Plan My Gap Year

Program Reviews

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

South Africa Big 5 volunteering

I did the volunteer project at the Kwantu Game Reserve and my experience with PMGY was great!!
They took time to answer every question I had for pre-departure and for my stay, and explained everything for my arrival so I felt secure. Also, the fact that they organize zoom calls and also they send us this very well detailed volunteer handbook was really helpful, everything we need to know was in it.

To talk about the project, every word would not be enough to describe how incredible this experience was. It was sooo much better that I expected it to be, and I expected it to be amazing! The local team was so nice, the project and activities/work we did was really interesting, it was so uplifting to think that we did contribute to the improvement of these animals life and environment!

And to come back to PMGY, if you are thinking about doing a volunteer project, I would 100% recommand booking with this organization.

Pros
  • Game drives
  • Friendly staff
  • Great activities
Default avatar
Rachel
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Just book and go!

If your thinking about it, just book!

6 months ago today I’d booked 4 destinations with PMGY, quit my job, packed my bags and I was on my way to Ghana (thinking what on earth am I doing?!). I spent months and months going over it in my head and eventually just went for it and it is the best decision I have ever ever made! PMGY are simply amazing. Every country I have been to, every project, every member of staff I have met/spoken to, every weekend trip I’ve been on; has just been outstanding! Every new volunteer I meet asks which country has been my favourite and I just can’t answer, every destination has been great for all different reasons!

Ghana is a very authentic experience and you really really make a difference at the projects. The people in Ghana are so full of life and infectious energy!

Tanzania is such a beautiful country with some amazing day/weekend travel opportunities. Safaris, Kilimanjaro, Zanzibar- beautiful! The childcare project at Rafiki School is just the best!

South Africa (Game Reserve) was insane! Working with the big 5 everyday, taking care of the ones in the rehabilitation centre, going out on game drives and helping maintain the reserve, very surreal! The accommodation is great and you have access to all of the hotel facilities too!

Sri Lanka is everything! Projects, travelling, partying, relaxing… you name it we did it! Staff are amazing and the friendliest people I’ve ever met- I miss it sooo much! It felt and still feels like home even though I’ve left.

I’m now in India (which is equally as amazing) and will be moving onto Nepal, Bali and hopefully Vietnam if my savings can stretch to it!

My biggest worry was being homesick but having a routine with the volunteering, living at the houses and having the staff around to help with anything straight away; has really helped. Every weekend I go away travelling and always look forward to going back ‘home’ to the volunteer house afterwards.

I can’t wait to see what the rest of my year has in store! Thank you PMGY!

Pros
  • Meeting so many people from all over the world!
  • Volunteering gives you a whole other experience compared to just going and sight seeing.
  • Everyday is different!
Default avatar
Rachel
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Bali experience

I just came back from the PMGY Bali English teaching trip. I had the most amazing time ever, I wouldn’t take it back for anything in the world. I went with one of my best friends, but I believe this trip would have been great to go solo, as most people I met on the trip did! Getting there was really smooth and the driver was waiting for us once we arrived at the airport. Once we got to the volunteer house Indra and Nadia greeted us and showed us around the whole house. We quickly felt at peace in our new “home”. Orientation went really smooth and we were able to get volunteering in no time. At the time I was there was about 50 other volunteers so it was amazing to meet so many people from all over the world. Everyone quickly became friends and we’d use our spare time to hang out. The weekends were especially fun to explore Bali with new friends, I’d recommend going to Nusa Penida island just because it’s so beautiful. This experience was 10/10 and I’d recommend PMGY to anyone:)))

Pros
  • Easy to make friends
  • Weekends off
  • Volunteering really immerses yourself in the culture
Default avatar
Pavlos
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great

The experience during my time volunteering with PMGY was simply perfect. The experiences I gained, from the program exceeded my expectations. Even though I could only go for one week with a friend of mine the local guide managed to show us everything we needed and although a couple more weeks would have been great when I left I felt full of experiences and memories. On top of the great activities I perticioated in, the people I met were amazing. The locals that guided me throughout the activities were as helpful and friendly as they could and they provided a personal experience during the entirety of my trip. The other volunteers I met the days the program lasted are very social and we started talking and sharing stories almost immediately. It was unfortunate that I had only one week time though and I didn't manage to bond with the rest of the volunteers as much as I would like. All the things I did during my stay though was perfect. I went in safaris where I observed and took photos of the wild animals mostly in the morning and one time in the afternoon when the animals that hunt in the night were out. Another lifetime experience was our visit in a village nearby where we gave food to a school and played with the children. In that particular village there had not been volunteers in two years so the excitement and happiness we provided to the children was truly a once in a lifetime experience and made me appreciate some things I took for granted.

