Going on a vacation in East Africa means being able to see an extraordinary amount of wildlife, having the opportunity to get familiar with the local culture, and sleeping under the stars while camping in some of the most beautiful natural settings in the world. This is why millions of tourists visit East Africa every year, with most visitors timing their arrival for the Serengeti wildebeest migration. While visiting this part of the world allows you to have extraordinary adventures, traveling in East Africa also opens up a variety of volunteer opportunities. Going on a volunteer travel holiday allows you to do your part to protect species in their natural habitats, and it also enables you to help rural African communities that are in need of assistance. If you’re planning to go on a volunteer travel holiday in East Africa, here are some tips to make the most of your trip.
Prepare to spend a few weeks away from home
A volunteer holiday or group tour in East Africa can be as short as two weeks or as long as a few months, depending on what you signed up for. If you’re spending this much time away from home, then you’ll need to be fully prepared for your trip and pack the right supplies to stay comfortable and healthy during your stay. You will need a sturdy yet comfortable pair of walking shoes, a tent and sleeping bag to shield you from the elements and keep you warm while camping, as well as medication and vitamins to start with. You should also plan to bring a few items to help you cope with sudden bouts of homesickness. Bring a few photos of your family and friends, packets of your favourite non-perishable food, and perhaps an mp3 player filled with your favorite music to help you feel more at home.
Saying yes allows you to experience the local culture and helps you to learn more about your goals during the volunteer holiday. If you’re going to a village, say yes and agree to listen to the stories of the elders, and do try the local cuisine. Participate in the entertainment, even if you’re not great at dancing or singing. You’ll be surprised at how much fun you’ll have the moment you start saying yes to trying new things.
Do the work
Once you’re through with orientation, the hard work begins. If you’re not sure what to do first, observe and see where you can contribute the most. Remember to stay hydrated while you work especially if you’re doing physical labour such as building a shelter or digging water wells. Be calm and positive, especially if you’re volunteering at a place that has children. Volunteering in East Africa allows you to give back while you experience a different part of the world. Follow these tips to make the most of your volunteer travel holiday to stay safe and have fun while you make a difference in the lives of the local people.