When is the best time of year to volunteer?

Our projects are active year round, and you are welcome any time.
I want to make the most of my programme, what length of time is best?

We are active over two sanctuaries and a research centre. A minimum of 14 days, from Sunday to Sunday, will help you get the most exposure, but many volunteers stay for 4 weeks.
What do I need when I’m on the project?

        • Casual working clothes for hot and cold days
        • Semi formal clothes for functions and for trips to town
        • Jackets
        • Sunscreen and hat
        • Swimsuit and towel
        • Personal toiletries and bath towels
        • Raincoat and boots (gumboots)
        • Insect repellent
        • Laptop with own dvd’s if desired
        • Pocket money (drinks and souvenirs)
        • Flashlight and batteries
        • Notebook and pen
        • Proof of all inoculations
        • First aid kit and personal medication
        • Water bottle

How many people sleep in a room?

Our accommodation sleep 2 to 6 people per room
What is the facilities like?

Home-stay accommodation with shared facilities.
Is there a danger of snakes?

Our projects are out in open country, but sightings of snakes are extremely rare.
Will I get to interact with the animals?

All the animals at our sanctuaries are rescued, and some have severe human imprints on their behaviour. We do not encourage interaction, but, due to the nature of our work, close contact and interaction is inevitable.
When do we start working and for how long and for how many days a week?

We work from Monday to Friday, from 07:30 in the mornings until our goals for the day have been achieved, or or tasks are done.
Will there be a possibility to go shopping, (for food or groceries etc) while at the program, or are we just staying on the farm?

We provide complimentary shopping shuttles on Mondays and Thursdays only. These shopping opportunities are for extras, luxuries and items of a personal nature.
What animals are on the project?

We have rescued exotic monkeys, 4 species of endangered vultures, and a host of other injured/rehabilitated small cat species.
What do I need when I’m on the project?

Adequate sun protection, water bottle, garden/working gloves.
Will I have time off?

Weekends and South African public holidays are free for you to explore the region.
How much does water/soda cost there?

Bottled Water: R6.00 per 250ml bottle (Tap water is safe to drink)
Soda: R10.00 per can
Tizers: R16.00 per can
Where can I do my washing?

Laundry facilities are available at the accommodation, and cost is determined by the weight of the bundle.
How do I get to the project?

We recommend that volunteers fly to and from Hoedspruit Airport (cost around R2000). We will organise a transfer from the airport to the project and back. Choosing this option will save you a six hour bus shuttle from Johannesburg to Hoedspruit and back.
What kind of people volunteer at these projects?

You don’t have to be a wildlife expert to volunteer with us and we don’t have an age limit either. You should be 18 years or older (if you are younger – you need permission from your parents) …and you should be reasonably fit to join in with our activities.
What time do we start work?

Times do vary depending on the season. You must expect early starts in the morning and sometimes late nights. We work when the animals are out and about.

Summer: Leave at 5:30am and are out for 4 to 5 hours. In the afternoon we leave at 16:00 for another 3 to 4 hours
Winter:Leave at 6:30am and are out for 4 to 5 hours. In the afternoon we leave at 15:00 for another 3 to 4 hours

We also give lectures and presentations 2 or 3 times during the week over the lunch period. For the remainder of the time between monitoring, volunteers are required to enter all the data they have collected onto our databases.

What is the weather like?

The projects are situated within the Limpopo Province which is characterised by very hot weather in summer, where temperatures may exceed 40ºC from September to April.
The cooler months are May to August with temperatures reaching as low as 5-6 ºC and average daytime temperatures around 20ºC.
What should I pack?

Due to the fluctuating temperatures experienced during the day whilst out on activities, we recommend that you bring lots of layers, especially during the winter. It can feel surprisingly cold on the back of a safari vehicle, even in summer!
What kind of clothing should I bring?

We recommend that you wear neutral coloured clothes for drives and especially walks – khaki, green, brown and navy blue. Black and white are not suitable, especially when walking, as they are most recognisable by the wildlife.
Closed-toe shoes such as hiking boots or trainers/sneakers are mandatory for all drives. Open shoes such as flip flops/thongs are not permitted to be worn on the vehicles. Hiking boots/shoes with good ankle support are also recommended for walking in the bush.
Habitat work involves some manual labour, so please bring some clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty or possibly ripped on thorns!

In addition, the following items are essential for all projects:

        • Casual working clothes for hot and cold days
        • Semi formal clothes for functions and for trips to town
        • Jackets
        • Sunscreen and hat
        • Swimsuit and towel
        • Personal toiletries and bath towels
        • Raincoat and boots (gumboots)
        • Insect repellent
        • Laptop with own dvd’s if desired
        • Pocket money (drinks and souvenirs)
        • Flashlight and batteries
        • Notebook and pen
        • Proof of all inoculations
        • First aid kit and personal medication
        • Water bottle

Laundry

There are washing machines available for use at camp, washing powder is supplied. Clothes are line-dried, no dryers available.
What about electricity?

There is electricity at camp. If you are staying at the Endangered Species project you can charge batteries etc. at the research camp. South African electricity is 220/230 volts AC at 50 cycles a second, plug outlets are 15 amp, three-pin (round). There are NO 2-point outlets for shavers.
Cell phone reception

Your cell phone will automatically switch on to the South African Vodacom or MTN-service if you have international roaming activated. Alternatively you can purchase a South African SIM for your mobile phone or an international calling card.
Will I have internet access during my stay?

If you require internet access at the camp, you can arrange this for a small cost with the camp manager. On our weekly town trip you will also have the opportunities for internet access at the internet café in town to check your emails and do bookings.
Food & Beverages

Cordial fruit drink, tea and coffee are provided. Soft drinks, alcoholic beverages (beers and ciders) and snacks like chocolate are not available in camp but you can buy them on the weekly town trips. All food for breakfast, lunch and dinner is provided, as well as fresh fruit. However, food is only re-stocked once a week so once it’s gone it’s gone! If you have any special dietary requirements please inform us before your arrival so that we can accommodate them if possible.
Is the water safe to drink?

Fresh, drinkable water is available from the taps and is absolutely safe to drink at all the camps– we have our own boreholes. Bottled water is also available for purchase from town when we do weekly town trips.
Should I take precautions against Malaria?

Malaria is endemic throughout the Kruger National Park and surrounding private reserves including the this reserve. Note: The projects occur in a Malaria Low Risk areas. Peak transmission occurs between November to May, with little between June to October. Please consult your doctor with regards to a good and suitable malaria prophylactic. Best of all is to minimize your contact with mosquitoes by using repellent lotions, sticks or sprays such as ‘Tabard’ or ‘Peaceful Sleep’.
What is the time difference?

The South African Standard Time is 2 hours ahead of the Greenwich Mean Time in European winter time and 1 hour ahead of the Greenwich Mean Time in European summer time.
Money/Credit Cards

The South African currency is the Rand. It is helpful to carry a small amount South African Rand (e.g. ZAR 500) with you; you will find a currency exchange bureau at the international airport or in Hoedspruit. In town you also have the opportunity to access ATMs with your credit card and purchase items with your card.
Security

There is no concern about safety at the projects. Our game reserves are guarded / fenced and town is also safe during our town trips. But, like everywhere in the world, security is everybody’s responsibility.
VISA

Most visitors to South Africa receive a 90 day tourist/travel visa. However check with the South African embassy before you leave your country.
How do I get to the project?

When you arrive at the East London airport, look out for your shuttle driver (he will be holding a signboard with your name on it). If you can’t see him, go to the information desk and wait there.
When is the best time of year to volunteer?

There is no best time to volunteer as our animals require support all year around and there are always improvements to be made on the farms, game reserves, and villages. The project does close from the beginning of December until the beginning of March however, and this is due to the high rate of pregnancy and lambing with the animals.
I want to make the most of my program, what length of time is best?

The longer you can volunteer, the better you will get to know the animals and procedures and be given more responsibility. We generally recommend a minimum of 4 weeks, but we offer internships of up to 6 months.
What should I pack

    • 2 or 3 Shorts, Jacket, Tracksuit, Pullover, Long Pants, T – Shirts, Long sleeve shirts, Raincoat
    • Smart set of clothes, Cold – Weather Jacket (some regions work is done in can become freezing)
    • Shoes – Working Shoes (sneakers, hiking boots), Sandals or Flip flops for weekends
    • Swimwear, Sunscreen, Hat & Sunglasses, Sarong
    • Insect Repellent
    • Toiletries – Make up, Toothbrush & Toothpaste, shower gel, Shampoo/Conditioner, Towel
    • First Aid Kit – Anti-diarrheal meds, anti-inflammatory meds, antihistamines, paracetamol/aspirin, anti-bacterial ointment, bandages, plasters and tweezers
    • Lightweight travel Sleeping bag and small rucksack
    • Working Gloves, Flashlight, Power Adapter, Water Bottle, Books & Games
    • Camera, Charger, Alarm Clock
    • If you wear glasses or contacts, it is also advisable to bring a spare pair.

How many people sleep in a room?

Bedrooms sleep 2-4 people.
Is there a danger of snakes or other venomous animals?

The black mamba occurs in the North West, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and northern Kwazulu Natal provinces in South Africa. They are not found in the area where we are situated.
Potentially dangerous snakes in the area are the Puff Adder and the Boomslang. Most venomous snakes prefer to conserve their venom, so a bite is rarely life-threatening. In the rare case of an emergency, our staff is fully equipped to help you.
The most important spiders to note in this area are Black Widows, Crab spiders, and Violin spiders. These are rarely seen and if found, it’s pure incident.
When do we start working, for how long, and for how many days a week?

Interns work Monday to Friday for 8 hours a day, however if there is an emergency we may be called to work on the weekends.
Will there be a possibility to go shopping (for snacks, toiletries, etc) while in the program?

All meals are included in the program fee but our staff go into the city of East London regularly, so you’ll have access to almost anything you need.
What animals might I see or work with on the project?

Elephants, Rhino, Lions, Leopards, Cheetahs, Giraffes, Zebras, Wildebeests, Blesbok, Impala, Kudu, Nyala, Buffalo, Hyenas, Waterbuck, etc.
What do I need wile working on the project?

Appropriate footwear and clothes for working with animals, insect repellent, good sun cream, and a water bottle.
How many times will I be going on the boat?

Our priority is to give you as much sea time as possible but we are affected by weather, tide, sea conditions and seasonal demand but we aim to ensure you can go to sea as much as possible. If you are not working on Slashfin, you could go on Whale Whisperer or possibly on our research boat if they are going out. See here for more on our boats and the duties on board.
How often will I be shark cage diving?

On your first day, you will enjoy the cage diving experience as if you were a client so that you understand the experience. Thereafter you will slot in with the duties of the volunteers on board. As space and time allows, the skipper will let you know if you can get in the cage when we are hosting clients. And if we have been really busy and there has not been a chance for volunteers to dive we try to plan an exclusive trip just for the volunteers, again depending on weather/time etc.
When is the best time of the year for sharks?

We are very lucky that we have sharks all year round so you can join us anytime of the year. There are some pros and cons to both seasons: Summer (Dec to Feb) is warm weather but we do struggle with visibility some of the time due to algal blooms in the water. The sharks spend time in the shallows during summer and we can see some big females this time of the year. By winter (June to August) they head out to the islands where they begin hunting more actively on the seals of Geyser Rock. We have better visibility then, and believe it or not slightly warmer water, but we also get some rough winter storms which can keep us off the sea. Either way, we will keep you busy with everything else we offer on the programme if we have a no-sea day. So come whenever suits you!
What will I be doing on the boat?

Assisting the crew in the dive operations, helping clients, data recording, observation, getting the boat ready before launch and helping operations when the boat returns to land, which includes cleaning of wetsuits and preparing equipment for the next day. Some of the tasks can be quite physical so a healthy degree of fitness is required…. as are sea legs!
How many hours will I be working?

This depends on the number of trips and number of volunteers to assist. So you could work one trip for the day and possibly a second. Some volunteers like to pick up on the second trip if possible when space allows to get more sea time, so anything from half a day to a full day’s work. We fit in presentations and other activities when you are not at sea.
Will I be receiving presentations?

Presentations are part of the programme. Presentations will be done by our skipper, deckhand, conservation trust, our marine biologists and visiting scientists/students. Depending on the length of your time here you will learn about shark biology and behaviour, our research, conservation projects, whale and dolphin research and biology, basic seamanship, knot tying and more. We also host some marine evenings with an outside speaker so hopefully you will be here when that happens too.
Will I have time off?

You can take time off when you need to. We work 7 days a week, weather depending. We do not expect volunteers to work these hours, so taking the day off is easy. You just need to inform your volunteer coordinator, but don’t miss out on valuable time at sea with the sharks.
What time will I be picked up in Cape Town?

Our collection times are generally between 5am and 8am every Monday. We have our own shuttle service coming through with clients so they will collect you. Please note the time can change depending on weather, trip timing etc and we will communicate the time to you (or the place you are staying) the evening before. We do not do airport collection so you will have to take a shuttle to your accommodation the day before we collect you. Usually your accommodation will sort this out for you.
How will I get back to Cape Town after my programme?

On Mondays, our same shuttle service will return you to the place you are staying in Cape Town. On return trips we can drop you off at the airport but your flight needs to leave no earlier than 7pm so please plan this well. We will sort out your return trip when you are with us.
What happens if I can’t book the programme from Monday-Monday?

We understand that this is not always possible but we do not recommend it as you may miss out on presentations that brief you about the accommodation and the work on the boat. Please note that if you start or end the programme on any other day than a Monday that you might need to pay for private transport if our shuttle bus is not running.
Do I need any vaccinations?

No, where you will be working in South Africa is a malaria free area. If you are coming from South America or travelling in Africa before you join our programme, you might need to have a Yellow Fever vaccination and certificate.
Do I need to bring any medication?

If you need to take medication, then we recommend that you bring your own. We do have a pharmacy in Gansbaai and very good doctors. Our nearest hospital is forty minutes drive away. We would suggest you bring sea sickness tablets or patches with you – these should be taken the evening before the dive and in the morning before the dive. Please remember to bring good sun block as the South African sun is very harsh. Very important: if you do suffer from any illness or epilepsy and need to take medication daily, please inform your coordinator. If you have any chronic condition, we would require a doctor’s confirmation that you are fit to be on this programme.
How do the meals work?

