African Adventures

African Adventures

About

African Adventures is an award-winning volunteer travel company that works with 25 community projects in developing areas of Ghana, Kenya and Zanzibar. We provide these projects with the resources they need to grow, whilst organising challenging, rewarding, and meaningful volunteer experiences for individuals of all ages. You can choose between two volunteer roles – Teaching & Multi-Sports, or Building & Renovation – to help us fulfil our commitment to advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Regardless of age or experience, with the right enthusiasm and motivation, we believe everyone has something to offer!

Founded
2009
Headquarters

Unit 4
Crescent House
Eastleigh
SO50 9SX
United Kingdom

New volunteering trip for 16-19 year olds!

We are so excited to announce that we have recently launched our Youth Development Programme for young people aged 16-19. This programme gives you the chance to meet new people, discover a new country, and make a meaningful difference at our partner projects in Ghana, Kenya or Zanzibar. Head to our profile to find out more!

Reviews

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Ruth
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My African Adventure was brilliant! I went to Woe in Ghana as part of a school group and loved every minute of it. We were made so welcome by everyone in Ghana, including the staff, street children, Shalom school children/teachers and the surrounding community. The food was amazing, the rooms were cleaned daily and the hospitality was great. We experienced so many different cultural activities from a funeral to an inter-school competition and Noah and Bright, our hosts kept us busy the whole time making sure not a minute of our time in Ghana was wasted. I was also lucky that everyone in my group wanted to take an active part in the culture and dancing which made it even more fun. The only advice I would give is to get up and do the chicken dance every time you are invited, you will regret it if you don't! Thank you for such an unforgettable experience, I will treasure the memories forever!

What would you improve about this program?
Nothing could improve it! The staff were so kind and in the run up to the trip, we were given help an assistance along the way to make the trip planning as easy as possible and I'm sure our teachers would feel the same.
Alex
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A group of nine teenagers and one adult visited Ghana to develop an understanding of a very different culture and society by volunteering to teach and build in a school on the south-east coast of Ghana. We spent 17 days either helping the teaching staff meet their teaching objectives or helping build a classroom in a school with virtually no resources. And what a tremendous experience it was - I have spent a lot of time abroad and I can honestly say that my trip to Ghana was one of the most rewarding experiences that I have ever had.

The trip is designed to integrate the group into the local community and immerse them in the local culture and society as much as possible in a relatively short time...and it worked! I left Ghana feeling that we had developed a real understanding of the issues facing a developing sub-Saharan country, how they affect people and how they can be tackled in a sustainable fashion. I was also left with a deep respect for the wonderfully kind and generous people who opened their arms to us and made us feel incredibly welcome throughout the trip (the Ghanaians’ reputation for openness and friendliness is well-deserved).

Ghana is an extraordinarily beautiful and diverse country, steeped in rich history and culture, on the edge of developing rapidly, with some of the most friendly people in the world and a raft of opportunities unspoiled by tourism. Our trip was punctuated by two wonderful weekends: the first in the East, in the highland rainforests where monkeys eat plantains from your hands and you can wash away dirt and cares under the highest waterfall in West Africa; the second spent exploring the amazing and historic Cape Coast Castle,, taking a rope walk over the canopies of a beautiful rainforest and getting up close and personal with crocodiles!

I would recommend this programme unhesitatingly for any group who wishes to get a real insight into Ghana, its people, culture and issues. A beautiful country, a great programme and a genuinely valuable experience.

What would you improve about this program?
It was exactly what I expected. There were a couple of very minor issues around preparation for building and teaching. But I would not have changed anything significant at all. African Adventures were superb.
Read my full story
Jacqui
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Wow. I barely even know where to begin. I have just returned from a visit to Woe in Ghana with a group of 21 explorer scouts and 6 leaders. We had a totally amazing time. The support staff were fantastic and the experience was so much more than any of us could have every expected. I will never forget how incredibly lucky I am and honoured to have been part of such an amazing adventure, watching the explorers grow in experience and maturity and being a part of such an awesome community. Can't wait to do it all again.

Mandy
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Wow fantastic , myself and 26 others all from staffordshire scouts went to Ghana at Easter we taught at 2 different schools and built at the schools,the classroom experience was fantastic and so was the build the kids and staff at the schools were fantastic .All the staffs at our accommodation couldn't do enough for you and Kerry from African adventure was great we all were sad when it was time to leave ,we will be back and this time we have the experience and no exactly what we need to take and what classroom work to have planned in advance .The overall experience was fantastic we were looked after all the time and if we wanted to do any thing it was all ways sorted .Thank you to everyone who made this possible

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Steve
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

This was my first experience of taking students to a developing country, and I wasn't sure how they would cope with the conditions and the poverty, but African Adventures helped them through the tears and range of emotions. It really was the most moving, inspiring, heartbreaking and worthwhile two weeks of my life, and one both I ,and my students, will never forget. It's very easy to 'give money to a charity' , but to actually be in a developing country, and to experience the inequality of life brings it home so much more. I was really proud of my students. If just one thing they did has inspired a Zanzibari child to finish education, to become a doctor, or an engineer, or go to college, the trip would have been worthwhile. They DID make a difference!

What would you improve about this program?
There needed to be more forward planning from the school we visited. If we had known what we were teaching in advance we could have brought extention materials to enrich the Zanzibari children's lives.

Programs

Displaying 1 - 1 of 1

Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Alex Freeman

Alex is a father of two and a small business owner with a passion for travel and learning. He divides his time between running a film company, being a dad, trying to stay fit, and trying to help with charitable causes. He spent his early life traveling extensively with his work and loves to immerse himself as much as he can in other cultures to see how the world ticks.
Keta Lagoon in Ghana

Why did you choose this program?

