FAQ: Booking your experience

From picking an experience to packing your bags, we’re here to help.

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How do I find the right experience for me?

Our website is like an encyclopedia of southern Africa’s most exciting wildlife conservation projects. But sometimes there’s just no substitute for talking to someone who’s been there and done it.

Our staff are not only experienced in travel management but also carry zoological and conservation-related qualifications. We regularly travel to each project so that we always have up-to-date information for you and can discuss your options based on our own first-hand experience.

So if you need help finding the right experience for you, get in touch with us by phone, email or via our online application form.

How long can I stay?

That’s really up to you. Our shortest experiences can be completed in just five days. Some locations ask that you stay for at least two weeks. But many of our travellers choose to stay for a lot longer than this, up to many months, and often at multiple projects.

Can I split my time between more than one location?

Absolutely. Most of our travellers do this as they often visit more than one project. If you choose to move between different conservation projects, we can also arrange your transfers.

How far in advance should I book?

Due to the small size of some conservation projects and initiatives we work with, availability on our experiences can be fairly limited. You may also need to organise a tourist visa which could take up to eight weeks to arrive.

For these reasons, we recommend you get in touch with us as soon as you’re interested in travelling.

Do you offer any legal or financial protection?

Yes. We are the only organisation of our kind that has been offered membership of ABTA, one of the world’s most recognised quality standards for travel. Find us at abta.com/abta-member-search (our membership number is Y6702). 

We comply with the UK Package Travel Regulations, which set out strict standards of how we must operate in order to protect our travellers. These regulations apply to all our travellers, wherever they come from in the world.

Your trip will be financially protected through ABTA and ATOL. This means that in the unlikely event we were to go out of business, you will be entitled to a refund of the package price. If you have already started your trip, then your transport home will be covered. It also means that you are guaranteed a full refund if you decide not to travel when the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advises against travel to your destination.

We are also full members of the Year Out Group, an association of leading UK organisations that promotes the benefits of a well-structured gap year and adheres to specified codes of practice. We also have our own Code of Conduct covering things like participation, behaviour and alcohol consumption that we expect all our participants to adhere to.

How do I book an experience?

We want every traveller to enjoy a hugely memorable and rewarding time in Africa. So before booking, we take the time to find out a little about what you want and discuss your options. Here’s how it works:

  1. Your journey to Africa starts with our online application form. This is your chance to tell about yourself and what you want from your African experience. To open the form, just click the "Apply Now" link in the upper right corner of any page.
  2. Then the most important bit – we’ll speak with you and help you plan your trip. During this conversation, one of our conservation travel experts will answer all your questions, talk to you about your options, and even make personal recommendations based on your ambitions.
  3. Following our communication, we’ll send you a unique plan for your trip which outlines everything discussed.
  4. When you’re ready, we ask you to confirm your booking by sending us a signed confirmation and a deposit of GBP 295 / USD 400 / CAD 500 / AUD 500 / EUR 350.
Is there a selection process?

No. We’ll ensure you’re matched to an experience that suits your interests and ambitions. But you do not need any specific qualifications or past experience.

What do I need to do before I go?

Once you’ve confirmed your booking, you can start organising your trip. Here are a few things to put on your to-do list:

  • Check if you need a visa. You may well require a visa to travel to, and between countries within, southern Africa. This will depend on the nationality of your passport and the country (or countries) you're travelling to. Please be aware that it is your responsibility to check your visa requirements and arrange all the necessary paperwork before travelling, as we cannot take any responsibility for you not being able to enter the country. The following website is a good resource to find out whether you will need a visa for your specific destination country: IATA Travel Centre.
  • Visit a doctor or travel nurse for advice on vaccinations ideally eight weeks before you depart.
  • Make sure you arrange your flights and send us your flight travel insurance details before you depart.
  • If you’re under 18 years old at the time of travel, you will need to carry some documents with you. These need to be officially certified within three months of travel (we’ll advise you but please be aware you will need to allow enough time to get this organised).
  • Remember to make your final payment to us. This is due eight weeks before you travel.
  • And last but not least… pack! To make things a bit easier, we’ll send you a recommended kit list for your experience.
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