We provide ingredients for a help-yourself breakfast at the International Marine Volunteer Centre (tea, coffee, eggs, bacon, bread, cereals and milk) If you are on the boat then a light lunch is available such as a cheese and tomato bread roll and fruit. If not at sea, then lunch is your own responsibility. Dinner is for your own account. We have a fully-equipped kitchen, so many of the volunteers buy and make food at the lodge. On some occasions the group goes out to a restaurant to eat. Our sister company, the Great White House restaurant is the hub of our activities and is situated nearby. Alcohol is at your own cost.
Lunch: will be on the boat. Please inform us if you are a vegetarian or have any special dietary needs
Dinner : For you to provide: sometimes the Volunteers go to the local restaurants for dinner, or prepare a meal as a group
snacks are also for you to provide.
At our offices, we have a restaurant, and volunteers receive a 10% discount on meals on the menu.
How are the living conditions?

Accommodation is at the International Marine Volunteer Centre. This lodge is equipped with 4 cottages that house between 4 and 6 persons per cottage, with a bathroom, kitchenette and living area as well as daily living essentials. Have a look at our accommodation page for more info.
Will I be having internet access?

We have wireless internet at the International marine Volunteer Centre and at the Great White House. We also have a desktop computer at the Centre for communal use. Downloading of movies, games and music is strictly prohibited.
Do I need a visa?

Finding out about, and complying with, visa requirements is entirely your responsibility. Nationals from the European Union, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand: At present you do not need a visa to enter South Africa and will be granted a temporary Visitors Permit valid for up to 90 days on presenting your Passport on arrival.
PLEASE NOTE: If you do not fall under one of these countries, then you need to have a visa. It is very important if you fall under European Union, to check with your embassy prior to your trip, because in some cases or Countries in the European Union, you will need to have a visa. We will not be held accountable for any persons entering South Africa and then being deported due to incorrect paperwork.
Do I need to bring dive gear?

You do not need to bring scuba diving gear as the cage diving is a breath-hold dive and we provide all gear for shark cage diving.
What should I pack

    • Towel
    • Polarised sunglasses
    • Camera, laptop, smartphone, adaptors & chargers as needed
    • Swimming costume
    • Suitable clothing for being at sea depending on season, layers work well
    • Comfortable, non-slip shoes to wear on boat (we provide waterproof boots)
    • Warm clothes and a beanie for the winter months
    • Clothing that is easy to wash, dry and doesn’t need ironing
    • A smart set of clothes (for evenings out, dinner in a restaurant etc.)
    • Driver’s license, if you are planning on renting a car while in South Africa
    • Sunblock/sunscreen, lip balm
    • Insect repellent
    • Seasickness tablets, patches
    • Medical kit (painkillers, antihistamine pills and cream, anti-diarrhoea meds, bandaids/plasters, antiseptic cream, sunscreen, personal medication etc.)
    • Toiletries (travel-size shampoo, conditioner, body wash, toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, deodorant)
    • ZAR 200 cash deposit

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I want to make the most of my programme so what length of time is the best?

2 weeks – this is good…you will get enough sea time, you will receive some presentations and you can help on some conservation and social projects.
3 weeks – this is even better. You will have a great time! We will also arrange for some excursions, and wine tasting, or visits to surrounding towns so that you can see more of our area. A lot more boat time, presentations and conservation/social projects.
4 weeks plus – is the best period to book for! You will be able to do all that our programme has to offer, and maybe even get the chance to be a part of our research team alongside our marine biologists, going on the research vessel. There could be a chance to tracking of the great white shark (this is a bonus and should not be expected).
What about laundry?

Personal laundry is not included but can be taken to a commercial laundry twice weekly. They charge R15/kg. Your bedding will be washed by us once a week at no charge.
When is the best time of year to volunteer?

There is no best time to volunteer as our animals require support all year around and there are always improvements to be made on the farm.
How do I get to the project?
After your orientation in Johannesburg you will be transferred to the bus terminal to get onto the City Bug. City Bug reference numbers will be on your confirmation. The City Bug service is situated at the bus terminal at Johannesburg International Airport. Any cancellation of any City Bug tickets will be at a cost of R500 per ticket. If you change your ticket, there is a R50 change fee per ticket. If you miss your shuttle you will need to purchase a new ticket. The City Bug will drive you from the airport (JHB) to Bloemfontein where it has a drop off zone. This is where we will be waiting to pick you up. (we do the pickup on arrival and drop off on departure for free). If for any reason you have issues with the shuttle please contact + 27 73 333 4338 or + 27 83 669 6959
However, we recommend that volunteers fly to and from Kimberley Airport (cost around R2000). We will organise a transfer from the airport to the project and back. Choosing this option will save you a six-hour bus shuttle from Johannesburg to Kimberley and back.
I want to make the most of my programme, what length of time is best?

The longer you can volunteer the better as you will learn more about the animals on the farm and how to look after them.
How many people sleep in a room?

It is u p t o 6 people per room in a mixed dormitory. You can request a male or female dormitory in advanced and we will do our best to accommodate you. You can request a private room at an additional fee. The private room has one double bed in it and is subject to availability.
What are the sanitation facilities like ?

The sanitation on the farm is high due to the fact that we do have contact with the animals and baby animals. To ensure our safety as well as the animals, we sanitize our hands regularly with F10, this is a sanitizer used to kill germs and bacteria.
Is there a danger of snakes and spiders?

The black mamba occurs in the North West, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and northern Kwazulu Natal provinces in South Africa. They are not found in desert areas where we are situated? Potentially dangerous snakes around the farm are: ● Puff adder: these snakes are the cause of most snakebite deaths due to the fact that they are common and they are slow moving meaning they won’t move out of the way when approached. Most bites are accidental because they are so well camouflaged and not easily seen. ● Boom slang and Cape Cobra is another snake that is very common in South Africa, but are very docile snakes. They are extremely venomous but hardly encountered. They stay in trees unless they need to travel from one tree to another.
The spiders we have here are:
● Black widows
● Crab spiders
● Violin spiders
There are many more to mentioned, but these are the most important. The spiders mentioned above are rarely seen in rooms and if found, its pure incident. However, we are fully equipped for snakes and our staff will help you in the rare case of an emergency.
When do we start working and for how long and for how many days a week?

On the day of arrival, a short welcome and briefing is given as well as an introductory tour of the farm and animals (depending on time of arrival).
You begin volunteering the next day at:
7:00 am to 1:00pm (the time can change)
Lunch is from 1:00pm -2:00pm
2:00 PM to 5:00pm (the time can change)
You will be assisting from Monday to Sunday and you will get an off day every Friday (please take note this can change according to how busy the farm gets, then the off day will move to a week day)
Will there be a possibility to go shopping, (for food or groceries etc) while at the program?
Yes, as soon as we fetch you from the designated pre-arranged pick up spot, we will take you to the shops first thing so that you can get all your starting necessities (we also give a shopping list that will help you prepare you for your farm arrival). There are times that can be organized to go into town to do some shopping and maybe see some of the surrounding farms and places. Transportation to and from the place are for free on days that we need to go to town, other days transport will be R100.00.
What animals are on the project?

There are a variety of cats like servals, caracals, lion, black backed jackals, African wild cat, bat-eared foxes and the oh so cute vervet monkeys.
Why do the cats get taken away from their parents so young and hand reared?

Cats in captivity don’t breed easily and the mother doesn’t raise young always successfully. Breeders sell their young to potential buyers who also have cats in captivity. It’s just easier to work with captive cats because they are much tamer. Captive cats survival rate is very low due to sickness and the mother kills the cubs, therefore to ensure their survival they are hand reared.
If I am allergic to domestic cats will I be allergic to wild cats?

Unless you come in contact with the wild cats you will be allergic too. If you are allergic to pollen, grass seeds and dust you will also have an allergic reaction. Be safe and bring your medication with to avoid a reaction
Where do the cats go after the wildcat farm?

We are not breeders for selling. We release our animals onto a game farm/reserve and to breeders who are looking for new blood lines and for releasing. We are NOT into killing of any animal. We are STRONGLY AGAINST it. We are all about the conservation and safety of all animal species.
What do I need when I’m on the project?

Gum boots and sleeping bags are not necessary. You will need two pairs of gloves; one for outside work and another for handling meat. Volunteers will also need their own towel, appropriate clothes for working with animals, shorts or pants not shorter than 4 fingers above the knee, insect repellent, good sunscreen, swimwear and a water bottle.
What do I need to pack?

        • Casual working clothes for hot and cold days
        • Clothes for functions and for trips to town
        • Jackets
        • Sunscreen and hat
        • Swimsuit and towel
        • Personal toiletries and bath towels
        • Raincoat
        • Insect repellent
        • 2 pairs of working gloves
        • Pocket money (drinks and souvenirs)

Will I have time off?

Yes, you will have one and a half off day each week (usually Fridays and Sundays but this can change dependent on how busy the farm is). Also if you require another day off this is no problem, just talk to us. There is also a large pool that you can use in your time off and soak up the african sun.
How much does water/soda cost there?

Bottled Water: R6.00 per 250ml bottle (Tap water is safe to drink)
Soda: R15.00 per can
Tizers: R16.00 per can
Where can I do my washing?

There is a washing service available at R50 per bundle or you are welcome to buy your own washing powder and do it yourself.
Is there WIFI at the farm?

There is no WIFI at the wildcat farm. You will have the opportunity to purchase a sim card and buy data to load on it during the orientation. The price is R150 for 1GB.
How much money should I bring?

Volunteers tend to budget about R1500 for the first two weeks, and then about R500 per week after that.

What do I do at the airport?
You will be collected from Johannesburg International airport or anywhere in Johannesburg area. When you arrive at the arrivals hall at the airport look out for your shuttle driver, he will be holding a signboard with your name on it. If you can not see him go to the information desk and wait there.

If for any reason you have issues with the shuttle please contact + 27 73 333 4338 or + 27 72 834 7212

I have booked the Johannesburg Orientation package, how does that work?
You will be taken from the Airport to Home Base Backpackers in Melville where you will be welcomed by our SAVE staff.
Once you have settled in you will be given Orientation about your project and dinner. The following day you will have a chance to visit Johannesburg on the hop on hop off city bus.

How do I get to the project?
After your 2 day Johannesburg Orientation you will receive a shuttle to the project.

I want to make the most of my programme, what length of time is best?
The longer you can volunteer the better you will get to know the animals and be given more responsibility.

How many people sleep in a room?
It is 2 to 8 people per room. You can request a private room at a additional fee.

When is the best time of year to volunteer?
There is no best time to volunteer as our animals require support all year around and there are always improvements to be made on the farm.

I want to make the most of my programme, what length of time is best?
The longer you can volunteer the better you will get to know the animals and be given more responsibility.

Is there a danger of snakes and spiders?
The black mamba occurs in the North West, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and northern Kwazulu Natal provinces in South Africa. They are not found in the area we are situated.
Potentially dangerous snakes around the farm are:
Puff adder: these snakes are the cause of most snake bite deaths due to the fact that they are common and they are slow moving meaning they won’t move out of the way when approached. Most bites are accidental because they are so well camouflaged and not easily seen.
Boom slang is another snake that is very common in South Africa, but are very docile snakes. They are extremely venomous but hardly encountered. They stay in trees unless they need to travel from one tree to another.
Snouted cobra, Mozambique spitting cobra and the night adder which are our most common snakes found on the farm.
The spiders we have here are: Black widow, wall crab spider , Violin spiders
There are many more to mentioned, but these are the most important. The spiders mentioned above are rarely seen in rooms and if found, its pure incident. However, we are fully equipped for snakes and our staff will help you in the rare case of an emergency.

When do we start working and for how long and for how many days a week?
Volunteers work 6 days a week, Monday to Saturday. Volunteers usually work 8 hours a day. Saturdays depending on the programme might be a physical day. Starting time 7:30, breakfast 8:30 – 10:00 Lunch 12:00 – 14:00 and dinner at 18:00.
What will I be doing?
Volunteers will usually be involved in two projects (we can have upto 4 projects running at the same time). All volunteers will be involved with the day to day running of the wildlife sanctuary. This project is called “Improving the Lives of Animals.” This project involves lots of different tasks and each day is likely to be different.

Will there be a possibility to go shopping, (for food or groceries etc) while at the program, or are we just staying on the farm?
Yes, there is a grocery store very close to the farm. All you have to do is ask your volunteer leader or one of the staff and they will arrange for a "Shop Run" (R20 per trip).

What animals are on the project?
Elephant, Lion, Leopard, Cheetah, Hyena, Giraffe, Zebra, Wildebeest, Blesbok, Impala etc.

Why are the animals on the farm?
The animals that are on the farm are mostly part of a project one way or another. If the animal is workable enough they get to do film work, which is all done with the reward system, the other animals make up of rescues and animals that have been on the farm for over 28 years.

What do I need when I’m on the project?
Casual working clothes for hot and cold days
Semi formal clothes for functions and for trips to town
Jackets
Sunscreen and hat
Swimsuit and towel
Personal toiletries and bath towels
Raincoat
Insect repellent
Laptop with own dvds if desired
Pocket money (drinks and souvenirs)
Flashlight and batteries
Notebook and pen
Proof of all inoculations
First aid kit and personal medication
Water bottle
Garden Gloves

Will I have time off?
On days off activities & tours can be organized, or you can do some shopping (Shop Run is R20 per trip), or relax at the pool. There is a bush dinner at the boma every second week, as well as night drives and sunrise walks (upon request).
We can assist to arrange the appropriate transportation etc.

What do I do at the airport?

You will be collected from Johannesburg International airport or anywhere in Johannesburg area. When you arrive at the arrivals hall at the airport look out for your shuttle driver, he will be holding a signboard with your name on it. If you can not see him go to the information desk and wait there.

If for any reason you have issues with the shuttle please contact + 27 73 333 4338 or + 27 72 834 7212

I have booked the Johannesburg Orientation package, how does that work?

You will be taken from the Airport to Home Base Backpackers in Melville where you will be welcomed by our SAVE staff.
Once you have settled in you will be given Orientation about your project and dinner. The following day you will have a chance to visit Johannesburg on the hop on hop off city bus.
How do I get to the project?

After your 2 day Johannesburg Orientation you will receive a shuttle to the project.
I want to make the most of my programme, what length of time is best?

The longer you can volunteer the better you will get to know the animals and be given more responsibility
How many people sleep in a room?