I chose this program for several reasons. Firstly I wanted to take the group to an area where they could make a direct positive impact through volunteering to teach and build, whilst, at the same time giving them and the children they met the opportunity to really get to know and understand the issues that both parties have. Because, I believe that volunteering not only helps directly, but it is also a key part in breaking down boundaries and cultural barriers and in making globalization a truly positive effort. I also wanted to visit sub-Saharan Africa to see the history, culture and environment of a beautiful part of the world with so much to offer.

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

African Adventures were superb. They organized the flights, in-country support, briefings and insurances for us. We organized the fundraising.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Make sure that you are well-prepared, well in advance of going; learn as much as you can about the country and people you're going to see, learn some of the language, study the geography, understand the politics and economics of the country and learn about cultural differences.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

Working days start at 0700 with breakfast in the warm sunrise. Then you spend about six hours teaching, building or supporting a local school or project. You're very much immersed in the culture and society during the day. At about 1400, the work finishes and the beach, lagoon or market calls. The sun goes down quickly at about 1830, so dinner is eaten outside about then. the evenings are spent chatting, relaxing, playing cards, around a fire, playing drums or just watching the African sky.

Every weekend there's the opportunity to visit another part of the country - we visited Cape Coast and the mountains in the East of the country - and both weekends were absolutely superb.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it and/or how did your views on the issue change?

I worried about taking a group of young people into a different environment that was way outside their normal and comfortable environment. I needn't have worried - it takes a day or so to adjust and, thereafter, we settled into a routine and pace of life that was comfortable, stress-free and fascinating. Of course I worried about medical issues - but again, I needn't have worried.

Separately, and not a fear but a concern, was my thoughts about volunteering before I left the UK. I struggled with the idea that it was patronizing and arrogant to take ten people to teach African children. But I realized that actually, the experience is very much a two-way street and that my group learnt as much, if not more, than the children and adults they met in Africa. Volunteering is about developing understanding and breaking down barriers on a global scale; in a small way it's an absolutely key part of bringing communities from across the globe together and that is, generally, exceptionally positive. It's also about developing a real understanding of the issues that developing countries face and the problems that most people face on a daily basis. And that can only be a positive understanding for young people brought up in the relatives privileged west.

What am I going to get out of this trip?

The list is almost too long to mention all of the benefits, but here we go:

  • I spent three weeks in an extraordinary, dynamic and beautiful country that most people have never been to and I learnt more about sub-Saharan Africa than I ever thought I could in three weeks.
  • I've seen and done things that most people will never see or do.
  • I spent my summer holiday doing something that is incredibly positive, rewarding and satisfying - so much better than lying on beach, wasting time!
  • I met some extraordinary people.
  • I helped build a school.
  • I felt really relaxed and satisfied when I came back.
More Interviews

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Beth Fisher

Job Title
Marketing and Communications Officer
Beth is the Marketing and Communications Officer at African Adventures. She is jointly responsible for the company blog and social media platforms.

After visiting Kenya in 2012, Beth's passion for volunteering blossomed, alongside her love for travel and the opportunities that it provides.
Beth Fisher

What is your favorite travel memory?

It's so hard to narrow it down to just one! I think nearly all of my best travel memories come from my trip to Kenya. There was one day where I was the 'Team Leader' at a volunteering project and got to present a local family with a new house that I had helped to build. The thanks we received was so gratifying and it taught me so much. However, I also really enjoyed experiencing Kenya's diverse culture and landscapes. I went on safari and did some scuba diving, which was literally out of this world!

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

African Adventures has helped me realize the importance of mutual reward whilst traveling, especially when you are going with the aim of doing some volunteering. In a world dominated by social media, it can be easy to get caught up in the moment of 'doing it for the 'gram', but it's important to ensure that your actions are actually beneficial to the community you’re visiting.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

Recently we had a family with two young children go on one of our trips. Hearing their perspectives on the experience was so interesting - I think sometimes volunteers are so astounded by their trips, they don't even know where to begin! The kids were so honest, and it was refreshing to get into the finer details on the little things which made an impact, both on our volunteers and the locals at our partner projects.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

Sadly, I’m too old now, but if I had the chance, I would definitely sign up to go to Zanzibar with our Youth Development Programme. As a major Queen fan, I would love to experience the ‘spice island’ and its rich history. Stone Town looks amazing and I have always loved the ocean; Zanzibar looks too good to be true! Getting to experience Zanzibari culture with a group of like-minded people would be truly incredible. It’s definitely a place to visit if you love history and a picturesque view. And Freddie Mercury, of course.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

African Adventures is different from a lot of voluntourism providers because, instead of taking ownership over projects, we work alongside them. We act as both tour operator and development agency, thereby ensuring that both our partner projects and our volunteers are getting the maximum reward they can. Everyone who works for African Adventures is acutely aware of the need (and want) to do good, without taking away from the local communities and people, who we support. Alongside this, we place our volunteers are the heart of our business, and we endeavor to provide a high-quality, personable service as they book their adventure with us.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

I’m a strong believer in the idea that, when you’re passionate about something, it shows. All of our staff, in the UK and all of our destinations, recognize and actively celebrate the benefits of immersing yourself in another culture. I think that we, as a company, are unique in that our partner projects are run by people who are so passionate about their communities. This, combined with our founder/Director Dan’s goal - to provide life-changing experiences to volunteers whilst helping the development of communities at a localized level - means that to us this isn’t just a job. Like it says on our website: “We are not bothered about being the biggest – we are focused on trying to be the best.”