Frequently Asked Questions
Before you go
If you have decided that you would like to take the next step and book a Worldwide Experience, it couldn’t be easier. Simply complete the online application form on this website and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
The Worldwide Team South Africa are with you every step of the way. From providing detailed information on your selected placement, right through to offering help and advice on sponsorships and fundraising. We also supply contact details of all your fellow volunteers so you can get in touch before your Worldwide Experience begins.
In the past we have had several students raise funds towards their Worldwide Experience. Because a large portion of the funds you generate goes back into conservation it allows to you capitalize on this opportunity. Fundraising projects past students have carried out include sponsored runs and swims, letters to companies and charities as well as general work. Feel free to discuss the opportunities with our consultants any time. There is a lot of money to be earned out there!
If you have a British passport (or almost any EU passport) you will not have to pay for an entry visa to South Africa (except French passport holders). You are entitled to 3 months in South Africa, however should you wish to stay longer your visa can be extended and your placement coordinator will assist in taking you to the Department of Home Affairs. The Department will charge you a minimal fee for this extension.
Certain parts of Southern Africa fall within malaria areas. We are fortunate that most of our conservation placements fall in malaria free areas. Please contact us for up to date advice on Malaria and your chosen placement. Apart from malaria there are no other diseases one need worry about. Yellow fever is certainly not a problem in South Africa. Tap water can be drunk in South Africa; however it is advisable to consult with the coordinator at your selected placement before doing so. For further information relating to health issues please visit: http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/index.htm
All of our placements provide three basic but wholesome meals per day. Meals will include westernized dishes such as beef, chicken, pasta and lamb with vegetables as well as regular BBQ’s or braai’s as they are commonly known in our country. Breakfasts will include cereals, egg, bacon and sausages etc. Those of you curious enough may even have the chance to tuck into impala kebabs or even ostrich biltong and steaks. Vegetarians are catered for and our chefs will be advised according to your dietary requirements.
We have a representative at each destination who will meet you from your ﬂight and transfer you to your placement. For all our African placements, we are able to organise your international ﬂights from the UK. It is also possible to extend your stay to accommodate any independent travel plans you may have. You will be collected from the airport in a microbus (7 seater) and transferred to your assigned conservation placement. There you will be transported around in either open pickups (open trucks/bakkies) or in open 4×4 Land Rovers. Certain placements offer horse riding as a mode of transport when patrolling and monitoring the bush/veld.
At each of our placements you are provided with safe, although sometimes basic, accommodation – all of which are purpose-built for our volunteers. At the majority of our placements, cleaning and laundry service is provided, to help make your experience a more comfortable one. Please contact us for further information on speciﬁc accommodation details for individual placements. Camping under a starlit sky is one of the main attractions of travelling to South Africa. This is something you will experience on the odd occasion. However accommodation is in houses either based on the reserve or in nearby villages. All accommodation is head up by the student coordinator and a game ranger.
There are 11 ofﬁcial languages spoken in Southern Africa. However, English is preferred as a common language because it is seen as neutral and prevents the favouring of any one particular dialect. It is advisable to have a basic understanding of the English language should you come from a foreign speaking country.
In the past South Africa has had a history of violence and political instability. Today crime still exists, but only in certain parts of the country, parts we completely avoid. Levels of crime in our country are however no higher than many other countries around the world. As for political stability, today South Africa experiences and practices a very healthy democracy. If you are alert to potential problems you are already half way to avoiding them. Your safety and security is of paramount importance to our team.
All of our placements have been carefully selected to meet our exacting criteria. In your country of choice we have dedicated coordinators for each placement, who are there to guide you through everything and to help with any issues that may occur. There is also a 24 hour contact number for friends and family calling from the UK.
Worldwide Experience requests a signiﬁcant ﬁnancial contribution towards all requested placements. All funds generated contribute to the smooth running of the program, a certain portion is contributed to the Born Free Foundation and the Wilderness Trust and the funds also contribute to the on going projects related to our conservation efforts. Many organizations tend to step in to assist with a project and then simply disappear. This is not the case with Worldwide Experience. We realize that conservation needs man’s on going support, which can only be achieved through the generation of this contribution and via the support of the self-funding volunteer. To discuss any aspect of voluntary work contributions and/or our policies on the projects we support please do not hesitate to contact one of our directors.
There is so much to do in this vast country, and one should aim to spend more time in this wonderful part of the world. Should you wish to extend your placement you are also welcome to do so. Alternatively we can assist with placing you in an alternative reserve linked to our organization. Many students tend to make their own plans once in the country and upon completion at the reserve of their choice, travel on exploring the rest of the country. One means of getting around is via the famous and very safe Baz Bus. All student coordinators will advise you of this.