Why choose Gapforce?

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.



We are committed to exert a positive impact on the regions, countries and communities which we visit. For us it is paramount that the local organisations and communities benefit from our cooperation by working with trusted local businesses and project partners who align with our sustainability objectives.

Ethical Impact

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.

As a small team, we are committed to providing a highly personalised service from your initial contact right through to your chosen adventure. We achieve this through our dedicated team of program leaders and support staff, all of whom are passionate travellers united by a common purpose to help young people explore the world.


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Yes, I recommend this program

Gapforce Expedition Feb 2022

I went into this program really nervous, not knowing what to expect, wanting to change my career, get into the outdoors, and start my travels with a purpose. This program fulfilled all of that and more, I have come out of my shell now, I have been able to make incredible unforgettable friends, and it has helped me make my career in the outdoors. I am lucky to be working in Australia as an outdoor educator 1 year on from having completed my course, and I believe the GapForce program has helped me achieve this.
My highlights from the trip are too long to add into this review, the jungle, the local tribe you get to meet, Costa Rica is amazing, cycling expedition was incredible. I am so happy I waited through Covid to get onto this trip.
The leaders were amazing, the skills of Gaz and the confidence he has in the jungle is so valuable it makes it feels comforting having him around.
Jade is just badass, so confident in the jungle, so knowledgeable about first aid and so many stories to be told especially about cycling.
Collin is just something, managed to work with him after I had finished with Gapforce and he is no different, so much laughter and banter you can have with him. Never a dull moment.

Thank you GapForce for an incredible expedition.

  • The jungle
  • meeting different people
  • the leaders
  • Having to many people in the group
  • Too many days off
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Yes, I recommend this program

Expedition leader training

Tour guiding or leading expedition has always been something I wanted to do, but it also hard to get good contacts or get work when starting in the industry. The reason I chose to do the expedition leader training with gapforce, was because of the wide amount of theory and hands on training gained in 4 months to be a good leader. Have training in different environments ex: England and Costa Rica, all the certification achieved by the end the of it and the opportunity to gain a job out of it. Applying and completing the expedition leader training was the best decision I ever made it help me achieve many of my personal goal and lifestyle I was looking for. After putting hard work, discipline and positive attitude during my training i was given the opportunity by gapforce to be one of their own expedition leader. My dream job finally came true. I went from never leaving my own country to begin an international tour guide in just a couple of months. I'm still working with gapforce and I had the chance to lead a few expeditions. The amount of traveling, activities, contacts, friends and more opportunities gained from working with gapforce is absolutely amazing! To summarize it all, if you're looking for an experience with high intensity adventure that will boost your confidence, bring you great leadership skills... don't hesitate and join the training. This one in a lifetime experience will only bring you positive outcomes no matter what career or other path you take afterwards.

  • Lots of hands on and theory training
  • Well educated and experienced instructors
  • Offers jobs opportunities, if successful
  • Not for everyone, you must be motivated and positive mindset
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Yes, I recommend this program

Expedition leader Training course Costa Rica

I believe that this course helps individuals build their life skills and learn new ones and also grow as a persin and learn new things about themselves and push comfort boundaries. This course has also helped me overcome challenges and gave me new and interesting topics and experiences to talk about and to remember. I would recommend this course to people willing to challange themselves so that they can have new life experiences. On this course I have been able to come closer to wildlife than I was expecting l, which gave me the ability to enjoy the flora and fauna of Costa Rica even more and see how everything in the jungle coexists. Rhis has been a really eye opening trip for me as I have also been able to learn more about the Bribri people and their way of life.

  • New life skills
  • Amazing memories
  • Lifelong friendships
  • Being out of your confort zone
  • Close to no comfort in the jungle(as is stated in the course discription)
  • Lots of mosquitoes(Bring extra insect repellant)
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Yes, I recommend this program

SEA Explorers Trip!