Pros
  • People I met
  • Things I did
Default avatar
Elma
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

PMGY INDIA 🇮🇳

I decided to join medical volunteer programme in India for almost 3 weeks.
It was my first time in Asia and I had so many worries before leaving.
My experience was beautiful, much more than I would have imagined. Vishy and Simar welcomed us like family, accompanied us to every destination, and always made sure everything was ok. They took care of each of us and even made special requests.
During the day there are many activities where you can decide where to go and if you need something they are always available to accompany you everywhere. We visited a lot over the weekend and also had the opportunity to go to an Indian wedding. It was magical.
I felt at home despite the different culture.
Nilesh cooked for us together with others and always made sure we had eaten by always offering us snacks.
It was a fantastic experience that taught me a lot. The children, the medical work, and the whole team from India were fantastic. Thank you all for making me feel at home, safe and giving me the best experience of my life.
I hope to go back there and meet them again.
I would recommend India 100000% to anyone that is thinking to do this magic experience.

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

Awesome experience

The volunteer trip to South Africa was a unique experience that you live once in lifetime. First the country of South Africa has the most beautiful and majestic landscapes I have ever seen. The nature and the wild animals combined just astonish you! The program was perfect when it comes to the transportation, quality of accommodation and food in the reserve and staffs communication and friendliness. Especially the staff were so kind and caring that are one of the main reasons that I would return to the program just to see them again and see how they doing. The program has the full Africa safari and animal close encounter experience that it promises.

Pros
  • Friendly staff
  • Nice food
  • Close animal encounter
Cons
  • The work was too easy and basic at least for me
  • I wanted to contribute a bit more
Default avatar
Elina
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best two months in Sri Lanka

I spent 8 weeks in Sri Lanka and it was an incredible experience!
It’s hard to say anything negative about the pre-departure support. Whatever I had in mind I got an answer, sometimes even in few minutes! In country Ash and the rest of the local team were always happy to help when needed and with their help we got to experience so much more than what a ”normal” tourist would experience! I did the childcare project at girls home and everyday I left the project with a smile on my face. When we taught them English, they taught us to dance in return!

I highly recommend PMGY Sri Lanka, my advice is to book flexible flights because you might want to extend your trip!

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

Wildlife volunteer in Cusco, Peru

I went to Peru last autumn and volunteered in the Wildlife Sanctuary. It was an amazing experience and I met loads of lovely people there. The actual sanctuary was so welcoming and the included us in their work, we could interact with the animals and show the visiting groups of tourists around. It was also so nice to have a volunteer meeting place to hang out at with everyone and the host family was lovely too. I wish I had stayed for longer! Cusco is such a nice city, safe, lots of fun and good night life. I loved it!

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I originally planned to stay there for 4 weeks, but once I got there I realised there was no way I was going to have enough time to have the whole experience in such a short time. Time flies by when you're there so make sure you book your trip for as long as you can because you will for sure love it once you are there!
Default avatar
Tarique
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best time ever!

I went to Ghana on the PMGY programme and I can honestly say it's the best decision I've taken in years! Before I had finished planning my trip, I got a lot of support by Philip, who is always available for a quick reply to any question you may have and even for Zoom calls to discuss your plans, and the volunteer handbook which had all the important information in there as well and also provided a detailed description of what to expect when there. At the airport, Kelvin was already waiting for me with a PMGY sign and when I didn't see him at first, the local people were very helpful as well. After a day we travelled to our accommodation which is a lovely house shared with all the volunteers who were there. Being around each other so much really made us bond with each other and you'll make a lot of close friends there. Also the local staff are wonderful and always there to help out, you'll get very close to them as well. If we ever had any questions we could always reach out to one of them and it'd be answered. Personally I did the medical project for three weeks and teaching for one week. The medical project was mostly observatory, though, there are some actions that you can undertake if you ask for it, especially if the healthcare workers get to know you. Going to the hospital will definitely be an enriching experience for your life. The school as well was VIBES. The kids got endless amounts of love in them and they transfer that energy to all of the teachers! In our free time there was always something to do and in the weekends you can go on trips (the PMGY trips are great!). All in all, had an AMAZING time. If you've got any doubts, I'd just say go for it and ask any questions you have to Philip.

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

The best volunteering program!

I took part in the SOUTH AFRICA WILDLIFE RESERVE VOLUNTEER project. It’s possible to arrange pickup from the airport so you don't have to worry about getting to the volunteer site. The place is very clean and meet western standards. The accommodation on site was beyond my expectations, food was very tasty with a choice of many dishes at each meal. Free water is always available.

Activities included things like tree chopping, fence clearing, building fences, giving water to animals, feeding animals, and more relaxing activities like animal counting, game drives. There is also something like a wild cats hospice, besides the reserve, so if you are worried that you won’t be able to see the cats in the reserve, you have nothing to fear because there will always be some in the hospice. In addition to work, you will also learn about the animals that live in the reserve, you will learn their names and the most interesting information that will be provided to you by the caretakers and volunteers who were there before you.

I was in Kwantu in October (the beginning of spring in the southern hemisphere), so the weather was perfect, warm but not too hot, only rained a few times.



All the people working there and the volunteers are very friendly and helpful. They often work with volunteers to improve the place. There is a very nice atmosphere.



PMGY's pre-departure support was very helpful and quick. The volunteer handbook I received was comprehensive.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
You don’t need to have any special skills to take part in this volunteering. Comfortable work clothes and cloth gloves will be useful. Most of work tools are guaranteed.