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SOUTH AFRICA

WHALE AND DOLPHIN MONITORING IN KNYSNA, SOUTH AFRICA

Work on this project will give you exposure to all aspects of this exciting industry, from conservation and research to all other aspects of the day-to-day running, including crewing and guiding on the Boats, doing land-to-sea observations/spotting, marketing, liaising with clients, assisting with community projects and educating the local children about the sea and lagoon.

The company collects valuable research material for future conservation use, including daily sightings of the various species of whales and dolphins, recurring visits and the migratory habits of the whales and dolphins in the area.

SUMMARY: THE BASICS

Price: £945 (approx. US$1,190) for 1 week
£1,245 (approx. US$1,570) for 2 weeks
£1,545 (approx. US$1,945) for 3 weeks
£1,845 (approx. US$2,325) for 4 weeks
£250 (US$315) for each additional week.
Excludes flights. Please see Full Price List & prices in other currencies
Duration: From 1 week to 12 weeks or longer, subject to visa requirements.
Start Dates and Availability: All year round - you choose your start and finish dates. Not available between 10th December and 10th January.
As availability on this project is very limited, we strongly advise that you book early.
Requirements: Minimum age 16. You'll need to be hard working, have a love of marine life, boating, being outdoors and at sea. You don't need prior knowledge or experience, although this would be advantageous, as would experience at sea or on eco boat safaris and research.
What's included: Arranging your Programme
Full pre-departure support and assistance
Payment Protection insurance
Accommodation
Food
Meeting you at the nearest Airport
Transfer to your accommodation
Daily transport to your project (in walking distance for the return)
Local in-country team support and backup
24-hr emergency support
Certificate of Completion
What's not included: Flights, Insurance, Cost of Visas, Return transfer to the airport.
Who can do this Project? All projects are open to all nationalities and all ages over 16.
Suitable for gap years or those taking a year out, grown-up gappers, career breakers, anyone interested in marine conservation, working with marine wildlife, or conserving dolphins and whales. Also available as a summer placement in South Africa or a short break.

WHAT YOU'LL GAIN FROM DOING THIS PROJECT

  • An exciting opportunity to travel, see the world and experience a foreign culture first-hand.
  • New skills, more confidence and invaluable personal and professional development.
  • The enormous satisfaction of knowing that your work is contributing to marine wildlife conservation and that you made a difference.
  • An opportunity to take a break from the traditional academic track or your current career path in order to gain life experience and global cultural awareness
  • An entry on your CV or Résumé that will enhance your career opportunities and make you stand out from the crowd.
  • Make friends, form relationships and build memories that will last a lifetime.
  • Opportunities to enjoy some exciting adventure and cultural activities while on your programme.
  • And best of all ... an unforgettable experience!
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Whale blowing, monitoring on the Whale, Dolphin and Shark Conservation Project
It's awesome to get really close to a gigantic whale when it's blowing. They exhale air explosively, which causes the plume called a "blow".
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WORK CONTENT AND DESCRIPTION

Volunteering on this Marine Research programme will expose you to all aspects of this exciting industry, from conservation and research to all other aspects of the day-to-day running, including marketing, liaising with clients, crewing and guiding on the boats, doing land-to-sea observations/spotting, assisting with community projects and educating the local children about the sea and lagoon.

The estuary holiday resort town of Knysna has a prolific amount of marine life off its coastline; all through the year there are large groups of Common Dolphin and the occasional Bryde’s Whales found in the deeper waters. Closer to the shoreline in the Buffalo Bay area, Humpback and Bottlenose dolphins are often spotted. Add to this Humpback and Southern Right Whales (migrating from the months of June all the way to January), Cape Fur seals, sharks seabirds, the occasional Orca and other species and you will find an ocean and coastline teaming with life.

The organisation provides trips out to sea in their own boats to tourists who want the experience of seeing whales and dolphins close-up in their natural environment. The tours are very weather-dependant. In addition to the eco boat ocean safaris, they also do sunset lagoon cruises.

Much of your role will be involved in monitoring and data collection, but you'll also have the opportunity to assist in and learn about the tourism side of the exciting activities involved in watching dolphins and whales in their natural habitat. Your Responsibilities will include some or all of the following:

  • On arrival, you'll be trained firstly in the area of boat safety, maintaining equipment and basic skippering.
  • You'll initially job shadow one of the skippers and work in the office to gain a basic understanding of the business and of the marine life that is encountered out to sea.
  • Your duties will include being a spotter, which would entail sitting on one of the Knysna Headlands and using binoculars and then directing the skippers.
  • The boats need to be cleaned, covered, fuelled and life jackets got ready and you'll also assist guests with boarding and checking onto the boat and safety procedures.
  • You'll occasionally go on one of the 3 daily trips with the skipper and sometimes-another crewmember.
  • Daily observations need to be made of the marine life encountered and the records are sent to DAFF. For this, you'll need to photograph dorsal fins for identification, observe behavior and photograph and plot GPS coordinates. Occasionally research trips are also done with post grad students from local universities who will capture the data and study it themselves.
  • Other marine animals and life found along the trips also need to be monitored. All this data will then need to be captured onto spreadsheets and photographic software.
  • You'll also help with daily updates of records, blogs and social media. These are done from the main office, which is found where the whale watching boats are docked.

