Location: Ezulwini Valley, Swaziland.
Duration: 2-13 weeks
Start Dates: There are start dates on the first Monday of each month
Cost: from £795 GBP / $1,058 USD
Includes: all food, accommodation, airport pickup, orientation and all project related activities
Does not Include: flights, travel insurance, visas and vaccinations
- Learning traditional Swazi building methods
- Giving hope through developing/maintaining our care points to educate and support orphan and vulnerable children
- Visiting a Swazi Cultural Village and exploring Swaziland’s rich culture
- Experiencing spectacular mountains and the stunning beauty of Swaziland
Free 15 minute call to discuss your options
A beautiful country with rich culture and heritage and some of the friendliest people in the world, Swaziland is one of the last remaining monarchies in Africa. It has a well-developed infrastructure and a stable and peaceful reputation. Countless opportunities for wildlife exploration and close encounters await you in the magnificent natural parks, mountains and waterfalls where you can go hiking, horse riding, mountain biking and white-water rafting.
Volunteering to build much needed infrastructure for orphaned and vulnerable children in Swaziland allows you to make a difference alongside local builders in areas where HIV/AIDS is decimating rural communities and leaving many orphaned children with inadequate shelter. Using local building materials and techniques, such as constructing mud bricks with a locally made compressor, you will build basic shelters, gardens, water system and other physical structures needed in households and care points.
This project will bring you close to the stunning beauty of Swaziland and its spectacular mountains. While visiting a Swazi cultural village and learning about Swazi culture not only will you learn traditional Swazi building methods but also you will give hope through developing care points to educate and support vulnerable children. You may clear and prepare land for structures to be built, digging foundations for the buildings, fencing and developing gardens, building and painting structures, fix swings and other play equipment. You will meet local community members and provide support to families in need. You will transfer skills, providing basic accommodation and help give encouragement and motivation to the communities to improve their quality of life.
Flexible Deposit | Refund Guarantee | Resolution Support
You will fly into OR Tambo Airport, Johannesburg where you will be met by our staff members who will transfer you by road from Johannesburg to the Kingdom of Swaziland. It is approximately a five hour journey from the airport to your accommodation. Your second day begins with an informative presentation on all you need to know about the culture and the country, how you can contribute effectively during your volunteer experience and what to expect on the tours. In the afternoon you will embark on a Cultural tour and learn about Swazi history and culture at the museum, followed by a walk around a real Swazi village where you can experience the Swazi day-to-day life. At the end of the tour is a local culinary delight - a traditional Swazi braai.
On days 3-5 and the other weekdays of your stay, the working day can start with watching the sunshine and a hot shower before getting some breakfast. At 8:00 you will travel to your placement and get ready to start the day. At 8:30 you will join your project and start building structures, digging foundations, making bricks, planting seeds, erecting fences and more. At 13:00 you can choose to eat a packed lunch or return to the accommodation for lunch. You will resume work at 14:00 and go back to what you were doing in the morning or start additional activities including local language lessons or assisting in homework clubs. At 16:30 you will return to the accommodation and hang out with the other volunteers. A delicious evening meal will be provided at 18:30 followed by more relaxation.
Days 6 and 7 as well as the other weekends during your stay are free for you to explore the charms of Swaziland. You can choose from a number of unique excursions which will take you to the fantastic mountains and gorges of Malotoja National Park for zip lining, to the Great Usutu River for white-water rafting, or to a living Swazi village for a quad bike tour or rural home stay.
If you are on a two week trip, day 15 will be your day to leave the backpacker lodge in Swaziland and transfer to Johannesburg to catch your flight home. Our team will take care of your airport transfer.
If you are on a three week trip or longer, you will continue with your volunteer project as described.
Travel & Accommodation
During your stay you will be accommodated in the award-winning Lidwala Lodge located in Ezulwini valley (the Valley of Heaven) in central Swaziland only 15 minutes away by car from the capital town Mbabane. Within a few kilometers are the Lobamba, Ezulwini and Mahlanya communities. The cultural heart of Swaziland is where you can find most tourist activities and sites such as the Royal Palace, houses of parliament, the national sports stadium and the national museum.
The Lodge is conveniently located on the main Ezulwini road, less than 2 km away from many of the area’s main facilities and attractions (craft markets, the Gables shopping centre, hotels, restaurants).
The rooms where you will stay are dorm-style with bunk beds and shared bathrooms. You will be provided with sheets and pillows. If you are planning on going on tours on home stays during your time in Swaziland, please bring your own sleeping bag.
The lodge is surrounded by a spacious garden with plenty of trees and boulders. You are likely to see monkeys roaming around the garden and a wide variety of birds attracted by the many plants. You can enjoy the large deck area, the campfire area, outdoor pool, TV lounge, communal barbecue and communal kitchen where the meals are prepared.
During the project you will be provided with three meals a day - some on a self-serve basis and others will be cooked for you. The meals are eaten together on the communal decking area. Breakfast and lunch are self-service and you can choose from a selection of cereals, bread, fruit, yogurt, eggs and spreads in the morning and bread, ham, cheese, salad and fruit for lunch. Dinner is a cooked meal and you can participate in its preparation on a rotational basis. The dishes include pasta, stir-fry, braai and stew. If you are a vegetarian or have food allergies this will be taken into consideration.
One-on-One Pre-departure and In-country Support
- Minimum age 18
- Minimum 2 weeks commitment
- Be able to communicate in English
- Be open minded, patient, adaptable and willing to embrace the challenges of the project
- Have a positive attitude towards living in a rural setting and working in a team
- Good mental and physical health - an appropriate level of fitness
- Necessary flights & visas
- Full travel & medical insurance - full assistance will be providing in arranging everything should you choose our Placement Support Package
|$ USD*||£ GBP|
* Currency conversions are approximate.
** All payments incur a 5% bank transfer fee.
*** Places are confirmed with a 4 week deposit
Project Fee includes food, accommodation, airport pickup, orientation, in-country support and project activities.
What's not included:
Flights, insurance, visas (if applicable) and vaccinations. Full assistance will be provided in getting all these arranged if you choose our Premium Support.
Placement Support Package
For your trip, we will help you organise and plan everything you will need from start to finish. Our coordinators know each project & country like the back of their hand, and will be able to offer personalised advice to ensure your trip is well-planned & executed to perfection.
This includes one-to-one assistance planning and booking;
- Pre-departure Support - Flights, Visas, Vaccinations, Insurance, Essential Items and anything else you will need before you set off.
- Ongoing In-country Support - whilst you are on the project you can Contact us at any time with any questions or concerns and we will do whatever we can to help.
- 24/7 Emergency Support - a phone number that you or your family can ring at any time, night or day in case of emergency.
Our Placement Support Package costs £349 / $449 / €425 per person, and can be purchased once you are ready to confirm your place.