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South Africa Experience

  • In Brief
  • The Project
  • What to Expect
  • Gallery
  • Extras
  • Dates & Costs
  • Apply
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Frontier Partner Projects

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Visit South Africa – a "Rainbow Nation" that combines modern culture with an ancient, breathtaking landscapes. Evolving for over thousands of years to become the environmentally and culturally diverse nation that it is today, South Africa attracts millions of visitors every year to its wide, sandy beaches, cosmopolitan cities, friendly people and, of course, magnificent African bush.

Immerse yourself in this authentic South African experience; an outstanding array of wildlife, an enigmatic and vibrant culture, a humbling orphanage teaching experience and a road trip like no other await! You will be helping to conserve South Africa’s rare and beautiful wildlife in an exclusive private game reserve and wildlife sanctuary before offering a much needed and appreciated helping hand at several orphanages and school community development projects in breathtaking Port Elizabeth, before finally enjoying a road trip extravaganza along the famous Garden Route! All in all, a fantastic tour for anyone wanting to experience as much of South Africa as possible in a short time.


  • Take a road trip along the famous Garden Route
  • Join the team & get stuck in working on a big five game reserve
  • Make new life long friends and return with brilliant memories
  • Feel a sense of accomplishment with this once in a lifetime trip
Airport Pickup Community Emergency Ground Transport Hotel Meals Terrestrial Wildlife Wildlife Encounter Free Time Beach Family
Location South Africa

Sight seeing
Community volunteering
Wildlife conservation
Beach relaxation
Explore some of South Africa’s most cosmopolitan cities

Transport Airport pick-up upon arrival
Accommodation Hostels and dormitory style accommodation

Before you go Pre-departure support & documentation
Travel & medical advice
Advice on visas & equipment
Discounted medical kit
Free Frontier T-shirt

Food (5 days/ week in game reserve and breakfast only on Garden Route) 
Airport pick-up
In-country transfers

Local orientation
In-country emergency support
24-hour international HQ backup


This fantastic introduction to South Africa will show you the ropes of big five game reserve management, involve you in rewarding school and orphanage volunteering and take you on a once in a lifetime road trip from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town – an unforgettable experience of South Africa!

Game Reserve Management

The pristine bushveld and crystal clear blue skies will provide a magnificent setting to explore the outstanding "Big Five" game reserve (the lion, the African elephant, the cape buffalo, the leopard and the rhinoceros). Working within the game reserve from Monday to Friday, your main duties will revolve around the maintenance of the reserve and you may even get to help out with the reserve’s animal rehabilitation work.

Your work will be hugely varied and may include tasks such as vegetation rehabilitation and the eradication of invasive plant species – invaluable for sustaining the endemic local flora and fauna. Fence patrolling is essential and needs to be carried out to check for wear and tear and to ensure the safety of the native wildlife. Other work may include checking up on the lions or feeding and cleaning the elephants at the on site elephant sanctuary. Please note that all activities will be dependent on the time of year and the current needs of the reserve.

The reserve also runs luxury safaris and in the past some of the more experienced volunteers have been asked to help the professional game rangers run these. Who knows – you could be the next lucky one!

Community Outreach

Throughout your stay you will also be given the opportunity to contribute to some of the many social and community outreach projects that we run in and around Port Elizabeth. This may include:

  • Feeding local school kids from low income areas
  • Helping out at an orphanage
  • Teaching at a school

Work programmes are flexible and your detailed project schedule will be agreed with your project coordinator on arrival.

Garden Route Road Trip

This week long tour will start in Port Elizabeth and finish in Cape Town. Travelling along South Africa’s famous Garden Route, you and your fellow travel companions will get to see some of the most scenic coastline and pristine white sand beaches in the whole of South Africa. Travelling through steep gorges and past beautiful lagoons, around the spectacular mountain ranges of Langeberg and Riviersonderend and of course marvelling at the impressive Table Mountain. You will get the opportunity to hike through ancient forests and wetlands and visit some of the best on shore whale and dolphin watching sites in the world.

