Most Gap Year Companies Over Charge For Volunteering Programmes. We Do Them For Free.
Right if you are considering volunteering that’s cool, but please do it the right way. You’ve probably just found this site while googling for volunteering projects. We want to make it fundamentally clear we are a very different kind of gap year company from most of them out there offering volunteer projects.
We are 100% against selling volunteer trips. But we do appreciate volunteers. We would like you to volunteer your time and give something back but not pay Western, profit-making companies ridiculous markups.
Xtreme Gap Year offers the Xtreme SAVE foundation which means you can volunteer with a non-profit NGO in South Africa, and not pay anything to volunteer. There is a cost involved; obviously you need housing and food and transport while you’re out on the project. It would be ethically wrong to be a burden on charitable organisation, so there is a fee charged. However, none of it goes to making a profit at Xtreme. Should you wish to waive the fee charged, you are perfectly at liberty to do so, but then you will need to source your own accommodation and food for the duration of the volunteer project. The accommodation rent alone would cost more than accommodation, food and transport fees charged for your time on the project.
Our volunteer projects are some of the cheapest out there. Since you are only paying for food, accommodation and transport. The rest of the money goes directly to feeding and educating the children. No Admin fees, no profit or anything like that goes to SAVE or Xtreme.
If this is of interest to you, please first listen to this audio interview, it is between Oliver and Debby the founders of Xtreme Gap and Carla the founder of SAVE. It details everything you need to know about volunteering in Africa and the rip off practices of gap year companies. It is our policy to be fully transparent, and this will give you an insight into how the Xtreme Foundation was started because it happened during this very conversation, and the reasons behind it.
Please listen to this, and share it with people especially if they are considering joining volunteer projects because there are plenty of issues that you need to be made aware of when dealing with other companies.
We want you to volunteer your time and make a difference, but we want you to do it right and we want the people who need it the most to benefit from your goodwill. We also want you to have more cash left over to enjoy your travels afterwards.
Why do we offer free volunteering projects?
Xtreme Gap Year is a for-profit company. We are a travel company and we are on a mission to find the most exciting trips, that challenge you personally and make you grow from within while you spend your time away.
We are not a volunteering organisation, and we do not offer paid volunteering projects. In fact, we have an anti-volunteering policy, we don’t want you to pay for volunteering. There are too many gap year companies which put outrageous markups on the actual cost of volunteering. Some companies are charging in excess of 200 to 300% markups and abusing your goodwill.
But as a for-profit company wouldn’t we take advantage of that as well? Well no, we wouldn’t because unlike some we do have some very high ethical morals associated with volunteering. This is covered in the sound cloud interview above, but in case you missed it the founder of Xtreme Gap Year discovered first-hand how destructive paying to volunteer could be. He was placed on a volunteering teaching project in Tanzania, tasked with teaching 60 African kids English, to which he paid a UK registered organisation in excess of £2000. On arrival, he realised none of the money had made its way to the school, and worse to native African teachers had lost their jobs because the school was getting a “free” English teacher.
We think it’s very noble if you want to volunteer, but as soon as financial gain and reward on a corporate level comes into it, bad things happen.
By working with the SAVE Foundation, we can offer you volunteering projects for free, which enables you to save more money to do the more exciting adventures that we offer as you travel. Let’s face it if you are going all the way to South Africa, you might as well take advantage of experiencing everything the country has to offer after your volunteering project, and that’s where we come in.
So What Are These Exciting Travel Options?
Stay in volunteer on big five game reserve in the heart of South Africa near Port Elizabeth. Learn all about the wildlife as you volunteer, helping out with lots of different activities. Care for big cats like lions and leopards. Look after elephants and unusually we even have tigers at the sanctuary. This is hands on conservation work, living in the heart of the reserve in five-star accommodation. No days the same, as you make friends and have an incredible Africa gap year.
Xtreme South Africa ExperienceUSD 2659
The Xtreme South Africa experience, taking the best parts of a South African gap year experience and boiling it down into 5 weeks of non-stop group travel, action and adventure. All different weeks at different locations, focusing on different incredible activities. Adrenaline adventures in Cape Town, hands-on conservation and community projects covering the first two weeks. Then an unforgettable adrenaline tour up the coast featuring safaris, bungees and epic scenery before finally finishing on a two-week big 5 conservation project. Fly into Cape Town and out of Port Elizabeth.
Xtreme Wildlife ExperienceUSD 1099
Live amongst the African big five on the exclusive private game reserve with Xtreme gap. It’s like a five-star luxury lodge safari experience at a fraction of the price. Joining the Xtreme conservation team, you will go on daily game drives, monitoring and playing an active role in conservation of wild animals in South Africa. The location really sets this project apart, as well as the wide diversity of animals. A truly epic stunning game reserves, with magnificent views to the sea will make this an incredible African wildlife experience.
20 days of stunning scenery, to many highlights to even start mentioning and exploring South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Zambia. the best overland trucks and local guides with tons of knowledge making the trip even more special. From Cape Town to tribes to Victoria Falls! Join in on this adventure.
