Western Africa
Gambia Ghana Sierra Leone Togo
Middle Africa
Cameroon
Northern Africa
Egypt Morocco
Southern Africa
Botswana Namibia Cape Town / South Africa Swaziland
Eastern Africa
Kenya Madagascar Malawi Mozambique Seychelles South Sudan Tanzania Uganda Zambia Zimbabwe
Middle East
Israel Lebanon
Southern Asia
India Maldives Nepal Sri Lanka
Eastern Asia
China Mongolia
South East Asia
Cambodia Bali / Indonesia Laos Borneo / Malaysia Myanmar Philippines Chiang Mai / Thailand Vietnam
North America
United States of America
Caribbean
Bahamas Cuba Dominican Republic Haiti Jamaica Saint Lucia Trinidad and Tobago
Central America
Belize Costa Rica El Salvador Guatemala Honduras Mexico Nicaragua Panama
Latin America
Argentina Bolivia Amazon Rainforest / Brazil Chile Colombia Galapagos / Ecuador Paraguay Peru Suriname Uruguay Venezuela
Europe
Croatia Finland Germany Greece Hungary Italy Portugal Romania Spain
Oceania
Australia Fiji New Zealand
Humanitarian
Childcare Medical & Health Orphanages Sports Teaching & Education
Environment & Conservation
Animals & Wildlife Diving & Marine Conservation Environmental Protection Farming & Agriculture Round Trips & Camps
Made for Meaningful Travel

Volunteer World's mission has always been to ensure fairness, transparency and high quality within the meaningful travel industry. Due to its great usability & unique design, media claims Volunteer World to be the "AirBnB" for volunteer abroad opportunities - and we do not disagree on that!

Your Extra Layer of Security

Volunteer World is the world's leading comparison platform for international volunteer opportunities. We guide you through a safe and easy application process. Planning your next meaningful trip with Volunteer World gives you free access to our:

EDGE of AFRICA

Forest & Coastal Conservation

Enjoy a conservation experience covering the key topics of basic ecology and biodiversity; and contribute to a variety of forest and coastal conservation projects!

About the Program

This program provides a practical conservation experience covering the key topics of basic ecology and biodiversity.

You will be living in the famous Garden Route, South Africa, assisting with a variety of forest and coastal based conservation and research projects; such as species transects, bird monitoring, intertidal zone surveys, and alien plant eradication. By the end of the program you will have gained a well-rounded practical conservation experience.

Throughout the program you will enjoy a variety of informative lectures, helping you to gain theoretical knowledge of basic ecological principles. You will also have the pleasure of educating local children about conservation principles and providing them with the opportunity to visit local natural areas - an opportunity that they wouldn't otherwise have! 

Projects included in this program:

Terrestrial Surveying:

You will help monitor populations of water birds along the beautiful Knysna coastline. Data collected via this project is contributed to an Africa wide citizen science database; allowing for the tracking of bird hotspots and monitoring populations over time. You will also conduct surveys in the surrounding forests, recording a variety of animal and plant sightings (including spoors and scat). Data is contributed both to our own database and to various citizen science projects.

Coastal Surveying:

You will conduct surveys in Inter-tidal zones, helping us to establish the species present in different zones and how environmental factors affect species populations. Data is also contributed to citizen science projects such as Echinomap.

Conservation Education:

Through this project we aim to sow the seed of respect for South Africa’s natural heritage! You will be assisting with fun and interactive workshops aimed to encourage children to get excited about nature and conservation. These workshops may be classroom based or may involve taking local children to visit natural areas – an opportunity that many of these children wouldn’t ordinarily have.

Although these are children who live in South Africa many of them have never experienced the wonders of Africa’s wildlife and so we hope to improve their knowledge and understanding.

Recycling Swop Shop:

This project aims to provide an opportunity for children to gain an understanding of the value of goods and the concept of exchanging work for goods through a recycling exchange incentive scheme; and of course the swop shop also creates an effective means of cleaning up the local environment.

Local children collect plastic, paper, tins and glass which they bring once a week to the Swop Shop. Their recycling is weighed by EDGE of AFRICA volunteers and depending on the amount and type of recycling the child receives a certain amount of points which they can then spend in the ‘Swop Shop’. The shop is filled with clothes, toiletries, toys & stationery (and the list goes on!) all donated by Knysna locals and International volunteers. There is no money involved in this scheme and the Recycling Swop Shop is entirely reliant on donations and volunteer participation.

The recycling that is collected through this project is put to good use, for example we use 2 litre plastic bottles to create eco-friendly greenhouses (see our Food Security Project); and we are developing a business empowerment project that will employ local people to create functional products out of “waste” materials!

Environmental Restoration:

You will assist us to protect and restore the beautiful natural habitats of the Garden Route, including endangered wetland areas, coastal areas and lush indigenous forests.

