Why Choose Us

We offer gap year placements in several countries and all of our projects share our conservation ethos. We support these conservation initiatives through the recruitment of volunteers from around the world to work on diverse projects.
Making a Real Impact Since 2002
Worldwide Experience was established in 2002, and has since assisted over 5,000 travelers in joining the ethical conservation revolution!
Fulltime Placement Support
As a volunteer, you’ll be carefully placed by our experienced team on a gap year placement that will ensure maximum enjoyment of your Worldwide Experience. We realise that many of our travellers are travelling abroad for the very first time, and we endeavour to make the lead-up to your trip easy and enjoyable. Our expert team will assist and advise you every step of the way!

Worldwide Experience guarantees to give you the best possible service and support, both before you travel and while on your trip. Our dedicated team members, work together to ensure your placement will be thoroughly memorable as well as hassle-free.

The majority of our placements run all year round, which allows for flexibility on start dates. Without setting departure dates for all our projects, we are sure to find a placement that will fit around your schedule.

Flights and other inclusions
Our projects are ‘all-inclusive’ whilst overseas, meaning that all your food and accommodation are included in the cost you pay. Our flight team also negotiate
extremely competitive airfares. Our travel insurance team will arrange the right travel insurance package for your peace of mind. You have easy access to an online travel store, as well as guidance for fundraising towards your Worldwide Experience!

No previous experience is necessary
All our placements require no previous knowledge or qualifications. All you need is a passion for the type of placement you have chosen.

Combining projects
Because we understand that not everyone wants to see just one place, we also offer the chance to combine our projects, to help enhance your overall experience.
Safeguarding & Child Protection
Your safety, both financial and physical, is our top priority.
Financial protection: Worldwide Experience is bonded members of SATSA, membership number 2595-S9. SATSA is the Southern African Tourism Services Association.
Bonding provides clients and members assurance that your company is in a position to guarantee a refund on pre-tour deposits should you or another member be placed under involuntary insolvency. This is subject to the terms and conditions of the SATSA Lost Advances Fund.

The SATSA Bond, which refers to the SATSA Lost Advances Fund, is administered by a committee and aims to deal with losses incurred by any member or customer as a result of that member being placed under involuntary liquidation.

Worldwide Experience’s Travel Management Company (TMC), responsible for flight bookings, is Giltedge Travel Africa, an IATA-accredited agent (IATA code: 77213054). Accreditation means that our TMC has met IATA’s criteria, including financial liability and financial guarantees. IATA accredits travel agents to sell air tickets on behalf of all IATA-accredited member international airlines. The IATA-accredited agents community can thus be considered a worldwide network of reliably certified and recognized agents. You can make sure you are using an IATA-accredited agent by checking the agent’s IATA NUMBER, specific only to the ticket agent. The IATA logo is also displayed.

Our experiences are carefully selected, developed, and vetted to ensure the highest standards of health and safety are in place, and all experiences are risk-assessed. All our placements have been developed to ensure maximum security and safety for all of our volunteers. We provide purpose-built accommodation and our vehicles are fully licensed and insured.
Conservation Experts
Our Worldwide Experiences are led by experts in their field, meaning that you gain invaluable insight and deeper knowledge from your experience. Plus, when dealing with a Worldwide Experience team member in our offices, you are dealing with a conservationist – all our team members have conservation related qualifications and experience in the field, so we can answer your questions and provide advice from a first-hand perspective.
Responsible Volunteers
Worldwide Experience supports responsible travel. All of our programs have been set up with the needs and requirements of each location in mind. This ensures that you get the best experience, whilst actually making a REAL IMPACT at the project of your choice. All Worldwide Experiences are ethical. We do not support any form of practice that is unfair to animals, and local communities.
  • The welfare of animals is important to us, and we do NOT support facilities that have questionable animal welfare practices. We especially do not support facilities that have been linked with the canned lion hunting industry – none of our experiences involve captive lion breeding.
  • We believe in supporting local businesses. Our volunteers will never be asked to do tasks that could mean taking away jobs from local community members; rather, we work with the community towards their upskilling.
  • Worldwide Experience and our extended community at our various destinations strive toward minimizing impact on the environment. This is achieved in various ways, like making use of existing footprints when building, using eco-friendly building methods where possible, recycling waste and gray water, and implementing local environmental awareness initiatives in the communities. We also support an initiative to offset your carbon footprint from long-distance travel.
Animal Welfare Policy
Protecting wildlife and safeguarding high standards in animal welfare is at the heart of Worldwide Experience and its volunteer programs. Whether you participate in one of the wildlife conservation projects, work to rehabilitate orphaned animals, or immerse yourself in our wildlife interactive adventures, Worldwide Experience is committed to ensuring animals involved are under the best possible care.

