How do I book?
For our volunteer experiences we do not take direct bookings and work with trusted partners, to whom we can refer you to.
For our internships, FGASA mentorship and researcher internships please email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss details. CV's are required.
For our Safari's please email email@example.com to discuss how we can tailor make your experience.
How do I Get to Siyafunda?
Siyayfunda and My Kaya, are situated within the Greater Makalali Nature Reserve, approximately 500km North East of Johannesburg. Siyafunda & My Kaya are run independently of the Makalali Lodge.
By car: From Johannesburg or Pretoria to Emalahleni (Witbank) via Belfast, Dullstroom, Mashishing (Lydenburg) then on through Ohrigstad taking the Abel Erasmas pass through the Strydom Tunnel into the Lowveld. Once down the mountain pass Take first road R36 towards Tzaneen travel for 10km you will pass the road right to Phalaborwa, 800m on take the Dirt road to Gravelotte. This you will drive for 9km & you will reach the Makalali Main Gate. We will meet you at the Makalali Main gate and escort you to the camp from there.
By air: You can fly direct to Hoedspruit's Eastgate Airport on South African Airways Airlink. Make your bookings through www.flysaa.com or www.flysax.co.za or enquire at Johannesburg International Airport. From here you can arrange a transfer to the reserve.
By shuttle: You can also arrange to be brought on a shuttle through SAFARILINK TRANSFERS https://safarilinksa.com/ which depart from OR Tambo airport at 06:45 and arrive in Hoedspruit around 13:00 - 13:30. You can arrange to be dropped off at East Gate Airport.
My Kaya Your Kaya is situated within the Limpopo province which is characterised by very hot weather in summer (temperatures may exceed 40ºC in February) from September to April so cool clothing (preferably neutral in colour) and footwear is advisable. The cooler months are May to August (lowest temperatures are 5-6 ºC, with average day time temperature around 20ºC) and it gets cold at night and early in the mornings - especially on the back of the safari vehicle. (Check the actual weather for SA on www.southafricanweather.co.za .)
Is the water safe to drink?
Fresh, drinkable water is available from the taps and absolutely safe to drink – we have our own borehole. If you prefer you can bring your own bottled water.
Should I take precautions against Malaria?
Malaria is endemic throughout the Kruger National Park and surrounding private reserves including the Greater Makalali Nature Reserve, but please note: We are in a Malaria Low Risk Area . Peak transmission occurs between November to May, with little between June to October. Please consult your doctor with regards to a good, suitable malarial prophylactic. Best of all is to minimize your contact with mosquitoes by using repellent lotions, sticks or sprays such as 'Tabard' or 'Peaceful Sleep' You can find more information about malaria on the internet: www.malaria.org
What should I pack?
The days are pleasant enough to wear shorts. In addition, the following items are essential:
Insect / tic repellent (DEET)
Backpack (for walks)
First Aid Kit (if you have one)
Raincoat (if you're coming during summer: Nov-March)
Warm jackets, Scarf and gloves (if you're coming during winter: June-Aug)
Batteries and/or charger for cameras
What is the time difference?
The South African Standard Time is 2 hours ahead of the Greenwich Mean Time.
What about electricity?
There is electricity at Siyafunda Main Research camp and My Kaya lodge. South African electricity is 220/230 volts AC at 50 cycles a second, plug outlets are 15 amps, three-pin (round). There are NO 2-point outlets for shavers.
There is no electricity at Siyafunda's Endangered Species Camp. It does have solar to charge phones and camera's via USB.
Cell phone reception:
Your cell phone will automatically switch on to the South African Vodacom or MTN-service if you have international roaming activated, before you leave home. Alternatively you can purchase a South African SIM for your mobile phone or an international calling card.
Will I have internet access during my stay?
If you require internet access at all the projects, you can arrange this for a small cost with the camp-manager. On your weekly or bi-weekly town trip you will also have the opportunities for internet access at the internet café in town to check your emails and do bookings.
Money / Credit Cards:
The South African currency is the Rand. For up to date currency conversions, visit www.xe.com . It is helpful to carry a small amount South African Rand (e.g. ZAR 500) with you; you will find a currency exchange bureau at the international airport or in Hoedspruit. In town you have also the opportunity to access ATMs with your credit card and purchase items with your savings card.
There is no concern about safety at our Siyafunda Projects and My Kaya Your Kaya, our game reserve is guarded / fenced. But like everywhere in the world security is everybody's responsibility.
Most visitors to South Africa receive a 90 day tourist/travel visa. However check with the South African embassy before you leave your country. An international list of South African Embassies and their contact information can be found here
Do I need a work permit?
No, as a volunteer you are not taking paid work.
Will I need insurance?
It is always a good idea to have travel and/or medical insurance and we recommend you organise this before your departure. All our projects make this compulsory for all applicants.
You can do laundry at all of our camps.
Can I join more than one project?
Yes, many people choose to join a mixture of projects over the course of their stay.
Do I need to know another language?
While South Africa has 11 official languages, English is spoken mostly and used all over the country