Projects Abroad | Environmental Conservation

Swaziland: Safari to Beach Adventure Tour

Ezulwini Valley, Swaziland

Description

Location: Swaziland, Mozambique and South Africa

Duration: 4 weeks

Start Dates: There are start dates on the first Monday of each month

Cost: from £2,178 GBP

Includes all food, accommodation, airport pick up, orientation, project related activities and tours to exciting destinations

Does not Include: flights, travel insurance, visas and vaccinations

Benefits:

  • Spot the famous Big 5 in Kruger national park on a 5 day camping safari
  • 7 days on palm fringed beaches of Mozambique
  • Kayaking adventure to a hidden island for lunch
  • Snorkel with Whale Sharks
  • Contribute to meaningful Social development projects in Swaziland
Costs Explained

Introduction

There are 3 distinct parts to this travel experience each with its own interesting flavor.

In Kruger, you will be joining a camping safari holiday. Here your days will be spent on game drives searching for the incredibly diverse wildlife that this world-renowned national park has to offer, while at night you will be camped out under the African stars, sitting around a crackling campfire listening to tales of the African bush. While In Kruger, your guide will teach you about the animals and plants of the African Savannah and how important it is to protect this beautiful but fragile Eco-system.

When you arrive in the beautiful mountainous Kingdom of Eswatini your role will switch to volunteer as you get involved in projects that aim to uplift the lives of orphaned and vulnerable children.

Volunteers have the option of choosing the following projects:

  • Childcare which involves assisting the teachers at our Neighbourhood Care Points (NCP’s), which act as pre-schools for orphaned and vulnerable children (6-week option only)
  • Building which involves projects such as laying bricks for new classrooms or maintaining the gardens at our NCP’s
  • Sports which includes assisting with running sporting activities with our NCP children including swimming, dancing and other fun games!
  • NEW! Savannah & Wildlife Conservation this project involves conducting multiple types of research with different species. Some of the conservation activities are

Daily Life

Day 1 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 Eswatini. It is approximately a 5-hour journey from the airport to you to your accommodation in the Ezulwini Valley.

Day 2 The second day begins with an informative presentation that will brief you on all you need to know about the culture and country, how to effectively contribute during your volunteer experience and what to expect on the tours.

In the afternoon you will embark on a Cultural Tour where you will visit the museum to learn about Swazi history and culture and then will walk around a real Swazi village to experience day-to-day life in Eswatini. The tour finishes with a local culinary delight – a traditional Swazi braai!

Day 3-7 Big 5 Safari, Kruger National Park, South Africa Kruger National Park is probably Africa’s most famous Conservation area. Spanning nearly 20,000 km2 it covers a vast array of habitats and associated wildlife. It has an aura of ancient times and offers some best opportunities to view Africa’s big game. We venture on a 5-day tour into the heart of Kruger Park including four nights camping in the park and unlimited game drives exploring the vast wilderness with the expert guidance of one of our wildlife guides.

Previous groups have had great sightings of lion, elephant, rhino, buffalo, leopard, wild dog, giraffe, zebra to name just a few animals! There is an abundance of wildlife and birds to be spotted on your Kruger safari. You will also have the exciting opportunity to take part in a guided Bushwalk (optional extra) as well as experience a night drive where you’ll go in search of nocturnal wildlife.

Day 7 you will depart Kruger for the beautiful Eswatini.

Day 8-20 Volunteer Projects, Eswatini You will spend the next 10 days volunteering on your selected project(Childcare/Building/Sports Development/Savannah & Wildlife Conservation).

As a volunteer, the activities you might be involved in may include*:

  • Teaching basic English and maths to children
  • Organizing creative games & craft classes to stimulate minds
  • Organizing sports days for exercise and fun
  • Participating in swimming and other sports
  • Making clay bricks and preparing land for structures
  • Building structures including roofing
  • Fencing and developing gardens to provide vegetables for the children
  • Fitting radio-transmitters to track animals & determine their home range, distribution and movements
  • Use birds counts, acoustic bat monitoring, small mammal trapping, vegetation surveys and camera traps to investigate environmental change
  • Monitor & ID giraffe as well as recording other ecological information to determine behaviours & effects on vegetation in the area

* Please note that the activities listed above are based on availability and may vary by season. These are samples of activities that are volunteers are likely to participate in.