It is 2 to 8 people per room. You can request a private room at a additional fee.
When is the best time of year to volunteer?

There is no best time to volunteer as our animals require support all year around and there are always improvements to be made on the farm.
I want to make the most of my programme, what length of time is best?

The longer you can volunteer the better you will get to know the animals and be given more responsibility.
Is there a danger of snakes and spiders?

The black mamba occurs in the North West, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and northern Kwazulu Natal provinces in South Africa. They are not found in the area we are situated.

Potentially dangerous snakes around the farm are:

            • Puff adder: these snakes are the cause of most snake bite deaths due to the fact that they are common and they are slow moving meaning they won’t move out of the way when approached. Most bites are accidental because they are so well camouflaged and not easily seen.
            • Boom slang is another snake that is very common in South Africa, but are very docile snakes. They are extremely venomous but hardly encountered. They stay in trees unless they need to travel from one tree to another.
            • Snouted cobra, Mozambique spiting cobra and the night adder which are our most common snakes found on the farm.

The spiders we have here are: Black widow, wall crab spider , Violin spiders
There are many more to mentioned, but these are the most important. The spiders mentioned above are rarely seen in rooms and if found, its pure incident. However, we are fully equipped for snakes and our staff will help you in the rare case of an emergency.

When do we start working and for how long and for how many days a week?

Volunteers work 6 days a week, Monday to Saturday. Volunteers usually work 8 hours a day. Saturdays depending on the programme might be a physical day. Starting time 7:30, breakfast 8:30 – 10:00 Lunch 12:00 – 14:00 and dinner at 18:00.
What will I be doing?

Volunteers will usually be involved in two projects (we can have upto 4 projects running at the same time). All volunteers will be involved with the day to day running of the wildlife sanctuary. This project is called “Improving the Lives of Animals.” This project involves lots of different tasks and each day is likely to be different.
Will there be a possibility to go shopping, (for food or groceries etc) while at the program, or are we just staying on the farm?

Yes, there is a grocery store very close to the farm.  All you have to do is ask your volunteer leader or one of the staff and they will take you on their next visit.
What animals are on the project?

Elephant, Lion, Leopard, Cheetah, Hyena, Giraffe, Zebra, Wildebeest, Blesbok, Impala etc.
Why are the animals on the farm?

The animals that are on the farm are mostly part of a project one way or another. If the animal is workable enough they get to do film work, which is all done with the reward system, the other animals make up of rescues and animals that have been on the farm for over 28 years.
What do I need when I’m on the project?

    • Outdoor Clothes, Warm Clothes, Waterproof Jacket, Trousers (PS – Keep in mind to pack for the right months according to the weather) & Something nice to wear for Town visits
    • Max 3 pairs of shoes – Comfortable hard wear, sandals or flip flops & Gumboots
    • Swimming costume, Towel, Sunscreen, After sun lotion, Sun Hat with a brim
    • Insect Repellent
    • Toiletries – Make up, Toothbrush & Toothpaste, shower gel, Shampoo/Conditioner
    • First Aid Kit & pain medication
    • Lightweight travel Sleeping bag
    • Vaccinations – we recommend Hepatitis A, Typhoid & Rabies vaccines
    • Working Gloves, Flashlight, Power Adapter, Water Bottle

Keep in mind, winters can get very cold and summers very hot - so pack accordingly.[/su_spoiler]

Will I have time off?

On days off activities & tours can be organized, or you can do some shopping, or relax at the pool. (There is quite a lot that can be done around the area)

We can assist to arrange the appropriate transportation etc.

What do I do at the airport?

You will be collected from Johannesburg International airport or anywhere in Johannesburg area. When you arrive at the arrivals hall at the airport look out for your shuttle driver, he will be holding a signboard with your name on it. If you can not see him go to the information desk and wait there.
If for any reason you have issues with the shuttle please contact + 27 73 333 4338 or + 27 72 834 7212
I have booked the Johannesburg Orientation package, how does that work?

You will be taken from the Airport to Home Base Backpackers in Melville where you will be welcomed by our SAVE staff.
Once you have settled in you will be given Orientation about your project and dinner. The following day you will have a chance to visit Johannesburg on the hop on hop off city bus.
How do I get to the project?

After your 2 day Johannesburg Orientation you will receive a shuttle to the project.
I want to make the most of my programme, what length of time is best?

The longer you can volunteer the better you will get to know the animals and be given more responsibility.
How many people sleep in a room?

It is up to 3 volunteers per chalet.
When is the best time of year to volunteer?

There is no best time to volunteer as our animals require support all year around and there are always improvements to be made on the farm.
I want to make the most of my programme, what length of time is best?

The longer you can volunteer the better you will get to know the animals and be given more responsibility.
Is there a danger of snakes and spiders?

            • The black mamba occurs in the North West, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and northern Kwazulu Natal provinces in South Africa. They are not found in the area we are situated.
            • Potentially dangerous snakes around the farm are:
            • Puff adder: these snakes are the cause of most snake bite deaths due to the fact that they are common and they are slow moving meaning they won’t move out of the way when approached. Most bites are accidental because they are so well camouflaged and not easily seen.
            • Boom slang is another snake that is very common in South Africa, but are very docile snakes. They are extremely venomous but hardly encountered. They stay in trees unless they need to travel from one tree to another.
            • Snouted cobra, Mozambique spitting cobra and the night adder which are our most common snakes found on the farm.
            • The spiders we have here are: Black widow, wall crab spider , Violin spiders
            • There are many more to mentioned, but these are the most important. The spiders mentioned above are rarely seen in rooms and if found, its pure incident. However, we are fully equipped for snakes and our staff will help you in the rare case of an emergency.
When do we start working and for how long and for how many days a week?

Volunteers work 6 days a week, Monday to Saturday. Volunteers usually work 8 hours a day. Saturdays depending on the programme might be a physical day. Starting time 7:30, breakfast 8:30 – 10:00 Lunch 12:00 – 14:00 and dinner at 18:00.
What will I be doing?

Volunteers will usually be involved in two projects (we can have upto 4 projects running at the same time). All volunteers will be involved with the day to day running of the wildlife sanctuary. This project is called “Improving the Lives of Animals.” This project involves lots of different tasks and each day is likely to be different.
Will there be a possibility to go shopping, (for food or groceries etc) while at the program, or are we just staying on the farm?

Yes, there is a grocery store very close to the farm. All you have to do is ask your volunteer leader or one of the staff and they will take you on their next visit.
What animals are on the project?

Elephant, Lion, Leopard, Cheetah, Hyena, Giraffe, Zebra, Wildebeest, Blesbok, Impala etc.
Why are the animals on the farm?

The animals that are on the farm are mostly part of a project one way or another. If the animal is workable enough they get to do film work, which is all done with the reward system, the other animals make up of rescues and animals that have been on the farm for over 28 years.
What do I need when I’m on the project?

    • Casual working clothes for hot and cold days
    • Semi formal clothes for functions and for trips to town
    • Jackets
    • Sunscreen and hat
    • Swimsuit and towel
    • Personal toiletries and bath towels
    • Raincoat and boots (gumboots)
    • Insect repellent
    • Laptop with own dvd’s if desired
    • Pocket money (drinks and souvenirs)
    • Flashlight and batteries
    • Notebook and pen
    • Proof of all inoculations
    • First aid kit and personal medication
    • Water bottle

      • Will I have time off?
      • On days off activities & tours can be organized, or you can do some shopping, or relax at the pool. (There is quite a lot that can be done around the area)
      • We can assist to arrange the appropriate transportation etc.
Do I need a visa?
      • Applying for a visa prior to travelling
      • For entry into Malawi you will require a tourist visa. UK passport holders will receive a free 30-day tourist visa stamp on entry into Malawi. For those staying longer, you will be required to pay approximately 28 Euros extra per 30 days for staying in the country up to 90 days. All other nationalities should consult the relevant embassy.

Please note that when filling out the visa form on arrival in Malawi, you should state your address, which is:
Mlambe Cottage
Nkope Hills
Mangochi

Your passport should be valid for at least 6 months after your departure from Malawi and have two clear facing pages for the Malawian authorities to issue your visa – please check the expiry date of your passport very carefully. Make sure you write on the form the exact number of days that you require in Malawi and check that you have been granted the correct number of days in your passport.

It is important to ensure that you have the necessary Visas for your travel; this is your responsibility. The information provided below is to serve as a guideline only. We advise that you confirm this information with the embassy / consulate of the country that you will be visiting in your home country before departure.

Applying for a visa on arrival

Visas can be applied for in advance, but despite information on some embassy sites, most visitors to Malawi are obtaining visas on arrival still. They are being issued 30 day tourist/visitor visas on arrival for US$ 75. We are not aware of anyone being turned away on arrival for not having obtained a visa in advance and we have been informed that this is also clear on all airline systems.
Please ensure that you have US$ 75 cash with you to pay for this on arrival.
Although most of the below is not generally being requested or checked, it may also help to ensure that this process is as quick as possible if you can have any or all of the following with you:
• Completed application form. Please enter holiday under reason for travel, as a volunteer visa does not exist currently and a visitor/tourist visa is the appropriate visa for your stay, as a paying tourist to the country, staying less than 90 days.
• Two passport photos
• Air ticket/Itinerary
• Three months latest bank statements
Those staying longer than 30 days are still being issued 30 day visa renewals locally at MWK 5000 each time up to 90 days, as they were previously.
What do I need when arriving in Malawi?

• A copy of your Passport and your Visa
• Your Passport
• Yellow Fever Certificate
• Copy of Travel Insurance
• Immigration details for Arrival Form (This form needs to be filled out on the airplane).

You need to arrange your flights to arrive at Lilongwe Airport in Malawi prior to 2pm on the date specified. Upon arrival, you will be met by a project representative and will be transferred to the project, which is about three and a half hours drive from the airport.
If you cannot find our representative, please wait for the arrivals area to clear. If there is a delay of more than 15 minutes please call the Project Co-ordinator. If for some reason you miss the flight, or are delayed, you should contact the Project Co-ordinator:
Augustine Kambalikena: +265 (0)99 191 4633, Sam Galanje: +265 (0)99 382 5560

What vaccinations do I need?

You should visit your GP or seek professional medical advice once your volunteer placement has been confirmed by us and ideally at least 6 weeks prior to travel, regarding the vaccinations and malarial prophylaxis required for your destination. The project is located in a malarial area. If you have any general questions about this please let us know, but we are not qualified to provide specific medical advice. Below are some of the common recommendations for travel to Malawi.
Tetanus: A recent tetanus injection is highly recommended
Typhoid, Hepatitis A and B: Usually recommended
Tuberculosis, Diphtheria, Polio, Rabies: Sometimes recommended
Yellow fever: Vaccination certificate required if arriving from risk areas
Bilharzia can be contracted in many lake shore areas and rivers. We recommend that you are tested on return to the UK and take the Biltricide medication if necessary. This can be cheaply and easily purchased from a pharmacy in Malawi prior to departure or obtained on your return to your home country.
Budgeting

Whilst at the project and staying at the volunteer house there is relatively little that you will require your own spending money for. As a rough guideline, volunteers should not need more than 270 Euros pocket money per month to cover some extra luxuries, souvenirs, internet/phone etc. Soft and alcoholic drinks can be purchased, as well as handmade local crafts.

You should also have enough money available for weekend excursions and activities that you may wish to participate in. More details will be provided on arrival, but you should budget about $150 for 2 nights away, including transport and food.

What we don’t cover

• Flights
• Personal Travel Insurance
• Travel Visas (where required)
• Personal Vaccinations/Medication
• Personal spending money (for souvenirs, weekend travel etc)
Do I need to bring cash or can I use my debit / credit card?

ATM Machines are available in Lilongwe and in Mangochi, the nearest large town; withdrawals may incur a small charge. US dollars and pounds sterling are the most easily exchangeable currencies and we recommend that you take some $US with you. If you bring Traveller’s Cheques you should expect long waits to exchange these. Credit cards are not widely accepted for purchases. However, a credit card may be useful in the event of an emergency.
Can I drink the tap water?

It is not safe to drink the tap water in Malawi. The water at the volunteer accommodation comes directly from the Lake. It is boiled, filtered and kept in bottles in the kitchen to provide suitable drinking water. If you prefer there is also bottled mineral water available for sale at the cottage.
Are there a lot of mosquitoes?

You should expect there to be insects wherever you travel in Africa. Mosquitoes are common, but despite being beside the Lake not in any greater numbers than they would be found in most other regions. We recommend that shortly before dusk, when mosquitoes become more active, you put on a long sleeved top and trousers and use repellent to prevent being bitten. Also, turn off lights when you leave a room.
Is it possible to smoke?

Smoking is not permitted inside the volunteer accommodation or whilst involved in project activities. You may smoke outside at the volunteer house, in designated areas and away from others, who may be bothered by your smoke. Please pick up and dispose of cigarette butts appropriately.
Will I have internet access?

Internet is available at the volunteer house on a ‘Pay As You Go’ basis. There is also internet available in Mangochi, which you can easily get to at weekends on local transport.
Is it safe on my project?

Malawi is a very safe, welcoming and stable African country. We have staff at the volunteer accommodation and available to provide support 24/7 and watchmen at night. However, petty crime can occur, just as it can anywhere in the world and you should use common sense to avoid being a victim of crime. More advice about personal safety will be provided during your arrival orientation.
General travel safety tips are below:
• Avoid travelling around alone, especially at night.
• Find out where the unsafe areas are and avoid them.
• When travelling, keep all important documents and valuables in a safe place, like an inner hidden pocket or money belt.
• Carry only as much cash as you think you will need for the day.
• Don’t wear expensive jewellery or watches.
• Be cautious of people who seem too friendly too fast.
• Always keep bags and purses in your sight.
• Before swimming, ask how safe the area is. Although not common, crocodiles and hippos are found in Lake Malawi.
In addition, you will be working outdoors, in an unfamiliar community and environment. Please respect the advice given to you by the project staff.
Why do I have to pay to volunteer?

The cost you pay to volunteer is only to cover unavoidable costs such as accommodation, meals, transport, shuttles and donation towards the project for running costs and material to sustain the program. Most of the projects are run only on the money that is donated by volunteer fees, without these donations and the physical help from volunteers most projects would not exist.
Should I bring donations?

