Travel Tip Of The Day: How To Be A Good ‘Voluntourist’

Whether you want to work with animals, orphans, or school children, there is an organization in Africa looking for volunteers.

But before you go, think hard about what you want to do, how long you want to stay, what type of organization you want to work with, and how much impact your efforts will make. This will not only ensure that you have a good experience, but ensure that you are working on an worthwhile project.

  • Do you want to do something easy and fun, and see it as more of a working vacation than anything else? Or do you really want to immerse yourself in a possibly remote place doing difficult work? There are placements for both scenarios.
  • How much time do you have? The longer you stay, the more impact you can have on a community or eco-system.
  • Do you have skills that are valuable (ie teaching, technical, manual labor)? These will result in a more satisfying placement for both you and the community you are working in.
  • Is the organization reputable? Do a lot of internet research and calling around to find out about the experiences others have had with the organization you are considering. You don’t want to get there only to find out that you are doing a different job than you signed up for, or doing something that is irrelevant, or working for a company that takes most of your fee for admin costs.


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