South African adventure marks new chapter for pioneering youth expedition organisation Raleigh International
Pioneering purpose-led youth expedition organisation Raleigh International is relaunching under new ownership and starting the next stage in its 45-year journey with a new adventure to South Africa.
Previously trading as Raleigh International Trust, the organisation which counts The Prince and Princess of Wales and astronaut Tim Peake among its 55,000+ alumni, was badly hit by the impact on global travel during the Covid-19 pandemic and went into voluntary liquidation in May 2022.
Now operating as Raleigh International, the organisation which specialises in challenging, educational and fun international volunteering experiences for 17-24 year olds, has been acquired by The Impact Travel Group (ITG). ITG is an alliance of nine education and experiential brands, including African Impact and Roots Internships committed to transformative travel experiences with cultural and environmental impact.
With the backing of ITG, Raleigh International is relaunching with a new expedition to South Africa. The first expedition will take place in June 2023 and see community, climate and conservation projects undertaken in the Greater Kruger area which lies between Mozambique, Eswatini and the world-famous Kruger National Park. In addition, Raleigh International is also running expeditions to Costa Rica, also starting in June.
Volunteers who had historically registered while under the previous ownership Raleigh International Trust but were then unable to complete their expedition, will be contacted by the new owners to be offered a discounted ITG expedition in the future.
Raleigh International began life as Operation Drake in 1978 before evolving into Operation Raleigh in 1984. In 1992, it became Raleigh International Trust. In its four decades, the organisation has provided life-changing experiences for more than 55,000 young people from more than 100 countries.
During more than 600 expeditions in 50 countries, Raleigh International volunteers have planted over 900,000 trees to help combat climate change, rehabilitated more than 65km of trails and conservation infrastructure, and given more than 100,000 people long-lasting access to safe and accessible hygiene facilities and access to toilets, handwashing and drinking water.
Young people can join a Raleigh Expedition for six, seven or 10 weeks, work on environmental and community projects, and take part in a leadership adventure trek. Older adults looking for a career break or a post-retirement adventure can also get involved in Raleigh International’s work by volunteering to manage and guide young people in specific roles.