You'll start the day at 9.00 am and finish at 16.00 with an hour break for lunch. Work takes place 5 days a week spread over the 6 days of Monday to Saturday, with no work on Sundays.

WHAT THIS PROJECT ACCOMPLISHES:
The company has embraced the opportunity to do marine research and make a positive difference to the marine ecology of this area. To this end the following initiatives have been taken:

  • Accurate logs are kept of all trips and sightings
  • The exact GPS position of each sighting is recorded electronically and manually, and where possible to photograph and plot these on relevant software.
  • Assisting or despatching assistance to any animal in distress.
  • All collected data is shared with relevant conservation and government bodies as stipulated by the Marine Living Resources Act of 1998
  • Educational material is compiled by the company and shared with the community via talks, visual material and newspaper articles.
  • To grow a unique tourism attraction which is socially and environmentally responsible, has a low impact on the lagoon and marine environment;
  • Creates awareness in the community of the need to conserve and protect the estuary, wetland areas and the marine eco system surrounding Knysna.
  • The owners of the company are also committed to providing employment and training to previously disadvantaged community members.

LOCATION
The whale-monitoring placement is approximately 1 kilometre away from the Knysna main town and it is a beautiful walk along the side of the lagoon.

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Volunteers taking photos of dolphins on the boat
Volunteers taking time out to take some photos of dolphins to show their friends!
The marina base of the Dolphin and Whale monitoring project
The Waterfront at Knysna. This is where the boats set out from to do the monitoring and take tourists out to get close to the Whales and Dolphins.
Spotting marine wildlife on the boat
Spotting marine wildlife on the boat.
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ACCOMMODATION

The volunteer house in Knysna is within walking distance of the town, yet set against a natural green belt. The bird life is prolific and often the local Vervet monkey troop comes to visit to entertain the volunteers with their antics. The sunset views from the top balcony of the volunteer house of the Knysna lagoon are beautiful and great way to relax after a day working at your placement or to catch up on your tan in the summer. See photo on right-hand side.

The house is large and spacious and also has a self-contained flat downstairs for couples and families. The bedding in the two same sex dorms and the towels in their ensuite bathrooms are changed regularly every Friday by our much loved cleaner, Pretty, and there is plenty of cupboard space to store your clothing.

Wi-Fi / Internet: There is FREE Wi-Fi / Internet in the Volunteer House, but you will need your own device.

Facilities include a kitchen kitted out for cooking, dining area, a few bathrooms, TV, DVD player, garden and several wooden verandahs.

There is an outside courtyard and garden in the secure grounds where you can have a typical South African barbeque known there as a ‘braai’. Make sure you try the local spicy sausage known as ‘boerewors’ and the Karoo lamb chops are to die for on a ‘braai’, but if fish is more to your taste then a fish ‘braai’ with South African ‘snoek’ is a must.

FOOD:
You'll be given a food budget which will cover your basic essentials (but not extras like alcohol, snacks and eating out). The kitchen has all the cooking amenities that you might need to take advantage of preparing meals with some of the great seafood, meat, fresh fruit and vegetables South Africa has to offer.

There are supermarkets and local shops where you'll do your food shopping.

There are plenty of excellent restaurants within walking distance that offer the most incredible local and international cuisine which our volunteers rave about. Knysna is also famous for its oysters and even has an annual Oyster Festival where everyone eats and drinks far too much!

The waterfront and marine is beautiful and full of restaurants and cafes with cuisine that ranges from breakfast, coffees, cakes and snacks, through to sumptuous meals and various different nationality menus.

The area is beautiful and travelling is easy. The house we stay in is lovely and the Travellers workers are such kind, loving people which really makes it feel like a home away from home. What with all the other volunteers and the Travellers staff, it really does feel like our own little family ... well, our own very big family, I suppose!! Luke Brennan

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Volunteer House for projects in Knysna
The front entrance to the volunteer house covered in bougainvillea blossoms, with the Travellers minibus in the drive.
Lounge in the Volunteer House for projects in Knysna
The Lounge in the volunteer house, with French doors leading to the patio.
Patio in the Volunteer House for projects in Knysna
One of the communal patios for sitting outside at the volunteer house.
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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

YOUR SAFETY, SUPPORT AND BACKUP:
Read important information about the Support & Backup you receive before you leave and during your programme.

Read about the Safety and Security measures we take to ensure your safety and wellbeing while on our programme.

ABOUT THE HUMP BACK WHALE AND ITS SEASON:
Humpback Whales (Megaptera novaeangliae), or, as they are known, “the angels of the sea”, are black or grey with a lighter underbelly. They can be up to 15 meters in length and weigh up to 40 tonnes.

Behavior: Humpback whales are able to launch their entire body out of the water which is known as breaching and have been recorded breaching over 100 times in succession. They are also very vocal and are known for their haunting “whale songs”. They can be sighted off the South African coast in small groups from as long as June to January when they follow their migratory pattern up the east coast to mate and calf in the warm waters of Mozambique and Madagascar. They are listed as endangered.

South Africa is the fifth fastest growing whale watching destination globally with only 16 boat-based whale-watching permits being issued countrywide to minimize intrusion on the whales and to regulate the industry.