If you would like to bring a material donation please let us know and we can advise what is most needed at the project at the time. Shipping costs are high and procedures can be very difficult to Africa. We therefore advise that anything you bring is within your baggage allowance.
Some volunteers ask us if they can do some fundraising before they start their project. If you would like to then this is very welcome, but it is not expected and is completely voluntary. If you wish, donations may be made via our UK charity, Naturally Africa Foundation (registered number 1137411), so that we may reclaim Gift Aid on the donation. Past volunteers have undertaken fundraising activities, such as sponsored walks, charity dances, boot fairs etc., in order to raise just a little extra cash for the project.
What do I need to pack?

Personal Essentials
• Passport, insurance certificates and personal documentation
• Photocopies of all the above to be left at home with your next of kin
• Spending money
• Proof of inoculations (please speak to your GP about necessary immunisations)
• Secure, waterproof bag for documents and money: seal-able plastic bags will do
General
• Camera / Film or Memory card / Batteries
• Personal hygiene kit and toiletries
• Sleeping bag – optional for winter months, weekend excursions and travelling after project
• Mosquito net (for excursions)
• Silk or Cotton Liner: Ideal for hot nights or as an extra layer to your sleeping bag
• Sunglasses (high UV protection)
• Sun cream (high factor required)
• Small torch (head torch is recommended)
• Notebook/Diary and pens
• Towel
• Water bottle – at least 750ml
• Day pack/rucksack for everyday use
• Mobile phone – set for roaming and ideally unlocked
• Personal stereo
• Alarm clock/watch
• Pegs and travel wash for clothes (biodegradable recommended)
• Travel Guide, such as Lonely Planet or Rough Guide
• Bring books, cards, board games etc to play in the evenings
Clothing

Please Note: We recommend you take some shirts/blouses, trousers/long skirts and a good pair of shoes or sandals for project work, so that you look presentable and to show respect for African culture. NB Ladies must wear long skirts (that cover the knee when sitting down) whilst taking part in project activities within the villages (loose fitting trousers are only acceptable at the hospital) and tops should not be revealing (cover shoulders and cleavage). Wrap around skirts from local cloth can easily be purchased in the local market during your orientation. Men should wear smart trousers or long shorts and a smart top, ideally with a collar (shirt and trousers or medical apparel is required at the hospital). You can wear casual clothing in your free time, at the cottage, local beach hotels etc., although this should also be appropriate around the rural villages.
• Sets of outdoor loose fitting cotton clothes with full arm and leg cover for cooler mornings or evenings and protection from mosquitoes
• Long skirts and/or trousers for project work
• Suitable shirts/blouses for project work
• Medical whites/apparel for volunteers intending to register to assist at the Hospital
• A pair of boots or sturdy trainers
• Casual clothes for the weekends and free time
• Flip flops / sandals
• Swimwear
• Sun hat
• Underwear – enough for at least 7 days
• Pyjamas/nightwear
• Lightweight fleece or jumper
• Waterproof jacket (during rainy season)
• Warm clothes for winter and early mornings

Medical Kit
• Hand sanitiser and wet wipes
• Anti-malarial tablets
• Personal First Aid Kit
• Personal medication e.g. prescription drugs/inhalers
• Painkillers
• Contact lenses and solution if necessary
• Plasters
• Lip Balm with SPF
• Tweezers (not in hand luggage)
• Scissors (not in hand luggage)
• Sanitary products for women if necessary
• Mosquito repellent (containing DEET or equivalent)

You can wear casual clothing in your free time, although this should also be appropriate.

How do I get from the airport to the project?

On arrival at Lilongwe international airport you will be met by a project representative and transferred by road to the volunteer cottage, which is about 3 ½ – 4 hours’ drive from the airport. The project staff may need to pick up supplies and complete errands in the city en route, as we only travel to Lilongwe once every 2 weeks, so please be patient and understanding. Please note that if you arrive on a different day to that specified in your confirmation letter or after 2pm, you will have to pay an additional private transfer fee of $175 in cash to the project coordinator upon arrival.
How do I get to my project?

How you get to your project each day will depend on your activity and which village you are placed at. Sometimes you will travel in the project minibus, but you will be expected to walk or cycle to many programme activities. This is a nice way to see life in the community (the minibus is a bubble) and is how the locals travel. Any transport required during free time must be arranged and paid for by you. Weekend excursions, including the cost of transport, are available and can be arranged with your project coordinators.
Can I take photos of the children?

Please be considerate about taking photos, ask your co-ordinator if you are unsure whether it is OK to do so and always ask permission from the person first. Children enjoy seeing themselves on digital camera screens. Please also remember that a camera is a valuable item and something that most people in the communities with which you will be involved would never be able to afford. Therefore, please do not walk around flashing expensive equipment unnecessarily.
I’m scared of HIV and AIDS, what are the risks?

HIV/AIDS is widespread throughout Africa and as such we discourage any sexual relationships during your volunteer programme. In addition, volunteers who enter platonic or sexual relationships with staff that cause any issues for the management of SAVE volunteers and our projects should remember that such behaviour may have serious consequences for the staff member involved, even dismissal.
How many hours / days will I be working?

You will be involved in morning and afternoon volunteer activities 5 days per week, with Friday afternoon off to allow travel time for those going on weekend excursions. Hours vary a little between projects and season, due to temperatures etc. However, you should expect to spend between about 5-7 hours at activities each day. During your free time at lunch and evenings, you are also likely to need to spend some time planning sessions and activities to ensure they are well organised and of value.
Will I have time off?

During the week, evenings are your own time and can be spent relaxing at the volunteer house, reading, playing games and socialising with the other volunteers. Volunteers often use this time to plan lessons or activities for the following day. Weekends will be free and you may spend them as you wish. The project coordinators can help arrange day trips and weekend excursions.
Will there be a possibility to go shopping, (for food or groceries etc) while at the program, or are we just staying at the Volunteer Housings?

Absolute basics can be bought at the local market and stores in the village where you will be based. Weekends are free time and you may travel to Mangochi, the nearest large town, by ‘matola’ – public minibus transport. OR if you are on joining an excursion you may be able to stop off briefly en route. If the project staff are making a shopping trip at the weekend you may also be able to join them. There is an honesty bar with drinks for sale at the volunteer accommodation.
Where can I do my washing?

Personal laundry is excluded, but the local staff are happy to wash your clothes for a small fee per bundle. If you choose to do your own laundry this should be done outside the house at the designated points and please use washing tubs, as washing inside affects the drainage. During the rainy season be prepared to wait longer for your clothes to dry.
What language is spoken?

Chichewa is the local dialect. English is the main language of business and lessons are taught in English from Standard 5 at primary school. However, in the rural areas where you will be based many adults and children will not speak any English.
Do I need a visa?

Applying for a visa prior to travelling
For entry into Malawi you will require a tourist visa. UK passport holders will receive a free 30-day tourist visa stamp on entry into Malawi. For those staying longer, you will be required to pay approximately 28 Euros extra per 30 days for staying in the country up to 90 days. All other nationalities should consult the relevant embassy.

Please note that when filling out the visa form on arrival in Malawi, you should state your address, which is:
Mlambe Cottage
Nkope Hills
Mangochi

Your passport should be valid for at least 6 months after your departure from Malawi and have two clear facing pages for the Malawian authorities to issue your visa – please check the expiry date of your passport very carefully. Make sure you write on the form the exact number of days that you require in Malawi and check that you have been granted the correct number of days in your passport.

It is important to ensure that you have the necessary Visas for your travel; this is your responsibility. The information provided below is to serve as a guideline only. We advise that you confirm this information with the embassy / consulate of the country that you will be visiting in your home country before departure.

Applying for a visa on arrival

Visas can be applied for in advance, but despite information on some embassy sites, most visitors to Malawi are obtaining visas on arrival still. They are being issued 30 day tourist/visitor visas on arrival for US$ 75. We are not aware of anyone being turned away on arrival for not having obtained a visa in advance and we have been informed that this is also clear on all airline systems.
Please ensure that you have US$ 75 cash with you to pay for this on arrival.
Although most of the below is not generally being requested or checked, it may also help to ensure that this process is as quick as possible if you can have any or all of the following with you:
• Completed application form. Please enter holiday under reason for travel, as a volunteer visa does not exist currently and a visitor/tourist visa is the appropriate visa for your stay, as a paying tourist to the country, staying less than 90 days.
• Two passport photos
• Air ticket/Itinerary
• Three months latest bank statements
Those staying longer than 30 days are still being issued 30 day visa renewals locally at MWK 5000 each time up to 90 days, as they were previously.
What do I need when arriving in Malawi?

• A copy of your Passport and your Visa
• Your Passport
• Yellow Fever Certificate
• Copy of Travel Insurance
• Immigration details for Arrival Form (This form needs to be filled out on the airplane).

You need to arrange your flights to arrive at Lilongwe Airport in Malawi prior to 2pm on the date specified. Upon arrival, you will be met by a project representative and will be transferred to the project, which is about three and a half hours drive from the airport.
If you cannot find our representative, please wait for the arrivals area to clear. If there is a delay of more than 15 minutes please call the Project Co-ordinator. If for some reason you miss the flight, or are delayed, you should contact the Project Co-ordinator:
Augustine Kambalikena: +265 (0)99 191 4633, Sam Galanje: +265 (0)99 382 5560

What vaccinations do I need?

You should visit your GP or seek professional medical advice once your volunteer placement has been confirmed by us and ideally at least 6 weeks prior to travel, regarding the vaccinations and malarial prophylaxis required for your destination. The project is located in a malarial area. If you have any general questions about this please let us know, but we are not qualified to provide specific medical advice. Below are some of the common recommendations for travel to Malawi.
Tetanus: A recent tetanus injection is highly recommended
Typhoid, Hepatitis A and B: Usually recommended
Tuberculosis, Diphtheria, Polio, Rabies: Sometimes recommended
Yellow fever: Vaccination certificate required if arriving from risk areas
Bilharzia can be contracted in many lake shore areas and rivers. We recommend that you are tested on return to the UK and take the Biltricide medication if necessary. This can be cheaply and easily purchased from a pharmacy in Malawi prior to departure or obtained on your return to your home country.
Budgeting

Whilst at the project and staying at the volunteer house there is relatively little that you will require your own spending money for. As a rough guideline, volunteers should not need more than 270 Euros pocket money per month to cover some extra luxuries, souvenirs, internet/phone etc. Soft and alcoholic drinks can be purchased, as well as handmade local crafts.

You should also have enough money available for weekend excursions and activities that you may wish to participate in. More details will be provided on arrival, but you should budget about $150 for 2 nights away, including transport and food.

What we don’t cover

• Flights
• Personal Travel Insurance
• Travel Visas (where required)
• Personal Vaccinations/Medication
• Personal spending money (for souvenirs, weekend travel etc)
Do I need to bring cash or can I use my debit / credit card?

ATM Machines are available in Lilongwe and in Mangochi, the nearest large town; withdrawals may incur a small charge. US dollars and pounds sterling are the most easily exchangeable currencies and we recommend that you take some $US with you. If you bring Traveller’s Cheques you should expect long waits to exchange these. Credit cards are not widely accepted for purchases. However, a credit card may be useful in the event of an emergency.
Can I drink the tap water?

It is not safe to drink the tap water in Malawi. The water at the volunteer accommodation comes directly from the Lake. It is boiled, filtered and kept in bottles in the kitchen to provide suitable drinking water. If you prefer there is also bottled mineral water available for sale at the cottage.
Are there a lot of mosquitoes?

You should expect there to be insects wherever you travel in Africa. Mosquitoes are common, but despite being beside the Lake not in any greater numbers than they would be found in most other regions. We recommend that shortly before dusk, when mosquitoes become more active, you put on a long sleeved top and trousers and use repellent to prevent being bitten. Also, turn off lights when you leave a room.
Is it possible to smoke?

Smoking is not permitted inside the volunteer accommodation or whilst involved in project activities. You may smoke outside at the volunteer house, in designated areas and away from others, who may be bothered by your smoke. Please pick up and dispose of cigarette butts appropriately.
Will I have internet access?

Internet is available at the volunteer house on a ‘Pay As You Go’ basis. There is also internet available in Mangochi, which you can easily get to at weekends on local transport.
Is it safe on my project?

Malawi is a very safe, welcoming and stable African country. We have staff at the volunteer accommodation and available to provide support 24/7 and watchmen at night. However, petty crime can occur, just as it can anywhere in the world and you should use common sense to avoid being a victim of crime. More advice about personal safety will be provided during your arrival orientation.
General travel safety tips are below:
• Avoid travelling around alone, especially at night.
• Find out where the unsafe areas are and avoid them.
• When travelling, keep all important documents and valuables in a safe place, like an inner hidden pocket or money belt.
• Carry only as much cash as you think you will need for the day.
• Don’t wear expensive jewellery or watches.
• Be cautious of people who seem too friendly too fast.
• Always keep bags and purses in your sight.
• Before swimming, ask how safe the area is. Although not common, crocodiles and hippos are found in Lake Malawi.
In addition, you will be working outdoors, in an unfamiliar community and environment. Please respect the advice given to you by the project staff.
Why do I have to pay to volunteer?

The cost you pay to volunteer is only to cover unavoidable costs such as accommodation, meals, transport, shuttles and donation towards the project for running costs and material to sustain the program. Most of the projects are run only on the money that is donated by volunteer fees, without these donations and the physical help from volunteers most projects would not exist.
Should I bring donations?

If you would like to bring a material donation please let us know and we can advise what is most needed at the project at the time. Shipping costs are high and procedures can be very difficult to Africa. We therefore advise that anything you bring is within your baggage allowance.
Some volunteers ask us if they can do some fundraising before they start their project. If you would like to then this is very welcome, but it is not expected and is completely voluntary. If you wish, donations may be made via our UK charity, Naturally Africa Foundation (registered number 1137411), so that we may reclaim Gift Aid on the donation. Past volunteers have undertaken fundraising activities, such as sponsored walks, charity dances, boot fairs etc., in order to raise just a little extra cash for the project.
What do I need to pack?

