Awesome Travel is a youth and student travel company based in Johannesburg, South Africa. We offer outbound youth and student programs as well as inbound programs to foreign travelers wanting to come to South Africa and experience the country as more than just a tourist. These can be categorized as volunteer projects, countrywide tours, as well as various accommodation facilities.
Since its inception in 2002, our programs have gone from strength to strength and it is in no short measure thanks to the support we get from our international partners around the world.
We have developed a very close working relationship with all of the projects + facilities we support and we know they really appreciate each and every traveler that visits them. The impact that, especially the volunteers, make on a daily basis is invaluable and the experience the volunteers get is priceless.
Our Volunteer programs are split into 3 different categories:
Our social projects have been the core of our program since its inception. The aim of our program is to support the projects we work with by giving them willing and energetic volunteers to help supplement the severe staff shortage that is endemic with social projects in South Africa.
Over the past 10 years we have developed a great relationship with the social programs we support and the international volunteers we have are all very well utilized by the projects and have a fantastic experience. Under the banner of our social programs, we support a base of projects that deal a lot with the social impact that HIV and AIDS is having on the children of South Africa.
Most of our social projects deal with the unbelievably high number of orphaned children in South Africa and volunteers help out with a number of different tasks, such as child care, homework, building and maintenance of facilities, basic hygiene and a continuous list of other day to day activities that the permanent staff struggle to get to due to a manpower shortage.
With all the problems the world faces, it is very often the environment and wildlife that is forgotten. There are however organizations spread throughout South Africa that are dedicated to preserving the future of our country and its wildlife. We work with a number of these organizations in an effort to help them in their cause to preserve wildlife heritage for future generations.
The projects we work with range from animal rehabilitation and education centres to a research and conservation programs. The volunteers that participate in our wildlife program get involved with the actual care of the animals and day to day running of the projects. The experience the volunteers get is totally unique and something they would never be able to do as a normal tourist.
These are combination of social and wildlife aspects for a 4-week period. Awesome Travel conducts research into our projects as well as others we have identified throughout the year and see where there is a need for a specific project that we can assist with. Many hands make easy work so we have accomplished various things such as revamping the female wing or an orphanage, repainting a the nursery at an orphanage, rebuilding 2 homes in Kliptown, Soweto, provided training for children on computers as well as prepared 100’s of meals for children throughout. The wildlife section of the program is shorter and also focuses one a specific need in our African bushveld. This could be anything from Rhino Anti-poaching, Conservation by horseback or assisting with data samples and research on a Big 5 reserve.
Accommodation and Food
Each project has different housing arrangements. We take a number of factors into consideration, such as location, safety and transport when arranging housing for volunteers. Accommodation ranges from home stay community based housing to housing that is offered at the projects for volunteers. Accommodation is supplied to ALL volunteers and will include breakfast and dinner. Housing at some projects is basic but always comfortable and has everything that volunteers would need. All accommodation matches up to the standards we have set and volunteers share accommodation with other international program participants.
Who is eligible to participate as a volunteer?
We understand that volunteering is not just a youth culture and its very common for people who are slightly more established in life to want to take some time out and give back. With this in mind we have not set a maximum age limit to our program but ask that all volunteers keep in mind that often accommodation is shared and so privacy can be an issue and many of the projects are also of a physical nature. All volunteers must be at least 18 years of age and volunteers who want to work with children will be subject to a criminal background check carried out in their home country.
Included in our Programs:
- Matching the volunteer with a project.
- Information on Placement area and accommodation
- Airport pick up on arrival in South Africa
- 4 day, 3 Night Arrivals Orientation and tours.
- Accommodation during placement.
- Meals while volunteering
- Transport to and from projects
- 24/7 backup support while in South Africa
- Assistance in planning days off from projects
Not Included in our Programs:
- Return flights to and from South Africa
- Visa (if required)
- Medical insurance
- Personal items, such as toiletries, clothing….
- Spending money, for days off or traveling and sightseeing.
Our Inbound tours are split into 3 different categories:
Awesome Travel have developed both a 2 week and a 3 week tour that takes travellers from the city life of Johannesburg, to the real African Bush in the Kruger National Park to the relaxing beach vibes of Cape Town. These tours can be booked individually or as group travel. We have fondly names these as “The Bucket List Tours” as you really do cover a little bit of everything South Africa has to offer.
We also organize group trips that can be customized to suit a specific traveller’s wants and desires. With our contacts around the country we can create a trip unique to you!
Anything from lectures and school visits, cultural sightseeing, nightlife, adventure activities, social work – you name it we can arrange it!
We have a very popular tour to the Greater Kruger Area. This is based in a lovely thatched chalet lodge as the base station and each day ventures out to either the Kruger National Park, The Panorama Route and little town of Graskop where travellers can do the famous Bridge Swing! This tour is designed to suit the student or youth traveler so it very cost and time efficient without slacking on any of the safety, fun or unique aspects.