• South Africa
2 - 4 weeks
Need-based funding
Health & Safety

Program Details

Program Type
Direct Enrollment
Age Min.
Age Max


Starting Price
Price Details
14-day program: $4,499
21-day program: $5,899
What's Included
Accommodation Activities Airport Transfers Meals Transportation
What's Not Included
Dec 13, 2023
Nov 30, 2023
0 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Spend two or three weeks in South Africa working to protect some of the most incredible wildlife on the planet--as the program name implies, you'll assist local conservationists on projects that support giraffes, lions, cheetahs and other large animals. You'll also have the opportunity to see the "Big 5" (lions, leopards, elephants, African buffalo and rhinoceroses) on safari--you'll sleep under the stars with experienced guides.

Service Hours: 14-day = 40 / 21-day = 60
Program Theme: Animal & Wildlife Conservation

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • Learn more about South Africa's long and complex history
  • Live and work on two different wildlife reserves
  • Hike, kayak and camp--great ways to explore the gorgeous terrain
  • Work alongside the reserve's Anti-Poaching Unit on a variety of projects
  • Assist conservationists on important animal tracking initiatives


GLA IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access) Scholarship

The goal of our scholarship is to provide inclusion, diversity, equity and access to GLA programs.

Program Reviews

5.00 Rating
based on 4 reviews
  • 5 rating 100%
  • 4 rating 0%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Growth 5
  • Support 4.5
  • Fun 4.5
  • Housing 4.25
  • Safety 4.5
Showing 1 - 4 of 4 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

the best month of my life!

this was absolutely a unique and once in a life time experience that I feel not only worked towards my future aspirations, but also helped me to develop my communication and leadership skills. the staff and other participants where absolutely a highlight for me, meeting so many people from different background was so educations and by the end it really felt like a family. my only negative was the accommodations, it was rather cold and uncomfortable in certain locations with limited access to shower facilities. however I am understanding that is the drawback to such remote locations.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
warthog! tastes like pork
  • knowledge
  • experiences
  • staff and other students
  • accommodations
  • facilites
12 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Africas impact

Africa Impact essay

I remember the exact moment when I finally worked up the strength to look at the itinerary, the description of what my life would be for the next three weeks. A sheet of paper filled with the activities I would participate in, the people I would make lifelong connections with, the communities our program would serve, and the places I would be traveling through. I read each sentence, my heart beating faster in anticipation. With every sentence I read, my self-doubt grew stronger. It was the night before my departure to South Africa when I came to the harsh realization, seemingly honest at the time, that this was not possible, that I could not do it, that I was not capable.
Throughout the first couple of days, the fear and doubt remained trapped in my mind, not knowing anyone, cold, scared, and missing home. Then, I slowly began to make friends, I began to participate and loosen up, and before I knew it, my mind was free. Our days were packed with activities, providing our service to nearby communities, learning and listening to locals. But it was not the activities and packed days that impacted me, it was the free time we had to ourselves. One day I decided to stray off from everyone, in search of some alone time, to think about where I was and just take a minute to appreciate everything surrounding me, metaphorically and physically. I remember this moment exactly. Standing on a field far from the campsite, nobody around. Looking at such an incredible view, it took my breath away literally. I closed my eyes, and listened to pure nature, silence, the only noises as natural as the earth itself. At this moment, I felt such a strong connection to myself, I was hit with so much emotion, relief, incomprehensible happiness, disbelief. I had finally found what I had been searching for my entire life. I had finally found my true self.
Before Africa, I was in the mix of kids overwhelmed with fear of an unknown future. The kids that are losing hope, lacking confidence, and putting limits on their dreams. Although I am still concerned about the future, I have become my own separate person, someone who has gained the strength to trust myself and the risks I decide to take. Africa made a huge impact on my life, but not in the way many people would think. A couple months before departing to a place that would change my life, I was presented with the choice to either go spend three weeks in South Africa, or study abroad for half of my senior year in France. To be completely honest, I did not know the magnitude of my choices, I did not know what the difference would be, the impact each would create. At the time, I did not know if the choice to go to South Africa was correct. As the months built up closer and closer, fear and anticipation became all encompassing. In the absence of my confidence, I persevered.
I will carry this with me for the rest of my life. I will continue to take risks and trust this new person I have become. I will never forget this trip; I will never forget that moment. I may forget some people's names, I may forget some information I learned, I may even forget some activities I did, but I will never forget the moment I was hit with strength and courage. The moment my outlook changed. The moment I became my own person.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
We got to see the technology they use to conserve their environment!
  • Activities
  • People
  • Phone time
  • Downtime to activity ratio
  • Food
  • Weather
16 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

GLA South Africa

This was an amazing eye-opening experience. I had traveled Internationally flly before, but nothing could have prepared me for GLA South Africa. We stayed on multiple nature reserves, and I saw some of the most breath-taking scenery of my life. My favorite of the reserves was called Zingela. This portion of the trip was filled with amazing views, lots of activity, and fantastic wildlife spotting opportunities. I learned so much about the river ecology and the giraffes that inhabit the area through immersive lessons and exploration taught by professionals.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
If I could do this program over again, I would have packed better hiking shoes and anticipated the colder winter climate.
  • Wildlife
  • Community
  • Culture
  • Weather
  • Food
  • Activity to Downtime Ratio
11 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

GLA South Africa 2023

This was an amazing eye-opening experience. I had traveled internationally before, but nothing could have prepared me for GLA South Africa. We stayed on multiple nature reserves, and I saw some of the most breath-taking scenery of my life. Simply just waking up in the morning and seeing the beautiful African landscape was an experience in itself. I participated in volunteer work on this trip, working alongside conservationists and scientists tracking animals and assisting in anti-poaching efforts. The GLA team was great, and I really enjoyed my time on the trip. I would definitely recommend GLA South Africa to any teen who seeks adventure.

What was your funniest moment?
The funniest moment on this trip for me was when we were traveling through the bush on a random day in our vehicle. My friend Javier was from Spain and his English was not perfect so he would sometimes mix up words or make mistakes. There was a group of giraffes close to the vehicle. Javiar meant to say, "I want to be pursued be a mother giraffe", meaning he wanted it to chase him. In reality what actually came out was, "I want to be persecuted by a mother giraffe." This made everyone on the vehicle laugh for about 20 minutes straight and this moment was credited as one of the funniest moments on the trip.
  • Amazing location and beautiful scenery
  • Eye-opening experiences and unique activities
  • Cultural Immersion
  • Living in tents during South Africa's winter
  • Smaller food portions
  • Unideal laundry service
14 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers