Into The Wild Gap Year Program in South Africa

Quick Facts

Greater Kruger Area, South Africa

Hoedspruit Airport

3 September 2023

8 weeks

Impact: Wildlife Conservation


Taking a gap year is a great idea. It’s an opportunity to gain perspective on your values and goals, to explore your strengths, and to grow in confidence and adaptability. Moreover, research shows that people who take a gap year before going to university end up performing better academically and finding a more fulfilling career. So plenty of reasons to get off the academic treadmill for a year, and have a purposeful adventure.

At African Impact, we believe there’s no better place for your journey of self-discovery than the African bush. Based in South Africa’s Greater Kruger Area, we offer an 8-week gap year program that combines experiential learning, self-discovery, and skill development. You’ll learn about wildlife conservation, African cultures, and broaden your horizons. You’ll gain survival skills, learn about advocacy, and support grassroots causes. More importantly, you’ll grow in confidence, self-awareness, and flexibility.

Build confidence, explore your unique talents, and get ready for a purposeful career. At African Impact, we firmly believe that taking a gap year offers you these opportunities, and provides you with a platform for self-exploration that will help guide you on the right life path.

Let us take you on this exciting life adventure!

Project Highlights

Game drives spotting wild animals in the African bush

Game drives spotting wild animals in the African bush

Stay in our bush camp surrounded by the Big 5

Take part in local language and cooking lessons

Survival camping weekend – cook for yourself on an open fire

Participate in our 3 Day survival course living in the African wild with only the bare-essentials

The Destination

The Greater Kruger Area encompasses over 20 private wildlife reserves on the west side of the world-renowned Kruger National Park in South Africa. These private reserves come together to create one big reserve. A significant contribution to wildlife conservation efforts, helping to protect and preserve one of the world’s last remaining wildlife strongholds.

The whole area comprises almost 5.5 million acres of unfenced land where animals roam freely across wild savannah. The Greater Kruger Area is a major hotspot for wildlife conservation and offers endless opportunities for wildlife encounters with iconic animals such as elephants, lions, rhinos, and wild dogs. Many of these animals are endangered or vulnerable.

Our Lodge will become your home away from home during your time with us, an exclusive, fully equipped volunteer house on land with open borders to the Kruger National Park. You will experience a safari-style lodge with everything you need for a comfortable stay, including a swimming pool, viewing deck, WiFi, hot showers, and an outdoor area for star gazing and socializing. We don’t know of a better place to sit around a camp-fire and admire the stars!

Situated on the banks of the Olifants River your home during your time with us will be at a private base camp which is open to the Kruger National Park. You will experience a safari-style camp with everything you need for a comfortable stay, including a swimming pool, viewing deck, WiFi, hot showers, and an outdoor area for star gazing and socializing.

2 cooked meals a day by our onsite chefs and a help-yourself breakfast of a variety of locally sourced products.

At the lodge there is free WiFi to enable you to make contact with home through WhatsApp, Zoom etc. It is also easy to purchase a sim and add data credit to allow you to use your own phone to stay in touch.

The project is situated in the Lowveld – a semi–arid region. We are blessed with good weather all year round. Summer season (October to March) can be wet and hot. The hottest months are usually December, January and February. Winter Season (April to September) is dry and sunny. The coolest months being June and July when it does get cold at night and early mornings.

Project Impact Areas


Days 1 - 7: Welcome to the wild

What better place than the African bush to isolate with dedicated team members to ensure safety against Covid19. Enjoy game drives in reserves surrounded by wild African animals. Spend evenings at the lodge sitting around the fire sharing stories and building new relationships. This is the perfect opportunity to experience and develop skills around developing social connections. This is fundamental in life and business as a skill that is the basis for forming relationships and healthy boundaries to support and enhance your life experience.

Learning Outcomes
a. Teamwork
b. Friendships
c. Social Confidence
d. Healthy Barriers
e. Mutual Respect


Days 8 - 14: The Outer Edges

Build cultural awareness, adapting to your new surroundings. Reflecting on our lives, taking time to observe the world around us allows for us to gain perspective on immediate situations giving greater clarity with a sense of calm re-aligning to our greater purpose.