You will start your journey in the bustling city of Port Elizabeth; South Africa’s second oldest city, which has a beautiful harbour and Blue Flag beaches - perfect for relaxing. You will then move onto one of South Africa’s most famous surf hot spots, the laid back Jefferson’s Bay, where you will get the opportunity to ride the waves with the best of them. If you’re a surf addict, there are plenty of trendy shops, bars and restaurants to keep you entertained. Next the awesome Tsitiskamma National Park which covers a vast area of ancient forest that extends down to the crashing waves of the Southern Ocean. You can trek along the side of ancient trees to beautiful waterfalls and for those seeking an adrenaline rush, there are a range of extra activities that you can get involved in, such as white water rafting! The quaint town of Knysna is another highlight of the trip, famous for its picturesque lagoon and quays. Go for a swim or snorkel in these pristine waters or simply soak up the atmosphere in one of the many stylish beach front cafes.

Onto Oudtshoorn! This inland town offers a unique cultural experience. It is the ostrich farming capital of the world and if you’re lucky you may even get the chance to see the famous ostrich races. Your group can then choose between seeing some more of South Africa’s wildlife at a crocodile ranch and exploring the famous limestone staligtites and staligmites at Cango Caves. Last but not least, immerse yourself in everything that Cape Town has to offer! As the home of the national parliament and one of Africa’s most popular tourist destinations the city has a strong multicultural buzz. There is plenty to keep you busy: stroll along beautiful beaches or around the picturesque harbour and learn more about the Rainbow Nation's turbulent history at museums dedicated to the plight of Nelson Mandela and the dark days of apartheid. Experience all of this set against the dramatic back drop of Table Mountain, arguably one of the most famous landmarks in Africa.


You will fly into Port Elizabeth which is a short, 1 hour, flight from Cape Town international airport. Upon arrival you will be given a warm welcome by one of the project staff and, depending on the time of arrival, you will be taken to a lovely local lodge where you will wait for the other volunteers to arrive before the scheduled transfer to the project site at 5pm (please therefore aim to arrive before 4pm). You can use the time at the lodge to freshen up and recover from your flight, acclimatise and get ideas about what you might like to see during your project weekend excursions or after your project. You will arrive at the project location in time for dinner and to relax after your journey and once you have had time to rest the local staff will give you a local orientation. Your in-country coordinator will introduce you to your travel companions and help you acclimatise; you’ll feel at home in no time in this stunningly vibrant country.

Please note that you will finish your trip in Cape Town.


As you will be partaking in several different activities, accommodation will vary. Whilst enjoying wildlife conservation, you will be staying on an exclusive game reserve of 6,000 hectares, living in one of two newly built, clean and comfortable, single sex, 16 bed dormitories. The reserve offers a fantastic array of leisure facilities including TV, tennis court, barbecue and kitchen area with internet access. On your Garden Route road trip you will be on the move continually, taking in all the highlights, so your accommodation will change regularly - you’ll most likely be staying in a number of hostels with dormitory style rooms.


You’ll get the chance to sample the exhilarating fusion of food that is South African cuisine. On the game reserve, you will enjoy some delicious authentic African food cooked by the skilled local catering staff. A popular way to finish the day is with an authentic South African braai (BBQ). The Garden Route tour works on a bed and breakfast basis with lunch and dinner self catered. For the more adventurous why not try springbok or some of the high quality local oysters, famous around the world, and while on the Garden Route don’t forget to try a glass of superb South African wine.

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If you have the inclination and the energy to pack in even more, there are loads of extra activities to try before or after your trip. The Garden Route road trip has plenty to offer the adventurous person. There are many more fun activities though, including hiking, surfing, swimming and snorkelling, scuba diving, kayaking, canoeing, rafting, mountain biking, flying, hang-gliding, paragliding, beach horse riding, ballooning or sky diving; as you see, there is certainly no shortage of fun things to take part in!

