All Out Africa

All Out Africa

About

All Out Africa, a responsible travel company, was founded in 2004 by Kim Roques. With its headquarters in Ezulwini (the Valley of Heaven), Swaziland, All Out Africa also has bases in Cape Town, South Africa; Maun, Botswana; and Tofo, Mozambique. All Out Africa's travel company focuses on providing responsible travel experiences as well as comprehensive tours of the regions in which we operate. Our non-profit foundation focuses on supporting social and environmental projects. We truly stand behind our motto: "working together for people & wildlife".

Our projects give directly back to the communities in which they are conducted either directly through volunteer presence or through our foundation's fundraising and donation efforts. Head to our pages to learn more about the work that we do around southern Africa.

We have a committed team of staff who are passionate about helping the local communities in a sustainable way.

Founded
2004
Headquarters

PO Box 153, Lobamba
Swaziland
1234
South Africa

Reviews

Izzy Weisz Go Overseas Headshot
Izzy
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The week I spent with All Out Africa in Swaziland was truly an eye-opening experience. I hadn't even heard of The Kingdom of Swaziland before 2018, let alone what day-to-day life there is like, or the challenges the country faces. I had no idea what to expect, but that turned out to be completely OK. All Out ushered me through a week of adventuring (camping in Kruger National Park was one for the books), volunteering (learning the role of volunteers and how much the community benefits from the work reminded me of the impact of community-based programs), and expanding my horizons. While the volunteer group was comprised almost entirely of 17-20 year old Dutch and German girls, talking to them about why they were there revealed an investment in their work and a deep caring for the kids they saw each morning. And it was instantaneously clear how much the kids (mostly 5 and 6 year olds) loved the time they spent with the volunteers, too.

My takeaways from the trip include, but are definitely not limited to:
- Volunteering with a group that's lead by a community-based program is the best way to both understand the culture, and make a difference
- International travel is so, so important
- The mountains of Swaziland are highly underrated
- I must go back

Kyle
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I had an excellent time when I volunteered for a month with AllOut Africa in Mozambique. It provided me an incredible cultural, ecological, and educational experience. I was able to kickstart my research career and begin my path towards becoming a marine scientist thanks to this opportunity. The director and staff at the marine research center were top-tier. I recommend this program to anyone interested in marine conservation, ecology, tourism, and local culture of Mozambique!

What would you improve about this program?
More funding!
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Lara
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

We had a lovely time in Mozambique. It was good to get away for a week. We went surfing, kayaking and on the ocean safari. It was crazy to do those things because in Holland you could never do something like that. But it's a shame that you don't always see things on the ocean safari. It was also really good that besides the activity's All Out planned for you, you can do activity's on your own like quad biking and scuba diving. Mozambique is besides a beautiful country with an amazing landscape. And we had a wonderful time.

What would you improve about this program?
maybe the communication, because some things aren't that clear
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Nora
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Every morning when we traveled to our NCP Bethany we went on a little adventure. We had to travel from Lidwala to Machlania Markets with a combi. In there we always had good african music. The drive would be just 15 minutes but we always had around 30 minutes because we were stopping at every stop for a long time and watched our drivers persuading people to come into our combi which was great fun. At Mahlanya Markets we had to wait again for "The President". The president is a small bus which looks like it would breakdown every minute but still a very remarcable vehicle. At Mahlanya markets we always had a nice chat with local people. We could never be sure that the president would actually arrive so everytime it did we were really relived. The drive with the president is on a very bumpy road. The ride not very comfortable but the view you got on it was breathtaking. You see little houses, lots of mountains and landscapes. When we arrived at Emagonini where we had a little hike to do our adventure was nearly finished. The hike up to Bethany was quite exhausting because it was most of the time very hot. Once we bumped into a herd of cows which was also an experience you only make in Africa. When we arrived at Bethany NCP we always had a new story to laugh about. Thanks to our long and slightly complicated way we have the feeling to have seen a bit of real Swaziland and not just the big cities.

What would you improve about this program?
It would be nice if you could spend a little bit more time at the NCP because sth we just started to do sth and already had to go again.
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Lianne
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Actually I didn't know what to expect exactly when I was planning this trip to Swaziland. Afterwards i'm glad I chose this exciting trip, because of the great combination of volunteering and activities. I saw the big 5 in Kruger Park, did zip-lining through the amazing nature of Swaziland, did snorkeling in the beautiful seas of Mozambique and on the other hand we can mean something to the sweet children at the NCP's. We helped with teaching, cooking and playing with the kids.

All Out is a great organisation and the staff is very kind. They want help you to make it your best experience and they do that very well! The main accommodation 'Lidwala Lodge' is really nice and feels like home within a week. I would recommend All Out to travel or volunteer with, and especially the trip that includes this combination.

Programs

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Alumni Interviews

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

Chloe Priestland

Chloe Priestland is from St Albans, England, and currently studies palaeontology at University College London. She volunteered in Mozambique with All Out Africa from 1-22 July 2013. She enjoys travelling, hiking and taking photos of everything and anything. Oh, and she absolutely adores sharks.

Why did you decide to volunteer abroad with All Out Africa in Mozambique?

I've volunteered overseas several times before, and I always aim to try something new which will expand my horizons.

I stumbled across the All Out Africa Marine Research & Whale Shark Conservation project while browsing volunteer projects online and it just seemed perfect.

It combined my 3 main loves - traveling, volunteering and marine biology - as well as offering the chance to go somewhere entirely new to me, expand my knowledge of ocean life, and learn to scuba dive - something I had always wanted to try.

