African Impact Volunteer Abroad in Africa

African Impact

About

African Impact pioneered responsible volunteer abroad travel in Africa back in 2004 and have since grown into the largest provider of volunteer projects on the continent. Proudly African, they work hand-in-hand with local communities to establish, develop and monitor initiatives that contribute to community empowerment and wildlife conservation. Their dedication and commitment to authentic and sustainable practices has earned them numerous awards throughout the years, including becoming the only organization to ever win Outstanding Volunteer Project twice in the Global Youth Travel Awards, and being named the Top Volunteer Abroad Organization by volunteers for 4 years in row in 2016, 2017,2018 and 2019.

They invite you to join their passionate teams on the ground and to experience projects that take you to a place that leaves you awed, inspired, able to do more, to discover more, and to make a real impact. Volunteering abroad in Africa has never been so amazing, apply today!

Founded
2004
Headquarters

153 Main Road
Surfers Corner
Muizenberg
Cape Town
7950
South Africa

Volunteer Abroad in Africa at the Best 2019 Prices

African Impact has been rated the Top Volunteer Abroad Organization for the 4th year in a row. To celebrate this massive achievement we are offering all programs at 2019 prices. Apply today as spaces are limited!

Reviews

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Sheila
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Volunteering at African Impact in Tanzania was by far the most rewarding and fulfilling, and hot, experience of my life! I loved every second! I felt that I contributed positively in so many varied ways, and all suggestions were encouraged by staff. I was immersed in the culture and really felt like I was living as a Tanzanian, experiencing such a different way of life than my own, appreciating getting to know the Tanzanian people, their way of life, and their laughter! I came home a better person, with a clearer perspective on what is important in life, feeling like I had accomplished a lifelong goal! I want to go back to continue teaching English and working on gender equality and health education. Thank you for the awesome opportunity!

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Tristan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

We were a bit hesitant, its a pretty big adventure to decide to go as a 17-year old to kind of 'the middle of nowhere' in South Africa. But it was just... just... GREAT. The support from African Impact before even going was quick, personal and just really caring. I felt I was in good hands, and this was confirmed during my 2 weeks there. We got to do different things, got enough autonomy without feeling lost. Learned so much. The person in charge in our project was this super cool lady that taught me every day new things. We want to book another trip for this summer!

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
The organisers took us out camping in Kruger and they offered some kind of weird fried worms. At home I wont even eat a weird vegetable (weird vegetable is any veggies that is not a carrot or a cucumber) but I ate it and yes, I even liked it (enough to have a whole bowl and be the cool dude in the group!)
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Pauline
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

This has been a dream come true volunteering in this wildlife hot spot ! The staff is extremely knowledgable and always available to answer every single question. The lodge is also very cosy with amazing surroundings. We go on drives every day searching for animals and let me tell you, you will find them ! The advantage to be in a smaller reserve and not directly in the kruger park is to be able to go off road, approach the animals closer and avoid majority of the tourists. You can still visit the Kruger park on the weekends as the lodge organise excursions every weekend. Personnaly I have done the Kruger park visit and the kloofing which was amazing for those of you in need of a little adrenaline ! In conclusion it was the best decision of my life and I don’t regret it whatsoever...

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
The best thing about the program is to be able to sleep in tents in the middle of the bush once a week !
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Winki
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Africa was a mysterious place for me before attending to this program, I was worried about numerous things! However, when I first arrived to Dumela lodge(where we live during the program) I felt so surprised and relaxing! This place is beautiful ,people here are super nice and the food is delicious ! It makes me feel likes home after a week, and I am gonna miss it forever..Besides, I learnt a lot from volunteering in this wildlife conservation! I still remember when I first saw the lion in front of our car..and I was holding my breathe and my excitement! Apart from lions, we also met rhinos, cheetahs, elephants .. and impala! There is too much to say about our game drives every day... and I have never thought that I would have made an impact on helping anti-poaching / animals protection organization to get different animals' data. This summer holiday would not be even better without African Impact, and I miss it tons!

What was your funniest moment?
The funniest moment was we (all volunteers, interns and stuffs!) taking the light painting photos! That was my first light painting experience and I had no idea how it works, so I kept moving when they took the photos, and I ruined most of them haha! Finally I tried so hard to keep still and the picture looks awesome!
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Victoria
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

In April 2019, I volunteered with the Girl Empowerment Programme in Zambia.
During the few weeks I was there, we focused on working with girls to teach them about the importance of self-confidence and how to deal with toxic people; teaching the women about methods of earning income independently; and talking to boys about the importance of consent among other areas. It was incredible to see how keen everyone we worked with were to learn, and how grateful they were to us for spending time sharing our experience with them. Working within the community was very rewarding and it was difficult to leave, even after such a short amount of time.
Getting involved with Girl Empowerment was a truly awesome experience; a steep learning curve, an opportunity to meet and support some incredible people, and hopefully a positive impact left on at least a few young Zambians!
Livingstone was an amazing place to spend three weeks and the amazing accommodation and staff made me feel at home as soon as I arrived. I made some great friends in Zambia, many of whom I've seen since being back in the UK. I had a brilliant time and can't wait to go back!

