Community & Conservation Projects in Africa

Video and Photos

Local children playing in South Africa
Local children playing in South Africa

About

Community, Medical & Teaching: In South Africa you can assist with meaningful projects that empower people in disadvantaged communities; help Pre-school children learn important skills, giving them the best start in life; or encourage local kids to keep active and healthy by running sports workshops in the local community. If you are studying or working in the field of medicine, nursing or health sciences, then join us in Uganda and assist at local hospitals and clinics; making a real difference in the lives of the local people.

Conservation & Wildlife: Join us in South Africa, Namibia or Mozambique - giving you the chance to experience some of the most beautiful habitats in Africa! From coastal and forest monitoring, to diving on coral reefs, to studying Africa's majestic mammals; whether you are simply hoping to gain hands on experience, or looking to collect data for a dissertation project, our conservation & wildlife research programs have something for everyone!

Questions & Answers

Reviews

95%
based on 13 reviews
  • Impact 9.7
  • Support 9.8
  • Fun 9.2
  • Value 9.3
  • Safety 9.8
Showing 1 - 8 of 13
Saffy
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing experience

Once in a lifetime opp to work so closely with elephants. Found the social scene a little lacking. Great for someone looking for a purposeful trip with a bit of peace and quiet. Variety of conservation work, working with elephants and the local community. Small groups of people volunteering. Self sufficient in providing food etc, but fine if you're happy to cook for yourself. Got picked up from the airport but had to pay for a drop off. Pretty town centre by the sea but not very lively.

What would you improve about this program?
More social activities & food provided.
Travelling!
Francesca
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Home away from home

Our trip began with a long journey to Knysna South Africa. Upon arriving we were greeted by our friendly and excited co-ordinators! This was the best welcome we needed after our long trip. We hopped into our Jeep and travelled to the Volunteers house. The house was cosy and inviting, we all immediately felt at home. The group was then introduced to one another and shown to their rooms. I have to say; this house was a perfect size! It had enough space to fit everyone comfortably but not too big, so you very much felt at home!

My program involved teaching at a Pre-School, located in the township. This is an experience that will truly change your life. It gives you a new perspective and builds the skills that make you a stronger teacher. I made strong bonds with the children and enjoyed going to work every day to see their progress! I also painted schools during my time volunteering and seeing the impact on the local community was amazing!
In our free time, we also had opportunities such as; cadge diving with Great White Sharks, bungee jumping, black water tubing, zip lining, a weekend safari and horse trekking! This was the highlight of my trip! You have the chance to push yourself and have once in a lifetime experiences! This is also carried out in groups, so you really get to know your group and make friends for life!

THE FOOD! This is my final main point! You will not be hungry in South Africa, they will feed you so much! I would be so excited to come home for lunch and try the next South African dish! They honestly care for you immensely and create the best homely environment. Also, I recommend heading to the local town centre, visiting the restaurants and shops, as its very well priced!

Overall, I couldn’t have wished for a better experience! This program is suited for a range of people, I have travelled for the past 4 years. However, for some people, this was their first trip away. I think because it feels like a home away from home, this program is perfect for everyone! You have constant support, and everyone will ensure you have the best time!

What would you improve about this program?
I honestly have nothing I could add to the experience, my expectations were met and more!
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Someone
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great

Good experience and you can see the impact you make which makes this a very rewarding experience with great guidance and company.
The other volunteers were great as were all the teachers, guides and other people we met doing our various projects.
Working with the little ones at the preschools gave me a very rewarding feeling. Working at the elephant sanctuary was hard work physically but seeing these animals up close and observing their behaviours was fascinating.

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Gelyn
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Unforgettable!

Ive never met such a helpful staff from day one of inquiry up to my last day of volunteer. I only stayed for a good 2 weeks (allowable time off from my job). The staff was just a delight! Ive never felt so at home. We stayed in a volunteer house, which was occupied then by 3 Germans, 1 Australian and Me - A Filipino. Interacting with different cultures in the house was such a great experience. I signed up for community outreach and I would say I miss the kids and the people everyday up to this date. The immersion was more than I expected.
As for safety, the staff makes sure you get to your placement and back to the house as safe as possible!
Free time was never a dull moment too. Free time was spent with my housemates - biking around the moutains, going to the beach, eating out or just watching dvds.
This has been such a memorable experience! Its totally worth it!