Our whale and dolphin monitoring volunteer placement in Knysna is the only licensed and permitted close encounter whale watching holders in Knysna. Their permit allows them to approach whales within 50m and if the whales choose to come closer, the boats do not have to move away. As part of the Whale Watching Permit, the company is obligated to collect research material including daily sightings of the various species of whales and dolphins (in particular the Humpback whales).

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU BOOK YOUR PLACEMENT?
Once you have applied for a placement, we'll contact you and send you our Welcome Pack. You'll also receive Log-on details and password for our Volunteer Extranet where you'll have access to all the documentation and information which we've put together to facilitate preparations for your adventure! Your Project Co-ordinator for your country will liaise with you throughout the arrangements process, as well as while you're on your placement and on your return home.

The documents you'll have access to also include a Country Factfile, Safety Guide and any manuals that may assist you on your particular programme (e.g. Teaching Guide, Sports Manuals, Enrichment Suggestions for Animal Care, etc.). We do all we can to make your stay one that you'll never forget. This is a truly awesome, elegant and beautiful country.

On Arrival, your Introduction to the Country:
When you arrive you will be welcomed by a member of our team who will take you to your accommodation and introduce you to everyone. During your first few days you'll be given an induction so that you can learn about the country and its culture, as well as other useful information, like how to use the transport system, banks, safety issues, tipping, and lots more.

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ANY QUESTIONS?

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The Waterfront in Knysna. It's very beautiful, but also filled with excellent restaurants, ice-cream sellers ... and more!
Exploring anywhere in South Africa is mind-blowing! Take time not to miss anything, particularly the wildlife reserves close to Knysna - easy to get to, and amazing when you get there!
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OPTIONAL ADD-ON ACTIVITIES:

Make the most of your time there! To help you do that, we've put together some exciting activities, courses and tours that you can add to your itinerary. These are designed to be fun, but also to enable you to learn, and expand your personal and professional development enjoyment ... but mostly for your enjoyment! :-)

Cage Dive with Sharks in South Africa

CAGE DIVE WITH SHARKS:
Price: £135, includes breakfast/lunch and return transfer from Cape Town.

Getting into the cage with the sharks around is truly breath-taking and gets the adrenaline going! When feeding actively around the boat, the sharks may occasionally brush their tail against the cage, but they NEVER attack the cage. They are curious and often come close-up to the cage to look at the diver. You’ll usually see at least two or more members of the Marine Big Five - sharks, dolphins, whales, seals and penguins.

You’ll be collected from your arranged accommodation in Cape Town between 3.00 and 5.00 am) and driven to Gansbaai, the shark capital of South Africa. Enjoy a light breakfast while the safety briefing and other formalities are concluded, including sizing you for a wetsuit. After an exhilarating 20 minute boat trip, it anchors in or nearby “Shark Alley”. The shark diving then commences and lasts around 2 hours, sometimes longer.

On return to the harbour, you’ll receive a light hot lunch while viewing the video of the day. A copy of your own personal experience is available on DVD after the tour (optional extra).

Duration: Total duration from meeting point until departure is about 5 hours with around 3 hours at sea. Please note: Due to tides and collection schedules, exact collection times from Cape Town will only be confirmed after 16h00 the day prior to your tour.

Included:
• Hot tea / coffee and light breakfast, plus snacks, drinks and sweets on-board the boat
• A hot light lunch upon return (beef lasagne, rolls and Greek salad)
• Educational information and safety briefing
• Diving equipment and wet-suits available at no additional cost
• Scuba diving in the cage for experienced divers (conditions allowing)
• Assisted snorkeling in cage for inexperienced divers
• View Cape Fur Seals from the boat (conditions allowing), plus enjoy land-based whale watching in Hermanus (July – Dec)

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Penguins at Boulders in Cape Town

1-DAY CAPE PENINSULA & WINE TOUR:
Price: £59.

ITINERARY: We begin the morning with a leisurely stroll along the cobbled streets and brightly coloured houses of the Bokaap while sampling some of the local traditional snacks before heading through the exclusive seaside suburbs of Clifton and Campsbay where we have a short photo stop.

We then carry on along Victoria drive, through Houtbay and along the scenic Chapmans Peak Drive eventually arriving at The Cape of Good hope Nature Reserve where we have the option of doing a 40 minute hike from the most south west tip of Africa, Cape of Good Hope to the Cape Point Light House.

We then start driving north to Boulder Beach Penguin colony, where on a nice day you can actually swim with these sea birds! By this stage you would have built up quite an appetite. We stop for a traditional Cape lunch of fish ‘n chips in the old Kalk Bay harbour where the local fishing community goes back generations.

After everyone has had their fill, we stop briefly at the Shark Spotter, entrusted by the local surfers of Muizenberg to look out for Great White Sharks. From here we travel through the lush Constantia Valley to one of the oldest wine farms outside of Europe for a relaxing end of the day wine tasting experience, where we also learn about the history of farming in the Cape in beautiful surroundings.

Included Highlights: Lunch and refreshments in Kalk Bay, Cape of Good Hope Entrance Fee & Boulders Beach Entry Fee to see penguins, Wine Tasting in the Constantia Wine Valley, Walking tour of Bo-Kaap.