Personal Essentials
• Passport, insurance certificates and personal documentation
• Photocopies of all the above to be left at home with your next of kin
• Spending money
• Proof of inoculations (please speak to your GP about necessary immunisations)
• Secure, waterproof bag for documents and money: seal-able plastic bags will do
General
• Camera / Film or Memory card / Batteries
• Personal hygiene kit and toiletries
• Sleeping bag – optional for winter months, weekend excursions and travelling after project
• Mosquito net (for excursions)
• Silk or Cotton Liner: Ideal for hot nights or as an extra layer to your sleeping bag
• Sunglasses (high UV protection)
• Sun cream (high factor required)
• Small torch (head torch is recommended)
• Notebook/Diary and pens
• Towel
• Water bottle – at least 750ml
• Day pack/rucksack for everyday use
• Mobile phone – set for roaming and ideally unlocked
• Personal stereo
• Alarm clock/watch
• Pegs and travel wash for clothes (biodegradable recommended)
• Travel Guide, such as Lonely Planet or Rough Guide
• Bring books, cards, board games etc to play in the evenings
Clothing

Please Note: We recommend you take some shirts/blouses, trousers/long skirts and a good pair of shoes or sandals for project work, so that you look presentable and to show respect for African culture. NB Ladies must wear long skirts (that cover the knee when sitting down) whilst taking part in project activities within the villages (loose fitting trousers are only acceptable at the hospital) and tops should not be revealing (cover shoulders and cleavage). Wrap around skirts from local cloth can easily be purchased in the local market during your orientation. Men should wear smart trousers or long shorts and a smart top, ideally with a collar (shirt and trousers or medical apparel is required at the hospital). You can wear casual clothing in your free time, at the cottage, local beach hotels etc., although this should also be appropriate around the rural villages.
• Sets of outdoor loose fitting cotton clothes with full arm and leg cover for cooler mornings or evenings and protection from mosquitoes
• Long skirts and/or trousers for project work
• Suitable shirts/blouses for project work
• Medical whites/apparel for volunteers intending to register to assist at the Hospital
• A pair of boots or sturdy trainers
• Casual clothes for the weekends and free time
• Flip flops / sandals
• Swimwear
• Sun hat
• Underwear – enough for at least 7 days
• Pyjamas/nightwear
• Lightweight fleece or jumper
• Waterproof jacket (during rainy season)
• Warm clothes for winter and early mornings

Medical Kit
• Hand sanitiser and wet wipes
• Anti-malarial tablets
• Personal First Aid Kit
• Personal medication e.g. prescription drugs/inhalers
• Painkillers
• Contact lenses and solution if necessary
• Plasters
• Lip Balm with SPF
• Tweezers (not in hand luggage)
• Scissors (not in hand luggage)
• Sanitary products for women if necessary
• Mosquito repellent (containing DEET or equivalent)

You can wear casual clothing in your free time, although this should also be appropriate.

How do I get from the airport to the project?

On arrival at Lilongwe international airport you will be met by a project representative and transferred by road to the volunteer cottage, which is about 3 ½ – 4 hours’ drive from the airport. The project staff may need to pick up supplies and complete errands in the city en route, as we only travel to Lilongwe once every 2 weeks, so please be patient and understanding. Please note that if you arrive on a different day to that specified in your confirmation letter or after 2pm, you will have to pay an additional private transfer fee of $175 in cash to the project coordinator upon arrival.
How do I get to my project?

How you get to your project each day will depend on your activity and which village you are placed at. Sometimes you will travel in the project minibus, but you will be expected to walk or cycle to many programme activities. This is a nice way to see life in the community (the minibus is a bubble) and is how the locals travel. Any transport required during free time must be arranged and paid for by you. Weekend excursions, including the cost of transport, are available and can be arranged with your project coordinators.
Can I take photos of the children?

Please be considerate about taking photos, ask your co-ordinator if you are unsure whether it is OK to do so and always ask permission from the person first. Children enjoy seeing themselves on digital camera screens. Please also remember that a camera is a valuable item and something that most people in the communities with which you will be involved would never be able to afford. Therefore, please do not walk around flashing expensive equipment unnecessarily.
I’m scared of HIV and AIDS, what are the risks?

HIV/AIDS is widespread throughout Africa and as such we discourage any sexual relationships during your volunteer programme. In addition, volunteers who enter platonic or sexual relationships with staff that cause any issues for the management of SAVE volunteers and our projects should remember that such behaviour may have serious consequences for the staff member involved, even dismissal.
How many hours / days will I be working?

You will be involved in morning and afternoon volunteer activities 5 days per week, with Friday afternoon off to allow travel time for those going on weekend excursions. Hours vary a little between projects and season, due to temperatures etc. However, you should expect to spend between about 5-7 hours at activities each day. During your free time at lunch and evenings, you are also likely to need to spend some time planning sessions and activities to ensure they are well organised and of value.
Will I have time off?

During the week, evenings are your own time and can be spent relaxing at the volunteer house, reading, playing games and socialising with the other volunteers. Volunteers often use this time to plan lessons or activities for the following day. Weekends will be free and you may spend them as you wish. The project coordinators can help arrange day trips and weekend excursions.
Will there be a possibility to go shopping, (for food or groceries etc) while at the program, or are we just staying at the Volunteer Housings?

Absolute basics can be bought at the local market and stores in the village where you will be based. Weekends are free time and you may travel to Mangochi, the nearest large town, by ‘matola’ – public minibus transport. OR if you are on joining an excursion you may be able to stop off briefly en route. If the project staff are making a shopping trip at the weekend you may also be able to join them. There is an honesty bar with drinks for sale at the volunteer accommodation.
Where can I do my washing?

Personal laundry is excluded, but the local staff are happy to wash your clothes for a small fee per bundle. If you choose to do your own laundry this should be done outside the house at the designated points and please use washing tubs, as washing inside affects the drainage. During the rainy season be prepared to wait longer for your clothes to dry.
What language is spoken?

Chichewa is the local dialect. English is the main language of business and lessons are taught in English from Standard 5 at primary school. However, in the rural areas where you will be based many adults and children will not speak any English.
Do I need a visa?

Applying for a visa prior to travelling
For entry into Malawi you will require a tourist visa. UK passport holders will receive a free 30-day tourist visa stamp on entry into Malawi. For those staying longer, you will be required to pay approximately 28 Euros extra per 30 days for staying in the country up to 90 days. All other nationalities should consult the relevant embassy.

Please note that when filling out the visa form on arrival in Malawi, you should state your address, which is:
Mlambe Cottage
Nkope Hills
Mangochi

Your passport should be valid for at least 6 months after your departure from Malawi and have two clear facing pages for the Malawian authorities to issue your visa – please check the expiry date of your passport very carefully. Make sure you write on the form the exact number of days that you require in Malawi and check that you have been granted the correct number of days in your passport.

It is important to ensure that you have the necessary Visas for your travel; this is your responsibility. The information provided below is to serve as a guideline only. We advise that you confirm this information with the embassy / consulate of the country that you will be visiting in your home country before departure.

Applying for a visa on arrival

Visas can be applied for in advance, but despite information on some embassy sites, most visitors to Malawi are obtaining visas on arrival still. They are being issued 30 day tourist/visitor visas on arrival for US$ 75. We are not aware of anyone being turned away on arrival for not having obtained a visa in advance and we have been informed that this is also clear on all airline systems.
Please ensure that you have US$ 75 cash with you to pay for this on arrival.
Although most of the below is not generally being requested or checked, it may also help to ensure that this process is as quick as possible if you can have any or all of the following with you:
• Completed application form. Please enter holiday under reason for travel, as a volunteer visa does not exist currently and a visitor/tourist visa is the appropriate visa for your stay, as a paying tourist to the country, staying less than 90 days.
• Two passport photos
• Air ticket/Itinerary
• Three months latest bank statements
Those staying longer than 30 days are still being issued 30 day visa renewals locally at MWK 5000 each time up to 90 days, as they were previously.
What do I need when arriving in Malawi?

• A copy of your Passport and your Visa
• Your Passport
• Yellow Fever Certificate
• Copy of Travel Insurance
• Immigration details for Arrival Form (This form needs to be filled out on the airplane).

You need to arrange your flights to arrive at Lilongwe Airport in Malawi prior to 2pm on the date specified. Upon arrival, you will be met by a project representative and will be transferred to the project, which is about three and a half hours drive from the airport.
If you cannot find our representative, please wait for the arrivals area to clear. If there is a delay of more than 15 minutes please call the Project Co-ordinator. If for some reason you miss the flight, or are delayed, you should contact the Project Co-ordinator:
Augustine Kambalikena: +265 (0)99 191 4633, Sam Galanje: +265 (0)99 382 5560

What vaccinations do I need?

You should visit your GP or seek professional medical advice once your volunteer placement has been confirmed by us and ideally at least 6 weeks prior to travel, regarding the vaccinations and malarial prophylaxis required for your destination. The project is located in a malarial area. If you have any general questions about this please let us know, but we are not qualified to provide specific medical advice. Below are some of the common recommendations for travel to Malawi.
Tetanus: A recent tetanus injection is highly recommended
Typhoid, Hepatitis A and B: Usually recommended
Tuberculosis, Diphtheria, Polio, Rabies: Sometimes recommended
Yellow fever: Vaccination certificate required if arriving from risk areas
Bilharzia can be contracted in many lake shore areas and rivers. We recommend that you are tested on return to the UK and take the Biltricide medication if necessary. This can be cheaply and easily purchased from a pharmacy in Malawi prior to departure or obtained on your return to your home country.
Budgeting

Whilst at the project and staying at the volunteer house there is relatively little that you will require your own spending money for. As a rough guideline, volunteers should not need more than 270 Euros pocket money per month to cover some extra luxuries, souvenirs, internet/phone etc. Soft and alcoholic drinks can be purchased, as well as handmade local crafts.

You should also have enough money available for weekend excursions and activities that you may wish to participate in. More details will be provided on arrival, but you should budget about $150 for 2 nights away, including transport and food.

What we don’t cover

• Flights
• Personal Travel Insurance
• Travel Visas (where required)
• Personal Vaccinations/Medication
• Personal spending money (for souvenirs, weekend travel etc)
Do I need to bring cash or can I use my debit / credit card?

ATM Machines are available in Lilongwe and in Mangochi, the nearest large town; withdrawals may incur a small charge. US dollars and pounds sterling are the most easily exchangeable currencies and we recommend that you take some $US with you. If you bring Traveller’s Cheques you should expect long waits to exchange these. Credit cards are not widely accepted for purchases. However, a credit card may be useful in the event of an emergency.
Can I drink the tap water?

It is not safe to drink the tap water in Malawi. The water at the volunteer accommodation comes directly from the Lake. It is boiled, filtered and kept in bottles in the kitchen to provide suitable drinking water. If you prefer there is also bottled mineral water available for sale at the cottage.
Are there a lot of mosquitoes?

You should expect there to be insects wherever you travel in Africa. Mosquitoes are common, but despite being beside the Lake not in any greater numbers than they would be found in most other regions. We recommend that shortly before dusk, when mosquitoes become more active, you put on a long sleeved top and trousers and use repellent to prevent being bitten. Also, turn off lights when you leave a room.
Is it possible to smoke?

Smoking is not permitted inside the volunteer accommodation or whilst involved in project activities. You may smoke outside at the volunteer house, in designated areas and away from others, who may be bothered by your smoke. Please pick up and dispose of cigarette butts appropriately.
Will I have internet access?

Internet is available at the volunteer house on a ‘Pay As You Go’ basis. There is also internet available in Mangochi, which you can easily get to at weekends on local transport.
Is it safe on my project?

Malawi is a very safe, welcoming and stable African country. We have staff at the volunteer accommodation and available to provide support 24/7 and watchmen at night. However, petty crime can occur, just as it can anywhere in the world and you should use common sense to avoid being a victim of crime. More advice about personal safety will be provided during your arrival orientation.
General travel safety tips are below:
• Avoid travelling around alone, especially at night.
• Find out where the unsafe areas are and avoid them.
• When travelling, keep all important documents and valuables in a safe place, like an inner hidden pocket or money belt.
• Carry only as much cash as you think you will need for the day.
• Don’t wear expensive jewellery or watches.
• Be cautious of people who seem too friendly too fast.
• Always keep bags and purses in your sight.
• Before swimming, ask how safe the area is. Although not common, crocodiles and hippos are found in Lake Malawi.
In addition, you will be working outdoors, in an unfamiliar community and environment. Please respect the advice given to you by the project staff.
Why do I have to pay to volunteer?

The cost you pay to volunteer is only to cover unavoidable costs such as accommodation, meals, transport, shuttles and donation towards the project for running costs and material to sustain the program. Most of the projects are run only on the money that is donated by volunteer fees, without these donations and the physical help from volunteers most projects would not exist.
Should I bring donations?

If you would like to bring a material donation please let us know and we can advise what is most needed at the project at the time. Shipping costs are high and procedures can be very difficult to Africa. We therefore advise that anything you bring is within your baggage allowance.
Some volunteers ask us if they can do some fundraising before they start their project. If you would like to then this is very welcome, but it is not expected and is completely voluntary. If you wish, donations may be made via our UK charity, Naturally Africa Foundation (registered number 1137411), so that we may reclaim Gift Aid on the donation. Past volunteers have undertaken fundraising activities, such as sponsored walks, charity dances, boot fairs etc., in order to raise just a little extra cash for the project.
What do I need to pack?