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Shawnigan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Group experience was wonderful

Experienced with other international volunteer global service initiatives, I was hesitant about using a company that I did not know to facilitate our South African group experience. I found Edge of Africa online, and the testimonies of others caught my attention. I contacted locals in the Knysna area whom I knew, and I asked about the company, and only good things were said about Edge of Africa.

Our school's Global Service Leadership program is called E.D.G.E. (Engagement, Development, Gratitude and Experience), so I must admit I was hoping that the company would serve us well. I had no need to hesitate. My queries were treated professionally, honestly and promptly.

Not only was the communication good before we arrived, but our experience was positive from the time we were gently picked up from the airport after our 30 hour journey, to our tearful good byes when we were returned to the airport at the end of our stay.

The program was varied yet meaningful everyday. There were opportunities for change when it seemed advantageous and we were treated as family - with humour, respect and caring. Our students benefited from taking responsibility to teach young children about the environment, to have fun with local children and one another in working and playful experiences.

Our students were also given the opportunity to visit and work on a local game reserve (arriving with the new lions roaring not far from our tents was exciting, and getting to know the elephants by name and scent was heart-warming). The entire experience was fantastic - nothing was unpleasant, even the soaking rain and mud and hard physical work on the reserve; it made wonderful memories.

I have no hesitation in recommending Edge of Africa as an outstanding company with which to work, and they facilitate an excellent volunteering experience in South Africa.

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Mike
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

By far, the best 2 months of my life.

I had no idea what to expect when going to South Africa, it was the most I've ever been out of my comfort zone. When I got there, it was unlike anywhere I'd ever been in a brilliant way. The work I did out there was the most fun I'll probably ever have in my life, working with the kids, on the nature trail and the events we staged were all as excellent as each other.

We staged an information awareness event, a football competition and a talent show. They were all a great success and were so much fun to organise.

The social aspect was awesome, the clubs, the safaris and especially the Bungee Jump.

I can never thank Edge of Africa and their staff enough for what was the best 2 months of my life.

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AnnaBaker
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Unforgettable!!

My experience in Knysna, South Africa was absolutely FANTASTIC!!!!!

I was on the Sport Development programme as it related to my degree course. I went to the after schools clubs and youth centres and helped out in some of the sport sessions. I helped coach some teenagers living in the townships volleyball. The most rewarding aspects of this programme was volunteering at MAD (Mad about art) centre who worked with TackleAfrica. This programme was about educating and informing the kids about HIV/AIDS through the game of football. First thing I thought was how on earth are they going to do that??!! But it was brilliant. The kids listened, learned and had great fun. I loved being part of that.

I also volunteered in a pre school in the townships. I was very nervous about this part as I did not have much experience working with children of that age and this it was not related to sport. However this experience was incredible. The ladies who worked at the pre school were amazing people who worked so hard and the children were so lovely. I taught them how to count to 10 in English and I also taught them to Hoaky Coaky which was loads of fun!!

The volunteer house is great as well. Really good friendly atmosphere, always clean. Sometimes a little squished as there was like 20 volunteers there at one time but it just added to the fun of it.

I WOULD WELL AND TRULY RECOMMEND EDGE OF AFRICA TO ANYONE!!!

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Danielle
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing Experience with Edge of Africa

I spent 6 weeks with Edge of Africa in August/September 2011 and would recommend this organisation to everyone. The staff are absolutely amazing and they are so passionate about their projects. I feel so lucky and blessed to have been able to have been apart of this.

I was registered on the Build Our Schools project where I would have spent the morning at the pre school helping with the regeneration and the afternoons were spent with the other volunteers on various community projects. I was very apprehensive about making this trip as I was worried about becoming bored on the building site or feeling isolated as I was the only volunteer on this project. The Edge staff always made sure that there was someone with me on site and that I would have had my afternoons at different projects so that boredom would not be an issue.

The Edge Staff are such wonderful and inspiring people. At the end of every week they conduct a personal evaluation to ensure that you are happy on your project, provide any support needed or edit your time table if something is wrong. For example I found that teaching at the pre school was to difficult due to language barriers and that I was bored as I was not able to be involed in the Xhosa teaching, so my timetable was editted so that I didn't take part in any more teaching. The organisation is flexible allowing you to spend more or less time on the projects of your choice once you arrive.

I would seriously recommend this organisation if there is a project that you have a passion for.