From what I understand, IVHQ is the umbrella organization to many local NGO’s. In this sense, it’s great because your supervisors are locals and therefore have more inside knowledge. The downside to this however, is that the quality of each IVHQ program will vary. As I have only volunteered with IVHQ in South Africa I can’t be sure, but, I’m assuming that I could volunteer in 9 different IVHQ countries and have 9 different reviews of IVHQ. Note: IVHQ is also one of the most affordable volunteer programs there is. Some programs cost as little as $180 per week which includes accommodation and food.
How does sky diving in Cape Town, getting a birds eye view of the ocean, beaches and table mountain sound? Or what about bungee-jumping off Bloukrans Bridge at 216 m, one of the worlds highest bungee jumping sites? Even better, coming face to face with a great white shark, or climbing one of the 7 natural wonders of the world.
If you’re idea of a great trip includes getting your adrenaline pumping then South Africa needs to be next on your list. I would have never labelled myself as an adrenaline junkie, but somehow, in South Africa it was inevitable. There are countless ways to get that rush in South Africa, and I’m going to list my top ten favorites.
1. Shark Cage Diving
South Africa may not be your number one travel destination, but I am here to tell you that it SHOULD be. I understand the reasons that stops someone from boarding a plane to South Africa. A) it is literally far away from everything. Unless you live in Zambia, Botswana, Zimbabwe or one of the other many beautiful nearby countries — then it is a trek for you to even get there. Most people don’t have the time (or money) to spend going that distance. From Thunder Bay, Ontario, I flew 2 hours to Toronto, 7 hours to Amsterdam, and another whooping 12 hours down south to Cape Town. Mixed with layovers and delays it equaled out to days of airports, recycled air and dry skin. And B) there seems to be this fear about travelling to South Africa, or Africa in general. A number of people have this misconception and quite frankly, ignorant, idea that going to Africa is going to get your raped, kidnapped and infected with HIV. These stereotypes and fears are not only misguided, but they are offensive and ultimately inaccurate. Out of all the countries I have travelled to, South Africa will remain the richest in culture, beauty, history, and life. Continue reading “South African Travels”