South Africa is one of the favourite destinations for joining a volunteer project in Africa because of its traditions, landscapes or the possibility of improving your English, among others. That is why many Chileans, Spanish or Mexicans, together with other nationalities, decide to come to South Africa. If this year you have decided to get away from your routine and have opted to go on a solidary holiday in Africa, the first thing you have to do is to decide what volunteering activities you want to do.
In Meraki Bay, for example, we mainly carry out volunteering activities with boys and girls, but, also with women through a sewing workshop. Having said this, depending on your country of origin you will need:
Joining a volunteer project in Africa from Spain
Being a volunteer in Africa is very simple if you are Spanish because you do not even need vaccines. You just have to make sure that your vaccination record is up to date. Once you have decided which NGO in Africa is the one you like the most, you only have to buy the ticket! The cheapest tickets usually belong to the companies that leave from Madrid and make a stop in Ethiopia.
Once you get to Africa, you will only need to show your boarding pass or your round ticket and your passport with two empty pages and an expiration date of at least 30 days after your return date. They will stamp the date of departure because you can only stay in South Africa for 90 days without a visa. We also advise you to get health insurance just in case something happens. The South African health service is very good, but it is very expensive too.
Joining a volunteer project in Africa from Chile
If your country of origin is Chile, it is the same as from Spain, you only need to have a valid passport with two empty pages and an expiration date of 30 days from the date you leave South Africa. However, you’ll need to get vaccinated for yellow fever.
As soon as you get to South Africa, you will be asked for your round ticket, your passport so they can write down the date until which you can stay without a visa as well as the International Certificate of Vaccination. Regarding health insurance, it is worth purchasing one just in case.
Regarding flights, the best international connections always depart from the capital. In the case of Chile, the most common airline route is Santiago de Chile – Johannesburg with a stop in San Pablo.
Joining a volunteer project in Africa from Argentina
In case of a volunteering in Africa from Argentina the situation is the same as in the Chilean case: a round trip ticket, the up to date passport with an expiry date of thirty days from the return date and the International Certificate of Vaccination. For flights, it is better to leave from Buenos Aires. You will have to make a stop in San Pablo and there you will be asked for your International Certificate of Vaccination.
Joining a volunteer project in Africa from Mexico
If you are travelling from Mexico, you´ll need a visa to enter South Africa, no matter how many days you will be staying in the country. You will be asked for it before you leave Mexico; the South African Embassy in Mexico is in charge of issuing you the documents. It is recommendable to apply for them one month before you leave.
As well as the visa, you need to have an up to date passport with at least two blank pages for it to be stamped. You’ll also need to have family, work or financial ties in your origin country to prove that you’re willing to go back and the International Certificate of Vaccination. It is highly recommended to purchase health insurance. Regarding flights, the thing to do is to leave from Mexico City and make a stop in New York.
Joining a volunteer project in Africa from Colombia
Finally, Colombia. Just as with coming from Mexico, you will need a visa to enter the country. The South African Embassy in Venezuela is in charge of dealing with it as in Colombia there is no South African Embassy. You will also need to get vaccinated for yellow fever. The document that they will send you will be valid only ten days after the vaccination date. For flights, it is better to leave from Bogotá, but the flight will not be short. You will need at least to make two stops and it is very probable that one of them will be in Spain.
So, do you have everything ready to have an unforgettable solidary holiday in Africa? Join Meraki Bay and live the experience as Carol did!