Leap to the tip of the world’s most epic continent and experience first-hand the countries diversity up, close and personal.Our program north of Cape town in the hip seaside of Langebaan nestled between the dramatic coast line and a stunning lagoon.
From here you will contribute to mix of conservation, community and equine care projects in the surrounding reserves and towns before heading north on an overland safari to explore the stunning scenery, culture and wildlife in Namibia.
This program gets our vote for its variety, adventure and life changing projects.
You’ll fly into Cape Town and then head an hour north, along the coast, to base yourself in The Beach House Research Centre in the hip seaside town of Langebaan.
This pretty clapboard town is on the shores of an extremely large natural lagoon which provides the perfect playground for kite surfing, kayaking, fishing and other water sports. Plenty to do in your downtime especially with the famous marina called ‘Club Mykonos’ just down the road.
For wildlife and bird lovers Langebaan will deliver as it is part of the stunning Cape Floristic Region and close to the West Coast National Park where you will be able to see spectacular game and indigenous birds.
Whist in Langebaan you will contribute to a mix of conservation, community and equine care projects which are all run concurrently so it is very easy to mix it up or specialise. You won’t need to decide until you are out there.
After 4 weeks here you have the chance to head off on an overland safari to explore the highlights and wildlife in Namibia. Not to miss.
At the weekends you will be free to head to the greatest city of them all – Cape Town.
Also known as the Mother City, Cape of Good Hope and Cape of Storms.
Cape Town is famous for its natural landmarks and heritage, such as Table Mountain and its setting in the Cape Floral Kingdom - home to nearly 7,000 plants which are completely endemic to the city.
Also known as the cultural and design hub of the country and one of the top international tourist destinations, year after year, with masses of things to do.
A great adventure add on is the 1-week overland safari around some of Namibia’s highlights – an exceptional and contrasting country where you will get to explore the oldest desert of Sossusveli, canoe along the Orange River and take in the enormity of Fish River Canyon, (the world’s second largest canyon) – utterly breath taking.
While you are out and about there will be time to include lots of extra activities such as guided desert walks, sandboarding, quad biking etc. These activities are optional and are not included. The safari fee covers transportation, meals, accommodation (camping) and park entry fees.
You will travel to the nature reserves around Langbaan to work with the conservation team, lead by Luke Boshoff.
Luke has been involved in various aspects of anti-poaching in South Africa for the last six years keen to make a contribution to stopping the slaughter of the country’s rhino population.
Project will include:
Poaching in South Africa comes in many different guises from commercial hunting and rhino poaching to the less sophisticated poaching for bush meat using nasty wire snares.
You will be trained both in the classroom and field where you’ll be taught to understand the methods and behavioral characteristics of poachers, learning to identify and disarm the poaching sites.
Many native mammal species are under pressure through habitat loss and other threats. You will help monitor the population of these species, such as the Duiker and Caracal, in an effort to know what conservation strategies are needed.
You will do this using remote-sensor camera’s which will be strategically placed around the reserve. The camera footage will be regularly collected, analysed and repositioned.
Alien Vegetation Project
In our invasive species project you will focus on the invasive plants that are spreading at an alarming rate in the nature reserves of the West Coast.
You will help with the data collection and hands-on fieldwork in an effort to fully understand the impact on the natural environment.
The Dassenburg Horse Rescue Centre (DHRC) is a non-profit organisation that rehabilitates and re-homes severely traumatized, neglected and injured horses from the surrounding areas. Each animal in the care of DHRC has a unique and heart breaking story, so be prepared.
Many of DHRC’s animals come from incredibly poor areas where food is scarce and poverty means owners do not have the funds for tack and therefore ride their horses using string and ill-fitting equipment, resulting in horrendous injuries that if untreated can lead to infection.
When taken into care by DHRC, many of the horses are malnourished and on the verge of starvation, requiring large amounts of care and rehabilitation. This is where our volunteers come in – with your help we aim to get them back on track and ready for re-homing.
You will help by:
Your hands-on work will be dependent on your experience level with horses. Those less experienced will start by grooming the horses by hand, getting a feel for their coat and condition, moving on to work with brushes and gaining their trust. Volunteers who have more experience will be able to lunge the horses to work on their training.
Help renovate the fencing, stables and shelters.
Contribute to the marketing and fundraising for the centre.
Help preserve the biodiversity and ecosystems of the Cape's West Coast which forms part of the Cape Floristic Region, one of only 25 global, bio-diverse hot spots.
The marine environment, along the west coast, is diverse in species and ecosystems with long beaches, lagoons and islands providing habitats for many species.
However, pollution, resource depletion and rapidly expanding urbanization has put pressure on the habitats of the indigenous flora and fauna.
Project will include:
Numerous bird species live and breed in the reserve with migrating birds using the area as migratory feeding grounds.
You will help conduct surveys along the beaches to assess general bird population counts.
Millions of seabirds and marine mammals die each year due to plastic pollution.
In conjunction with Bird life South Africa and the University of Cape Town, you’ll help with beach clean-ups along the west coast. The litter is then analysed to determine its source.
Lagoon Fish Surveys
You’ll help conduct fishing surveys with a view to obtaining an estimate of the species living in the lagoon, so we can understand the ecology of the lagoon.
Our community projects involve working with children from disadvantaged communities in and around Langebann. Here you will get involved with:
Help educate the communities about their local conservation, motivating them to preserve what they have. Teaching, adventure days, art and sport classes are all tools to get this message across.
Children’s Sports Coaching
Help run rugby, soccer or netball clinics for primary school children. No coaching experience required but you will need a sound knowledge of the sport’s rules and have playing experience.
After School and Holiday Care
Help in the after school clubs for children from the local community - helping with homework, playing games and giving a lot of TLC is all that is required to make a huge difference to the quality of these kid’s lives.
You‘ll be busy volunteering 5 days a week, and for pretty much most of the day, but the evenings and weekends are your own for down time or exploring with some of our favourites:
As described earlier – Cape town is available at the weekends as it’s just a 90 minute taxi ride away and we can recommend a great hostel for you to stay in.
When there we highly recommend you visit Robben Island, hang out at the Water front, relax on one of Clifton’s beaches and of course trek to the top of Table Mountain.
Langebaan itself is based on the edge of a massive lagoon where you can get involved with all sorts of water sports including kayaking and kite surfing.
Other Highlights Not to Miss:
Tour the Garden Route, wine tasting in Stellenbosch, Cape of Good Hope, swim with the great whites (?) …honestly, the list is endless.
We have four different teams departing to Cape Town in South Africa each year: January, April, July and September. Typically programs are 5 weeks long, taking in all the sights and experiences you'll find described on this page with plenty of downtime for you to explore the country as you please.
The July departure date is an ideal fit for that gap between A-Level exams and results day, or for those on university summer holidays.
Want to join a program and stay for longer? No problem, get in touch and we'll help you sort something out.