What sort of person makes a good volunteer?
Attitude is more important
than strength, skills or experience. Do pack your sense
of humour, tolerance and flexibility (leopards do not
necessarily read the daily program!)
Anyone from 18 to 80 may be accepted
at our discretion. Younger volunteers may be accepted
if accompanied by a responsible older person.
level of fitness is required?
Skilderkrantz is rugged and rather remote,
and we do hard physical work, so to participate fully
you will need a certain level of fitness and health.
Having said that, not everyone necessarily needs to
abseil from a helicopter wielding a huge chainsaw or
lug the leopard cage up to the cave! Speak to us if
you would like a gentler experience, as there is a lot
to do in the Home Valley and around the gardens and
guest houses. Maybe we can tailor something to your
should I Pay for Volunteering?
Our project operates on very limited
resources, and we simply do not have funds to subsidise
volunteers. As you can imagine, our conservation work
is very costly, and any profit made after ensuring
you have a wonderful stay gets ploughed back into the
project and to pay our permanent staff. So in more
ways than one, your contribution ensures the survival
of the work we are doing. Volunteers really are the
lifeblood of projects such as ours.
I raise money to sponsor my trip?
By all means! Many volunteers have used
creative means to raise the money for their experience.
When sponsors realize the money is going towards conservation,
they are often happy to contribute.
I need a Visa?
If you have a USA, Canadian,
NZ, Australia or EU passport, you can enter the country
for up to three months as a visitor without a visa.
You will be granted a 3 months visitors permit on entering
the country. If you wish to stay longer, you can apply
for an extension (tourist visa, not working visa) at
least 4 weeks before you require it. This can be done
either at your nearest SA Consulate or from the Department
of Home Affairs in SA. We recommend you get it before
you come if possible, as Skilderkrantz is far from Port
Visitors from other countries please enquire
at your nearest SA consulate about obtaining a tourist
do I get to Skilderkrantz?
Skilderkrantz is 2.5hrs drive from Port Elizabeth, 3 hours from George, the final 20km on a rough dirt road.
We can arrange transport from either of these two centres. If coming from Cape Town, you might also take a bus or coach trip along the
Garden Route. We are very conscious of the ecological footprint involved in flying, especially long-haul from Europe.
We are currently investigating the possibility of passenger travel on cargo or container ships.
we volunteer as family groups, couples or friends?
Of course!! Just let us know what your
do I bring?
vaccination certificates; driver’s licence if
you have one; credit card; proof of comprehensive travel/medical
- bring preferably old or hard-wearing
clothes to work in. Clothes do get worn and dirty.
We suggest long light pants even in summer, as the
vegetation can scratch your legs. Plus casual clothes
for town trips.
- warm clothes (even in summer, nights
can be chilly)
- small umbrella
- long-sleeved shirts for sun
- swimming costume and cool clothes
- hiking boots, sandals, socks
- sunglasses and hat, head-torch and
- protective gloves
- sleeping bag , pad and linen inner
sheath (for hot weather)
- tent (if coming for 4 weeks or longer)
- small daypack
- water bottle, towelsx2
- cheap watch/alarm
- pocket knife
- notebook and pens
- Personal medication.
about personal toiletries?
At Skilderkrantz we try to use environmentally
friendly, biodegradable toiletries as far as possible.
We have delicious olive oil soap, shampoo and conditioner,
laundry gel, and natural deodorant which you can buy
here or bring your own. If, like me, you have hair that
tangles easily, you may need to use small amounts of
a “chemical” conditioner. We also still
use chemical sunblock, as we have yet to find a good
natural one. Citronella based products work well as
insect repellants. Please bring your own. Otherwise
please leave perfumes, sprays and other nasties etc
at home, so as to disturb the aquatic life as little
as possible when you swim! Hairdryers use a lot of power
and your hair will survive fine without one, promise!
OK, bring one if you insist!
Is simple and rustic but clean and comfortable
and depends on what is available. You may have your
own room, or share with another, either in one of our
guest houses or staff quarters. Ensuite or shared bathroom.
Some houses have no electricity (we plan to install
solar), so you cook on gas stoves and water is heated
by gas/solar. Lighting is by means of gas or re-chargeable
is Skilderkrantz’s smoking policy?
Skilderkrantz has a no smoking policy.
No, you will not have to fish and forage
for berries, plentiful food is provided. We do try to
eat healthy organic food as far as possible, and plan
to grow much of our own. Volunteers prepare their own
meals, although we do cook for you sometimes. Special
dietary requirements by arrangement.
is the weather like?
Generally our weather is very pleasant,
not humid, but can get to 40°C in summer although
never for days on end, and nights are usually comfortable.
Winters can be severe, especially at night, but then
we have roaring fires and snug beds. We experience idyllic
days year round, so the best is to relax and take what
15.Safety and Security
South Africa has a high crime rate but by virtue of our remote position we are very lucky to enjoy a safe and
relaxed existence. We are also aware of the huge divide between rich and poor in the world, so try to live simply without accumulating
consumer "things" we don't need. Please leave jewellery and designer clothes at home and bring only essential gadgets.
Small amounts of cash can be drawn at the ATMs in town if needed but we ask that you don't bring large amounts to Skilderkrantz.
The best advice is to try not to look and behave like a tourist cliché especially when in the cities.
Obviously we do have venomous snakes and wild animals, but they are usually very keen to get away from you. More information will be
supplied on arrival.
Further safety instructions will be supplied on arrival.