If culture is your thing then perhaps you might like to visit Grahamstown, Africa’s festival capital. The national Arts Festival takes place with over 50,000 people flocking to the city for a feast of arts, crafts, and sheer entertainment and more than 500 shows on offer from opera, cabaret, drama, and jazz to stand up comedy and folk music. Check the festival dates to make sure they coincide with your itinerary.


2 weeks £ 899

Extra week £ 299

IMPORTANT: Volunteers looking to extend their stay at the game reserve by additional weeks must do so prior to the start date detailed below.



    16th January

    27th February

    3rd April

    8th May

    5th June

    10th July

    21st August

    18th September

    9th October

    6th November


2 weeks +


Before you go

  • Pre-departure support & documentation
  • Travel & medical advice & documentation
  • Advie on visas & equipment
  • Discounted medical kit
  • Free Frontier t-shirt


  • Food (5 days/week in game reserve and breakfast only on Garden Tour)
  • Accommodation
  • Airport pick-up
  • In-country transfers
  • Local orientation
  • In-country emergency support
  • 24-hour international HQ back-up


Nearest airport(s): Port Elizabeth (PLZ)



Flights are not included in our project costs. However, Frontier have partnered with an experienced and professional team of travel experts to help our volunteers find the best flight deals for their trips with Frontier. This travel specialist operates in the tailor-made, long haul multi-stop travel market, arranging complex airfares and transfers for independent travellers. They provide expertise, security and a vast product range along with a Travel Butler service which is a single point of contact and support whilst you are overseas.


For fast, efficient and up-to-date visa advice please contact our recommended visa consultancy partner:

Depending on your destination country and your country of origin, you might require a visa. Please see the appropriate country consular website for details or contact our affiliate visa consultancy service. Please note that your visa will usually start on the date that you enter the destination country regardless of when it was issued. Please check with the relevant embassy or high commission. If you are purchasing your visa or paying entry/exit fees in-country you will probably need to pay in US Dollars. If you have any questions please consult the relevant embassy or high commission. Please check the visa information regularly, as changes often happen without warning.


You'll need to buy appropriate travel insurance covering your participation on the project. You won't be able to go without the right travel insurance so double check to avoid disappointment. Please make sure that you're covered for the whole duration of your trip – from the day you leave the UK to the day you return. It's also best to get your travel insurance at the same time as paying the deposit for your project. Depending on your policy, this will cover you for any unexpected cancellations.

Your insurance should include the following:

  • Medical cover, including medical emergencies and medical evacuations (up to USD$3,000,000 / GBP£2,000,000);
  • Personal liability (up to USD$1,500,000 / GBP£1,000,000);
  • Cancellation and curtailment of your trip (up to the value of your project contribution).

If you are going to be scuba diving you should get coverage for scuba diving up to 30m, including hyperbaric therapy treatment (unlimited). You should consider obtaining insurance to cover you for any additional activities which you plan to do during, before, or after your Frontier project. We recommend that you obtain cover for your baggage and personal effects.

Frontier Partner Projects and Frontier group projects are run in partnership with in-country NGOs, small community based organisations, local research institutes, academic organisations and conservation agencies. Project descriptions and information are supplied directly by our partners or field staff and are accurate at time of publishing.

We aim to keep information up to date and accurate, however, the nature of our projects and in particular the fact that they are constantly evolving and developing in response to changing needs means that project activities, travel schedules, tour itineraries and daily timetables can change overnight and without notice.

To apply for this project, or to register your interest, just click on the orange "Apply Now!" button at the top of the menu. Fill out and submit a short application form and then one of our advisors will give you a call back to answer any questions and to progress your application if you wish to continue.

There is no obligation when making an application, and you do not need to pay anything at this point.