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Bungee jump

3-DAY WEEKEND WILDLIFE SAFARI & BUNGEE ADVENTURE:
Price: £230, includes accommodation, breakfast and dinner. Leaves Cape Town every Friday and returns to Cape Town on the Sunday afternoon.

Jump on this 3 day rip-roaring adventure through the Garden Route where we fit as much as we possibly can into 3 awesome days. On this trip you can experience a Game Drive, enjoy some treetop ziplining, visit a local farmers market, an elephant and a monkey sanctuary, the Cango Caves AND The World’s highest Bungy Jump!

Day 1 Friday ǀ Overberg, Garden Route, Myoli Beach: We leave Cape Town, heading past Swellendam, to a Private Game Reserve on the Garden Route. Here we go on a safari where you can see Lion, Buffalo, Elephant, Rhino, Cheetah and Giraffe in their natural habitat. After lunch we will enjoy some fun with a canopy tour, experience the thrill of crossing rope bridges, wobbly crossings and zip wires high up in the trees. Next we carry on our way to Sedgefield.
Included Highlight: Game Drive Safari
Optional Activities: Treetop Adventure & Zipline

Day 2 Saturday ǀ Garden Route, Knysna, Tsitsikamma: After a morning visit to a popular local farmers and craft market in Sedgefield village, we make our way to the Crags where you have a two of options to choose from:
1. Elephant Sanctuary where you learn about, and interact with orphaned elephants.
2. Monkey Sanctuary where rescued monkeys roam free in a large jungle area.

Our next stop is the World’s highest commercial Bungee Jump at 216 meters where you have the opportunity to experience this adrenalin pumping activity! From here it’s back to Myoli beach to carry on with the festivities.
Included Highlight: Local craft and farmers market
Optional Activities: Elephant Sanctuary, Monkeyland, Bloukrans bungy jump (216m), Bloukrans Bridge walking tour.

Day 3 Sunday ǀ Little Karoo, Oudtshoorn, return to Cape Town via Route 62. We head to the Town of Oudtshoorn, the “Ostrich Capital of the world”. Here you can choose between:
1. The Cango Caves where we will embark on a 1-hour guided tour of the cave system to view its massive caverns millions of years old. Cango Caves is a world heritage site and one of the great wonders of the natural world. If you enjoy spelunking and don’t mind trying to squeeze through some smaller gaps then you are also welcome to take the 1.5 hour adventure tour!
2. Go on a guided tour of the Cango Endangered Wildlife Ranch for an opportunity to pet cheetah, cage dive with crocodiles and view and learn about many rare and endangered animal species.

Included Highlight: Cango Caves (Adventure or Standard Tour) OR Cango Wildlife Ranch
Optional Activities: Pet a cheetah, cage dive with crocodiles.

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3-day Garden Route Safari in South Africa

3-DAY ELEPHANTS, CAVES AND BUNGEE SAFARI
(One-way from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth or Knysna):

Price: £239. Leaves Cape Town every Monday morning (early).

The 4 Day tour is ideal for volunteers to use to get to our Wildlife Sanctuary project near Port Elizabeth, or one of the Knysna projects. You save on a connecting flight from Cape Town and get to take part in a fun-filled experience with lots of amazing activities. The tour bus will drop you off at either project destination mentioned above on Day 3.

Day 1 – Monday ǀ Cape Town to Oudtshoorn Little Karoo, Cango Caves, Wildlife Rehabilitation Ranch: We head into the semi-arid Little Karoo along the scenic Route 62 driving to the town of Oudtshoorn, known as the ostrich capital of the world. Here you can choose between:
The Cango Caves: a 1-hour guided tour of the cave system to view its massive caverns and a wonderland of stalactite and stalagmite formations, millions of years old. Cango Caves is a world heritage site and one of the great wonders of the natural world. Or if you enjoy spelunking and smaller gaps, you are also welcome to take the 1.5 hour adventure tour!
A guided tour of the Cango Endangered Wildlife Ranch: you can pet cheetah, cage dive with crocodiles and view and learn about many rare and endangered animal species.

We then head over the Outeniqua Mountains to the lush coastal region known as the Garden Route where we will head to the beach town of Sedgefield for our first night. If time allows we will also head to the beach for a swim in the Indian Ocean.
Included Highlight: Standard or adventure guided tour of Cango Caves OR Cango Endangered Wildlife ranch.

Day 2 – Tuesday ǀ Sedgefield – Jeffrey’s Bay, Monkey Sanctuary, Elephant Sanctuary, Kloofing, Bloukrans Bungee & Tsitsikamma National Park. This morning we drive through Knysna on our way to the Crags where you have two options to choose from:
1. Elephant Sanctuary where you learn about, and interact with orphaned elephants.
2. Monkey Sanctuary where rescued monkeys roam free in a large jungle area.

Our next stop is the World’s highest commercial Bungee Jump at 216 meters where you can experience this adrenalin pumping activity. Finally, to end the day, we take a beautiful walk through the indigenous Tsitsikamma National Park to the Storms river swing bridges before we head to the famous surfing town of Jeffreys Bay where we stay at a backpackers directly on the beach.
Included Highlight: Tsitsikamma Forest.
Optional Activities: Elephant Sanctuary, Monkeyland, Bloukrans bungee jump (216m), Bloukrans Bridge walking tour.

