Gapforce

Gapforce

About

At Gapforce, we are passionate about travel and the positive impact it has on young people’s outlook and future prospects. Our mission is to help people become global citizens through authentic, socially and environmentally responsible travel experiences which aid self-discovery and personal development.

Through our range of school group trips, gap year programs, training courses and internships, we aim to provide our participants with a unique collection of experiences designed for different stages of life.

Reviews

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Lucie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Once in a lifetime!

Travelling to Costa Rica with Gap Force was incredible. We had the opportunity to volunteer throughout our trip including reforestation and hatchery guarding. We saw lots of different things I would not have experienced had a travelled on my own such as seeing turtles laying eggs on remote beaches and staying with the BriBri tribe. I also loved the ziplining and the Tarzan swing. Through this trip I have met so many great people and formed amazing friendships. I would definitely recommend this once in a lifetime trip!

Pros
  • Experience a different country and culture
  • Visit remote places
  • Meet incredible people
Cons
  • Night life was disappointing
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Philippe
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Gapforce expedition leader course

My review of the course expedetion leader from gapforce Februari 2022.

First off I have a lot more confidence in myself.
The jungle is the hardest environment on earth. There is a reason why the special forces train in the jungle. Gapforce agrees with me, if you can lead groups in the jungle then you can do that everywhere on our planet. After this course there is the feeling that you can handle everything everywhere.

I always had the spirit of adventure and a small dream to travel to beautiful remote places, but I had no idea where to start and where to learn the essential skills of planning, surviving and taking a group with you. Either as work or as your own expedetion with mates.

I also learned medical stuff. I was never a fan of medical procedures and I didn't know anything about it. But during this course I learned a lot of medical procedures and I liked it. I know now how to set up an evacuation, give CPR and how to handle an emergency.

Before this course I never thought of risk assessments and how to keep people safe. Now everywhere I go I think of emergency scenarios and how to fix them. It is a little bit like a mind puzzle. I enjoy that very much and it makes you feel like you're prepared on anything.

I learned a lot but it doesn't mean that there weren't any fun things. For example we had a barbecue and during a volunteer project I measured a leatherback turtle and reburied its eggs to protect them from poachers. We visited a local tribal Bribri village and we did a 7 days trekking through untouched jungle.

To get the most out of this course I would recommend already having the basic lead/survival skills but even without it you can make it and end up working as a expedetion guide. It is important to know that this course is focussed on training you to become a expedition leader. This is more of a training course then a adventure course

Pros
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Alannah
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Incredible experience

Such an amazing experience that I doubt you can get from anyone else! Gapforce really made sure our trip was stocked full of such rewarding and great experiences; Volunteering in the local community, hikes to waterfalls, zip lining, surfing, and plenty of afternoons off where we could explore our local environment! I don’t think I could have asked for a better trip, money well spent if you’re looking for an engaging and fun adventure. Our trip leader Jeremie was great, really helped the group gel and such a good motivator; you always felt supported by him and he had such good advice (and dad jokes). The trip all in all felt so well organised and you never felt as if you were out of things to do. I’ve made friends for life, working hard as a team and reaping the rewards brings people together so well and gapforce has managed to create a trip where exactly that happens!

Pros
  • You’ll make friends for life
  • The experience to help the community
  • Lots of social opportunities
Cons
  • Some volunteering got a bit repetitive
  • Not many completely free days
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Olly
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Pura Vida

Amazing experience, I really enjoyed the work and the social side of it, the rest of the group were all great and will hopefully travel with some after the trip, the weather was great and the food was good except from rice and beans.

I enjoyed seeing a new culture and new people particularly in monatverde. The accommodations are good with good service.

I would recommend the trio to anyone that wants a safe start to a gap year And learn how travel.

The activities were all really good and fun especially the surfing

Pura Vida

Pros
  • Surfing
  • Weather
  • The group
Cons
  • Rice and beans
  • Bar amigos
  • Sleep schedule
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Dominik
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

GapForce Expedition Leader Training

I‘m an experienced Survival Expert and Outdoor guide from Germany but I thought there’s always something to learn and I wanted to get more experience in leading groups through the jungle and getting a good fundamental mountain leader training from a british company.
The GapForce ELT program seemed to be perfect for me, because of it’s adventurous content and schedule.

What I got and experienced was really good. We did many day hikes through the mountains in Wales with navigation, rope work like abseiling and much more. And we also spent many many times in the jungle in Costa Rica. That helped me to develop my skills and behavior in the jungle a lot. We‘ve seen fantastic places, gorges, hills, mountains, a lot of wildlife and also bad wet weather.
The instructor are very nice, helpful and experienced in what they doing and they gaved me everything I‘ve wanted from this course. We did a lot of river crossings, water safety and some rope work too. There’s also a big part of wilderness and survival training wich was also a reason, that this is the right thing for me.
We did the jungle training in many different camps with different conditions wich is really good to get as much experience as possible.
There was also a lot of theory content in terms of safety, leadership, presentation etc. included to help beginners becoming a leader and organizing and leading trips. Really good to get into this industry. It’s also good to prove yourself and get a better life experience.
Over all I was able to gather many knowledge and skills that I can use for my private expeditions or for my company.
But this is not a holiday trip! You should be fit, healthy and tough and bring some outdoor and life experience to get the best out of this incredible journey!