I chose this trip because of my initial worries about being a solo female traveller with no experience. The description of the expedition in the brochure detailed a mixture of volunteering, exploring and relaxing and I can confidently say the trip ticks all three boxes. You truly get an authentic experience as you volunteer at the amazing elephant sanctuary (a real highlight of the trip), explore temples or visit waterfalls, celebrate local traditions and appreciate a new culture and cuisine. For someone who wants to gain proper travelling experience and exposure to an entirely different way of life whilst simultaneously staying safe, with the guarantee of making friends and lifelong memories, I really can’t recommend this trip enough. Our team leader Magnus really made the trip, consistently making everyone feel at ease and comfortable, and often going over and above to make you feel reassured in nerve wracking situations that will naturally come with being in an entirely new and different country. His support and knowledge was the best safety blanket as a first time traveller, whilst also a good insight into how to manage mix-ups and what to do when things go wrong. Overall, the trip is the perfect springboard for those looking to gain confidence and experience proper backpacking travel, and by the end of it, you’re ready for the freedom to lean away from a tight group itinerary and embrace the spontaneity of solo travelling that you’re impatient to start it all over again by yourself, or even with the friends you made along the way!

  • gaining proper travel experience in a safe but fun environment
  • great balance of volunteering, exploring and relaxing
  • group travel means a tighter, less flexible itinerary
  • budget doesn’t always take into account higher prices in capital cities or touristy areas so prepare to spend a little more for some meals
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Yes, I recommend this program

South east Asia 8 week trip

I had a wonderful time on the south east Asia 8 week trip, I’ve met some amazing people that I will continue to stay in touch with. There were lots of adventurous activities led by our leader, Magnus, who would always ensure our safety as well as support us when we were ill. It is an amazing first trip to introduce travelling if you are nervous, but it has a rigid and set schedule with not much room for leeway. I really enjoyed the time and the people I met so I would enjoy for any first time travelers.

  • Good for first time travels
  • Meet lots of people
  • Take part in lots of adventurous activities
  • Not much room for schedule adjustments


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Alumni Interviews

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

Martha Graham Fitzpatrick

Martha is passionate about the outdoors, spending her free time hiking, climbing or camping in the mountains of Ireland and abroad.


Why did you choose this program?

I always knew I wanted a career in the outdoors and something I could travel with and meet interesting people. I found this course, and after researching similar training programmes I decided this was best for me. The opportunity to live and learn in the jungle was a once in a lifetime opportunity and this course appeared to be the most intense and rewarding in terms of qualifications and experience gained.

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

Gapforce organise everything apart from flights, insurance and kit. However, instructors are always there to answer any questions before you leave, whether it’s about equipment, physical or mental preparation - they are all very experienced and knowledgeable. During the course we help organise transport, meals and logistics to gain experience - this is what you would be doing as an expedition leader.

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

Give it your all. Even if you’re really struggling in the moment you have to appreciate where you are and what you’re doing…it’s not every day you’re lugging 30kg through the jungle in Central America! Your teammates are there to support you, everyone is in the same boat. Be open to all new experiences, even if it’s tough at first, us humans adapt very quickly. Also, foot care! (Foot rot is not a pleasant experience)

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

You will spend about 7 days in the jungle at a time, going back into town for a few days to rest, clean everything and restock on food. In the jungle you will typically get up at 7am (usually awake earlier if there’s howler monkeys around) and have breakfast. The leader of the day will give a briefing to explain the plan. Lessons will run up until lunch where you will do some housekeeping eg. collect firewood, make amendments to camp. Afterwards you will have more lessons/ activities until around 4pm. Unless you’re on the dinner team this is usually a bit of free time. You will wash in the river and clean your clothes and kit. I usually spent time practicing some knots, reading or preparing for my next leader day. It gets dark at around 6pm so we usually headed to bed after dinner at around 8 or 9pm…you’ll need your rest!

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

As the start date approached I got pretty nervous! I had a lot of self doubt and thoughts like ‘What if I’m totally inexperienced compared to everyone?’, ‘Am I fit enough?’, ‘Will people take me seriously as a leader?’. But when I arrived in Wales I quickly realised I had nothing to worry about. Even after the first week together you get to know everyone very well and quickly become a team. I did struggle at points and there were moments where I was less experienced than others, but you’re there to learn. I soon became a lot more confident as a leader, the instructors really help you figure out what sort of leader you are and you will find your flow! In terms of going abroad, I was more excited than nervous. The language barrier was probably the biggest issue but you adapt very quickly and learn a bit of Spanish during the course. After the course finished I even decided to stick around and travel through Central America solo, something I never would have had the confidence to do before.

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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