Working with project partners and animal experts, Worldwide Experience has selected the best wildlife experiences that protect animal welfare and seek to minimise negative impact. With wildlife under such pressure and cases where animals in tourism are exploited, it is essential that we offer meaningful travel experiences. Worldwide Experience seeks to educate, inspire, and engage people to build a better world where both people and wildlife can thrive.
Offset Carbon Footprint
Travel footprints are often dominated by car use but just one long flight could cause air travel to be the largest part of your footprint. To give you an idea of the carbon footprint generated by our volunteers’ air travel, we have calculated that each volunteer would need to plant at least 6 trees to offset the carbon footprint generated from one trip. (This is based on a return international flight between London and Johannesburg, South Africa).

Worldwide Experience pledges to plant a tree for every volunteer who travels with us every year. Our volunteers can also pledge to plant trees, or you are able to make a donation to our tree-planting charity partner, GreenPop, and join the Treevolution!
Worldwide Conservation Community
Worldwide Experience is more than just our staff – we are a worldwide community of like-minded people who are passionate about conservation and making a real impact! You can sign up for our newsletter to get all the latest news plus exclusive offers, and if you have traveled with us, you are invited to join our community of real impacters as an alumni member or conservation ambassador!

Our Pillars of Conservation

Since 2002, Worldwide Experience has been involved in supporting conservation work in various ways. Firstly, our team assisted with the development of several of the projects in our portfolio. Secondly, we expanded our portfolio in line with our vision to diversify our outreach by partnering with various NGOs and growing our conservation network. All project partners were vetted to ensure they share our ethos of making a difference ethically and authentically. Lastly, we made these conservation initiatives accessible to students and volunteers as travel experiences. Our travelers reconnect with nature, learn about the importance of conservation, and leave inspired to do their bit in the preservation of our natural world.

Conservation of the planet’s remaining wilderness areas, ecosystems, and biodiversity is crucial to the livelihoods of all species on Earth, including our own. Beyond this fact, the question lies in how to go about restoring and protecting habitats, plants, and animals.

Our holistic conservation approach is aimed at integrating our four primary pillars: Ecosystems, Community, Sustainability, and Education. If one pillar is absent, the rest will be compromised.
  • Ecosystems

    We work to conserve natural habitats and their species. Of particular focus is the preservation of biodiversity; the more diverse the life in an ecosystem, the more resilient and adaptable that ecosystem will be. Wildlife has been facing accelerated extinction due to human activities, and every time a species goes extinct, the web of life is weakened. It’s not only the species that is lost but the relationships that the species has with the rest of the ecosystem, it has a ripple effect.

    We believe it is our human responsibility to protect endangered and threatened species and the habitats critical to their survival. One of the greatest threats to many species is the widespread destruction of habitat. The best way to protect endangered species is to protect the special places where they live. Wildlife must have places to find food, and shelter and raise their young. As more wildlife habitat is encroached by people, more human-wildlife conflict happens.

    Once wildlife has come into conflict with people, their best hope is being rehabilitated in a wildlife sanctuary for release back into the wild. As far as possible, we support wild animals staying in the wild. For the sanctuaries we support where animals, unfortunately, cannot be returned to the wild (either because they’re too injured or habituated to people), we know that our sanctuaries’ practice meets the standards of animal welfare best practice.
  • Community

    Our goal of reconnecting people with nature extends from local communities where our work is done to our volunteers travelling to make a difference with us, and beyond.