Day 3 – Wednesday ǀ Jeffrey’s Bay – Addo National Park – Sedgefield Game Drive (Addo), Surfing, shopping time (Jeffrey’s bay). There are 2 options to choose from this morning:
1. Sleep in then explore the town's many surf factory shops, or go for a surf lesson.
2. Wake up early and head to Addo Elephant National park where we go on a morning game drive to view the multitudes of wild animals. Addo has the Big 5 and also the highest concentration of African Elephants in the world!
Included Highlight: Jeffrey’s Bay/Addo Entrance & Game Dive with tour Guide
Optional Activities: Surf Lessons, Shopping OR Addo Game Drive with National Parks guide (morning).

Please note: This is where the 3 Day One Way to PE/ J-Bay/ Knysna will end.
• Volunteers destined for our Wildlife Sanctuary placement are dropped off at the project.
• Volunteers destined for the Knysna projects will be dropped off at our accommodation.

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Caves, Elephants Safari

4-DAY ELEPHANTS, CAVES AND BUNGEE SAFARI:
Price: £265, includes accommodation and food. Leaves Cape Town every Monday morning (early), returning to Cape Town on Thursdays.

Day 1 – Monday ǀ Cape Town to Oudtshoorn Little Karoo, Cango Caves, Wildlife Rehabilitation Ranch: We leave the Mother City behind and head into the semi-arid Little Karoo along the scenic Route 62 driving to the town of Oudtshoorn, known as the ostrich capital of the world, it is situated in a beautiful, fertile valley between the Outeniqua and Swartberg Mountains. Here you can choose between:
1. The Cango Caves where we will embark on a 1-hour guided tour of the cave system to view its massive caverns and a wonderland of stalactite and stalagmite formations, millions of years old. Cango Caves is a world heritage site and one of the great wonders of the natural world. Or if you enjoy spelunking and don’t mind trying to squeeze through some smaller gaps then you are also welcome to take the 1.5 hour adventure tour!
2. Go on a guided tour of the Cango Endangered Wildlife Ranch for an opportunity to pet cheetah, cage dive with crocodiles and view and learn about many rare and endangered animal species.

We then head over the Outeniqua Mountains to the lush coastal region known as the Garden Route where we will head to the beach town of Sedgefield where we spend our first night. If time allows we will also head to the beach for a swim in the Indian Ocean.
Included Highlight: Standard or adventure guided tour of Cango Caves OR Cango Endangered Wildlife ranch.

Day 2 – Tuesday ǀ Sedgefield – Jeffrey’s Bay, Monkey Sanctuary, Elephant Sanctuary, Kloofing, Bloukrans Bungee & Tsitsikamma National Park. This morning we drive through Knysna on our way to the Crags where you have a number of options to choose from:
1. Elephant Sanctuary where you learn about, and interact with orphaned elephants.
2. Monkey Sanctuary where rescued monkeys roam free in a large jungle area.

Our next stop is the World’s highest commercial Bungee Jump at 216 meters where you have the opportunity to experience this adrenalin pumping activity. Finally, to end the day we take a beautiful walk through the indigenous Tsitsikamma National Park to the Storms river swing bridges before we head to the famous surfing town of Jeffreys Bay where we stay at a backpackers directly on the beach.
Included Highlight: Tsitsikamma Forest.
Optional Activities: Elephant Sanctuary OR Monkeyland. Bloukrans bungee jump (216m), Bloukrans Bridge walking tour

Day 3 – Wednesday ǀ Jeffrey’s Bay – Addo National Park – Sedgefield Game Drive (Addo), Surfing, shopping time (Jeffrey’s Bay). There are 2 options to choose from this morning.
1. Sleep in and take some time in the morning to explore the towns many surf factory shops, or go for a surf lesson in one of the most famous surf spots on earth.
2. Wake up early and head to Addo Elephant National park where we go on a morning game drive to view the multitudes of wild animals. Addo is home to the Big 5 and it also has the highest concentration of African Elephants in the world!
Included Highlight: Jeffrey’s Bay/Addo Entrance & Game Dive with tour Guide.
Optional Activities: Surf Lessons, Shopping OR Addo Game Drive with National Parks guide (morning).

Day 4 – Thursday ǀ Sedgefield to Cape Town: Return to Cape Town via Sir Lowry’s Pass. After breakfast we start our journey back to Cape Town. For our first stop we will enjoy some fun with a canopy tour, experience the thrill of crossing rope bridges, wobbly crossings and zip wires high up in the trees. We then visit an Aloe factory, where you can purchase a variety of Aloe Ferox products. Finally, enjoy a wonderful scenic drive back to Cape Town, arriving early Thursday afternoon.
Included Highlight: Visit to an aloe factory.
Optional Activities: Treetop Adventure and Zipline.

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5-day sharks and wildlife safari

5-DAY WILDLIFE, SHARKS, CAVES AND BUNGEE SAFARI
(One-way from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth or Knysna):

Price: £345. Includes Accommodation and Food. Leaves Cape Town every Saturday morning (early).