South Africa AdventureUSD 1399
A once-in-a-lifetime experience, giving you the opportunity to walk alongside of some of Africa's most majestic creatures. With a one or two-week wildlife conservation programme set in in a big five game reserve. Then hit the road and explore some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world, mixed with adrenaline on a one-week garden route, finishing in Cape Town. Awesome group travel with like-minded adventurers it's time to hit South Africa!
South Africa Monkey RehabUSD 949
Want to mess about with monkeys all day? Well either work in our office or join this exciting project! The Xtreme Monkey Rehab programme is a really fun african wildlife conservation project. Get hands on and become a surrogate monkey minder from 2 to 12 weeks. All food accommodation provided.
Cape Town is the most exciting and Xtreme city in Africa. Home to the worlds highest abseil - Table Mountain, the best place in the world to go shark cage diving and a mighty fine drop zone over the cape of good hope, it sure gives New Zealand Queenstown a run for its money. 5 nights 100% Adrenaline.
Ultimate Africa OverlandUSD 5989
Africa Overland tour: The Big One Discover Africa 55 days. Explore the best of Africa during this amazing over truck adventure. You will visit up to 9 African countries full of nature, culture, wildlife, wilderness, adventure and excitement. It will be the experience of your life no doubt about that!
Travel and experience a new culture in one of the most rewarding ways possible by volunteering at our community projects in Cape Town. This isn't your typical gap year volunteer project. By joining this program, one of the cheapest volunteering projects you will find out there from £224 per week! You can make a valuable contribution to the Xtreme / Save foundation. We do not charge you for volunteering you are only covering your costs and a donation to the foundation.
Learn to kitesurf in an epic kitesurfing location: Cape Town! Where two oceans meet with Table Mountain as the backdrop, you can get your IKO certificate and ignite a brand new Xtreme sports passion. This three day course (spread out over five days to allow for wind conditions) culminates in an IKO accreditation, meaning you can kitesurf all over the world.
South Africa Adrenaline TourUSD 1059
Get ready for the ultimate bucket list! There's no shortage of adrenaline on this amazing trip. Surfing, abseiling, bungeejumping, shark cage diving, skydiving, crocodiles, elephants and even ostrich riding! Set in Cape Town, by the beach it's the perfect mix for the plenty of action.
Africa adventure does not come better than this! Safari in the worlds greatest game park the Kruger, then swim with the worlds biggest fish the mighty Whaleshark! Five days and unforgettable adventures in one of the continents best wildlife locations South Africas Kruger National Park then a week in the best place in the world to see whale sharks, diving and exploring the coral reefs in the warm blue waters of the Indian ocean. Then you will also discover Swaziland, with its tribal culture on a proper cultural exchange. Get ready for an Africa adventure!
Xtreme Gap offers courses designed to supply the South Africa safari Industry with high caliber professional Field Guides. But these courses are not only available to people wishing to enter the industry as field guides, but for anyone who wants to increase their knowledge of the African Bush. So whether you have chosen a professional career linked to wildlife or nature or just finished school and are on a gap year, or if you have possibly taken a career break or are a regular traveller to the bush, this course is for you. Including work experience as a real guide!
Great White Shark Conservation Project This programme offers the unique opportunity for volunteers to engage in the important research and conservation of great white sharks in Cape Town, South Africa. If you are adventurous and love the outdoor lifestyle then this is the perfect programme for you to have the most incredible once in a lifetime experience, as you get up close and personal with these infamous creatures!
Xtreme Surf Trio, Cape Town For all water sports junkies out there.......Join the Surf, Kitesurf and Stand Up Paddling (SUP) trip. Three fantastic sports combined in a three week trip to Cape Town with a cool surf house as your base giving you all the luxury and chill time you need. No experience? No problem, train with our professionals from all over the world giving you all the support you need!
Cape Town ConneXionUSD 489
What a cool city. If you want to get under the skin of Cape Town a little then this 5 day Intro is for you. Staying at our 4* backpackers, you can explore the city on a group, do some cool Xtreme activities, check out Table Mountain, Cape Point, see the penguins and experience the sublime Cape Town nightlife. A great option prior to starting in Africa overland truck tour.
If you want to get under the skin of the African jungle, and really find out what it's like to live in the South African bush surrounded by all the wild animals nature, whilst living in an unfenced camp in the Kruger National Park then this is for you. 100% pure adventure and one unforgettable month.
This amazing trip takes in the best that South Africa has to offer. From adventures in the Namibian desert, to the deltas in Botswana, the incredible Victoria Falls and not forgetting the cool Mountain Kingdom of Swaziland, before hitting the beaches in Mozambique and that heading through the Kruger National Park via the panorama Route ending in Johannesburg.
Strap yourself in for an epic adventure! Taking in the best of Southern and Eastern Africa in 41 days. A myriad of wonders await you from South Africa to the deserts and deltas of Namibia and Botswana, meeting tribes, see natural wonders like Victoria falls and lake Malawi. Beach time on Zanzibar and the best game parks Africa has to offer. Pure Xtreme adventure!
Starting a Cape Town this amazing 32 day tour covers some of the best sights and activities in Africa. Covering six countries and unforgettable features like the Okavango Delta, Victoria Falls and Lake Malawi, it will ensure that your African vacation is an epic adventure of a lifetime. The best option if you do not have the time of budget for the 56 day ultimate tour or want to end up on Zanzibar beaches (not included).