Personal Essentials
• Passport, insurance certificates and personal documentation
• Photocopies of all the above to be left at home with your next of kin
• Spending money
• Proof of inoculations (please speak to your GP about necessary immunisations)
• Secure, waterproof bag for documents and money: seal-able plastic bags will do
General
• Camera / Film or Memory card / Batteries
• Personal hygiene kit and toiletries
• Sleeping bag – optional for winter months, weekend excursions and travelling after project
• Mosquito net (for excursions)
• Silk or Cotton Liner: Ideal for hot nights or as an extra layer to your sleeping bag
• Sunglasses (high UV protection)
• Sun cream (high factor required)
• Small torch (head torch is recommended)
• Notebook/Diary and pens
• Towel
• Water bottle – at least 750ml
• Day pack/rucksack for everyday use
• Mobile phone – set for roaming and ideally unlocked
• Personal stereo
• Alarm clock/watch
• Pegs and travel wash for clothes (biodegradable recommended)
• Travel Guide, such as Lonely Planet or Rough Guide
• Bring books, cards, board games etc to play in the evenings
Clothing

Please Note: We recommend you take some shirts/blouses, trousers/long skirts and a good pair of shoes or sandals for project work, so that you look presentable and to show respect for African culture. NB Ladies must wear long skirts (that cover the knee when sitting down) whilst taking part in project activities within the villages (loose fitting trousers are only acceptable at the hospital) and tops should not be revealing (cover shoulders and cleavage). Wrap around skirts from local cloth can easily be purchased in the local market during your orientation. Men should wear smart trousers or long shorts and a smart top, ideally with a collar (shirt and trousers or medical apparel is required at the hospital). You can wear casual clothing in your free time, at the cottage, local beach hotels etc., although this should also be appropriate around the rural villages.
• Sets of outdoor loose fitting cotton clothes with full arm and leg cover for cooler mornings or evenings and protection from mosquitoes
• Long skirts and/or trousers for project work
• Suitable shirts/blouses for project work
• Medical whites/apparel for volunteers intending to register to assist at the Hospital
• A pair of boots or sturdy trainers
• Casual clothes for the weekends and free time
• Flip flops / sandals
• Swimwear
• Sun hat
• Underwear – enough for at least 7 days
• Pyjamas/nightwear
• Lightweight fleece or jumper
• Waterproof jacket (during rainy season)
• Warm clothes for winter and early mornings

Medical Kit
• Hand sanitiser and wet wipes
• Anti-malarial tablets
• Personal First Aid Kit
• Personal medication e.g. prescription drugs/inhalers
• Painkillers
• Contact lenses and solution if necessary
• Plasters
• Lip Balm with SPF
• Tweezers (not in hand luggage)
• Scissors (not in hand luggage)
• Sanitary products for women if necessary
• Mosquito repellent (containing DEET or equivalent)

You can wear casual clothing in your free time, although this should also be appropriate.

How do I get from the airport to the project?

On arrival at Lilongwe international airport you will be met by a project representative and transferred by road to the volunteer cottage, which is about 3 ½ – 4 hours’ drive from the airport. The project staff may need to pick up supplies and complete errands in the city en route, as we only travel to Lilongwe once every 2 weeks, so please be patient and understanding. Please note that if you arrive on a different day to that specified in your confirmation letter or after 2pm, you will have to pay an additional private transfer fee of $175 in cash to the project coordinator upon arrival.
How do I get to my project?

How you get to your project each day will depend on your activity and which village you are placed at. Sometimes you will travel in the project minibus, but you will be expected to walk or cycle to many programme activities. This is a nice way to see life in the community (the minibus is a bubble) and is how the locals travel. Any transport required during free time must be arranged and paid for by you. Weekend excursions, including the cost of transport, are available and can be arranged with your project coordinators.
Can I take photos of the children?

Please be considerate about taking photos, ask your co-ordinator if you are unsure whether it is OK to do so and always ask permission from the person first. Children enjoy seeing themselves on digital camera screens. Please also remember that a camera is a valuable item and something that most people in the communities with which you will be involved would never be able to afford. Therefore, please do not walk around flashing expensive equipment unnecessarily.
I’m scared of HIV and AIDS, what are the risks?

HIV/AIDS is widespread throughout Africa and as such we discourage any sexual relationships during your volunteer programme. In addition, volunteers who enter platonic or sexual relationships with staff that cause any issues for the management of SAVE volunteers and our projects should remember that such behaviour may have serious consequences for the staff member involved, even dismissal.
How many hours / days will I be working?

You will be involved in morning and afternoon volunteer activities 5 days per week, with Friday afternoon off to allow travel time for those going on weekend excursions. Hours vary a little between projects and season, due to temperatures etc. However, you should expect to spend between about 5-7 hours at activities each day. During your free time at lunch and evenings, you are also likely to need to spend some time planning sessions and activities to ensure they are well organised and of value.
Will I have time off?

During the week, evenings are your own time and can be spent relaxing at the volunteer house, reading, playing games and socialising with the other volunteers. Volunteers often use this time to plan lessons or activities for the following day. Weekends will be free and you may spend them as you wish. The project coordinators can help arrange day trips and weekend excursions.
Will there be a possibility to go shopping, (for food or groceries etc) while at the program, or are we just staying at the Volunteer Housings?

Absolute basics can be bought at the local market and stores in the village where you will be based. Weekends are free time and you may travel to Mangochi, the nearest large town, by ‘matola’ – public minibus transport. OR if you are on joining an excursion you may be able to stop off briefly en route. If the project staff are making a shopping trip at the weekend you may also be able to join them. There is an honesty bar with drinks for sale at the volunteer accommodation.
Where can I do my washing?

Personal laundry is excluded, but the local staff are happy to wash your clothes for a small fee per bundle. If you choose to do your own laundry this should be done outside the house at the designated points and please use washing tubs, as washing inside affects the drainage. During the rainy season be prepared to wait longer for your clothes to dry.
What language is spoken?

Chichewa is the local dialect. English is the main language of business and lessons are taught in English from Standard 5 at primary school. However, in the rural areas where you will be based many adults and children will not speak any English.
Do I need a visa?

Applying for a visa prior to travelling
For entry into Malawi you will require a tourist visa. UK passport holders will receive a free 30-day tourist visa stamp on entry into Malawi. For those staying longer, you will be required to pay approximately 28 Euros extra per 30 days for staying in the country up to 90 days. All other nationalities should consult the relevant embassy.

Please note that when filling out the visa form on arrival in Malawi, you should state your address, which is:
Mlambe Cottage
Nkope Hills
Mangochi

Your passport should be valid for at least 6 months after your departure from Malawi and have two clear facing pages for the Malawian authorities to issue your visa – please check the expiry date of your passport very carefully. Make sure you write on the form the exact number of days that you require in Malawi and check that you have been granted the correct number of days in your passport.

It is important to ensure that you have the necessary Visas for your travel; this is your responsibility. The information provided below is to serve as a guideline only. We advise that you confirm this information with the embassy / consulate of the country that you will be visiting in your home country before departure.

Applying for a visa on arrival

Visas can be applied for in advance, but despite information on some embassy sites, most visitors to Malawi are obtaining visas on arrival still. They are being issued 30 day tourist/visitor visas on arrival for US$ 75. We are not aware of anyone being turned away on arrival for not having obtained a visa in advance and we have been informed that this is also clear on all airline systems.
Please ensure that you have US$ 75 cash with you to pay for this on arrival.
Although most of the below is not generally being requested or checked, it may also help to ensure that this process is as quick as possible if you can have any or all of the following with you:
• Completed application form. Please enter holiday under reason for travel, as a volunteer visa does not exist currently and a visitor/tourist visa is the appropriate visa for your stay, as a paying tourist to the country, staying less than 90 days.
• Two passport photos
• Air ticket/Itinerary
• Three months latest bank statements
Those staying longer than 30 days are still being issued 30 day visa renewals locally at MWK 5000 each time up to 90 days, as they were previously.
What do I need when arriving in Malawi?

• A copy of your Passport and your Visa
• Your Passport
• Yellow Fever Certificate
• Copy of Travel Insurance
• Immigration details for Arrival Form (This form needs to be filled out on the airplane).

You need to arrange your flights to arrive at Lilongwe Airport in Malawi prior to 2pm on the date specified. Upon arrival, you will be met by a project representative and will be transferred to the project, which is about three and a half hours drive from the airport.
If you cannot find our representative, please wait for the arrivals area to clear. If there is a delay of more than 15 minutes please call the Project Co-ordinator. If for some reason you miss the flight, or are delayed, you should contact the Project Co-ordinator:
Augustine Kambalikena: +265 (0)99 191 4633, Sam Galanje: +265 (0)99 382 5560

What vaccinations do I need?

You should visit your GP or seek professional medical advice once your volunteer placement has been confirmed by us and ideally at least 6 weeks prior to travel, regarding the vaccinations and malarial prophylaxis required for your destination. The project is located in a malarial area. If you have any general questions about this please let us know, but we are not qualified to provide specific medical advice. Below are some of the common recommendations for travel to Malawi.
Tetanus: A recent tetanus injection is highly recommended
Typhoid, Hepatitis A and B: Usually recommended
Tuberculosis, Diphtheria, Polio, Rabies: Sometimes recommended
Yellow fever: Vaccination certificate required if arriving from risk areas
Bilharzia can be contracted in many lake shore areas and rivers. We recommend that you are tested on return to the UK and take the Biltricide medication if necessary. This can be cheaply and easily purchased from a pharmacy in Malawi prior to departure or obtained on your return to your home country.
Budgeting

Whilst at the project and staying at the volunteer house there is relatively little that you will require your own spending money for. As a rough guideline, volunteers should not need more than 270 Euros pocket money per month to cover some extra luxuries, souvenirs, internet/phone etc. Soft and alcoholic drinks can be purchased, as well as handmade local crafts.

You should also have enough money available for weekend excursions and activities that you may wish to participate in. More details will be provided on arrival, but you should budget about $150 for 2 nights away, including transport and food.

What we don’t cover

• Flights
• Personal Travel Insurance
• Travel Visas (where required)
• Personal Vaccinations/Medication
• Personal spending money (for souvenirs, weekend travel etc)
Do I need to bring cash or can I use my debit / credit card?

ATM Machines are available in Lilongwe and in Mangochi, the nearest large town; withdrawals may incur a small charge. US dollars and pounds sterling are the most easily exchangeable currencies and we recommend that you take some $US with you. If you bring Traveller’s Cheques you should expect long waits to exchange these. Credit cards are not widely accepted for purchases. However, a credit card may be useful in the event of an emergency.
Can I drink the tap water?

It is not safe to drink the tap water in Malawi. The water at the volunteer accommodation comes directly from the Lake. It is boiled, filtered and kept in bottles in the kitchen to provide suitable drinking water. If you prefer there is also bottled mineral water available for sale at the cottage.
Are there a lot of mosquitoes?

You should expect there to be insects wherever you travel in Africa. Mosquitoes are common, but despite being beside the Lake not in any greater numbers than they would be found in most other regions. We recommend that shortly before dusk, when mosquitoes become more active, you put on a long sleeved top and trousers and use repellent to prevent being bitten. Also, turn off lights when you leave a room.
Is it possible to smoke?

Smoking is not permitted inside the volunteer accommodation or whilst involved in project activities. You may smoke outside at the volunteer house, in designated areas and away from others, who may be bothered by your smoke. Please pick up and dispose of cigarette butts appropriately.
Will I have internet access?

Internet is available at the volunteer house on a ‘Pay As You Go’ basis. There is also internet available in Mangochi, which you can easily get to at weekends on local transport.
Is it safe on my project?

Malawi is a very safe, welcoming and stable African country. We have staff at the volunteer accommodation and available to provide support 24/7 and watchmen at night. However, petty crime can occur, just as it can anywhere in the world and you should use common sense to avoid being a victim of crime. More advice about personal safety will be provided during your arrival orientation.
General travel safety tips are below:
• Avoid travelling around alone, especially at night.
• Find out where the unsafe areas are and avoid them.
• When travelling, keep all important documents and valuables in a safe place, like an inner hidden pocket or money belt.
• Carry only as much cash as you think you will need for the day.
• Don’t wear expensive jewellery or watches.
• Be cautious of people who seem too friendly too fast.
• Always keep bags and purses in your sight.
• Before swimming, ask how safe the area is. Although not common, crocodiles and hippos are found in Lake Malawi.
In addition, you will be working outdoors, in an unfamiliar community and environment. Please respect the advice given to you by the project staff.
Why do I have to pay to volunteer?

The cost you pay to volunteer is only to cover unavoidable costs such as accommodation, meals, transport, shuttles and donation towards the project for running costs and material to sustain the program. Most of the projects are run only on the money that is donated by volunteer fees, without these donations and the physical help from volunteers most projects would not exist.
Should I bring donations?

If you would like to bring a material donation please let us know and we can advise what is most needed at the project at the time. Shipping costs are high and procedures can be very difficult to Africa. We therefore advise that anything you bring is within your baggage allowance.
Some volunteers ask us if they can do some fundraising before they start their project. If you would like to then this is very welcome, but it is not expected and is completely voluntary. If you wish, donations may be made via our UK charity, Naturally Africa Foundation (registered number 1137411), so that we may reclaim Gift Aid on the donation. Past volunteers have undertaken fundraising activities, such as sponsored walks, charity dances, boot fairs etc., in order to raise just a little extra cash for the project.
What do I need to pack?

Personal Essentials
• Passport, insurance certificates and personal documentation
• Photocopies of all the above to be left at home with your next of kin
• Spending money
• Proof of inoculations (please speak to your GP about necessary immunisations)
• Secure, waterproof bag for documents and money: seal-able plastic bags will do
General
• Camera / Film or Memory card / Batteries
• Personal hygiene kit and toiletries
• Sleeping bag – optional for winter months, weekend excursions and travelling after project
• Mosquito net (for excursions)
• Silk or Cotton Liner: Ideal for hot nights or as an extra layer to your sleeping bag
• Sunglasses (high UV protection)
• Sun cream (high factor required)
• Small torch (head torch is recommended)
• Notebook/Diary and pens
• Towel
• Water bottle – at least 750ml
• Day pack/rucksack for everyday use
• Mobile phone – set for roaming and ideally unlocked
• Personal stereo
• Alarm clock/watch
• Pegs and travel wash for clothes (biodegradable recommended)
• Travel Guide, such as Lonely Planet or Rough Guide
• Bring books, cards, board games etc to play in the evenings
Clothing

Please Note: We recommend you take some shirts/blouses, trousers/long skirts and a good pair of shoes or sandals for project work, so that you look presentable and to show respect for African culture. NB Ladies must wear long skirts (that cover the knee when sitting down) whilst taking part in project activities within the villages (loose fitting trousers are only acceptable at the hospital) and tops should not be revealing (cover shoulders and cleavage). Wrap around skirts from local cloth can easily be purchased in the local market during your orientation. Men should wear smart trousers or long shorts and a smart top, ideally with a collar (shirt and trousers or medical apparel is required at the hospital). You can wear casual clothing in your free time, at the cottage, local beach hotels etc., although this should also be appropriate around the rural villages.
• Sets of outdoor loose fitting cotton clothes with full arm and leg cover for cooler mornings or evenings and protection from mosquitoes
• Long skirts and/or trousers for project work
• Suitable shirts/blouses for project work
• Medical whites/apparel for volunteers intending to register to assist at the Hospital
• A pair of boots or sturdy trainers
• Casual clothes for the weekends and free time
• Flip flops / sandals
• Swimwear
• Sun hat
• Underwear – enough for at least 7 days
• Pyjamas/nightwear
• Lightweight fleece or jumper
• Waterproof jacket (during rainy season)
• Warm clothes for winter and early mornings

Medical Kit
• Hand sanitiser and wet wipes
• Anti-malarial tablets
• Personal First Aid Kit
• Personal medication e.g. prescription drugs/inhalers
• Painkillers
• Contact lenses and solution if necessary
• Plasters
• Lip Balm with SPF
• Tweezers (not in hand luggage)
• Scissors (not in hand luggage)
• Sanitary products for women if necessary
• Mosquito repellent (containing DEET or equivalent)

You can wear casual clothing in your free time, although this should also be appropriate.

