Why you should volunteer in Africa
Continuing my charity theme for the week, I have a guest post on the topic of volunteering. I had another post that touched on the topic in November, and AFAR has some great Wanderlists on volunteerism and voluntourism to further inspire travel that include some aspect of doing good. It is a great travel topic and I am happy to bring you another post specifically on volunteering in Africa…
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For those looking to volunteer abroad, there are hundreds of opportunities available. Whether you’re looking for a gap year experience, a career break, or the chance to learn new skills, anybody can get involved.
Africa is a popular destination for those looking for a new experience – with a rich diversity of opportunities, there is more than enough for travelers to get involved with.
The draw of conservation
Conservation projects are a huge draw for volunteers as Africa has an enormous variety of wildlife. Animal protection work taking place in Kenya’s Rift Valley offers volunteers the chance to contribute to the preservation of the country’s biodiversity while the nature reserve of Kwa Tuli in South Africa lets workers get right up close in caring for the animals.
Anyone choosing to volunteer abroad will find plenty to do.
Many people choose Africa as a volunteering destination in order to give something back to those who are much less fortunate than themselves. There are a few opportunities that are more satisfying than working as a volunteer teacher in areas such as Ghana.
Ghanian schools are often understaffed with few resources for the children. The effects of volunteer teachers on the children’s education are immense, with a real positive impact made on the wider community.
Dare to care
Care volunteers in Africa will find many opportunities to inspire them. Daycare centers, orphanages, and care homes provide safe havens for children and vulnerable adults and many rely heavily on volunteers to survive.
The country of Ethiopia was badly affected by massive amounts of famine and conflicts around two decades ago – an enormous amount of support is still needed in the care sector to help people to rebuild their lives.
It's not all hard work
As well as the important work you’ll be doing as a volunteer in Africa, there will be plenty to do in your free time. Africa is a continent that holds many adventures to be had while you’re not working. There are lots of beautiful beaches which are perfect for some downtime, but plenty of exciting opportunities for thrill-seekers as well.
You can bungee jump off the highest bridge in the world or go hiking in the Atlas mountains of North Africa. You can also enjoy the experience of getting to know a culture from the inside – working as a volunteer in Africa will give you a chance to try new foods, learn new languages, and get to know the locals as if you were one of them. It’s the ultimate experience for travelers from all over the world.
How about you? Have you done volunteer work in another country? Would you consider doing some in Africa?
I volunteered in South Africa once, it was life changing!
I will be highlighting voluntourism as part of my series on quality travel, but honestly I have not done much volunteer work abroad. I am planning to begin doing so, possibly next year with my kids. Thanks for the great information!
@Jenna, can’t wait to hear more! It is an area I just started exploring but am very interested in!
It’s a totally life changing experience! We have so many volunteers each month, who wish they could spend longer, go back and do more at the same place, or go to another project to experience another adventure.
Amanzi Travel specialise in sustainable volunteer projects in a variety of community, orphan care, wildlife conservation, medical, and educational projects throughout the Africa. All projects are very carefully chosen, ensuring that they are sustainable and of real value to the communities and wildlife they serve.
If you’d like any more info, I’d be very happy to help you plan your next adventure 🙂
I sponsor a child in Zambia. I have thought about visiting him, but just haven’t looked into it further. Loved this article.
@Candice, bravo for doing that, it is so great of you. Would be cool to be able to visit him one day!