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The application

Who goes on this programme?

Male or female, eighteen or eighty, serious athlete or casual traveller, it really doesn’t matter! Our local partner welcomes hundreds of people each year, all from different walks of life and from all over the world. This provides for an enriching exchange opportunity during your arrival week. Ordinarily the projects will accept up to 5 volunteers at a time, so you can expect to live and work alongside other international volunteers.

Generally, most of the volunteers and activities are rather youth focused. The majority are aged 18-25. More mature applicants are welcome and on average 20% of the volunteers are aged 25+.

Do I need any qualifications or experience?

You do not need any specific qualifications. However, the types of work that you will become involved in will vary and volunteers who have appropriate environmental or zoological related experience may have the opportunity to become involved in some of the more specialised tasks.

We are looking for friendly, enthusiastic team players who are looking for a hands-on experience working in a game reserve/park environment.

What is the orientation?

At BUNAC we believe that each volunteer should be treated as an individual. All participants will have an audio orientation. We’ll explain how the programme works and what you can expect, as well as going over issues such as health and security to help prepare you for your time away. It’s also an opportunity for you to ask us any questions you might have.

When should I apply?

The latest date we can consider your application is 6 weeks before your UK departure date.

However, places are available on a first come first served basis so we recommend that you apply as soon as you can.

Flights, Visas & Insurance

Do you help me to book flights?

BUNAC’s preferred travel agent is STA Travel and they will be able to help you book your flights to and from South Africa.

Give them a call on the BUNAC dedicated phone number 0333 321 3102 or get in touch at bunac@statravel.co.uk

If you’d prefer to make alternative plans then you’re more than welcome to as long as you arrive in time for the start of the orientation. Please make sure you provide BUNAC with proof of your return trip so that we can arrange your airport pick up.


Do I need to apply for a visa?

Most EU passport holders do not have to apply for a tourist visa in advance. A 90 day tourist visa will be issued on your arrival to South Africa. You can extend your stay beyond the 90 days whilst in South Africa, which currently costs approximately £35. Our local partner will be able to advise you on this. Please check before booking.

Do I need insurance?

Yes. BUNAC’s fully comprehensive insurance policy has been arranged with Endsleigh, one of the UK’s leading insurance companies. The BUNAC policy is compulsory for this programme. You can find out more about the insurance here.

Volunteer placement

How many hours will I work for?

Generally you can expect to be at your project 5 days a week and you’ll be volunteering for about 6 hours a day. During your time off you’ll be able to enjoy the facilities at the project. You may be able to join project staff on trips to the nearest town; most volunteers remain at the project for the duration of the programme and travel further afield after.

How much spending money should I take?

The programme includes food and accommodation, so it’s possible to get by with very little spending money. You may want to budget for some spending money during your time in Johannesburg, and also for any extra food or drink that you may want to buy on project but as your programme includes 3 prepared meals a day it needn’t be much.

If you are spending time travelling around South Africa after your Wildlife South Africa programme then we recommend that you budget for at least £150 per week (based on budget dormitory style accommodation and simple food). As part of the programme we’ll send you a copy of the Lonely Planet guide to South Africa. This has loads of useful information on things to do, places to visit and where to stay. You will be able to use this to help prepare a more accurate budget.

Can I extend my stay?

These projects are in high demand and it is unlikely that an in-country extension will be possible. You will be granted a 90 day stay on arrival to South Africa so you can certainly stay beyond your placement and explore this beautiful country.

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