How do I get from the airport to the project?

On arrival at Lilongwe international airport you will be met by a project representative and transferred by road to the volunteer cottage, which is about 3 ½ – 4 hours’ drive from the airport. The project staff may need to pick up supplies and complete errands in the city en route, as we only travel to Lilongwe once every 2 weeks, so please be patient and understanding. Please note that if you arrive on a different day to that specified in your confirmation letter or after 2pm, you will have to pay an additional private transfer fee of $175 in cash to the project coordinator upon arrival.
How do I get to my project?

How you get to your project each day will depend on your activity and which village you are placed at. Sometimes you will travel in the project minibus, but you will be expected to walk or cycle to many programme activities. This is a nice way to see life in the community (the minibus is a bubble) and is how the locals travel. Any transport required during free time must be arranged and paid for by you. Weekend excursions, including the cost of transport, are available and can be arranged with your project coordinators.
Can I take photos of the children?

Please be considerate about taking photos, ask your co-ordinator if you are unsure whether it is OK to do so and always ask permission from the person first. Children enjoy seeing themselves on digital camera screens. Please also remember that a camera is a valuable item and something that most people in the communities with which you will be involved would never be able to afford. Therefore, please do not walk around flashing expensive equipment unnecessarily.
I’m scared of HIV and AIDS, what are the risks?

HIV/AIDS is widespread throughout Africa and as such we discourage any sexual relationships during your volunteer programme. In addition, volunteers who enter platonic or sexual relationships with staff that cause any issues for the management of SAVE volunteers and our projects should remember that such behaviour may have serious consequences for the staff member involved, even dismissal.
How many hours / days will I be working?

You will be involved in morning and afternoon volunteer activities 5 days per week, with Friday afternoon off to allow travel time for those going on weekend excursions. Hours vary a little between projects and season, due to temperatures etc. However, you should expect to spend between about 5-7 hours at activities each day. During your free time at lunch and evenings, you are also likely to need to spend some time planning sessions and activities to ensure they are well organised and of value.
Will I have time off?

During the week, evenings are your own time and can be spent relaxing at the volunteer house, reading, playing games and socialising with the other volunteers. Volunteers often use this time to plan lessons or activities for the following day. Weekends will be free and you may spend them as you wish. The project coordinators can help arrange day trips and weekend excursions.
Will there be a possibility to go shopping, (for food or groceries etc) while at the program, or are we just staying at the Volunteer Housings?

Absolute basics can be bought at the local market and stores in the village where you will be based. Weekends are free time and you may travel to Mangochi, the nearest large town, by ‘matola’ – public minibus transport. OR if you are on joining an excursion you may be able to stop off briefly en route. If the project staff are making a shopping trip at the weekend you may also be able to join them. There is an honesty bar with drinks for sale at the volunteer accommodation.
Where can I do my washing?

Personal laundry is excluded, but the local staff are happy to wash your clothes for a small fee per bundle. If you choose to do your own laundry this should be done outside the house at the designated points and please use washing tubs, as washing inside affects the drainage. During the rainy season be prepared to wait longer for your clothes to dry.
What language is spoken?

Chichewa is the local dialect. English is the main language of business and lessons are taught in English from Standard 5 at primary school. However, in the rural areas where you will be based many adults and children will not speak any English.
Do I need a visa?

Visas for Uganda are required by most nationalities. Visas are available at point of entry (ie. airports and land borders) to most nationalities. However, some nationalities require visas to be purchased in advance. All nationalities should check with the Ugandan Embassies for more information as requirements do change from time to time. The ‘type’ of Visa you need is a Tourist Visa.
Most people coming to Uganda get their tourist visa upon arrival. A tourist visa lasts for 90 days and it allows you to simply be in Uganda. If you want to stay longer than 90 days, you can extend your tourist visa by another 90 days whilst in Uganda. Our volunteer manager will be happy to help you sort this out. The issue of a tourist visa is very straightforward. You don’t need to have hotels booked or tours booked. For a trouble-free entry, we recommend that you write the purpose of your entry as tourism or vacation and not as a volunteer, as you are classified as volunteer tourists by Immigration. If you plan to purchase your visas on arrival, you will need new, clean American dollars cash and the cost is around $100 USD per visa.
If you are planning on transiting in another country then you also need to check if you need to pay for a transit visa, particularly if you have to change to a connecting flight. Ask your flight provider or travel agent for advice if you are not sure.
Completing your landing card and visa arrival form
SAVE is an international social enterprise that supports local NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) and CBOs (Community Benefit Organizations). As you are undertaking a relatively short travel experience with us you are classed as a “Tourist” so please tick the appropriate box.
Note: When people are going to work for an NGO, typically for longer periods in organizations to do things like relief work, then a work permit needs to be applied for but this is not relevant for our community projects. This is what we have been advised on, however, if you mention that you are doing ‘voluntary work’ then they may charge you for a more expensive visa and also ask you to fill in lengthy forms which we can hold no responsibility for.
The purpose of your visit to Uganda is “Tourism”. Details of contact person, address and telephone in Uganda will be the starting point hostel provided below. If you are getting your visa on arrival at the airport please ensure you have all the correct information handy to fill in, and it’s a good idea to bring a pen.
What do I need when landing into Uganda?
Your Passport
Yellow Fever Certificate
Copy of Travel Insurance
Money for visa at the airport 100 dollars
Vaccination book
Immigration details for Arrival Form – this form needs to be filled out on the airplane.
Please have your Passport details, Health Insurance, Address in Uganda for the forms.
Do I need to bring any medications?
Although pharmacy services are available in Uganda it is recommended that you bring all medication you require for the duration of your stay as there is not a pharmacy in your village.
Budgeting

We recommend between $100 USD to $150 USD spending money per week, more if you plan on doing big trips over the weekends.
We suggest that you bring a Visa bank card with you, as most banks will accept that type of card and only some banks will accept Mastercard. Any activities you book can be payed in Ugandan Shillings.
Pound Sterling, Euros, and US dollars (notes printed after 2003) are easily exchangeable to the local currency at the airport and banks.
It is unlikely that you will be able to get hold of African currencies in your home country. For the most recent rates please refer to the following website: www.xe.com
What we don’t cover
Flights
Personal Travel Insurance
Travel Visa
Personal Vaccinations/Medication
Personal spending money (for souvenirs, weekend travel etc)
Do I need malaria medication?
Yes, Malaria medication is applicable when entering Uganda. It’s not compulsory but advisable.
What vaccinations do I need?
It is recommended that you are vaccinated for: tetanus, diphtheria, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid.
Note that for most nationalities you will have had some of these vaccinations as a child. A yellow fever certificate is compulsory when travelling to Uganda.
What are the arrangements for my pick up at Entebbe Airport?
We suggest that you arrive on a Monday as the projects are closed during the weekends and our staff have their off days. Your transport from Entebbe to Jinja will be with the Pineapple Express Shuttle. The shuttle leaves Entebbe at 2.30pm and will take you straight to your accommodation at Mama Flo’s in Jinja, where you will arrive at 7.00pm. Once you are outside in the busy pick up area look for your Pineapple Express Shuttle Driver, he will be holding a Pineapple Express signboard and wearing the T-shirt.
It may take you up to an hour to clear immigration, change your cash at the forex counter, collect your bags from the conveyor belt, and clear customs. If you cannot make the Pineapple Express shuttle, then we suggest that you stay in Entebbe for the night and get the shuttle the next day. Please let us know if this is the case prior your departure so we can help you arrange accommodation in Entebbe. The contact details for this are:
SAVE Reservations: bookings@volunteering.org.za or +27 73 333 4338
If you have any trouble or miss your flight you can call:
SAVE Reservations – +27 73 333 4338
Volunteer manager – +256 (0)792 070172 / +256 (0)772 620498
Pineapple Express shuttle – +256 (0)787 992277 +256 (0)753 794030
What if I arrive at the weekend?
If you arrive on the weekend, we recommend you stay in Entebbe and get the Pineapple Express Shuttle on the Monday.
How does the Departure Work?

We will organise for the Pineapple Express to take you back to Entebbe. The shuttle leaves every day at 7.00am from Mama Flo’s in Jinja and will arrive in Entebbe at 10.00am. If you’re flight is earlier than this we can help you organise to stay in Entebbe the night before.
What are the project locations like?
Most of our project villages are in the rural lands around Jinja, the capital to the Kingdom of Busoga in South Eastern Uganda. You will be taken in the local style bus (approx. 3 hrs) and enjoy your first views of lush green valleys, red brick houses and banana trees. As you travel toward Jinja, look out for the vast Lake Victoria and your first glimpses of the mighty White Nile. Travelling along the road look out for bustling crowds on their way to market carrying anything from sacks of rice to live chickens on local transport and the back of bicycles.

Country FAQS

Arriving in South Africa

Do I need a visa?
Nationals from the European Union, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand: At present you do not need a visa to enter South Africa and will be granted a temporary Visitors Permit valid for up to 90 days providing you have: a) a pre-booked return flight within 90days b) a passport valid for at least 6months. PLEASE NOTE: If you do not fall under one of these countries, then you need to arrange a visa in advance. We will not be held accountable for any persons entering South Africa and then being deported due to incorrect paperwork.
How long can I legally stay in South Africa?
You may extend your visitors permit for an additional 90 days by applying for an extension at the Department of Home Affairs Office. However, it is not guaranteed that you will receive your extension. The visa extention costs +_ R400
Do I need to bring any medication?
Although pharmacy services are available in South Africa it is recommended that you bring all medication you require for the duration of your stay.
Do I need malaria medication?
No, all our projects are situated in a malaria free area
What vaccinations do I need?
It is recommended that you are vaccinated for: tetanus, diphtheria, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid.
Note that in most European countries you will have had some of these vaccinations as a child. A yellow fever immunisation certificate is only required if you have travelled through or from an area at risk of yellow fever transmission. In reality this means the majorities of countries in Eastern, Central, or Southern Africa. Note – Even if you travel via Nairobi you will need this immunisation even if you didn’t leave the airport.

Staying in South Africa

Do I need to bring cash or can I use my debit / credit card?
Visa and mastercard facilities are readily available so you do not need to bring a large amount of cash. Ensure that your card is set up to be used abroad before you leave home.
Can I drink the tap water?
Yes, the tap water is safe to drink.
Are there a lot of mosquitos?
There are mosquitoes here, but we are situated in a malaria free area. For safety please bring along all your allergy medication and other medication if needed.
Is it possible to smoke ?
Yes, there are designated smoking areas on all projects. Smoking is not allowed in front of children
Will I have internet access?
Yes, there is internet access available as well as wifi at the houses – some projects charge a fee for the internet
What happens if there is an emergency?
We provide 24hour support and you will be given a contact number to use in case of an emergency.
Are there plug sockets in every room?
In every room there are standard power sockets. It’s a 3 point plug system that we have is hare to find in your home country. We recommend you buy it once you are in South Africa.
Is it safe on my project?
There is a general worldwide misconception that South Africa is unsafe to visit, and this is perpetuated by the media. In fact, South Africa is safer for tourists than Brazil yet they don’t receive the same negativity as we do. Like any country there are unsafe places, particularly at night. These are well known by everyone and it is extremely unlikely that any student could accidentally walk into them. South Africa is as safe as any other country to visit if common sense and basic precautions are taken. All our projects are situated in safe areas with staff onsite and security such as fences or cameras to ensure your safety.
Why do I have to pay to volunteer?
The cost you pay to volunteer is only to cover unavoidable costs such as accomodation, meals, transport, shuttles and donation towards the project for running costs and material to sustain the program. Most of the projects are run only on the money that is donated by volunteer fees, without these donations and the physical help from volunteers most projects would not exist.
Should I bring donations?
Donations are always welcome; however you should not feel like you have to bring anything. You are already donating your time and expertise.

Each project has a wish list of items required to improve the project. Remember, things in South Africa are usually cheaper than your home country, so in most cases it is best to bring cash and buy locally.This also gives you time to see what is most needed.

Arriving in Malawi

Do I need a visa?
Nationals from the European Union, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand: You need a visa to enter Malawi. This single entry visa can be issued directly at the respective Malawian border crossing for cash payment of at least US $ 75, at the airports in Lilongwe and Blantyre also for multiple entry (for at least 150, – US-Dollar).
How long can I legally stay in Malawi?
3 months (one-time entry) or 6 or 12 months (multiple entries) from the date of issue. The possibility of a visa extension exists, applying to the Immigration Department in Blantyre.
Do I need to bring any medication?
 Malawi travelers should bring a well-stocked first-aid kit.
Do I need malaria medication?
Yes. Due to the mosquito-borne infection risks, all travelers are recommended:
· To wear light-colored clothing (long pants, long shirts),
· In the evenings and at night to apply insect repellent on all free parts of the body repeatedly, Sleep under a (impregnated) mosquito net. 
What vaccinations do I need?
It is recommended that you are vaccinated for: tetanus, diphtheria, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid.
Note that in most European countries you will have had some of these vaccinations as a child. A yellow fever immunisation certificate is only required if you have travelled through or from an area at risk of yellow fever transmission. In reality this means the majorities of countries in Eastern, Central, or Southern Africa. Note – Even if you travel via Nairobi you will need this immunisation even if you didn’t leave the airport.