This is the ideal tour for volunteers to use to get to our Wildlife Sanctuary project near Port Elizabeth, or one of the Knysna projects. You save on a connecting flight from Cape Town AND you take part in a fun-filled experience with lots of amazing activities.

Day 1 – Saturday ǀ Cape Town to Struisbaai: Overberg, Whale Route, Cape Agulhus: Depart Cape Town at 8:30 am and Stellenbosch at 9:30 am, our exciting journey begins on the whale route in Gordons Bay for a stunning drive along the R44 mountain pass overlooking False Bay to the vibrant coastal town of Hermanus. After a picnic lunch on the seafront, we continue to Birkenhead Brewery to sample some fine beers before moving to the southernmost tip of Africa in Cape Agulhas National Park.

We then make our way to the harbour where there is an option to embark on an exciting ski-boat cruise to search for dolphin and whales (June to November). Accommodation is along “Die Plaat”, the longest beach in the Southern Hemisphere. This day is a relaxing one for you to get to know your fellow travellers.
Included Highlight: Land Based Whale Watching in Hermanus/Shopping Beer/wine tasting at Birkenhead Brewery
Optional Activities: Shark cage diving.

Day 2 – Sunday ǀ Cape Agulhas to Sedgefield: Canoeing & Hike: After breakfast we drive inland towards the famed Garden Route! After a scenic drive we begin a beautiful canoe trip down one of the many tranquil rivers, followed by a short hike to a stunning waterfall. We finish off the day with some beach time down at Myoli Beach.
Included Highlight: Canoe trip & hike to waterfall.

Day 3 – Monday ǀ Oudtshoorn day trip: Little Karoo, Cango Caves, Ostrich Farm, Wildlife Ranch: We drive over the stunning Outeniqua mountains into the semi desert Klein Karoo and Oudtshoorn. The ostrich capital of the world, Oudtshoorn is situated in a beautiful valley between mountains. The Cango Caves is our first stop with a 1-hour guided tour of the cave system to view its massive caverns and a wonderland of stalactite and stalagmite formations, millions of years old. Cango Caves is a world heritage site and one of the great wonders of the natural world. If you enjoy spelunking and smaller gaps, you can also take the 1.5 hour adventure tour!

Next is an option to view and ride ostriches on a working ostrich farm, or go on a guided tour of the Cango Endangered Wildlife Ranch for an opportunity to pet cheetah, cage dive with crocodiles and view many rare and endangered animal species.
Included Highlight: Standard or adventure guided tour of Cango Caves Optional Activities: Tour of a working Ostrich farm + riding (weight restriction applies to riders). Cango Endangered Wildlife ranch.

Day 4 – Tuesday ǀ Sedgefield – Jeffrey’s Bay: Monkey Sanctuary, Elephant Sanctuary, Kloofing, Bloukrans Bungee & Tsitsikamma National Park: This morning we drive through Knysna on our way to the Crags where you can choose from:
1. Elephant Sanctuary where you learn about, and interact with orphaned elephants.
2. Monkey Sanctuary where rescued monkeys roam free in a large jungle area.
3. Kloofing trip through a spectacular gorge with jumps, abseils and swimming.

Our next stop is the World’s highest commercial Bungee Jump at 216 meters, which you can do - optional. Finally, we take a beautiful walk through the indigenous Tsitsikamma National Park to the Storms river swing bridges before we head to the famous surfing town of Jeffreys Bay where we stay at a backpackers directly on the beach.
Included Highlight: Tsitsikamma Forest Optional Activities: Elephant Sanctuary, Monkeyland, Bloukrans bungee jump (216m), Bloukrans Bridge walking tour.

Day 5 – Wednesday ǀ Jeffrey’s Bay – Addo National Park – Sedgefield: Game Drive (Addo), Surfing, shopping. There are 2 options to choose from this morning.
1. Sleep in and then explore the town's many surf factory shops, or go for a surf lesson in one of the most famous surf spots on earth.
2. Wake up early and head to Addo Elephant National park where we go on a morning game drive. Addo has the Big 5 game animals and the highest concentration of African Elephants in the world!

A relaxed drive back towards Sedgefield for the night. Time permitting, we'll visit the famous Knysna Heads for some absolutely amazing pictures where the ocean meets the inlet to the Knysna Lagoon.
Included Highlight: Storms River/Jeffrey’s Bay/Addo & Knysna Heads
Optional Activities: Black Water Tubing, Canopy Tour, Surf Lessons, Shopping, Addo Elephant NP tour (morning)

Please note:
• Volunteers destined for our Wildlife Sanctuary placement, can get dropped off at the project or choose to be fetched in Jeffrey’s Bay after the activities.
• Volunteers destined for the Knysna projects will be dropped off at our accommodation

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7-day extreme advanture safari in South Africa

6-DAY WILDLIFE, SHARKS, CAVES AND BUNGEE SAFARI:
Price: £375. Leaves Cape Town on a Saturday morning and returns to Cape Town the following Thursday afternoon.

This is the ideal tour for volunteers wanting to arrive at our Wildlife Sanctuary project near Port Elizabeth, or one of the Knysna projects. You save on a connecting flight from Cape Town and get to take part in a fun-filled experience with lots of amazing activities. The tour bus will drop you off at any of the destinations listed above on Day 5.

