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Volunteer in South Africa

Renowned for it’s wildlife, you’ll work to take action on development in local communities and conservation projects while exploring breath-taking landscapes.

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“I definitely feel that I’m more open to new experiences and that my comfort zone has considerably expanded”

Steve | Raleigh Volunteer

Why volunteer in South Africa?

A word you will hear a lot in South Africa is Ubuntu. It means ‘I am because we are‘. South Africans are all about the people and how we can all work together. 

Despite being one of the most developed countries in Africa there are still large percentage of people living below the poverty line. It’s ranked as one of the most biodiverse areas in the world but that is constantly under threat. 

Our South Africa Expeditions focus on working together on projects which protect and restore the delicate balance of eco-systems and help communities struggling with access to education and sanitation.

This Raleigh Expedition will take you to the heart and soul of South Africa, and it will change your life forever. 

Apply nowDownload a guide

Where will I be in South Africa?

The Greater Kruger area is nestled between Mozambique, Eswatini and the world-famous Kruger National Park itself. In comparison to Cape Town, this area encapsulates Africa at its heart.

Experience year-round sunshine and share this land with all of the Big 5 (Lion, Elephant, Buffalo, Rhino and Leopard). Experienced rangers will accompany you at all times who will share with you their knowledge of the wildlife, plants and landscape throughout. 

Apply nowMeet the team
“I have now been with Raleigh 3 times. Twice in Tanzania and once in Borneo. Each time I got to see the country and experience a culture that would never have been open to me as a tourist. I respect the organization and believe in their work”
Hilary | Raleigh Volunteer

Projects in South Africa

You can get involved in up to 3 phases: Community, Environmental and an Adventure Trek.

Download a guideOur impact

Community

This community-led project is focused around finding sustainable solutions to issues such as poverty, low levels of education, food insecurity, and unemployment. 

You will work on these solutions from the ground up, partnered with the community and a local NGO, Nourish Eco Village. Each day you will work in and around the community village, working as a team on projects such as building sustainable food gardens, playgrounds and essential infrastructure.

You will get the chance to interact with local community members and children, gain an appreciation for the local culture and learn some of the Xitsonga language (one of the 12 official languages of South Africa).

Environmental

This phase will significantly contribute to the restoration of a thriving habitat within the Kruger to Canyons Biosphere Reserve. 

You will be involved in invasive plant removal, combating soil erosion and bush encroachment, conducting snare sweeps, litter picks and road clearing. All of this will help accelerate the restoration of the wilderness.

The work will be physical, dirty, and fun, making a difference to the health of the habitat.

Adventure Leadership

Supported by our local experienced trek facilitators and Raleigh leaders, your trek will take you through incredible landscapes and biomes, with stunning routes across the mountains that tourists don’t get access to.

You could be trekking up to 200 km through the Northern Mpumalanga Drakensburg of South Africa that will take you on a journey of personal growth that will continue for the rest of your life. No matter what trekking experience you have, everyone starts and finishes trek together – come rain or shine!

Supporting one another, not giving up and sharing your achievements together will be some of the most memorable and defining moments of your Expedition.

Example itinerary for South Africa

Everyone’s Raleigh Expedition is slightly different – depending on how long you stay and what time of year you go. This is an outline of what you can expect from a 10-week Expedition to South Africa. For a information on camp life and project info, download a sample itinerary.

Download a guide

Arrive at Hoedspruit Eastgate Airport

You will be met by the country team

Induction and training (3-4 days)

Get to know your fellow volunteers and prepare for Expedition life. You’ll receive essential training on topics such as health and safety and cultural awareness.

Community Project (19- 21 days)

Each day you will work in and around the community village, working as a team on projects such as building sustainable food gardens and playgrounds. 

Debrief at base camp (2-3 days)

At the end of each phase, everyone returns to the training centre for a few days before moving on to your next project. You’ll catch up with the rest of the Expedition team and start to prepare for your next project. This is when project groups will change between phases, if possible, as this is an important part of the Expedition experience.

Adventure Leadership Project (19 – 21 days)

For this leg of your adventure, you will head to the Drakensberg mountains. Every day is different, including the weather and the accommodation. Go from camping on top of a mountain, sleeping out under the stars to swimming in beautiful waterfalls.

Environmental Project (19 – 21 days)

Take part in physical conservation work in the reserve. The work will be physical, dirty and fun, making a difference to the health of the habitat.

Final review at base (2 days)

All Expeditions end with everyone coming together for a final few days back at the training centre. Catch up with friends and celebrate all you have achieved together.

Departure from Hoedspruit Eastgate Airport

Expedition Dates & Pricing

We run three cycles every year and offer different Expedition lengths

10-weeks

The most immersive and popular Expedition. Take part in all three full phases.

7 weeks

Take part in two full phases – either the Community or Environmental project with the Adventure Trek.

4 weeks

Take part in a full phase of a Community Project or Environmental Project (assigned) with a shorter 5-day trek.

