As a continent, Africa is one of the most diverse, spectacular, and incredible places on Earth. From the deserts of the North, through to the lush savannahs of the South, there is so much to explore that it would take you a lifetime to do so. Luckily we have helped you get a head start by offering some amazing volunteering opportunities in Africa, but this then leads to the question of “What should I expect when volunteering in Africa?” It can be quite a daunting experience volunteering for the first time, so today we are going to give you a clue as to what you can expect if you volunteer on this amazing continent!
It will probably be very hot
This may sound like an obvious one but the number of people who aren’t prepared for the high temperatures that can come with a day in the African sun is extremely high. Temperatures for the countries on the equator can reach average temperatures of up to 30 degrees, and even down in South Africa temperatures can still get up to 28 degrees in the summer so you need to take care! Bring a hat to protect your head, stock up on sun cream, and ensure you’ve got a bottle of water with you at all times!
You will get dirty
As a volunteer in Africa you can expect to get your clothes (and yourself) very dirty. Whether you are working in the grasslands of Namibia helping the Cheetahs, or on the beaches of Mozambique caring for marine wildlife, you can expect to get covered in mud, dust and who knows what else but this is all part of the experience! Our advice for this one is to take old clothes you don’t mind getting dirty.
There are a lot of bugs
You’ll more often than not be out in the middle of an area of the world with an incredibly high amount of biodiversity, so for every big cat you see chances are you’ll spot 100 bugs! You need not worry though as the vast majority are harmless and your guide will be on hand to tell you all about them!
You’ll be immersed in some incredible heritage
All of the civilisations on Earth stemmed from Africa thousands of years ago and as a result it is home to some of the oldest and most interesting cultures still alive today. If you volunteer at the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary you will get the chance to go and meet the Ancient Sans People who know the dry landscape of Southern Africa better than anyone else and will be able to teach you all about it. You won’t get the chance to learn about the history of Africa first-hand anywhere else, so this really is something to look out for.
It will exceed your expectations!
It doesn’t matter which of the projects you volunteer at or how long you go for, spending time in Africa helping the wildlife will always vastly exceed your expectations. People tend to still have some preconceptions about parts of Africa but these are simply not true! You’ll have an amazing time on all of the projects and will create memories to last a lifetime whilst making a difference to the many animals which need your help!
Hopefully this has given you a bit more of an idea of what to expect when volunteering in Africa, and if it has inspired you to take part then you can take a look here to see what project is best for you!
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