Individuals – Additional Info
For all volunteers, domestic flights to Port Elizabeth are recommended. International travellers will first arrive into Johannesburg or Cape Town international airports, and then a connecting flight to Port Elizabeth will be required. Please ensure flights arrive into Port Elizabeth no later than 14h00 to ensure you do not miss the road transfer to the reserve. The road transfer (1.5-2 hours) will be arranged on your behalf and the cost will be shared amongst volunteers.
Please also note that on the day of departure, the road transfer will drop you at the airport around 11h00, so plan your flights accordingly. If you are unable to book flights within these timeframes, we would be happy to recommend accommodation in Port Elizabeth at your time of arrival or departure.
More detailed information on flight bookings and transfers will be discussed with you when booking. It is best to make contact before finalising these arrangements.
Summer months (September to April) are characterised by a mild climate with average temperatures ranging from 17°C – 30°C. Winter (May to August) sees average temperatures ranging from 7°C to 20°C, with early mornings and evenings becoming chilly. Intermittent rain can fall anytime of the year with average annual rainfall of 580mm. January and February are generally the hottest months, while June and July tend to be the coldest.
All the ingredients for three basic meals per day are provided and volunteers work in teams for cooking. Other than vegetarians, we are unable to cater for special diets. However, you are more than welcome to bring special snacks from home or purchase the products you need from local supermarkets on weekends. Please note that extra meals that volunteers choose to purchase at restaurants on excursion days or town-trip days are at their own expense.
This will be provided at the time of booking to assist with the dilemma of what to bring. Clothes are climate dependent but the general rule is to layer, as it can be hot during the day and cold at night (especially in winter). In addition, neutral clothes are important as you will be working in the bush and it is best to blend in!
HEALTH & MEDICAL
All participants should obtain their own medical advice prior to arrival and are required to have medical insurance in case of an emergency. This programme is situated in a malaria-free area, but please consult a physician. Doctors are available in neighbouring towns and a private hospital is located in Port Elizabeth.
ELECTRICITY & COMMUNICATION
There is electricity supply at the Volunteer House, which is 220v. There are no telephone facilities but there is mobile reception and limited WiFi for basic communication. For international volunteers who choose to buy a local SIM card, these can be purchased at airports on arrival.
Volunteers will be staying in a fully furnished house inside the reserve, with shared bedrooms (that sleep 2-3) and shared bathrooms. There is an equipped kitchen, dining room and shared common room with sitting area and pool table. A plunge pool is a welcome relief during the hot summer months and an outside braai (BBQ) area is a lovely gathering place in the evening.
INTERNATIONAL BORDER REQUIREMENTS
All international travellers require a passport that is valid for at least six months from date of entry. Anyone under the age of 18 requires additional documentation that Y4C will assist with. Depending on your country of origin, please investigate visa requirements.
You will be actively involved in a full day of volunteer projects from Mondays to Fridays, with a midday break for lunch. Working hours will vary depending on the weather and nature of the activity. In addition to conservation projects and wildlife research, which is the focus of your programme, one morning a week is spent engaging with the local community. This typically involves contributing to under-funded schools and directly helping with community development projects.
Weekends are a time to relax and explore! Weekend activities and excursions are at your own expense and can be planned and arranged once you arrive. There are many adventure activities to choose from in close proximity to the reserve — whether you are keen to bungee jump or skydive, or simply pop into the local beach to relax or surf, there are options for everyone!