2024 Dates & Pricing

Prices for South African Nationals only

CYCLE 1

FEBRUARY - APRIL

10 Weeks

12th February – 18th April 2024 – FULL
4,3955,9705,5705,57075,522

FULLY BOOKED

7 Weeks

A: 12th February – 29th March 2024 – FULL
B: 4th March – 18th April 2024 – FULL
3,9305,3804,9804,98067,816

FULLY BOOKED

CYCLE 2

JUNE - AUGUST

10 Weeks

24th June – 29th August 2024
4,3955,9705,5705,57075,522

FULLY BOOKED

7 Weeks

A: 24th June – 9th August 2024
B: 14th July – 29th August 2024
3,9305,3804,9804,98067,816

FULLY BOOKED

4 Weeks
A: 24th June – 22nd July 2024
B: 25th July – 22nd August 2024
2,5853,6803,2803,28044,697

FULLY BOOKED

CYCLE 3

OCTOBER - DECEMBER

10 Weeks

8th October – 13th December 2024
4,3955,9705,5705,57075,522

7 Weeks
A: 8th October –  23rd November 2024
B: 28th October – 13th December 2024
3,9305,3804,9804,98067,816

Application deadline: 20th August 2024 – 10 &  7A. 10th September 2024 – 7B.

Apply now

2025 Dates & Pricing

Prices for South African Nationals only

CYCLE 1

FEBRUARY - APRIL

10 Weeks*

10th February – 17th April 2025
4,3955,9705,5705,57075,522

7 Weeks*

A: 10th February – 28th March 2025
B: 2nd March – 17th April 2025
3,9305,3804,9804,98067,816

Apply now
CYCLE 2

JUNE - AUGUST

10 Weeks

27th June – 1 September 2025
4,3955,9705,5705,57075,522

7 Weeks

A: 27th June – 12th August 2025
B: 17th July – 1st September 2025
3,9305,3804,9804,98067,816

4 Weeks
A: 27th June – 25th July 2025
B: 28th July – 25th August 2025
2,5853,6803,2803,28044,697

Apply now
CYCLE 3

OCTOBER - DECEMBER

10 Weeks

11th October – 16th December 2025
4,3955,9705,5705,57075,522

7 Weeks
A: 11th October –  16th November 2025
B: 31st October – 16th December 2025
3,9305,3804,9804,98044,697

Apply now

How to apply

Apply online

Fill in your online application form and tell us why you want to go on Expedition!

Apply now

Screening

If your application is successful, we send you a booking form and ask for more information and process a deposit of £200$200$200$200ZAR

Confirmation

You will be assigned a volunteer coordinator who will send you all the information you need about your Raleigh Expedition.

Pre-departure

Get ready for your Expedition – we will support you all the way!

What’s included

  • Airport welcome and transfers
  • All food, transport and accommodation 
in Expedition country
  • 24-hour support from Expedition country 
office and UK staff
  • Safety expertise
  • Extensive pre-departure information and support
  • Local orientation, project training & equipment
  • Exclusive kit discounts & advice
  • Raleigh t-shirt

Not included

  • Flights
  • Visas
  • Vaccinations
  • Personal kit
  • Travel insurance
  • First aid training (Venturer Managers)

A full breakdown of what’s included and not will be provided on application.

Speak with an advisor

South Africa Raleigh Expedition FAQs

Frequently asked questions about Raleigh Expedition at our South Africa locations

Will I need a visa and is it included in the cost?

Most nationalities will receive a 90 day tourist visa on entry into South Africa. Your Volunteer Coordinator will provide you with all the relevant information.

How many people will be on Expedition with me?

The number of volunteers can vary (up to 60) but you will be in group sizes of no more than 20 

Where will I be staying?

You will stay at our base camp on arrival and in between projects. Our base camp is a tented camp with ablutions and social areas. The camp is basic, with no electricity apart from our solar charging station for charging phones.  

On our community project, you will setup a camp with shared sleeping tents and a basic kitchen.  

What vaccinations will I need?

Malaria precautions are essential. Avoid mosquito bites by covering up with clothing such as long sleeves and long trousers, especially after sunset, and using insect repellents on exposed skin. 

Check with your doctor about suitable antimalarial tablets. 

Yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for travellers arriving from countries with a risk of yellow fever transmission and for travellers having transited for more than 12 hours through an airport of a country with a risk of yellow fever transmission. 

How much free time will I have?

There will be breaks during the day to recharge. In the African bush, we tend to get up early to get work done before it gets too hot. We then have a break over the heat of the day and lunch, then get back to work in the afternoons. In between your projects, you will have five days of rest.  

Camps are remote and therefore venturing out of camp is not always safe. We will go on excursions as a group.  

 

South African?

Become a National Venturer

Over 25?

Become a Venturer Manager

Need more information about Expedition?

Consultation calls

Not decided yet and need help? Arrange a call with us at a time that works for you and we’ll answer your questions.

Online info events

Have your questions answered, meet other volunteers and find out what Expedition is really like from an alumni.

Expedition guides

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

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