Day 1 – Saturday ǀ Cape Town to Struisbaai: Overberg, Whale Route, Cape Agulhus: Departing Cape Town at 8:30 am and Stellenbosch at 9:30 am, our exciting journey begins today along the world famous whale route in Gordons Bay for a stunning drive along the picturesque R44 mountain pass overlooking False Bay to the vibrant coastal town of Hermanus. After a picnic lunch on the seafront, we continue to Birkenhead Brewery to sample some fine beers before moving on to the southernmost tip of Africa in Cape Agulhas National Park.

We then make our way to the harbour where there is an option to embark on an exciting ski-boat cruise to search for dolphin and whales (June to November). After the cruise we take a walk back to the accommodation along “Die Plaat”, the longest beach in the Southern Hemisphere.
Included Highlight: Land Based Whale Watching in Hermanus / Shopping. Beer/wine tasting at Birkenhead Brewery
Optional Activities: Shark cage diving (MUST be pre-booked in advance).

Day 2 – Sunday ǀ Cape Agulhas to Sedgefield: Canoeing & Hike: After breakfast we drive inland again, this time towards the famed Garden Route! After a scenic drive we begin a beautiful canoe trip down one of the many tranquil rivers in the area, followed by a short hike to a stunning waterfall. We finish off the day with some beach time down at Myoli Beach.
Included Highlight: Canoe trip & hike to waterfall

Day 3 – Monday ǀ Oudtshoorn day trip: Little Karoo, Cango Caves, Ostrich Farm, Wildlife Ranch: We begin the day with a drive over the picturesque Outeniqua mountain range into the semi desert region of the Klein Karoo and Oudtshoorn, the ostrich capital of the world. Oudtshoorn is situated in a beautiful valley between the Outeniqua and Swartberg Mountains. The Cango Caves will be the first stop, a 1-hour guided tour of the cave system to view its massive caverns and a wonderland of stalactite and stalagmite formations, millions of years old. Cango Caves is a world heritage site and one of the great wonders of the natural world. If you enjoy spelunking and smaller gaps, you are also welcome to take the 1.5 hour adventure tour!

Next is an option to view and ride ostriches on a working ostrich farm, or go on a guided tour of the Cango Endangered Wildlife Ranch for an opportunity to pet cheetah, cage dive with crocodiles and view many rare and endangered animal species.
Included Highlight: Standard or adventure guided tour of Cango Caves
Optional Activities: Tour of a working Ostrich farm + riding (weight restriction apply to riders). Cango Endangered Wildlife ranch.

Day 4 – Tuesday ǀ Sedgefield – Jeffrey’s Bay: Monkey Sanctuary, Elephant Sanctuary, Kloofing, Bloukrans Bungee & Tsitsikamma National Park: This morning we drive through Knysna on our way to the Crags where you have two options to choose from:
1. Elephant Sanctuary where you learn about, and interact with orphaned elephants.
2. Monkey Sanctuary where rescued monkeys roam free in a large jungle area.

Our next stop is the World’s highest commercial Bungee Jump at 216 meters where you can experience this adrenalin pumping activity. Finally, we take a beautiful walk through the indigenous Tsitsikamma National Park to the Storms river swing bridges before we head to the famous surfing town of Jeffreys Bay where we stay at a backpackers directly on the beach.
Included Highlight: Tsitsikamma Forest Optional Activities: Elephant Sanctuary OR Monkeyland. Bloukrans bungee jump (216m), Bloukrans Bridge walking tour.

Day 5 – Wednesday ǀ Jeffrey’s Bay – Addo National Park – Sedgefield: Game Drive (Addo), Surfing, shopping. There are 2 options to choose from this morning.
1. Sleep in then explore the towns many surf factory shops, or go for a surf lesson.
2. Wake up early and head to Addo Elephant National park where we go on a morning game drive to view the multitudes of wild animals. Addo has the Big 5 and also the highest concentration of African Elephants in the world!

Included Highlight: Jeffrey’s Bay/Addo Entrance & Game Dive with tour Guide
Optional Activities: Surf Lessons, Shopping OR Addo Game Drive with National Parks guide (morning).

Day 6 – Thursday ǀ Sedgefield to Cape Town: Return to Cape Town via Sir Lowry’s Pass: After breakfast we start our journey back to Cape Town. For our first stop we will enjoy some fun with a canopy tour, experience the thrill of crossing rope bridges, wobbly crossings and zip wires high up in the trees. We then visit an Aloe factory, where you can purchase a variety of Aloe Ferox products. Finally, enjoy a wonderful scenic drive back to Cape Town, arriving early Thursday afternoon.

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4-day Kruger  National Park Wildlife Game Safari Tour in South Africa

4-DAY KRUGER NATIONAL PARK SAFARI:
Price: £595 per person, includes game drives, tented accommodation, breakfasts and dinners. Leaves Johannesburg daily at 7:00.
Join this 4 day tour to the majestic Kruger National Park, one of the top wilderness reserves in the world and home to the highest concentration of lions in Africa. You'll stay at a private game reserve with permanent safari tents.