During this time you will also be supported to obtain your visa to enter Mozambique (the cost of a visa is not included in the program cost) and will also visit the Mantenga Cultural Village where you will have the chance to experience traditional Swazi culture and lifestyle as well as witness traditional dancing and singing. You will also be invited to participate in learning the local dance moves!

Day 21-26 Mozambique Beach & Whale Shark Tour

Mozambique is world-famous for its idyllic tropical beaches on the Indian Ocean. As a former Portuguese colony that has come out of a prolonged civil war, it is now booming as quite possibly Africa’s top beach destination. Tofo is a laid-back beach village in southern Mozambique and offers some of the best opportunities in the world to snorkel in the wild with the world’s biggest fish – the Whale Shark. With diverse coral reefs, Whales, Manta Rays, dolphins and nesting turtles Tofo is a marine paradise and yet it is relatively close to the vibrant historic trading port of Inhambane.

We venture on a 7-day tour to Tofo where you will experience the laid-back beach lifestyle of this colorful and vibrant country. You will take an ocean safari to snorkel with the magnificent Whale Shark and also have a full day kayak trip across the blue waters to the palm-fringed islands in the Inhambane Bay. If you are a certified diver you will have the opportunity of exploring the spectacular fish life of the coral reefs! There is also the option to take part in an Internationally Accredited Open Water or Advanced Dive Course (extra cost) should you wish to dive. Here you’ll have the opportunity of exploring the spectacular fish life of the coral reefs and the chance to find the “Tofo Big 5” – Whale Sharks, Manta Rays, turtles, dolphins and Humpback Whales.

Day 27 Travel back to Eswatini.

Day 28 Ezulwini, Eswatini You will have a full day to relax, pack up and make preparations for your departure the following day (4-week volunteers).

4 Week Option

Day 29 Return home Sadly all great adventures must come to an end and on your final day you will transfer by road to Johannesburg to catch your flight.

6 Week+ Option

Day 28-40 Ezulwini, Eswatini You will head back to your assigned volunteer project and have more time to contribute to your project.

Airport transfer is included and facilitated by us.

The final week of your experience is spent on the beautiful golden sand beaches of sunny Mozambique. After two weeks of hard work in Eswatini it’ll be time to relax in this tropical climate and swim the blue waters of the warm and inviting Indian Ocean. Mozambique is a colorful and vibrant African country like no other and it is here that you will get to spend the last days of your trip -a wonderful finale to an inspiring tour.

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Travel & Accommodation

Your accommodation in Swaziland will be in our NEW volunteer house located just a few steps away from our headquarters and the award winning Lidwala Lodge, 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.

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.

Fundraising Help

Requirements

  • Minimum age 18
  • Minimum 4 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

Please note: this project is for people who have a strong interest in wildlife conservation and some previous experience. This project takes place a few hours away from the bulk of our volunteers stay, and is a 100% camping experience. Often you will be assisting our team when university students are at the research centre, or you may even be there as the only volunteer or intern on site at times, and help our team with research between groups.

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Costs

4 weeks for £2,178 GBP

* Check xe.com for currency conversions
** All payments incur a 5% bank transfer fee.
*** Places are confirmed with a 50% deposit

What’s Included:

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.

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We understand there’s a great deal to plan and organise for your trip. When booking a Placement, many of our participants choose to purchase our Premium Support Upgrade to benefit from the expertise, knowledge and experience of our Project Coordinators.

We can provide the personal advice you need to ensure your trip is organised with excellence and planned with efficiency; ensuring the very best experience possible. Read more about how we can help you.

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