Acacia Africa point to voluntours as the new half way house for gappers looking to take a shorter and more meaningful travelling stint
(TRAVPR.COM) UNITED KINGDOM - September 3rd, 2012 - According to Acacia Africa with university tuition fees looming large and costs for a basic gap year reaching into the thousands, more and more students are looking for alternatives to the usual 12-month stint. In particular, voluntour holidays are becoming increasingly popular, a growing number of travellers leaning towards more ethical forms of travel.
Leanne Haigh, Project & Development Manager at Acacia Africa, comments, “While shorter in length, the practical insight gained from voluntours has helped to drive interest in this type of travel, and they are a great half way house for would be gappers who want to immerse themselves in the culture and the community of any given destination.”
Humour aside, the popular “Gap Yah” character found “chundering” his way through various continents, probably isn’t the best judge of the available options, but Acacia Africa have handpicked several experiences ranging from one to 26-days.
For those who are unsure of where to start, overland expeditions with one-day voluntour stints and half day community tours are an ideal starting point. Adventurers on the 11-day Cape Desert Safari will have the opportunity to visit the Langa Township, the largest settlement in Cape Town. While there are no specific volunteer activities it’s a chance to delve deeper into community tourism and the trip often gives people an insight into the direction they would like to take on a longer voluntour (From £656pp). On the 21-day East African Explorer, travellers will be making an informal visit to a local school in Malawi. Its proximity to the campsite means many overlanders can opt to stay for a longer period, sometimes helping with or taking classes (From £1,528pp).
More involved teaching programmes are available on the 21-day Zanzibar, Community & Wildlife voluntour. The holiday includes options to work with children and adults, illiteracy affecting over 40% of the population (From £1,905pp).
Budding conservationists also have a range of tour types available. The 8-day Rediscover Zimbabwe small group safari features a visit to Hwange’s famed Wild Dog Project, where efforts have been made to rehabilitate and release injured and orphaned wild-dogs. At the end of the itinerary adventurers can go walking with lions, a pursuit offered at the high profile Antelope Project in Gweru (From £662pp). A longer voluntour, the 26-day Masai Mara Conservation & Wildlife Safari operates year round, the hands on trip proving to be particularly popular between July and October, when the annual migration is underway. Lion research and monitoring, empowering local communities and assisting in the education of safari guides are just some of the activities, adventurers taking their lead from the Masai tribe (From £2,603pp).
Top five reasons to opt for a shorter voluntour, community or conservation experience…
· You’ll have a better handle on your country of choice when it comes to the language, customs and currency, and should you decide to, you will be returning to a familiar environment
· A tour operator that has made a commitment to a project will provide added reassurance in terms of the organisation’s ethics
· No doubt you will be meeting other volunteers who might be able impart valuable information on innovative ways to help fund ethical gap years
· You could well decide to take a new direction and learn that you have the perfect skill set for a particular volunteer role
· There are still a few unknowns when it comes to the economy and this way your hard earned cash will be used more wisely
Acacia Africa: 020 7706 4700; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.acacia-africa.com. ATOL No. 6499 and ABTA No. W4093 PROTECTED. The above prices are based on two sharing and include camping accommodation, transport, most meals and services of a tour leader/guide. Excludes return flight. Year round departures. All prices subject to availability. For all press enquiries please contact email@example.com or call 020 8180 1614.