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Top Tips: Preparing for your Raleigh Expedition

Embarking on a Raleigh Expedition is an incredible opportunity. Challenge yourself, make a positive impact, and create lasting memories in some of the world’s most beautiful locations. Are you heading to the diverse ecosystems of South Africa or the lush rainforests of Costa Rica? Proper preparation is key to ensuring a successful and rewarding experience.  

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the essential steps to get ready for your upcoming Expedition.  

1. Research your Raleigh Expedition destination

We currently operate a Raleigh Expedition in two countries – South Africa and Costa Rica. Start by familiarising yourself with the unique cultures, climates, and landscapes of these two beautiful countries. Read up on the local customs, traditions, and environmental considerations specific to each destination. Learning a few basic words or phrases in the native languages of South Africa (Sotho or Afrikaans) or Costa Rica (Spanish) will help too!

This knowledge will not only enhance your overall Raleigh Expedition experience but will also support you to be a responsible traveller. Your efforts will not only show respect for the local communities, but ultimately help you engage with local communities!  

Adventure trek in South Africa

2. Build your health and fitness!

Each project phase on a Raleigh Expedition can be physically demanding. You’ll be participating in up to three phases. Think trekking, constructing on the community project, and clearing paths or invasive plant species out on the environment project. Training for your Adventure Leadership Trek by walking or hiking (particularly with your hiking boots and backpack!) is a great way to build stamina, strength, and endurance.

It’s also worth making sure you’ve obtained all necessary vaccinations or medications required for the specific regions you will be visiting! Check our guide for more information. 

Volunteers trek in Costa Rica

3. Pack smart for a Raleigh Expedition

Use the packing list provided by Raleigh, which is tailored to the requirements of your Expedition country. Remember to consider the climate, terrain, and activities you’ll be participating in! Essentials include: durable hiking boots, weather-appropriate clothing, a reliable backpack, a first aid kit, and any personal items necessary for your comfort. Don’t forget to pack a reusable water bottle and sun cream to stay hydrated and protected from the sun!

We’ve got more packing tips here. 

Adventure trek in South Africa in Drakensberg Mountains Raleigh Expedition

4. Become a team player

A Raleigh Expedition is about collaboration, teamwork, and leadership. Develop your interpersonal skills, as you’ll be working closely with individuals from every walk of life. You’ll be working towards common goals – adventuring with purpose and impact. Practice effective communication, adaptability, and problem-solving to contribute positively to your team’s dynamics. This will be invaluable, particularly on the days you lead your trek group! 

Team picture South Africa Raleigh Expedition

5. Learn about environmental stewardship

Both South Africa and Costa Rica boast incredible biodiversity and ecosystems. Take the time to understand the fragility of these environments and the importance of responsible travel. For example, despite making up only 0.03% of the world’s landmass, Costa Rica is home to nearly 5% of the planet’s biodiversity!

Find out how a Raleigh Expedition contributes to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, and learn about local conservation efforts. When you’re on the ground, you can participate actively in Raleigh International’s initiatives to leave a positive impact on the communities and environments you encounter. 

Volunteer on environment project South Africa Raleigh Expedition

Preparing for your Raleigh Expedition to South Africa or Costa Rica is key. It involves a combination of physical readiness, cultural sensitivity, and environmental awareness. By embracing the adventure with an open mind and a well-prepared spirit, you’ll be well prepared to not only create memories of a lifetime but contribute to real and positive change where it counts.  

Looking for your next adventure? Find out when our next Expedition dates are

Our Expeditions

Need more information about Expedition?

Consultation call

Whether you have a specific question or want to discuss which Expedition is right for you, schedule a call with a member of the team at a time convenient to you. 

Join an info event

On our monthly online info events, we’ll tell you all about Expedition. Have your questions answered, meet other volunteers and find out what Expedition is really like from an alumni.

Download a guide

Find out all about Raleigh International and Expedition in our helpful information guide.