Restoration projects include removing alien invasive plants which out-compete natural plants and exhaust all important water sources; and clearing litterwhich takes away from the natural beauty of the area and injures animals. This is a highly rewarding volunteer project to be involved in, where you can clearly see the fruits of your labour!

About the location Knysna

Knysna (pronounced nice-na) is the jewel of the Garden Route. It is South Africa’s favorite holiday town! You can expect white beaches, stunning forests and beautiful expansive views. It is a safe and quirky town, full of character!

Knysna is also the adventure capital of the Garden Route. There is really something for everyone, if you fancy challenging your vertigo, we have the world’s highest bungee jump, or you can skydive along the coast! There a number of outdoor hikes leading to beautiful scenery. You can experience members of the cat family such as leopard and cheetah in close proximity; visit an Elephant Sanctuary; get up close to monkeys at Monkeyland; or enjoy a vast array of bird life at the Southern Hemisphere’s largest aviary!

We also have many recommended restaurants and night spots! We think everyone should visit Knysna at least once in their lives!

Suitable for

Singles
Couples
Families
Groups
50+

Typical day

Your day will generally begin between 8.30-9.00 and finish 16.00-16.30.  You will usually come back to the lodge for lunch, but if you are out for the day you will be provided with a packed lunch.  You will always be accompanied by an EoA Co-ordinator who will ensure your safety and will make sure you know what you need to do.

This schedule may vary because of your time of arrival and time of year, but a typical week would look like this: 

  • Saturday- Arrival & Orientation 
  • Sunday - Time off to recover from jet lag and explore the area 
  • Monday-  Orientation & Training/Conservation Workshop prep 
  • Tuesday-  Lecture/Bird Survey/Alien Plant Eradication
  • Wednesday- Conservation Workshop/Lecture/Recycling Swop Shop 
  • Thursday - Lecture/Coastal Survey/Forest Species Survey
  • Friday - Lecture / Alien plant eradication/Group Activity
  • Saturday Optional Excursion

Details on Arrival

Volunteers need to arrive/depart on the following dates (if volunteers are joining us for an odd number of weeks, we can be flexible with the dates but arrival or departure should still fall on a Saturday please)

2017 Arrival/Departure Dates
  • August 12th
  • August 26th
  • September 9th
  • September 23rd
  • October 7th
  • October 21st
  • November 4th
  • November 18th
  • December 2nd
  • December 16th (departures only)
2018 Arrival/Departure Dates
  • January 13th
  • January 27th
  • February 10th
  • February 24th
  • March 10th
  • March 24th
  • April 7th
  • April 21st
  • May 5th
  • May 19th
  • June 2nd
  • June 16th
  • June 30th
  • July 14th
  • July 28th
  • August 11th
  • August 25th
  • September 8th
  • September 22nd
  • October 6th
  • October 20th
  • November 3rd
  • November 17th
  • December 1st
  • December 15th (departures only)

Program Requirements

In order to join the program you need to be at least 17 years old on the program start date. Of course, there is an exception for children that are accompanied by their parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level)
Health Declaration
required
Criminal Background Check
required
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
Specific qualifications are not required, although this program would definitely be of interest to and benefit those studying or working in the field of conservation. 
You need to have a passion for conservation and nature and a love for working with the community. You need to be hard working, motivated and  able to show initiative. Good health and physical  fitness are also required.  
You also need to be confident with speaking  English.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 08:30 - 16:30

Any questions? Just ask. We at EDGE of AFRICA are happy to help you.

Contact Project Coordinator

Free-time activities

When you arrive in Knysna, EDGE of AFRICA has some great opportunities lined up for your stay including: 

  • visits to various food and craft markets
  • Whale & Dolphin boat trips; shark cage diving 
  • wildlife sanctuaries including getting close to various cat, elephant and monkey species
  • highest bungee jump in the world
  • canoeing, hiking and climbing
  • visits to numerous breath-taking beaches and beautiful rivers

Water Sports
Swimming
Safari/Zoo
Hiking
Riding
Contact & Reservation
$503
/week
$503
/week
2 - 12
weeks
2 - 12
weeks
17+
age
17+
age
Airport Pickup
Housing
Food
Internet
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Included Services

Extra security layer by Volunteer World
Volunteer World is the world's leading comparison platform for international volunteer opportunities. We guide you through a safe and easy application process - including all necessary payments. Planning your next meaningful trip with Volunteer World gives you free access to our:
Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if EDGE of AFRICA cancels your trip
Resolution Support
We cover your back no matter what happens
Services by EDGE of AFRICA
  • All project operating costs, equipment, tools and resources
  • Return Bus Ticket from Cape Town, PE or Johannesburg to Knysna
  • Pick up & drop off from arrival points (George airport or Knysna bus stop)
  • 24/7 emergency support
  • Orientation & Training
  • Accommodation in our Volunteer House
  • 3 Meals a day
  • Project Related Transport
  • Project T­-shirts
  • Dedicated coordinators to assist you daily
  • Project support and feedback sessions throughout your stay
  • Assistance with optional activities and tours
  • Assistance obtaining a local SIM Card for your phone
  • Additional cultural and outdoor activities on Friday afternoons (and some evenings)
  • Free, unlimited Wi­Fi and computer access in the Knysna volunteer house
  • Post-­project involvement, and an exclusive return volunteer discount
Airport Pickup at George

