Food, Lodging and Travel
Volunteers are provided with 3 prepared meals per day; a packed breakfast to be eaten on the journey or at the start of the first activity; a light lunch usually eaten at the volunteers’ house, and a cooked dinner, after the return of the evening activity. We can make special meals for those with special food considerations. Snacks, drinks and extra food items can be ordered prior to your arrival with a shopping list we can email to you, and paid for on your arrival. Food is purchased from Selebi-Phikwe, on Thursdays, when extra snacks and drinks, included alcoholic beverages can be purchased by pre-ordering with a shopping list, similarly to before your arrival.
The large house can accommodate 8 volunteers comfortably, and includes communal bathroom, shared bedrooms with 2 single beds (or 2 single bunk beds), linen provided but no towels, a fan, cupboards, drawers and power outlets. There is a communal kitchen (table with chairs) and a large social lounge area with a television and plans to get tennis table set with board games too. The house is surrounded by an electric fence, so it is safe to relax outside without fear of bumping into wildlife. Personal laundry can be done once a week.
Internet is available in the house, but is not very reliable. In an emergency, volunteers have access to the reserve office which is 15 kms away and has better and more reliable internet.
Volunteers are not required to clean up the volunteer house, there is staff to cook and clean, but are expected to maintain their personal areas in a tidy state befitting shared accommodation, and to clean up after they use the kitchen facilities. Each volunteer is assigned one cupboard and one set of drawers in their room, but no food may be kept here as it encourages pests.
The area surrounding Limpopo-Lipadi is rural and it does offer a special opportunity to live and work with local people and to experience the everyday hardships of living in rural Africa. Limpopo-Lipadi has a strong connection with the two local towns of Tsetsebjwe and Moletomane and the volunteer programme is a key way of maintaining this link.
Conservation Volunteer Requirements
If you are 18 years or older and are able to speak English, you can join the programme. You must be in good physical condition and be willing and able to tolerate temperature extremes and the minor difficulties of field life i.e. insects, lizards and other small creatures. While every attempt will be made to make your stay as comfortable as possible, it will be rustic compared to what you are used to. You must be prepared to sign an indemnity form prior to arrival. This relieves the project of any legal responsibility should anything happen to you in the course of duty. You should have a positive attitude towards working and living within a multicultural group and respect the views and ways of others. We require our volunteers to be hard working and self motivated, but also patient and self-entertaining as the camp is isolated from the nearest town and there is little external entertainment. Mostly we require a flexibility and sense of humour as fieldwork in Africa can often be a little frustrating.
Volunteers need to fly into Johannesburg and transfer by a 3rd party shuttle, not included in the price. Its about a 5-6 hour drive. Because of the distance and the programme is structured with safety and introductory talks, we have fixed start dates every second Monday. Transfers from Johannesburg to Limpopo-Lipadi can be arranged with Waterberg Taxi services – www.waterbergtransfers.com. They are a very reliable, door-to-door service from Johannesburg that many of our volunteers and tourists to the reserve use, and will split the fare if more volunteers book later. So if one volunteer alone books they will be liable to pay the full amount, but if anymore book, the fare will come down for all of them (Waterberg will realise this, the second volunteer doesn’t have to know, or be in touch with the first.)
Summertime is from September until May. The temperatures rise easily up to in the forties during the day. At night the temperature will be in the lower twenties. Winter starts in April and will last until August. The temperatures will be about 18 –27 degrees. And at night the temperature can drop to below freezing. The rainy season is from November until April. At any time of year you should be prepared for very cold and and very hot sunny conditions.
In your free time, you may want to do any of the following:
- Hiking – long walks along the Limpopo river offer great views, a chance to observe crocodile, hippo and impressive bird life (note that the river only has water generally between December and May where you can have the chance to see these wildlife, rest of the year it is dry)
- Safari – volunteers can expect to see lion, wild dogs, giraffe, hippo, crocodile, zebra and much more while working on the reserve. Volunteers may also have the opportunity to go on night drives, spotlighting for rare creatures such as bush babies, aardvarks and bat eared foxes.
- Climbing – Lipadi Hill for which the reserve is named towers about 300m above the reserve, offering breathtaking views and a good workout to climb. No climbing gear required.
- Nearby village visits can also be arranged.