Accommodation during the orientation weekend in Johannesburg is dorm-based.
Located in the middle of the bush, the camp is rustic and we do our very best to make sure everyone is kept clean, comfortable and well fed. You will enjoy hot showers, running water, and solar-powered lights in your traditional chalets. You may be sharing your chalet with up to 3 other volunteers, but everyone has their own bed and space to store clothes and personal items. The chalets are equipped with towels, bed linens and a mosquito net, and the rooms are cleaned every day. The accommodation is safe, the chalets have locks on the inside and all the windows have mosquito gauze in front of them. Laundry and ironing is done for everyone each day, with the exception of Sunday. WiFi is available for ZAR100 per week.
South African electrical power is 240V, but the country is prone to electricity cuts (load shedding) due to short supply so think twice about that hair dryer! Please turn off lights and heaters when not in the room. The plug adapter you need might be difficult to find in your home country so we suggest you buy the adapter in South Africa. Please also note that there may be a shortage of water especially during dry season so use water sparingly and have quick showers.
You will be met by the driver with your name on a board as you exit the terminal at Johannesburg International Airport (your flight can land anytime on Thursday). If you're already in Johannesburg, we can also collect you from your accommodation on the start day, should it be within close radius of the city centre or airport, and transfer you to your accommodation for your orientation in Johannesburg.
Getting to/from the Project
If you choose to include return bus transfers between Johannesburg and the project, you will be transfered to the bus stop located at O R Tambo International. From here you will take the shuttle bus to Hoedspruit. At the end of your project you will be transported back to the bus stop to catch the shuttle bus back to Johannesburg. You will need to take a late evening flight out of Johannesburg, as the shuttle will only arrive back in Johannesburg in the late afternoon/evening (+-17:00-18:00).
Alternatively you can book domestic flights to and from Hoedspruit Airport, which will save you a 6-hour bus shuttle from Johannesburg to Hoedspruit and back. Please note that the flights are at your own cost. Your travel advisor can assist you with booking the flights.
Volunteers are served three meals a day by the experienced kitchen staff. Breakfast consists of cereals, fruit, yoghurts, toast and spreads. Lunch is a salad (e.g. potato, pasta or beetroot salads) along with either cold meat, chicken strips, sandwiches, pizza etc. Dinner consists of a hot cooked meal such as beef stew, rice/pasta/potatoes, boerewors pot, chicken etc.
Water is safe to drink. Tea, coffee and juice are available, all other drinks will be at volunteers' own expense. A generous amount of food will always be served. If snacks are desired there are several grocery stores nearby which you can visit on your weekly shop run. There are refrigerators available for volunteers’ personal food, soft drinks and medication if necessary.
Please advise us on your dietary needs when filling out your application form. Participants with very specific dietary needs may be required to supplement their meals at their own expense.
Visas, Insurances & Flight Tickets
Visas and insurances are the responsibility of the intern. Travel insurance is compulsory. You are also required to present a copy of your return flight itinerary when entering South Africa.
Casual working clothes for hot and cold days
Sturdy work boots
Swimsuit & towel
Personal toiletries and bath towels
Raincoat and boots (gumboots)
Laptop with own DVDs if desired
Pocket money (drinks and souvenirs)
Flashlight & batteries
Notebook & pen
First aid kit & personal medication
Proof of all vaccinations
Weekly transport into town is provided so that you can purchase essentials and food items.
Winter in South Africa
Please note that May through to September are our winter months and it can get quite chilly with an average temperature ranging from 5 degrees Celsius at night to 15 degrees Celsius during the day. So please make sure to pack enough warm clothes if you plan your trip in that period.