Pros
  • A lot of helpful outdoor skills
  • Really good experience of trek in the wild
  • Seeing many nice places
Cons
  • Some very inexperienced participants

Programs

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Alumni Interviews

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

Chloe Eayrs

Why did you choose this program?

I wanted to push myself to build my self-confidence and experiences. I wanted to see what traveling in a group was like but also independently to see how I could cope with leaning on my parents. Australia had so much to offer and I wanted to meet new friends and meet new people which I definitely formed friendships for life. I also wanted to tick Australia off of my bucket list!

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

My college didn't assist in any shape or form; this was all of my own hard work to pay for the trip to ensure I could participate.

I had to organise all of my flights, which was enjoyable and buying all of the necessities and new clothes. My college didn't know I was traveling, but it made it even more exciting knowing it was off my own back.

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

One thing I wish I knew beforehand was to be prepared for the additional activity costs as not all activities are stated which is very misleading and more expensive. I would recommend to always over budget so you can make sure you can make the most of the adventure of a lifetime, such as activities like the harbour bridge climb, white water rafting, etc.

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

No day is the same as there are relaxing days to go and explore and ensure you have your food shop all sorted whilst the other days are filled with activities, so be prepared for early starts to make the most of the day.

Be prepared for daily food shops, as not many meals are included. An average week consists of much socialising and fun and games - making friends for life.

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

My biggest fear was homesickness, which I did suffer from, but my leaders Andy and Humphrey really settled me, as they relayed their homesick experiences to me, which made me feel much more comfortable.

I cannot pinpoint the day when the homesickness disappeared but it was very early on so I could enjoy the trip which I am glad it subsided!

Is there any other advice for prospective travelers?

Definitely participate in the white water rafting, Kuranda Cable Car, Hot Air Balloon with champagne breakfast, skydiving, kayaking at Byron Bay, koala sanctuary at Magnetic Island, Harbour Bridge Climb, Whitsundays, jet skiing in Cairns.

I wish I had participated in the Skydiving and pushed myself to do it, as I saw the videos of others doing it and it looked amazing!

Staff Interviews

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

Ben Hunter

Job Title
Program Advisor & Business Development Coordinator
Ben has worked in the outdoor and travel industry for several years. A passionate advocate of outdoor adventures and the joys of exploring remote places, his current focus is on developing new trips and expeditions to support the existing range of exciting programmes already offered by Gapforce.
Ben H.

What is your favorite travel memory?

It's hard to pick just one! Spending time with the Bribri tribe in Costa Rica and crossing the border into Panama on a multi-day trek was really special. Exploring the remote border country with my friends and our local guide was the definition of adventure! Spotting snakes, crossing rivers, finding campsites and sleeping in hammocks was epic. The excitement of forging a path through the dense jungle with my machete will always stay with me.

Oh, and snorkeling in the Bahamas was pretty good as well! Not to mention walking along the Great Wall of China...

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

I have developed a growing respect and appreciation of the benefits of group travel experiences. For those who are dying to travel and see the world, but have not been away from home before, travelling alone can be daunting to say the least. Planning the itinerary of a trip can at times be brilliant, as you look forward to your adventures, but can also be quite tricky, with the duration of your trip, knowing where to start, budgeting and packing in as much as possible being common headaches. That's why companies like Gapforce are so great!

Our adventure travel trips are led by experienced and qualified Gapforce Expedition Leaders who have worked in all four corners of the globe. The itineraries are planned and the accommodation is booked - all you need to do is get on the plane and let the adventure begin!

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

Travelling and getting out of your comfort zone is a fantastic way to experience new things and gain different a different perspective on life. I guarantee that all our participants will be different people once they've returned home after joining us on one of our many programs.

One of the participants on our flagship Expedition Leader Training program was so inspired by the medical and first aid training he received that, after finishing the program, he went off to university to train as a Paramedic. Joining a Gapforce trip will not only inspire you too see more of the world, it may also fast-track your career.

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

As an adventure lover and someone who loves multi-day treks I'd have so say our programs in Nepal and South America. Trekking to Everest Base Camp is a once in a lifetime opportunity and should never be turned down! The Salkantay trek to the historic ruins of Machu Picchu should also be on any budding explorers bucket list, and we've not even mentioned the amazing Galápagos Islands or the lush and vibrant Amazon jungle. Both destinations have everything you could possible need when planning your dream adventure travel trip!

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

All the staff at Gapforce have either travelled with us on our range of programs or are graduates of our Expedition Leader Training course. We are a small and close-knit team with a clear focus on providing the best and most exciting adventure travel experiences. If you ask us a question about any of our trips we'll know the answer, because we've been there!

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

Everyone at Gapforce is committed to providing incredible and life-changing travel experiences. With continued dedication and hard work, we are exceptionally proud of our exciting range of programs and the great feedback we so often receive. Our industry leading expeditions and adventure travel trips have been running around the world since 1989 - we have no plans to stop any time soon!

Professional Associations

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