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would go for longer! I only volunteered for 2 weeks and spent 3 weeks in total in Zambia - next time I'd love to volunteer for longer and give myself enough time to visit some other African nations I'm interested in visiting!

Programs

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Alumni Interviews

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

Jennifer Bauer

Jennifer is a mom and a teacher who loves adventure, nature, the outdoors, and helping others.

Why did you choose this program?

I fell in love with Africa the first time I visited 20 years ago and have been back several times. I wanted to do volunteer work on my next trip there. My daughter is an environmental science student and also wanted to volunteer doing animal conservation. The African Impact program was recommended to her by one of her professors. The program in Big 5 animal conservation and community volunteering looked like the perfect fit.

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

They had everything planned once we arrived (airport pick-up, lodging, volunteer activities, optional weekend trips, etc.). They offered guidance with other things like visas, shots, etc. They offered help with airfare, but we did it on our own.

We wanted to go to Kruger Park for a few days after our experience and they connected us to a travel outfit to help, but we ended up making the arrangements and renting a car on our own which saved us money.

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

If you go in the winter, bring warm clothes to wear on the early morning game drives. It will warm up later, but the early mornings can be cold in the open-air vehicles.

Advice for friends traveling overseas: Be ready to have the adventure of a lifetime and open yourself to new ideas and cultures. Your heart and mind will never be the same.

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

You're up early for game drives, where you do research on animals; then some days you go into the community to help with reading or farming programs.

Other days, you will go on a game drive, then input data into the computer and have time to listen to talks on animal behavior, poaching, and African culture. We also participated in debates and did presentations on animals.

This was a hand-on learning experience.

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

I've been abroad several times, so I'm pretty comfortable, but one fear I had was being older than a lot of the participants since the pictures showed a lot of young people. I was one of the older people, but it turned out to be a lot of fun to be around the fun and energy of students and they were very welcoming.

Is Africa safe?

A lot of people at home ask me if going to Africa on a safari is safe. I felt very safe in this program. The people of South Africa are some of the kindest, friendliest people I've ever met. They have the biggest hearts and smiles. As far as being safe from animals, our guides explained that the animals are used to cars being around them and view the car as one large solid object. As long as you keep your hands and body inside the space of the car, they will ignore you.

Countless times I have had close encounters with lions, rhinos, elephants, and cheetahs in a safari car and never had any trouble with them. For the most part, they just want to get away or ignore you.

Staff Interviews

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

Katie Lee

Job Title
Business Manager St Lucia
Katie is a passionate manager of a fantastic team and all of African Impact's projects in St Lucia. With a strong background in community development and the volunteer industry, Katie has been working for African Impact for the past 18-months and has loved every minute of it.

What is your favorite travel memory?

Most of my travel has been for work for various charities and so most of my favourite memories are revolved around times where I have felt that my work has been truly impactful on people's lives - after all, that's what we are all there for!

However, one of my stand out memories has to be swimming in the natural pools of Semuc Champay in Guatemala with my two best friends after a challenging 6-month project in Guatemala City. It was so nice to reconnect with such incredible nature - I've never felt so relaxed!

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

I have learned so much! The nature of this job has a fine balance of relying on experience, but also learning (quickly!) as you go.

I have had such amazing opportunities to develop and re-design community development projects, manage a variety of staff and volunteers (including very large student groups), build a network of local support and stakeholders for our projects and so much more. This work is very varied and no two days are the same - it certainly keeps me on my toes!

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

I think just in general what makes our volunteers and projects so unique is the shared value in what everyone gets out of the experience. So many of our return volunteers come back because St Lucia and our communities and projects have had such an impact on them as a person, it marks a special place in their heart that they feel a need to keep returning to.

Equally, our community members and beneficiaries also gain so much from our volunteers and so it's a really special and unique way to share an experience together.

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

I would absolutely love to spend some time on our wildlife conservation projects in the Kruger National Park... or maybe one of our marine conservation projects in Zanzibar - I can't choose! I want to do so many of them! But definitely with a focus on the environment or wildlife; it makes a nice change from the community projects I see every day!

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

I had wanted to work for African Impact for years before the right position became available for me, and I was so happy with the working environment and culture once I started working here. Everyone is so friendly and positive and passionate about what they do... It's really contagious!

I would say that I am genuinely proud of my team every day. The work that they do, the impact that they have and the drive that they have for their work is truly inspiring.

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

I would say the overall goal needs to be clearly communicated and the body of staff needs to be built up around achieving this goal. They say "You're only as strong as the team you have around you", and this is so true. Selecting the right staff with the appropriate skills is the only way to drive success.

That's why African Impact is truly amazing: because everyone is coming together with unlimited passion, to work towards the same goal of making an impact whatever we do.

Professional Associations

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