Learning outcomes
a. Stress & anxiety reduction
b. Situation/problem management
c. Greater focus
d. Calmer life experience


Days 15 - 24: Purpose

Find purpose and meaning in what life has to offer. Identify your own passion and advocacy and stand tall with new confidence. Learn about how conservation works and how you can contribute, spend time in the bush with conservation professionals learning about their lives and what life is like protecting animals in the wild. Through reflection consider your purpose in life. It is our driving force that leads to not only a satisfying future but greater motivation, passion and happiness in daily life. Often this is not found until later in life, if at all. Encouraging the exploration of purpose leads toward more dedicated and focused individuals who are more likely to succeed.

Learning Outcomes
a. Life direction
b. Decision confidence
c. Motivation & passion
d. Personal Prioritisation


Days 25 - 34: Trust

Identify individual strengths that contribute to a team goal. Get involved in healthy debates and learn to influence others. All the elements of working in a successful team. Here you experience exciting adventures where in teams you will find your courage to zip line through the treetops and together contribute toward impactful work on a collaborative project. Key critical thinking skills are, analysis, interpretation, inference, explanation, self-regulation, open-mindedness, and problem-solving. Gain a better understanding of how to manage situations as well as understanding ourselves and our abilities. Critical thinking provides different perspectives and promotes personal growth and overall happiness.

Learning outcomes
a. Creative problem solving
b. Psychological resilience
c. Self-belief

Days 35 - 42: Independence

Learn the importance of proudly standing on your own two feet. Being self-aware allows us to appreciate who we are as individuals. Strap on your hiking boots as you head out into nature to explore the area and yourself. Reflect on life as you visit a local community project that empowers local people to provide for themselves. We can objectively evaluate ourselves, manage our emotions, align behavior with our values, and understand correctly how others perceive us. This is an essential life skill to establish confidence and emotional resilience.

Learning outcomes
a. Communication skills
b. Self-confidence
c. Positive outlook
d. Optimism

The spirit of Ubuntu

Days 43 - 49: Ubuntu

Ubuntu meaning “humanity.” It is often translated as “I am because we are,” In a more philosophical sense to mean “the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity.” Working together you embark on a thrilling team survival course. You will be guided through reserve areas, sleeping under the stars, bonding with one another whilst listening to the African nature that surrounds oyu. Through our abilities to show compassion in life we gain greater emotional intelligence as well as an appreciation for the world around us and those within it. By appreciating the lives of others much of our life is positively impacted from relationship management, inter-personal respect to our presence and engagement in the moment.

Learning outcomes
a. Active listening
b. Greater patience
c. Gratitude

intern accommodation in Greater Kruger Area

Days 50 – 56: Looking forward

Your time is coming to an end. This is your opportunity to reflect on your journey through this program and on your value, purpose and strengths. Here you embed positive change in your life and look forward with confidence. Learn to be intentional in using your natural strengths to propel yourself through your life. The culmination of all your personal development work, your impactful field work and experiences throughout this journey. Reflection on goals set in the initial weeks take this chance to work closely with the team and fellow gappers to share experiences and explore how everything learnt can be applied to life going forward.

Learning outcomes
a. Greater confidence and emotional resilience
b. Goal setting and achieving skills
c. The importance and strength of working together
d. Discover your purpose in life
e. Greater sense of self-awareness
f. Improved decision-making skills

Recent Reviews

Apply Now

Once you have submitted your application, a Destination Specialist will be in-touch to discuss the project with you.

Step 1
Select your Start Date
3 Sep 2023


Select your Duration
8 weeks $9000

Project Fee Includes

  • Airport pickup and drop-off
  • Shared Accommodation
  • Personal development coaching & workshops
  • All your daily program transport
  • 3 meals a day, freshly cooked from our team of great chefs
  • A full-time housekeeping service and 24-hour onsite support
  • WiFi

Project Fee Excludes

  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa-related costs
  • Weekend trips or tours not on the itinerary
  • Snacks, soft drinks, gifts, and souvenirs
  • Camera and laptop
  • Mandatory contribution of US$25 that is donated to the African Impact Sustainability Fund