You can book your placement with or without flights. If you are based in the UK, we can include return flights from London Heathrow to Johannesburg with your placement. That way you are guaranteed to arrive in time for the transfers in southern Africa, and if there are any other volunteers on the same flight we will send you each other’s contact details beforehand (with your permission) so that you can already hook up at Heathrow. If you are based outside of the UK, but would like to take our flight from London Heathrow to Johannesburg we can arrange this for you.

You do not need to take these flights though. Maybe you have other travel plans or want to use a Round-the-World-Ticket or air miles? That’s fine as well – you can always arrange your own flights.



We have conservation travellers from all over the world join our projects. We can arrange international flights for you no matter where you are based, but we will need to prepare a quote for you on request.

Alternatively, you can arrange your own flights directly to the starting point of your placement. Most of our placements start at Johannesburg Airport (ORTI – O. R. Tambo International Airport), but if you are travelling to Botswana, Namibia or Zimbabwe we will book your short haul flight from Johannesburg for you. When arranging your air travel, you need to look for flights that tie in with the group meeting and transfer time, as our South African operations manager meets all ACE travellers whose placement is in South Africa in the arrivals hall at Johannesburg Airport on Tuesday mornings. From there, the transfer to your project is taken care of and included in your placement. Please liaise with us about suitable flight times if you are arranging your own flights.



As you will not be paid while spending time on a project, but will finance your stay yourself, a visitor permit is sufficient for most projects.

South Africa & Botswana: To the best of our knowledge, holders of UK passports and those from most EU countries, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand can obtain a 90 day visitor permit for free on arrival at the airport. It is your responsibility to check whether you need a visa in Africa before departure, so please check with the nearest South African or Botswana embassy, or the South African/ Botswana Department of Home Affairs. There is information about visa’s and requirements on their websites – and

Please note you will not be able to apply for an extension to your South African entry permit while in country. Permit holders must depart South Africa and apply for an extension appointment should they wish to.

Namibia: The Naankuse Namibia Predator Research project and Mangetti Elephant & Wild Dog Protection project require all conservation travellers to have a working visa. ACE will support and guide you through the application process. Please note that there is a 6 – 8 week turn around time once the visa application has been submitted. If you are travelling from the UK, you can also arrange your working visa at the Namibian Embassy in London.

Zimbabwe: For most countries visas are issued at port of entry e.g. at Bulawayo or Harare airport. You will need to request a transit / holiday visa for 30 days, extensions are done in Bulawayo, a short drive from the Chipangali Wildlife Orphanage. Travellers from some countries, however, do require a visa that is arranged in advance. It is your responsibility to check whether you need a visa before departure, so please check with the nearest Zimbabwean embassy, or the Zimbabwe Department of Home Affairs. There is information about visa Africa requirements on their website here.



From the 1st June 2015 the rules regarding children travelling in and out of the Republic of South Africa have changed. This is in collaboration with many other countries’ initiatives, working towards the eradication of child trafficking.

As a consequence, any traveller under the age of 18 years will have to provide the following documentation when checking in for their flights both in and out of South Africa:

  • Unabridged* Certified Copy of Birth Certificate
  • Certified Affidavit from each parent named on the birth certificate (full address and contact details) – giving permission for student to travel to South Africa, including full details of where the student will be staying, and the address of the receiving person and dates of travel.
  • Letter of authority & certified ID of the person receiving the student which will be provided by ACE.
  • Copy of flight itinerary including return flight to the country of origin – if flights are booked with ACE, this will be provided.

An Affidavit can be drawn up and certified by a Commissioner of Oaths. A Commissioner for Oaths can include:

  • Public Notary
  • Solicitor
  • Barrister
  • Legal Executive
  • Licensed Conveyancer

Any documentation needs to be within 3 months of the date of departure, anything dated earlier will not be acceptable and you will not be able to travel. ACE will require all our conservation travellers who are under 18 at the time of travel to send us photocopies/scan of their affidavits within 8 weeks before travel for our records.

Whilst we aim to support our volunteers with their documentation it is your responsibility to ensure you have met the requirements of your visa for entry into South Africa.

For further information please see

*An unabridged birth certificate is a birth certificate with names and personal information of the child’s biological parents.


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