Sitting at the southern end of the world’s most iconic continent lays South Africa; a beautiful country with diverse landscapes, rich ecosystems and vibrant people, all topped off with one of the most interesting and varied cultural histories.
Groups deciding on South Africa as their destination have a choice of projects including helping to care and look after animals in an animal care centre, helping locals to build new homes in a community, working on a placement in the Projects Abroad Human Rights office or conducting nature surveys in a safari park.
General information on South Africa
Five times the size of Great Britain, South Africa has created a diversity of lifestyles and a diversity of environments, from the lofty Drakensberg Mountain range to the Cape Vineyards.
South Africa was originally colonised by the Dutch before being recolonised by the British in the early 1800’s, the reason behind this was that it had huge amounts of natural resources, as well as being a vital stop on the trade route to India and Asia. The multiple shifting of powers and people has now led to the hugely diverse nation and its people that we see today.
At the start of the 21st century, South Africa is leading the way in African politics, and is seen as an inspiration to other countries. With eleven national languages, and a variety of religions South Africa truly is the 'Rainbow Nation'.
Where we are based in South Africa
All of our different Care and Community projects are based in different townships on the outskirts of Cape Town, including Lavender Hill and Vrygrond. The mixed-race communities that live and work in these suburbs will give groups a true insight into South Africa’s complex past and culture, and the younger generation that your group will be helping will benefit from both the work that you put in and the knowledge that you pass onto them.
Groups will stay in a nearby hostel or hotel to ensure both the safety and easy organisation of the group as a whole. This will also allow the group to organise their free time easily.
For groups undertaking our Conservation & Environment project, you’ll be based just over the Limpopo River border in Botswana, though you’ll also spend some time in South African nature reserves. The conservation work your group will be involved in will include tree wrapping, creating species lists, collecting scientific data, maintaining water holes, building bird hides and learning new skills such as GPS mapping and animal tracking. Groups will stay in accommodation in the reserve’s base camp including 6 person, single-sex tents surrounding an open air communal area with a fire pit and kitchen facilities.
Travel and Tourism in South Africa
During the evenings groups will have free time to do with as they please, and on the weekends groups will also get the chance to integrate trips of their choice into their project. Being based in Cape Town is a great opportunity for those that want to make the most of their free time, with a huge host of activities; from the stunning sandy beaches that are perfect for surfing, to the mix of popular establishments at the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront situated in Africa’s oldest working harbour, to the famous, striking and unique qualities of Cape Town’s backdrop, Table Mountain.
Due to the varied cultural history of this country, your group will find a hugely varied demographic population living in the city bowl. With differences including race, religion, language, wealth and interest, Cape Town is tailored to suit the sports, hobbies, music and tastes of everyone!
For those looking to travel at the weekend or even after their placement, South Africa will spoil you for choice. Often referred to as the home of adventure travel, South Africa boasts the highest bungee jump in the world, ski and climbing resorts in the Drakensburg mountains, golden sandy beaches that are perfect for water sports and Game Reserves where you can view the ‘Big Five’. There are also plenty of places to visit if you just want to relax and take in the sights and the culture. Whatever your group chooses to do, it will undoubtedly be an unforgettable experience!
“Every night was something new and amazing. We would go to downtown Cape Town one night and the next day be on a safari!”Connor Quinn