FAQs

memories for a lifetime

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you help me with booking a flight?

Unfortunately, we do not offer assistance, you will have to arrange your flights on your own or through your agency.

Do I need a visa?

Nationals from the European Union, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand do not need a visa to enter South Africa and will be granted a temporary Visitors Permit valid for up to 90 days providing you have a pre-booked return flight within 90 days & a passport valid for at least 6months. PLEASE NOTE: If you do not fall under one of these countries, then you need to arrange a visa in advance. We will not be held accountable for any persons entering South Africa and then being deported due to incorrect paperwork.

How long can I legally stay in South Africa?

You may extend your visitors permit for an additional 90 days by applying for an extension at the Department of Home Affairs Office. However, it is not guaranteed that you will receive your extension. We recommend you apply for a Tourist or Volunteer visa in your home country prior to your trip.

Do I need to bring any medication?

Although pharmacy services are available in South Africa it is recommended that you bring all the medication you require for the duration of your stay.

Do I need malaria medication?

No, all of our projects are situated in a malaria free area.

Where will I find the shuttle at the airport?

One of our drivers will be waiting for you at the airport with a signboard. If your flight lands early or you can’t see your driver, please go to the information desk and call us on our all-round emergency

number: +27 73 333 4338

What vaccinations do I need?

It is recommended that you are vaccinated against: Tetanus, Diphtheria, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B & Typhoid. Please note: In most European countries you will have had some of these vaccinations as a child

A yellow fever immunisation certificate is only required if you have travelled from or through an area at risk of yellow fever transmission. This means the majority of countries in Eastern, Central, or Southern Africa. Note that if you have a stopover in one of these countries, you will need this immunisation, even if you don’t leave the airport.

I have booked a project with an Orientation package included; how does that work?

You will be taken from the Airport to the Backpackers that hosts your orientation package. Here, you will be welcomed by a member of our SAVE staff. Once you have settled in you will be given briefing about the weekend and the timings of your orientation activities. The following day you will have a chance to visit Cape Town on the Walking Tour.

Do I need to bring cash or can I use my debit / credit card?

Visa and Mastercard facilities are readily available so you do not need to bring a large amount of cash. Ensure that your card is set up to be used abroad before you leave home.

Are there a lot of mosquitos?

There are mosquitoes here, but we are situated in a malaria free area. For safety please bring along all your allergy medication and other medication if needed. We also recommend bringing Mosquito Repellent or purchasing some once you have arrived in South Africa.

Can I drink the tap water?

Yes, the tap water is safe to drink. We recommend bring your own resuable water bottle with you so you can take water to project with you.

Is it possible to smoke?

Yes, there are designated smoking areas at project and at the volunteer houses, however, it is not allowed in front of children.

Will I have internet access?

Yes. You will be given a South African Sim card upon your arrival and can load data on it to have internet access. At most of our projects there is Wi-Fi Available (charges may apply).

What happens if there is an emergency?

We provide 24 hour support and you will be given a contact number to use in case of an emergency during your briefing.

Are there plug sockets in every room?

In every room, there are standard 3-point plug power sockets. Adapters are generally hard to find in your home country, we recommend you buy it once you are in South Africa.

Is it safe on my project?

There is a general worldwide misconception that South Africa is unsafe to visit, and this is perpetuated by the media. Like any country there are unsafe places, particularly at night. These are well known by everyone and it is extremely unlikely that you could accidentally walk into them. South Africa is as safe as any other country to visit if common sense and basic precautions are taken. All our projects are situated in safe areas with staff onsite and security such as fences or cameras to ensure your safety.

Why do I have to pay to volunteer?

The cost you pay to volunteer is only to cover unavoidable costs such as accommodation, meals, transport, shuttles and donation towards the project for running costs and material to sustain the program. Most of the projects are run only on the money that is donated by volunteer fees, without these donations and the physical help from volunteers most projects would not exist.

 

How do I get to my project?

We will organise transportation for you from the airport or orientation venue to your project, and again back to the airport at the end of your volunteering programme.

When is the best time of year to volunteer?

There is no best time to volunteer as the animals require support all year around and there are always improvements to be made on the farms. Check the local weather and decide on which season you wish to join during. You will be outside during the majority of project time so take that into account when choosing a season. If you dont like the heat – dont come during summer!

I want to make the most of my programme, what length of time is best?

The longer you can volunteer, the better. The minimum for most projects is 2 weeks but many volunteers choose to stay for 4 weeks or even longer.

How many people sleep in a room?

The number of people sleeping in one room depends on the project. You will stay in a mixed dormitory. You can request a male or female dormitory in advanced and we will do our best to accommodate you. At most projects, you can request a private room at an additional fee.

If I am allergic to domestic cats will I be allergic to wild cats?

It is highly possible that you will experience an allergic reaction, but you would have to come into close contact with the cats to experience this. If you are allergic to pollen, grass seeds and dust you will also have an allergic reaction. Be safe and bring your medication with to avoid a reaction.

Is there a danger of snakes like the black mamba or similar?

The black mamba occurs in the North West, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and northern Kwa-Zulu Natal provinces in South Africa. Potentially dangerous snakes are:

Puff adder: these snakes are the cause of most snake bite deaths due to the fact that they are common and they areslow moving meaning they won’t move out of the way when approached. Most bites are accidental because they are sowell camouflaged and not easily seen.

Boom slang: very common in South Africa, but are very docile snakes. They are extremely venomous but hardly encountered. They stay in trees unless they need to travel from one tree to another.

The spiders we have here are:

• Black widows
• Crab spiders
• Violin spiders

There are many more to mentioned, but these are the most important. The spiders mentioned above are rarely seen in rooms and if found, it’s pure incident.
We are, however, fully equipped for snakes and our staff will help you in the rare case of an emergency.