Hi !! I’m looking to volunteer with animals in South Africa for a month in 2015 and found what appears to be a perfect programme for me with ‘Frontier’ . However , I have been reading some pretty negative reviews about frontier in general online which have put me off a bit ! I was just wondering if anyone has had any personal experience with frontier conservation projects or could suggest any other companies ? I’m a first time solo traveller , and as a young female , I feel far too nervous to go alone without the support of a organisation , even though I can see how overpriced they are !! Anyway , any advice would be appreciated
Ive not heard much about Frontier but alot of people booked through Oyster and have said alot of positive things about them. It is cheaper to go directly but if youre interested in oyster or the monkey place heres the site http://www.oysterworldwide.com/gap-year-in-south-africa-monkeys.php
Good luck! And enjoy SA. Im already planning yet another trip there!
Hi Lydia. If I were you, I would be very weary of large commercially run organisations, like Frontier, who seem to have projects running to every last corner of the world. Those who have the serious intention of helping the communities where they work, and not just making money, will work with local grassroots partners who know best about the communities they are based in. I would advise asking a lot of questions about where your money is going, and how much support you are actually giving before you choose. It’s important to find a project which is going to benefit you, but also the place / people / environment you are visiting and not do more harm than good.
Without meaning to sound too morbid, there are some terrible example of organisations who actively fund the hand-rearing of animals, such as lions, for touristic purposes, which are then sold and shot.
I’d recommend doing your research on sites such as:
Also look out for the Fair Trade Volunteering badge:
Best of luck!
My daughter just finished a Frontier ‘program’ in South Africa. She loved South Africa, but Frontier was a nightmare. Total bait and switch on the program she signed up for. She gets all the way to South Africa before they tell her the service she signed up for isn’t available and they knew it wasn’t and still took her money. They did little to rectify the situation. The house and service projects they did offer were very poorly done. Wish we’d found the negative reviews early, don’t make the mistake we did - avoid Frontier!