    Local communities specifically are vital to the success of any conservation effort. We support our NGO partner the CCFA (Community Conservation Fund Africa), specialising in this area of work. The CCFA strives to support these communities through environmental and economic education programmes. This helps to cultivate community leaders who feel empowered and inspired to change the fate of the planet from one that is driven by greed and a scarcity mindset, to one guided by a unified awareness towards abundance, through sustainability.
    Included in our Worldwide Experience community are our alumni, without whom we wouldn’t be able to achieve our work. It is through the funding and help from our travellers that we can continue to support our projects and partners in achieving meaningful conservation.
  • Sustainability

    We apply the concept of sustainability at all tiers. On the environmental level, we focus on reducing and avoiding the depletion of natural resources and preserving biodiversity to maintain an ecological balance. At a project level, the facilities and operations are planned to minimise any negative impacts. Most of the projects recycle waste, including greywater, recyclable items (tins, plastic, paper) and compost for the organic food gardens. Produce from these food gardens is used in our kitchens and communities. Some projects even have indigenous tree nurseries, the trees being used for environmental restoration.

    In the broader scope, our approach is to achieve sustainability of the projects themselves. Projects, in time, are ideally managed by the local community following the training and upskilling over the early years. We then continue to provide opportunities not only for employment but also for entrepreneurial endeavours. A great example lies in our Conserving Black Rhinos project at the Nakavango Conservation Centre in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. Led by our current director, the programme was developed from the ground up, and then staffed. Staff received on-the-job training from housekeeping to safari guiding. The doors opened in 2013 to volunteers. By the end of 2015, we were able to pull back completely from providing operations and management support, with our partnership continuing purely on a volunteer recruitment basis. To this day, most of the original staff are still thriving at Nakavango.
  • Education

    It is education on which the other three pillars depend. Ecosystem conservation and restoration rely on the expertise of biologists, ecologists, zoologists, veterinarians, and the like. At the community level, education is a tool of empowerment. We work to help ensure access for children to basic education, improve environmental awareness of the local key issues, host workshops aimed at exploring the different perspectives in search of the best solutions, and work with education partners to provide bursaries to promising students.

    Usually, these bursaries are aimed at the hospitality industry, resulting in graduates being offered internships and later employment at game lodges or camps in their area. This serves to keep the breadwinners in their local community, uplifting the community further.

    Our volunteers and students learn about a huge variety of conservation issues, picking up knowledge every step of the way on their journey with us. Finally, at every level, education about conservation and care of the planet is infused into all that we do – no species can thrive without our life-giving planet being healthy.

Our Ethical Standards

Our standards for providing ethical travel opportunities to our wildlife conservation projects form the framework in which we develop and select our portfolio. This ethical travel framework ensures we remain true to our values throughout our mission to reconnect people with the natural world – by growing and empowering a worldwide conservation community to make a tangible difference for our planet, people, and all species through meaningful travel programs.
  1. Protection of the environment and biodiversity
  2. Responsible protocol for interactions with captive and free-roaming animals
  3. Animal welfare policy and guidelines
  4. Providing a safe, fulfilling and meaningful experience for our travellers and visitors
  5. The goals of the programmes are clear, focused and obtainable
  6. Programme staff are suitably qualified with valid first aid certifications
  7. Programmes have strong educational benefits for staff, travellers and visitors
  8. Volunteer code of conduct
  9. Responsibility for volunteer tasks being suitable to their skill and comfort levels
  10. Demonstration and supervision of all programme activities by qualified staff
  11. Complete transparency with programme fees
  1. Respect for the historic heritage, authentic culture, traditions, and distinctiveness of local communities
  2. Engagement with leaders in local communities to obtain their input and approval for activities in their communities
  3. Support for local businesses
  4. Strong and authentic commitment to empowering the local communities in a way that maintains dignity and avoids, reduces, and eliminates dependency
  5. Responsible exit strategies from community projects
  6. Volunteering tasks do not take jobs or learning opportunities away from local people
  7. Minimise negative impacts
  8. Protection policy for children and vulnerable adults
  9. Provision of a scheme to help offset the carbon footprint from travel