African Impact

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, we work hand-in-hand with local communities to establish, develop and monitor initiatives that contribute to community empowerment and wildlife conservation. Our dedication and commitment to authentic and sustainable practices has earned us 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.

We invite you to join our 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!

2021 is open for bookings, apply now for limited spaces!

Responsible travel will start again and we are opening our programs in 2021 with limited spaces. What are you waiting for? Apply now for a destination manager to give you our latest competitive pricing and available dates. Africa is waiting for you!
Founded
2004
Headquarters

153 Main Road
Surfers Corner
Muizenberg
Cape Town
7950
South Africa

Reviews

Default avatar
Chris
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

From my point of view the whole experience of volunteering at African impact was of the highest possible calibre. The staff and people around the lodge were friendly and helpful, nothing was too much trouble. When it can to the guides who took us out on the drives, there knowledge was superb and there was a good level of really specialist knowledge in lots of very specific areas, there was not a single question I asked, that wasn't answered with great detail. I learnt so much that just cannot be taught by just watching documentaries.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
if i did it all over again, i would do it for longer. for me 2 weeks just wasnt long enough to feel like i did the project justice.
Default avatar
Brigitte
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Volunteering with African Impact was the best traveling experience I ever had. I have been traveling for years but this was the first time as a volunteer. I always wanted to come to Africa as a photographer. The experience changed me. I had tears leaving the place. From the moment Jack one of our guides picked me up, I felt comfortable with the organization. I did not know what to expect. The full staff at the lodge for African Impact are amazing. Such good people! The kitchen staff are really good cooks. The lodge was always cleaned and ready to repair anything that needed maintenance. The lodge structure is well organized and maintained. I was impressed. The staff was very friendly and amazing. I had a great time with the guides on a daily basis and was impressed by their knowledge of animals. The accommodations were great. The food was great. It was different everyday and well cooked. We even got dessert on some occasions. I visited friends who had private outdoor tents as an accommodation and it was very well organized and set up for the guests. We were lucky to have a nice cleaned pool. I liked the set up as well of the outdoor fire area with logs we could sit on and enjoy the night with a cool drink and sometimes dinner. I liked the fact that we had a cozy area to relax, read and watch movies as well as sit for presentations. The lodge program structure was well organized. We knew exactly where to go and talked to if any issues occurred. The program was busy and well structured for a photography beginner’s course. Even being a professional photographer I enjoyed the program as a refresher and certainly enjoyed the daily safari drives. At night at the lodge we could hear predators calling each other. That was amazing and scary at the same time! I loved this place! I would recommend this program to anyone who loves photography and research. I will return to this program in the near future.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
My most memorable experience from the program was when we encountered leopards twice actually during the month. The first time was when we were driving on a night game drive looking for predators. We found a male calling the female for mating, but unfortunately she never came but hearing the sounds he made was incredible. Such a rare opportunity; to experience in the wild! He was big and beautiful. My favorite animal and one of the reasons I traveled to Africa as a photographer. The second time we were also on a game drive but during the day. We finally saw a female leopard sleeping. This is also a rare opportunity! My heart was beating so fast and I was hoping she would wake up so I could take a good picture of her, as I was not able to get a good one from the night drive. After half an hour she finally woke up and started to stretch before us. My stomach was having butterflies, as I was so happy to get the chance to see a leopard close and in the wild. I finally got the perfect focused shot in the bush of her. I had tears in my eyes!
Default avatar
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!

Default avatar
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!)
Default avatar
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 !

Programs

Displaying 1 - 9 of 37
African Impact
Volunteer Programs in South Africa with African Impact
South Africa
9.07 •45 reviews

There is a reason why South Africa is consistently rated one of the...

African Impact
Volunteer Projects in Zambia with African Impact
Zambia
9.69 •32 reviews

Rich culture and adventure are abundant in this African nation...

African Impact
Wildlife Conservation Volunteering with African Impact
Africa
9.35 •20 reviews

Southern Africa is known for its spectacular wildlife, and the reality...

African Impact
Childcare and Education Volunteering with African Impact
Tanzania
9.08 •12 reviews

We are passionate about providing safe and responsible childcare, and...

African Impact
Volunteer Programs in Tanzania with African Impact
Tanzania
8.7 •10 reviews

Tanzania is East Africa’s largest country and also one of its most...

African Impact
Healthcare and Medical Volunteering with African Impact
Africa
10 •9 reviews

Adequate access to healthcare is a basic human right. Yet, many in...

African Impact
Gender Equality Volunteering with African Impact
Africa
9.5 •4 reviews

Abuse, forced marriage, early pregnancy and missing out on basic...

African Impact
Photography Internship in South Africa
South Africa
10 •3 reviews

Join our creative experts in the Greater Kruger Area of South Africa...

African Impact
Animal Care and Veterinary Volunteering with African Impact
South Africa
9.33 •3 reviews

Southern Africa is a fantastic destination of choice for anyone with a...

Alumni Interviews

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

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.

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