Staying in Malawi

Do I need to bring cash or can I use my debit / credit card?
Credit cards are generally accepted by larger hotels and travel agencies, but usually with a high premium of about 6 – 8% and due to technical problems without guarantee of success
Can I drink the tap water?
We do not advise to drink the tap water without boiling it first.
Are there a lot of mosquitos?
There are mosquitoes here and as already mentioned you should take some preparations for preventing any bites.
Is it possible to smoke ?
Yes, there are designated smoking areas on all projects. Smoking is not allowed in front of children
Will I have internet access?
Internet is available at the volunteer house on a ‘Pay As You Go’ basis. There is also internet available in Mangochi, which you can easily get to at weekends on local transport.
What happens if there is an emergency?
We provide 24hour support and you will be given a contact number to use in case of an emergency.
Are there plug sockets in every room?
In every room there are standard power sockets. It’s a 3 point plug system that we have is hare to find in your home country. We recommend you buy it once you are in Malawi.
Is it safe on my project?
There is a general worldwide misconception that Malawi is unsafe to visit, and this is perpetuated by the media. Like any country there are unsafe places, particularly at night. These are well known by everyone and it is extremely unlikely that any student could accidentally walk into them. Malawi is as safe as any other country to visit if common sense and basic precautions are taken. All our projects are situated in safe areas with staff onsite and security such as fences or cameras to ensure your safety.
Why do I have to pay to volunteer?
The cost you pay to volunteer is only to cover unavoidable costs such as accomodation, meals, transport, shuttles and donation towards the project for running costs and material to sustain the program. Most of the projects are run only on the money that is donated by volunteer fees, without these donations and the physical help from volunteers most projects would not exist.
Should I bring donations?
Donations are always welcome; however you should not feel like you have to bring anything. You are already donating your time and expertise.

Each project has a wish list of items required to improve the project. Remember, things in Malawi are usually cheaper than your home country, so in most cases it is best to bring cash and buy locally.This also gives you time to see what is most needed.

Arriving in Namibia

Do I need a visa?
Nationals from the European Union, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand: At present you do not need a visa to enter Namibia and will be granted a temporary Visitors Permit valid for up to 90 days providing you have: a) a pre-booked return flight within 90 days b) a passport valid for at least 6 months. PLEASE NOTE: If you do not fall under one of these countries, then you need to arrange a visa in advance. We will not be held accountable for any persons entering Namibia and then being deported due to incorrect paperwork.
How long can I legally stay in Namibia?
You may extend your visitors permit for an additional 90 days by applying for an extension at the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration. However, it is not guaranteed that you will receive your extension. The visa extention costs +_780,- NAD
Do I need to bring any medication?
Although pharmacy services are available in Namibia it is recommended that you bring all medication you require for the duration of your stay.
Do I need malaria medication?
For your safety we would recommened this.High risk exists throughout the year in the extreme north of the country, along the Kawango and Kunene rivers, as well as in the Zambezi region (formerly Caprivi strip). A medium risk (higher in the rainy season, lower in the dry season) exists in the provinces of Omusati, Oshana (eastern Ovamboland) Ohangwena, Oshikoto (Etosha National Park) and in the northeastern parts of Otjozondjupa and Omaheke. There is no risk in the central highlands, in the capital Windhoek as well as in the southern and western parts of the country.
What vaccinations do I need?
It is recommended that you are vaccinated for: tetanus, diphtheria, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid.
Note that in most European countries you will have had some of these vaccinations as a child. A yellow fever immunisation certificate is only required if you have travelled through or from an area at risk of yellow fever transmission. In reality this means the majorities of countries in Eastern, Central, or Southern Africa. Note – Even if you travel via Nairobi you will need this immunisation even if you didn’t leave the airport.

Staying in Namibia

Do I need to bring cash or can I use my debit / credit card?
Visa and mastercard facilities are readily available so you do not need to bring a large amount of cash. Ensure that your card is set up to be used abroad before you leave home.
Can I drink the tap water?
The tap water in Namibia is of good quality, but for your own safety we recommend you to buy bottled drinking water from the supermarket.
Are there a lot of mosquitos?
There are mosquitos and for your own safety you should take some mosqutio protection. For safety please bring along all your allergy medication and other medication if needed.
Is it possible to smoke ?
Yes, there are designated smoking areas on all projects. Smoking is not allowed in front of children
Will I have internet access?
Yes, there is internet access available as well as wifi at the houses – some projects charge a fee for the internet
What happens if there is an emergency?
We provide 24hour support and you will be given a contact number to use in case of an emergency.
Are there plug sockets in every room?
In every room there are standard power sockets. It’s a 3 point plug system that we have is hare to find in your home country. We recommend you buy it once you are in Namibia.
Is it safe on my project?
There is a general worldwide misconception that Namibia is unsafe to visit, and this is perpetuated by the media. In fact, Namibia is safer for tourists than Brazil yet they don’t receive the same negativity as we do. Like any country there are unsafe places, particularly at night. These are well known by everyone and it is extremely unlikely that any student could accidentally walk into them. Namibia is as safe as any other country to visit if common sense and basic precautions are taken. All our projects are situated in safe areas with staff onsite and security such as fences or cameras to ensure your safety.
Why do I have to pay to volunteer?
The cost you pay to volunteer is only to cover unavoidable costs such as accomodation, meals, transport, shuttles and donation towards the project for running costs and material to sustain the program. Most of the projects are run only on the money that is donated by volunteer fees, without these donations and the physical help from volunteers most projects would not exist.
Should I bring donations?
Donations are always welcome; however you should not feel like you have to bring anything. You are already donating your time and expertise.

Each project has a wish list of items required to improve the project. Remember, things in Namibia are usually cheaper than your home country, so in most cases it is best to bring cash and buy locally.This also gives you time to see what is most needed.

Do I need a visa?

Visas for Uganda are required by most nationalities. Visas are available at point of entry (ie. airports and land borders) to most nationalities. However, some nationalities require visas to be purchased in advance. All nationalities should check with the Ugandan Embassies for more information as requirements do change from time to time. The ‘type’ of Visa you need is a Tourist Visa.

Most people coming to Uganda get their tourist visa upon arrival. A tourist visa lasts for 90 days and it allows you to simply be in Uganda. If you want to stay longer than 90 days, you can extend your tourist visa by another 90 days whilst in Uganda. Our volunteer manager will be happy to help you sort this out. The issue of a tourist visa is very straightforward. You don’t need to have hotels booked or tours booked. For a trouble-free entry, we recommend that you write the purpose of your entry as tourism or vacation and not as a volunteer, as you are classified as volunteer tourists by Immigration. If you plan to purchase your visas on arrival, you will need new, clean American dollars cash and the cost is around $100 USD per visa.

If you are planning on transiting in another country then you also need to check if you need to pay for a transit visa, particularly if you have to change to a connecting flight. Ask your flight provider or travel agent for advice if you are not sure.

Completing your landing card and visa arrival form
SAVE is an international social enterprise that supports local NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) and CBOs (Community Benefit Organizations). As you are undertaking a relatively short travel experience with us you are classed as a “Tourist” so please tick the appropriate box.

Note: When people are going to work for an NGO, typically for longer periods in organizations to do things like relief work, then a work permit needs to be applied for but this is not relevant for our community projects. This is what we have been advised on, however, if you mention that you are doing ‘voluntary work’ then they may charge you for a more expensive visa and also ask you to fill in lengthy forms which we can hold no responsibility for.

The purpose of your visit to Uganda is “Tourism”. Details of contact person, address and telephone in Uganda will be the starting point hostel provided below. If you are getting your visa on arrival at the airport please ensure you have all the correct information handy to fill in, and it’s a good idea to bring a pen.

What do I need when landing into Uganda?
Your Passport
Yellow Fever Certificate
Copy of Travel Insurance
Money for a visa at the airport 100 dollars
Vaccination book

Immigration details for Arrival Form – this form needs to be filled out on the aeroplane.

Please have your Passport details, Health Insurance, Address in Uganda for the forms.

Do I need to bring any medications?
Although pharmacy services are available in Uganda it is recommended that you bring all medication you require for the duration of your stay as there is not a pharmacy in your village.
Budgeting

We recommend between $100 USD to $150 USD spending money per week, more if you plan on doing big trips over the weekends.

We suggest that you bring a Visa bank card with you, as most banks will accept that type of card and only some banks will accept Mastercard. Any activities you book can be paid in Ugandan Shillings.

Pound Sterling, Euros, and US dollars (notes printed after 2003) are easily exchangeable to the local currency at the airport and banks.

It is unlikely that you will be able to get hold of African currencies in your home country. For the most recent rates please refer to the following website: www.xe.com

What we don’t cover
Flights
Personal Travel Insurance
Travel Visa
Personal Vaccinations/Medication
Personal spending money (for souvenirs, weekend travel etc)
Do I need malaria medication?
Yes, Malaria medication is applicable when entering Uganda. It’s not compulsory but advisable.
What vaccinations do I need?
It is recommended that you are vaccinated for tetanus, diphtheria, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid.

Note that for most nationalities you will have had some of these vaccinations as a child. A yellow fever certificate is compulsory when travelling to Uganda.

What are the arrangements for my pick up at Entebbe Airport?
We suggest that you arrive on a Monday as the projects are closed during the weekends and our staff have their off days. Your transport from Entebbe to Jinja will be with the Pineapple Express Shuttle. The shuttle leaves Entebbe at 2.30pm and will take you straight to your accommodation at Mama Flo’s in Jinja, where you will arrive at 7.00pm. Once you are outside in the busy pick up area look for your Pineapple Express Shuttle Driver, he will be holding a Pineapple Express signboard and wearing the T-shirt.

It may take you up to an hour to clear immigration, change your cash at the forex counter, collect your bags from the conveyor belt, and clear customs. If you cannot make the Pineapple Express shuttle, then we suggest that you stay in Entebbe for the night and get the shuttle the next day. Please let us know if this is the case prior to your departure so we can help you arrange accommodation in Entebbe. The contact details for this are:
SAVE Reservations: bookings@volunteering.org.za or +27 73 333 4338

If you have any trouble or miss your flight you can call:
SAVE Reservations – +27 73 333 4338
Volunteer manager – +256 (0)792 070172 / +256 (0)772 620498
Pineapple Express shuttle – +256 (0)787 992277 +256 (0)753 794030

What if I arrive at the weekend?
If you arrive on the weekend, we recommend you stay in Entebbe and get the Pineapple Express Shuttle on the Monday.
How does the Departure Work?

We will organise for the Pineapple Express to take you back to Entebbe. The shuttle leaves every day at 7.00am from Mama Flo’s in Jinja and will arrive in Entebbe at 10.00am. If your flight is earlier than this we can help you organise to stay in Entebbe the night before.
What are the project locations like?
Most of our project villages are in the rural lands around Jinja, the capital to the Kingdom of Busoga in South Eastern Uganda. You will be taken in the local style bus (approx. 3 hrs) and enjoy your first views of lush green valleys, red brick houses and banana trees. As you travel toward Jinja, look out for the vast Lake Victoria and your first glimpses of the mighty White Nile. Travelling along the road look out for bustling crowds on their way to market carrying anything from sacks of rice to live chickens on local transport and the back of bicycles.
What is there to do at weekends or after my Project?

The location of our projects is in the Jinja to Kampala areas. Here there is a wealth of tea plantations, rivieras, and on a clear day, spectacular views of the mountain itself.  This area is ideal for onward travel to Lake Victoria, heading off to do a Gorilla Trek or getting stuck into some adventurous activities such as Grade 5 white water rafting in Jinja.

Kampala: 1.5 hours away from Jinja, nice clean city, plenty places to stay, famous Owino market which sells anything and everything – v cheap etc, big stores & supermarkets, national theatre, Uganda Museum, Kasubi tombs – building of the kings of the Buganda people, Garden City – super huge store with everything in – supermarkets, winery, Woolworths etc – good for people to have a taste of home if they need it! Also, new Shoprite mall opened in Lugogo, just outside Kampala on Jinja road.

Hairy Lemon Island: Again 1.5 hours away from Jinja, small island set in the middle of the Nile run by ex-overland couple, very chilled out, dorm beds, banda’s, camping available, $10 to stay, 3 meals p/day, as much tea etc as you want to drink, very chilled place, you can inner tube round small currents in Nile (don’t go too far or they become big!), fish, explore surrounding islands, or just chill in a hammock!

Mabira Forest: Forest between Jinja and Kampala, lush, plenty of birdlife, monkeys, etc etc, and where you can take guided walks.

Sipi Falls: Set on the foot slopes of Mount Elgon, past Mbale, to the East side of Uganda – awesome waterfalls, more English climate, lots of treks possible around there, can abseil down the waterfalls – breathtaking sights and relaxation. Around 3-4 hour from Jinja.

Ssesse Islands: 84 Islands lying in Lake Victoria, many uninhabited, can stay out there to see wildlife (hippos and crocs etc) and relax in the Sun, eat Tilapia!! Banda Island – a favourite for volunteers, all kinds of accommodation done on 1st come 1st serve basis – $10 p/day inc 3 meals, tea/coffee and use of whatever stuff they have to use! Around 3 hours from Jinja to ferry port, then an hour or so boat ride and most ferries run from Bukata.

Further afield
Murchinson Falls: Uganda’s largest national park and one of the most important sanctuary for plains animals: vervet monkeys, olive baboons, chimps, lion, leopard, hyena, antelope, elephant, giraffe, hippos, warthog, bush pig. 6-7 hrs from Jinja on road above Masindi.

Queen Elizabeth National Park: Past Fort Portal and Rwenzori mountains, beautiful national park, Lake Albert set in the middle – teams of hippos and can look to the other side which is the Congo! Again, lots of game (similar mentioned to above) to be seen.

Rwenzori Mountains: The mist-covered Rwenzori Mountains offer some of the most challenging trekking in East Africa. The mountain range stretches for about 100km (62mi) and is one of Uganda’s most illustrious national parks. At its centre are several permanent snow and glacier-covered mountains; the highest is Mt Stanley, in the middle of the park, at 5109m (16,760ft).

Fort Portal, a green, pleasant and quiet town at the northeast end of the Ruwenzori Mountains, is the centre of a verdant tea-growing area. It’s also the base from which to explore the Kibale Forest National Park, 30km (19mi) to the southeast. The park is famous for its chimpanzees and is said to have the highest density of primates in the world. It’s also home to baboons, red and white colobus monkeys, and larger mammals such as bushbucks, sitatungas, duikers, civets, buffalo and elephants. For chimp tracking, permits are needed from UWA in Kampala.

Fort Portal is about 270km (168mi) north-west of Kampala, accessible by bus and taxi. Frequent buses and taxis shuttle between Fort Portal and Kibale and Ruwenzori national parks.

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