EDGE of AFRICA has a global travel services partner that can assist with all your travel plans! You will either need to fly into Johannesburg or Cape Town and catch a connecting flight to GEORGE (GRJ). It is our nearest airport. You can also get the bus from Cape Town or Johannesburg which is a good way to see the area if you have time before your arrival date. If you decide to take the bus, a return bus ticket is included FREE of charge and we can help book this for you.

We are happy to assist with organising your Cape Town or Johannesburg stay including accommodation and tours!

On departure, your project coordinator will transport you to the airport and/ or assist with any further travel arrangements. If you are travelling further through Africa we are more than happy to provide any advice or support in planning your onward journey.

We will provide you with a comprehensive Pre-Travel Advice pack when you confirm your booking with us that will outline all our recommendations for flights, packing and in-country advice.

Accommodation

The EDGE of AFRICA lodge is a beautiful Victorian House, perfectly situated on a slope, overlooking the Knysna Lagoon. A place where  you can put your feet up and admire the view or take a two minute stroll to town and explore the hot-spots of Knysna.

As well as providing a home for our volunteers, our lodge also accommodates other International travellers, so there will be no shortage of new people to meet!

Facilities include:

  • Hot Water Showers & Electricity
  • Communal Kitchen
  • Communal Lounge Area with TV/DVD Player
  • •omfortable Dorm Style Sleeping Arrangements
  • Unlimited Wi-Fi and computer access
  • Outdoor braai (barbeque) area
  • Private & Family Rooms Available on Request

Dorm Room
Food & Beverages
We provide 3 meals a day. Breakfasts include a choice of cereal, toast, and fruit; Lunches include sandwiches, soup or traditional cuisine; and Evening meals include pasta, curries, stews etc. 

We are happy to cater for specific dietary requirements as best we can!
Internet Access
Good access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.

No worries, Volunteer World supports you in raising funds, checking your visa regulations and travel insurance. We also assist you in finding the cheapest flights for your journey.
Costs (Prices in USD)
2 weeks (min. stay)
$1,095.00
3 weeks
$1,545.00
4 weeks
$1,895.00
5 weeks
$2,345.00
6 weeks
$2,795.00
7 weeks
$3,245.00
8 weeks
$3,695.00
9 weeks
$4,145.00
10 weeks
$4,595.00
11 weeks
$5,045.00
12 weeks (max. stay)
$5,495.00
Average fees
$503.00/week

You can volunteer at the project site in Knysna/South Africa between 2 weeks and 12 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. EDGE of AFRICA will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with EDGE of AFRICA during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Get ready to volunteer in South Africa

Check out first

Visa Regulations
Depending on your nationality, you have to arrange your visa for South Africa. Please check the visa regulations for South Africa.
Travel Seasons
Find out the best time to volunteer in South Africa and receive information on weather and climatic conditions.
Living Costs
Living costs vary with each destination. We give an overview of what you should plan as an estimated budget to volunteer in South Africa.
Budgeting
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in South Africa.

What's next?

Airport
The nearest airport is George (GRJ) in George. We assist you to find cheap flights to South Africa.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for South Africa provides security and is a plus to have.
Vaccine Checker
If you are intending to volunteer in South Africa you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for South Africa.
Free-time
What can you do in leisure-time in South Africa while you are not working at your volunteer opportunity?
Suite 88, Private Bag X31, 6570 Knysna, South Africa zoom="6"

You might be also interested in

Pre-School Teaching & School Enrichment
Knysna, South Africa EDGE of AFRICA Agency | EDGE of AFRICA
Volunteer in underprivileged Pre-schools in South Africa and make a real difference to the lives of local children!
Dolphin & Whale Experience & Coastal Conservation
Knysna, South Africa EDGE of AFRICA Agency | EDGE of AFRICA
Contribute to research on dolphin and whale populations along the magnificent Garden Route Coast; learn all about marine life and aquatic ecology.
Practical Conservation & Elephant Experience
Knysna, South Africa EDGE of AFRICA Agency | EDGE of AFRICA
Join us today for a conservation experience covering the key topics of basic ecology and biodiversity; and experience elephants in close proximity at a local sanctuary!
Sports Coaching & Community Outreach
Knysna, South Africa EDGE of AFRICA Agency | EDGE of AFRICA
Join us as a sports volunteer and give underprivileged children in Africa the chance to develop by teaching them soccer and other sports!
© Volunteer World