We know that choosing the right volunteer project for you in the ideal location can be tricky. We also understand that this might be your first time travelling to Africa and that can be daunting.
To help you out we’ve answered some of the most common questions below. Please feel free to drop us a line if you still have questions or would like some guidance on choosing a program that suits you.
How safe are the projects? Will someone be with me while I work?
We make every effort to ensure all volunteers are safe during their placement. Our teams on the ground are trained and experienced and ready to handle all and any situations that may arise. Our volunteers are always accompanied by an African Impact staff member while on project.
Volunteers are briefed fully about the area that they are living and working in, with advice on how to go about their daily life as a volunteer. We are widely accepted in the communities we work with and there’s a culture of respect and understanding.
You can also take a look at our Safety Tips.
Is working with wild animals dangerous?
Yes, working with wild animals is always dangerous, but thanks to our trained staff and safety protocols incidents are very rare. It is important for any volunteer working with wild animals to understand the risks and maintain respect for all wildlife, as well as noting that many travel insurance providers do not cover working with dangerous animals.
All volunteers will undergo a comprehensive induction and orientation program to brief them on safety and prepare them for the work they’ll be doing. It is crucial to listen to project staff at all times, and to obey camp rules! Common sense is essential and again, pay attention to the information provided and remember that Africa is a wild continent! ROAR!
Are there any hidden extras in the cost of the placement?
All costs include transport to and from the project specific pick-up point, as well as all accommodation and meals and transfers during project working hours. The fee volunteers pay for their placement also includes 24 hour support from trained and experienced staff on the ground.
Volunteers should bring money to pay for telephone calls and internet use and for items of a personal nature such as toiletries or gifts.
In addition, on many of our projects, volunteers have the option of enjoying organized trips to nearby sights and attractions. There is an additional cost to be paid locally to cover these excursions, and any visas they may require for border crossings.
How much money will I need? Can I use a credit card?
Credit cards can be used in most major towns, but volunteers must take caution with the safety of their valuables. We will always give volunteers the opportunity to get cash out in safe surroundings.
Spending money will vary depending on the extra excursions and trips a volunteer would like to be involved in, but an estimate of these costs can be acquired from your Destination Manager and are also outlined on the project brochure for each program.
Do I need any working or study experience to join a project?
Most of our projects are open to unqualified volunteers who go through an orientation program on arrival to prepare them for project work. Our volunteers must have passion, an open mind and a willingness to learn, participate and contribute.
We do have some projects, predominantly medical/healthcare projects, which require varying levels of prior study or work experience. Please check the requirements for each project.
Is there any risk of contracting HIV, yellow fever or malaria?
If you are travelling to an area of Africa for which vaccinations or anti-malarial mediation is required we will notify you of this well in advance. A yellow fever certificate is required for certain areas. Please consult your nearest GP or travel clinic for more info.
We exercise caution and medical safety on our projects and we advise volunteers to take all precautions necessary to ensure they don’t get sick.
This includes frequent hand washing, applying mosquito-repellent, and being careful about what you eat and drink.
We recommend that volunteers travel with:
- Paracetamol/Ibuprofen (also known as Tylenol/Advil)
- Hand sanitizers (a few small ones, keep one in your day pack, for example)
- Topical antihistamine
- Tummy tablets (such as: anti-diarrhoea, anti-nausea) Tip: If you bring medication in your carry-on make sure it’s in its original packaging.
What happens in case of a medical emergency?
Medical emergencies are by no means a regular occurrence, but our project teams are equipped to deal with all situations and have strict protocols in place to do so. The Volunteer Coordinator for the project will ensure that you receive immediate medical assistance.
It is a requirement that all volunteers have the adequate travel insurance that includes emergency air evacuation and repatration, in the event of a serious illness or accident. It is the volunteer's responsibility to ensure they have the appropriate level of cover with their chosen travel provider, which will differ depending on the activities involved in your volunteer project. World Nomads or Mind the Gap Year provide travel insurance for volunteers, but please check the full description of cover (policy wording) to make sure it's right for you.
Is food provided? What can I expect?
Project meals are provided three times a day and are simple and healthy. Some of our projects will arrange themed evenings where volunteers are encouraged to get involved in some of the cooking (for example a cultural evening, Hawaiian night, etc).
The water at almost all of our projects is safe to drink, but bottled water is also readily available. If you have any dietary requirements we will endeavour to accommodate them as far as possible.
Do I book my flight with African Impact?
No, all flights are booked by the volunteer but we can recommend flight and travel partners for your consideration.
OUR TRAVEL PARTNER - GYT
GYT is a specialist team of travel consultants who understand what volunteer and intern travel and gap years are all about. Operated by Round The World Experts (part of Flight Centre UK), GYT is all over the best flight routes and tickets and can answer most travel related questions for you along the way! GYT offer a bespoke service from your first point of contact until you are safely back home, including a 24-hour emergency assistance helpline, a ‘Travel Butler’ service, 100% independent advice, unrivalled product knowledge and of course a strong passion for travel!
Please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or 0844 560 9853 (UK) or 0203 056 1146 (international). If calling please state that you are volunteering with African Impact.