Top 10 Tips for Volunteering in Africa

Top 10 Tips for Volunteering in Africa

Going to volunteer in Africa for the first time? Never done anything like this before? This can be a daunting experience but with our advice you can get preapred before departing. Check out our essential things to think about before working in Africa and top tips to make the most out of the experience below...


1. Research all Destinations

Africa is a huge continent with over 50 countries and there are voluntary opportunities in most countries. Make sure you are happy with your chosen destination because you will be spending a period of time living and working there. Also don't be afraid to choose a country which might not be as well known as others, the experience can be just as good. You can find projects in so many places, these destinations are highly recommended:


2. Choose the Right Project

Ask yourself what types of program interests you? Do you have any skills you can contribute? There are so many different opportunities available for both short and long periods. Some require previous skills whilst others are more general and no experience is required. Be sure to check Africa volunteer reviews too, chatting to previous staff or reading past testimonials is a great way to see how reputable placements/organisations are. You have the option to join a range of opportunities including:


3. Decide What Type of Organisation You Want to Help

There are a wide range of organisations, charities, non profits, NGO's and international travel agencies offering programs to internationals. Some local orgranisations offer low cost and free volunteer programs in Africa but you will usually need to pay for flights, accommodation and organise transport independently. Some agencies charge a fee which includes flights, accommodation, meals, transfers and emergency support once in your destination. For peace of mind it is sometimes better to go for the structured method and pay the fee - this takes the hassle out of the experience especially if you are planning a gap year to Africa for example and want to be placed with other likeminded people of your age group. 


4. Check Vaccinations & Take Medication

Before departing go to your local GP to see if there are any vaccinations needed. Considering taking malaria pills if you are going to be in a country affected by mosquitos. Also pack an emergency kit. The first days you might have stomach problems when getting used to the local water and new foods so packing tablets like imodium is recommended.


5. Arrange an Airport Pickup

Arriving in a foreign country can be one of the most scary and daunting things especially when you are tired, jetlagged and feel a bit confused arriving in a new country. Make sure you get your organisation to pick you up or arrange a private shuttle or taxi in advance. When you arrive with luggage and get taken to your accommodation it is one less thing to stress about.


6. Pack Sensibly

Africa is a warm continent and you will need to check where you are going and what you will be doing. Do you really need that expensive laptop? Or a coat? Or hair straighteners? Pack light and take essential things like clothing, phone, possibly a tablet and a good pair of trainers. If you are going to be joining community based programs it is recommended to bring basic school materials (pencils, paper, color sheets, scissors, paste, pens, markers, crayons, drawings); clothes; English books; medical materials. You could also take presents for staff for example chocolate or things from your home country.


7. Be Friendly

Be opening minded and open to anything. Don't be afraid of local people, most people in Afica will greet you with smiles and warmt rather than any malice. You will be working alongside other international volunteers


8. Listen & Learn 

You will be working alongside local staff who are very experienced in this field of work. Listen to everything they say and try to pick up skills and advice. Your whole time in Africa will be an eye opening experience.


9. Travel

Africa is a facinating destination with so many diverse travel experiences available. There are wildlife safaris, spectacular sights, beaches, deserts, jungles and so many things you can do in your spare time. Highlights include seeing Victoria Falls, Cape Town, visiting the mountain gorillas, going overland and seeing amazing beaches. You can book Africa tours in advance or once in country. Make the most of your time here by trying to see as much as possible.


10. Enjoy!

Childcare Volunteer Projects from £150 with PMGY

Just enjoy the experience and get involved with everything! Going to volunteer abroad really is a life changing experience. Your time will go quick and try to maximize your experience and take as many photos as possible. You will create memories to last a lifetime and hopefully go back home and inspire others to do something similar too.


Related Opportunities

Journalism & Media Internship in Tanzania (Diving, Teaching, Wildlife Project)

Develop your journalism and media skills whilst spending time on the beautiful Mafia Island.

Journalism & Media Internship in Madagascar (Diving, Teaching, Wildlife Project)

Take a steps towards your dream journalistic career with an exciting journalism and media position in Madagascar.

Travel Journalism Internship in Cambodia (Community Volunteering Project)

Further your travel journalism skills and spend time in the exciting and thriving city of Siem Reap.

Journalism & Media Internship in Belize (Diving & Conservation Project)

Further your journalistic skills whilst spending time in a stunning part of the Caribbean.

Teaching in Ghana

Surrounded by the beauty of Ghana, teach in a local school and improve the livelihoods of the children. You could even help with school plays and football matches!

Teaching and Beaches in the Maldives

Immerse yourself in the heart of Maldivian island communities, helping to improve opportunities for local children by encouraging a sense of confidence, enthusiasm and ambition.

Rescued Animal Conservation, Zimbabwe

Join a team of dedicated vets and conservationists at this incredibly rewarding, family-run animal rescue and rehabilitation sanctuary. 

Explore and Adventure in South Africa

Immerse yourself in everything South African; a nation combining fascinating culture, friendly & welcoming people, breathtaking landscapes, and jaw-dropping wildlife

Teaching and Temples in Nepal

Unlock the secrets of Buddhism whilst helping to teach children or young monks. Immerse yourself in the mystical and enchanting culture and discover the adventures hidden in Nepal's countryside.

Orca Conservation Volunteer Project

Discover the renowned Garden Route while participating in marine conservation, research and local education initiatives in Plettenberg Bay!

Thailand Elephant Care Experience

Thailand has continued to be one of the most tempting destinations for those who are seeking a combination of enchanting natural surroundings, alluring culture, and incredible biodiversity. 

Tanzania Whale Sharks & Turtles

Assist in work contributing towards the conservation of the majestic whale shark and beautiful turtle in these crystal clear waters around Mafia island.

Costa Rica Animal Rescue Project (Sloths & More)

Join this incredible project to volunteer with animals including sloths and monkeys, experience front line conservation and help safeguard Costa Rica's precious wildlife and unique habitats for future generations.

Volunteer in a Hospital in Kenya

Further your medical experience by working alongside doctors, nurses, and lab staff as they provide 24-hour care to the Kenyan community in this beautiful region of Africa.

Teaching and Community NGO Internship in Madagascar

Teach in a rural school in one of the most extraordinary destinations on Earth on a Frontier-Madagascar Internship. Provide vital basic skills, education and get involved with a variety of activities.

Journalism & Media Internship in Costa Rica (Wildlife & Environmental Project)

Further your experience and gain new skills at our Costa Rica field journalism project.

Sports Coaching Placement in Fiji

Inject much needed enthusiasm and creativity into the children's lives and become more than just a sports coach as you work on this sun-drenched archipelago.

Teaching Placement in Siem Reap, near Angkor Wat

Make a positive and rewarding contribution to the lives of underprivileged and disadvantaged children, and open up opportunities that we in the Western world take for granted.

Journalism & Media Internship in Fiji (Conservation or Community Project)

Gain experience and new skills while working as a journalist at our Fiji conservation or community project.

Volunteer with Infants in Kenya

Make a difference in the lives of children and help to offer them the start they deserve. Have the time of your life as you embrace this country and discover its delights.





About  |  Disclaimer  |  Privacy Policy  |  Company A-Z  |  Advertise  |  Press  |  Contact

One World 365 © 2007 - 2017