Volunteering in Africa: Simple and Convenient

volunteering abroad progams

It’s never been easier or more convenient to volunteer abroad in Africa than it is today. All it takes is some time spent on the internet and you’ll be able to do everything you need.

Africa is a wonderfully diverse continent that seems to draw people from all over the world. Most people that have visited Africa yearn to return to explore more of this amazing place. Whether you’d prefer a rural experience or a first world experience, Africa has something for everyone and what better way than volunteering abroad.

Volunteering abroad in Africa will afford you the opportunity to experience a beautiful country while helping people, animals, marine life or the environment. There are many volunteering programs available to choose from and with some online research, you’ll be able find a reputable volunteering agency.

It’s important to know where you’d like to volunteer in Africa, so the first thing you need to do is read up on the various countries in Africa and the cities you’d like to visit. This will make it easier to narrow down your search for volunteering abroad agencies to look for. If you’d like to visit Cape Town in South Africa, for example, try searching for “volunteering abroad in Cape Town” or “volunteering programs in Cape Town”, rather than “volunteering programs in Africa. Africa is a huge continent with many different countries, so if you simply search for volunteering programs in Africa, you may have to sift through lots of websites to find one in Cape Town, should that be your desired destination.

Good volunteering program websites should be self-explanatory. Once you’ve browsed through a website, you should have a good idea as to what type of volunteering the program facilitates. Some volunteering agencies offer different types of volunteering, so you’ll be able to choose the field you’ll prefer. The website should stipulate where you’ll live and where you’ll volunteer. There should be photos of the volunteers in action, as well as your accommodation so that you’ll have a good idea of what to expect. Should you have any questions, you should be able to contact them by using the contact details provided on their website. This is your platform to ask about things that may not have been explained well enough on the website. The volunteering agency should be able to answer all of your questions adequately.

When it comes to volunteering overseas, it’s important to know that someone from the volunteering agency will be on call 24/7 to assist you when needed. Most volunteering agencies in Africa will collect you from the airport when you arrive and provide transport to and from the place where you volunteer. They should also provide you with your daily meals. Volunteering programs with Volunteering Africa Africa even take their volunteers sight-seeing in their free-time, so you’ll get to experience Africa like a tourist.

Travel in Style Around Cape Town

Cape Town ViewSo you’re visiting Cape Town for the first time and since you’re from abroad, you need to decide how you are going to get around the city once you arrive at Cape Town International Airport. Deciding on which form of public transport to use is not the most exciting part of your holiday planning, but like most of the other mundane activities that take up your precious time, it is an imperative part of your holiday planning.

So first off you need to take a look at what type of transfer services are available to you. So here’s a quick and dirty list.

1. Cape Town Shuttle Services
2. Airport Transfers
3. Taxi (Cab)
4. Microbus Taxis (more like a little bus than a cab)
4. MyCiti Bus
5. Standard Bus Service
6. Car Rental
7. Limosine Service
8. Hop on-Hop off Site-seeing Bus

City Site Seeing Bus

Now that you have a list of public transport services available to use, it’s time to consider the practicalities of these services, the advantages and drawbacks, and finally the degree to which you’d like to travel in style. Let’s start at the top.

If you opt for Shuttle Services, Cape Town can be experienced with the bliss of not concerning yourself as to how to get to where you want to go. No need for a road map or GPS, and unless your driver is inexperienced, you won’t need to worry about getting lost. This transfer service will collect and drop you anywhere you wish to go at any time of the day. You only share the vehicle with the driver, so if you’d rather not be sharing your space with strangers, this is a good option. It will, however, cost you somewhat more than the bus, so be prepared to pay for the convenience.

Airport transfers are pretty much like Shuttle services, even though they are viewed and often used exclusively for that trip to and from the airport.

Taxis (cabs) offer similar advantages to shuttle services. They also hang around popular places throughout the city, so if you’re a more spontaneous person, this service may suit you well. If you went to the V&A Waterfront, for instance, you could take your time and when you’re ready to leave, you can be sure that there is a taxi waiting outside for you.

The Microbus taxi and Standard bus service are similar in the sense that they travel along main established routes. They will not take you exactly where you want to go, but if their set bus stops are close enough for you to walk the rest of the way, they are a great way to travel cheaply. Microbus taxis are often more frequent than buses, but can get overcrowded and don’t have the best reputation for traveling in accordance with the rules of the road.

The MyCiti bus is a relatively new service in Cape Town. They have their own private lane in which they travel for the most part so they are a great choice when it comes to getting to where you want to go relatively quickly, especially in peak traffic. A little more expensive than the standard bus or microbus taxi, but worth the extra spend for the most part.

The option of a car rental service is great in that it offers you the most flexibility. Curbed only by your budget, you can drive a vehicle that meets the standard and comfort that you are accustomed to. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, rent something that is beyond the quality you’re used to and travel in style. The vehicle is always with you, so there is no need to plan your trip to ensure that the transfer service arrives when you’re ready to go. You don’t share the vehicle with a driver so you enjoy absolute privacy. Play the music you want, go where you want at any time. There are really no restrictions. The drawbacks are that you need to be comfortable driving on the left side of the road and finding your own way around. With a good GPS the latter should be a minor. It will ultimately cost you more to rent a car, but if you’re doing a lot of traveling, you may find that it is more cost effective than the shuttle service or cab.

So for the ultimate form of travel, we had to include the limosine. While this would not be a recommended mode of travel for your day to day shopping trips, it is an excellent way to spoil yourself and have a treat with your friends. Paint the night red in style when you make use of this service. Just be sure to keep some money over for a fee that will match your wild experience.

Limosine

Finally, if you’d like to view the tourist landmarks around the Cape Peninsula you may want to take advantage of the Hop on-Hop off City Sight-seeing Bus. There are 2 routes (red and blue) that you can choose from, or if time permits, do both. It really is cheap enough. If you’ve ever done the red bus tour in London, this is something similar. You get a day pass for your route. Where ever the bus stops you can hop off and experience the surroundings. The bus will leave, but don’t worry, within 20 minutes or so another bus will stop. If you’re ready to continue your tour, simply hop on again, and enjoy the ride until you get to the next place you’d like to hop off. Now simply ‘rinse and repeat’ until your tour is done.

Okay, I’ve given you a lot of information so now you can spend less time researching and more time enjoying your holiday. Choose your mode of transport wisely, and if you your budget allows for it, don’t just choose the Cape Town shuttle service because it was first on the list… consider your options and travel in style.