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This section will give you some idea about the costs involved in joining a conservation project and how your money is used. You can also find out about the option of doing fundraising in order to finance your conservation experience. As we work out every placement individually the costs are just a guideline – we’ll discuss the cost of your individual placement with you when we chat about your plans.
“If I could give anyone who was thinking of doing a similar thing advice, I would say don’t attempt to organise the whole thing by yourself … there is always someone willing to help if you ask! And also, be persistent! If you have some let–downs, it’s important to keep focussed, as if you put in the effort, it will all come good in the end!”
Tracey Hutcheon on her fundraising experiences
There is a cost for every conservation placement. The exact cost depends on which wildlife project you choose, how many weeks you want to spend at the project and whether you want us to include flights or not. You can get a good idea of placement costs on the individual project pages when you choose your project. This will give you a starting point and we’ll confirm the exact cost of your individual placement with you when we chat about your plans.
The cost of joining a conservation project might seem like a big deterrent, but don’t just discard the idea right away after one look at the price tag. For one, there are good reasons for spending money on conservation travel – your money will go a long way towards funding vital wildlife conservation work while you yourself will gain invaluable experience. And if you are not fortunate enough to be able to finance your conservation adventure all by yourself, you can definitely explore the option of fundraising.
The allocation of funds does vary from one project to the next, as reflected in the varying project fees. Once all of the set-up costs are covered, including all air and / or ground travel and support, the majority of the fee goes to the project. The rest goes to the ACE office to cover staff wages, for the team setting up and supporting your placement, marketing, to get the word out there about our fantastic projects, and business development, so we have the capacity to support new conservation initiatives! Because we are independent, we are unbiased and are able to support and promote projects that have the greatest need. Read more about ACE and our ethos in the ‘About us’ webpages.
Travel insurance is compulsory and you must make sure that it covers the activities you will undertake during the placement, as well as emergency treatment, airlift evacuation and repatriation. We can arrange insurance that provides this level of cover for you, but you can also choose another policy or use an existing cover if you already have an annual policy.
You may want to bring some spending money to buy gifts to take home or for excursions during your free time. Since the cost of living in South Africa is much lower than that in the UK, we normally recommend around £60 / 80 US$ a week for spending money. It is possible to withdraw cash at ATMs in most local towns and petrol stations using VISA and Mastercard.
Most volunteers will do some sort of fundraising to finance their trip. The options are endless and can involve anything from applying for sponsorship to holding a fundraising event or doing odd jobs. Fundraising should be seen as part of the challenge in getting to southern Africa and can be great fun! Since we have been in close contact with several hundred volunteers that have done fundraising over the years, we can give you lots of good ideas and advice on how to fundraise. If you are accepted on a placement, we will also send you a Fundraising Guide which has a lot of ideas and tips to get you started. We can also assist you with marketing materials, sponsorship forms and letters of support.