It didn't take long for me to go ahead and book the trip. I was unbelievably excited from the first. And I am so glad I took that step out of my comfort zone, because it was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had.

If you are interested in marine life and playing your part in helping protect our oceans, book this trip. You will have the time of your life.

Describe your day to day activities as a volunteer.

Your daily activities vary throughout the week. You rotate between tasks with the other volunteers. The first few days of the trip I spent gaining my PADI Open Water qualification and learning how to identify the local fishes.

After that I was able to join the All Out Africa research dives. Each volunteer goes on about 3 or 4 research dives per week. You also participate in 2-4 ocean safaris per week.

The safaris involve heading out on the boat and recording whale shark sightings with your snorkel at the ready.

I was there for the humpback whale season, so we also carried out shore-based whale surveys in groups of 3 or 4. We would each do about 2 of these per week.

We would also have time during the week allocated for inputting the collected data into the various online databases. You always have some free time each day to explore, relax and socialize with your fellow volunteers. You can always ask to go on extra dives and ocean safaris too, though these will cost extra.

Some days the weather doesn't cooperate so you may end up with an entire free day - you have to learn to go with the flow. The beaches in Tofo are beautiful so we would usually spend our free time swimming in the ocean, strolling along the sand and soaking up the sun.

The evenings were free for socializing or attending Marine Megafauna Foundation seminars hosted at one of the local hostels. There were plenty of restaurants and bars if you wanted a night out, though sometimes it was nice just to chill at the volunteer house and chat about your day over a showing of Finding Nemo.

What was the best moment of the entire trip?

The best moment of the entire trip had to be seeing my first manta ray on scuba. I'd seen the videos, I'd seen the photos, I'd been told all about them...but nothing compared to the reality of actually seeing one.

It was only about 5 minutes into the dive and the manta ray came gliding out of the shadows. It was so beautiful and majestic I had to remind myself to keep breathing.

It was bigger than I'd ever imagined, yet moved so gracefully through the water. And when you turned to look at your fellow volunteers, you knew you were all thinking the same thing: WOW.

Before I knew it, the manta had drifted back into the shadows and I had to ask myself if that had really just happened. It was such an alien experience.

When we got to the surface after the dive we were all still so excited about our encounter, and we ended up talking about it most of the day. Even the dive leaders were excited, though they must have seen hundreds of mantas over the years.

It was a moment I will never forget.

Has your worldview changed as a result of the trip?

My worldview has definitely changed as a result of the trip.

I had a passion for marine life before I embarked on the project, but I learned so much more while I was there and was really inspired to get more involved in protecting our oceans.

Since I returned, I've been trying to learn more about our local marine conservation projects, get involved, and follow all the latest developments in the field. I learned a lot more about the practices of finning on the trip, and why the local people feel the need to do it.

I learned a lot about the country of Mozambique as a whole. And I developed an even deeper respect for our oceans. It is one thing to learn about the ocean, but it is another thing entirely to head under the waves and spend time there.

It felt so peaceful and really put things in perspective for me. It made me realize how small we really are in respect to the planet as a whole, and how alien the ocean is to us.

Heading underwater was like catching a glimpse of a whole other world, and I found that so fascinating and so relaxing. You feel a thousand miles away from all your problems and your everyday life.

Now I keep wondering when I'll next get to head underwater!

Any tips for someone considering this program?

Firstly, I would advise booking to stay for more than 3 weeks. It may sound like a long time, but honestly the time travels so fast that I wish I had stayed for 3 months...maybe a year or two...maybe forever...

I would also advise bringing a fair amount of extra money with you for some weekend dives or snorkelling trips. The weekend dives tend to be double dives, so you get 2 dives plus an ocean safari for a great price.

As a new diver, I found that the more dives I went on, the more comfortable I felt in the ocean. Not to mention the more dives you do, the better chance you have of seeing some really cool things under the water!

But I'd also say don't push yourself too hard. Spend some of your free time relaxing and recuperating. Diving can be tiring and you don't want to wear yourself out to the point of getting ill, because then you wouldn't be able to participate in any dives.

Enjoy the company of your fellow volunteers - they may end up being your dive buddies on future trips! And withdraw/exchange your money as soon as you arrive because there are no ATMs or banks in Tofo.

Learn to be flexible - the weather isn't always on your side, and the same goes for wildlife. You cannot expect to see something spectacular on every dive, but just try and enjoy the experience of being underwater.

Oh, and BRING AN UNDERWATER CAMERA. Trust me, you'll regret it if you don't.

Staff Interviews

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

What position do you hold at All Out Africa? What led you to join their team?

I manage Lidwala Lodge which is the business side of the company. I was looking for a job almost 3 years ago when I came across All Out Africa, and I couldn’t believe I didn’t apply sooner!

All Out Africa encompasses the principles that I believe in.

What do you most enjoy about your role?

I get to meet people from all over the world, I get to be a part of their travel experience, I like the growth I feel my role has given me.

Have you volunteered abroad? Do tell!

Yes, I volunteered in Israel before through the Baha’I World Centre, where the discovery of travel and culture experience led to my current job.

Which All Out Africa program do you have your eye on for your next trip?

Although I live in Swaziland but I will still say the Kruger to Coast program is what I would like to do.

What tips do you have for first-time volunteers abroad?

I would say be prepared for anything, Africa can throw anything at you.

I would say- open your mind and heart to a whole new experience, what you have already learned should not hinder you from taking the best out of each new experience.