Day 1 Sunset Drive, Kruger National Park: We collect you from your hostel or Johannesburg Airport and travel via Dullstroom or Nelspruit to the lodge in a Big Five Game Reserve. Transfer to an open-top game vehicle for a Sunset Drive. After dark, spotlights are used to locate nocturnal animals. Dinner in the open Boma and overnight in air-conditioned chalets.

Day 2 Bush Walk, Kruger National Park:
Awaken at sunrise for an exhilarating day of unforgettable bush life. Drive to a remote part of the Balule Game Reserve, where you enjoy a 4h Bush Walk. Your experienced field guide will lead you through the bush. The thrill of following Africa’s large animals until you can take a photo will remain with you forever. Adrenalin surges will be acute, notwithstanding the presence of your armed ranger. Return for brunch. At around 14h30 we go on an afternoon game drive. Transfer to Marc’s Camp where accommodation is in tents equipped with beds and bedding, soap and towels, electric light and fan. Dinner and overnight at in the camp.

Day 3 Orpen Gate, Kruger National Park:
After breakfast you travel on the open-sided Gameviewer to the Orpen Gate of Kruger. The added elevation and absence of windows allow for excellent viewing and photographic opportunities. Your qualified guide will show you various animals, large and small, that frequent this outstanding wildlife paradise. The zone of Kruger you visit has the highest percentage population of giraffe, zebra, wildebeest and impala that attract numerous lions and other predators. Dinner and overnight at Marc’s Camp.

Day 4 Bush walk at Kruger National Park, Johannesburg
We enjoy an early morning Bush Walk accompanied by an armed ranger. You will be shown various interesting details of the bush, including insects, spoor and scats. You have an excellent chance of encountering Buffalo, Nyala and other game on foot. After breakfast, we drive to the Three Rondawels of the Blyde River Canyon. We return you to your hostel or airport at around 17h00.

Includes:
• Return transfers from Johannesburg
• 3 hour Sunset Big 5 game drive in Big 5 reserve
• 4 hour Big 5 walk with armed ranger
• 2 hour afternoon game drive on Balule Game Reserve
• Full Day Kruger Park on open vehicle
• Breakfasts, Dinners, Accommodation and bedding
• Sunrise bush walk with armed ranger
• Blyde River canyon and Three Rondawels

Excludes: Lunches, Transfers, Drinks & Laundry

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LOCATION | SIGHTSEEING:

The best advice you'll get from us is to try to see some of the country while you're in South Africa. It's big (huge!) and each different region is exciting and very, very beautiful. Cape Town is probably the most beautiful city in the world (I can say that, I grew up there :-) KwaZulu-Natal comes a very close second, albeit very different. Knysna is where South Africans go on holiday, which gives you some idea of how lovely the region is. When you lie on the beach and watch dolphins jumping the waves, you'll think you're in Paradise.

LOCATION - KNYSNA:
Knysna is approximately 500km from the beautiful capital city of Cape Town and voted South Africa’s favourite town 4 years in a row! Its mountainous backdrop, impressively sized estuary and indigenous forests really give the town a natural feel to it. Although it still has that ‘small-town’ feel, Knysna is growing rapidly, and has all the amenities you could ask for such as banks, hotels, internet café’s, cinemas and shopping malls.

Knysna nestles on the banks of a beautiful lagoon in the heart of the ‘Garden Route’ of South Africa. It is surrounded by a natural paradise of lush indigenous forests, tranquil lakes and golden beaches, making it a real natural wonderland.

Knysna is a vibrant town, buzzing with creativity and energy, and the pulse of good music. It's a place where the you can enjoy the mellow atmosphere of street cafes, watching the world go by. The main street is very leafy with trees along the pavements and it has a wonderful holiday atmosphere with sun umbrellas everywhere.

Most cafes have outdoors seating areas overlooking the street or on the pavements, with colourful sun umbrellas - a perfect place to sit with the sun on your face, watching passers-by ambling along, sipping a steamy cappucino or staving off the heat with a cold drink.

About 20-30 minutes' drive away from Knysna you'll find Plettenberg Bay (better known simply as Plett), which is a bit smaller than Knysna, but equally stunning. Its' pure white beaches stretch as far as the eye can see and there is a lot to do, from whale and dolphin watching, to hiking trails and awesome nightlife.

The Garden Route is famous for all sorts of activities from adrenalin sports such as bungee jumping, skydiving and shark cage diving to more relaxed pursuits such as hiking, quad biking in the forest or visiting one of the many animal sanctuaries in the area. Your local Travellers liaison will be happy to assist you in finding interesting things to do and places to see so make the most of it!

TRAVEL:

Read about Travel arrangements and what happens when you arrive in your new country.

BOOK NOW! SEE ALL PROJECTS IN SOUTH AFRICA info@travellersworldwide.com
An amazing view of the Knysna Heads - the Indian ocean on one side and the Knysna Lagoon on the other. These are the narrow straits where the river estuary pours into the Ocean.
Another Bucket List activity is to go cage diving with sharks, or taking a tour out on the boat to go Whale, Shark and Dolphin spotting.
South Africa is Wildlife Heaven for anyone interested in Elephants, Big Cats, Rhinos, Monkeys ... and just about any other animal - don't miss the opportunity to take a safari through a local Game Park.
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PHOTO GALLERY: Whale and Dolphin Monitoring and Research