What is the Tree Planting and Environmental Education Summer Initiative all about?
If you want to attend an eco festival like no other and you have an interest in volunteering, working with communities, and developing your own knowledge on issues such as reforestation, recycling and permaculture, then reserve your space to volunteer at this tree-planting and environmental eco festival. The festival will be taking place just outside of Plettenberg Bay, along the famous Garden Route of South Africa.
This festival is a truly beautiful thing; people of all ages from all over the world coming together to take a collective action against deforestation. The aim of the festival is to address ecosystem restoration and a new culture of undertaking the planet’s biggest issues like climate change and food security. The festival aims to rebuild and help regeneration through the planting of indigenous trees as the area suffered from a devastating fire in 2017, while introducing ecosystem processes to the locals, and removing alien vegetation.
The festival lasts 2 weeks, and participants of all ages are welcome in the first week, with the second being a dedicated youth week (suitable for 13-19 year olds). Whether you are an individual or student interested in the environment, a professional keen to get your hands dirty and let loose, a study group wanting to do fieldwork, or a family who loves adventure and nature – this is a wonderful opportunity for all who want to be active and change the way we treat the environment.
Why choose Tree-planting Eco Festival Volunteering?
As a festival volunteer, you will be working with a team on a whole itinerary of first-hand environmental activities including planting thousands of trees, removing invasive species, and working with the local community on environmental education outreach. Within your team of local and global volunteers and ecologists, you will discuss and gain first-hand experience of global attempts to address mass deforestation, and solutions being implemented in the Garden Route area.
If you are studying you will be able to learn from experts in the field. You can also fundraise to help pay for your trip or to further help reforestation efforts. This project can also be added to one of our other projects in South Africa – speak to an advisor to find out more.
Role of the Eco Festival Volunteer in the Garden Route, South Africa
This is a festival like no other. Entirely sustainable and plant-based, you will not only get soil beneath your fingernails with tree-planting and weeding, but also taking part in mural painting, beach cleans, crafting eco-bricks, and enveloping yourself in wellness with dancing and jamming around a campfire, music, yoga, guided hikes, and much more. Take this incredible opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals from all over the world, and breath some coastal, forest air whilst you plant trees for the future of this stunning corner of the world.
What skills do I need to be an Eco Festival Volunteer?
There are no specific skills required! As long as you are fit and healthy, and able to get stuck in with tree-planting and other physical tasks, as this is a hands-on festival. Enthusiasm and a willingness to do what is required during every task is needed, especially as you will be inspiring others to change their habits. Come with a spirit of adventure and passion for the environment and make the most of this incredible learning experience.
Read more about the festival on our blog here.
Travel during COVID times
The health and safety of our travelers and our local communities remain central to our plans for reopening countries and projects. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been adapting our programs and protocols to protect all those involved, and ask for everyone’s patience and collaboration as new rules are implemented in-country. For all projects, new standards of sanitation, procedures and social behaviors are in place, including new health and hygiene protocols and social distancing practices. You can read more here. Each location may be slightly different in the way they operate. We encourage you to inquire to your placement advisor to learn more about your specific project as you plan for your responsible return to travel!
RECRUITING FOR 2022
WHY JOIN THE PROJECT
To work as a part of an international team to bring about cultural change
You want to make a hands on contribution to tackling deforestation and improving our environment
To discover South Africa’s Western Cape, its stunning scenery and incredible wildlife
Where will I work in South Africa?
About the Location
The festival is held at a campsite near Nature’s Valley in the heart of the Garden Route. It is a truly breathtaking area, surrounded by indigenous forests, pristine beaches and the mountains of the Tsitsikamma National Park. The Garden Route in the Eden District has lots of natural beauty, fun and adventure to offer!
The campsite is set up at a lodge just outside Plettenberg Bay. You will be sharing your beautiful tented eco camp area with other volunteers (you may be upgraded to your own if you wish for an additional fee). There is a communal dining area where all locally grown, plant-based meals are shared. There are eco-toilets and eco-showers.
With the beach, mountains, and forest surrounding you, there is no getting away from nature here. Full advantage is taken of this with outdoor yoga and stretching, hikes, beach walks, and of course plenty of dancing around the big campfire in the festival space.
You will need to bring a pillow, a good sleeping bag and warm blankets as the South African nights can be cold. It is rustic but comfortable and incredibly welcoming.
What to do in your spare time
You will have at least 1 full day off so if you’re adventurous, you could try some of these activities: Bungee Jumping, zip lining or Bridge Walk at the Bloukrans bridge. If you like to relax more, we suggest: Knysna lagoon cruises, shopping at local farmers’ markets, taking a bicycle tour of Knysna, or going on a Marine eco-tour, a Forest walk or Fynbos walks.
Details & Costs
- Duration: 1 week
- Cost: £765 / $1195 for 1 week
£1113 / $1737 for 2 weeks
- Requirements: Age minimum 13 for unaccompanied minors. Younger kids are accepted as part of a family group during the all ages week.
- Location: Plettenberg Bay, Western Cape, South Africa
- Working hours: 7:45 to 5 pm. Additional activities available in the evenings.
- Project availability: Week 1 (All ages week): 25 September-2 October Week 2 (Youth week): 2 October- 9 October
- Arrival day: Sunday
What is included
- Accommodation: Tented accommodation for two in a secure camp (solo upgrades available for an additional fee).
- Meals: Three locally grown plant-based meals a day, and snacks in between
- Transfer on arrival and departure day to/from George Airport or the Knysna bus station
- Workshops & Activities hosted by field experts
- Training: pre-departure information pack, on-site orientation and project induction
- Support: 24-hour support
- Excursion Planning: staff helps organize weekend activities (activity prices may be extra)
- Fundraising Guide
What is not included
- Police/Government Background Check: US and UK citizens will be processed through Kaya (admin fee applies); all other nationalities must provide local police check.
- Any costs for COVID-19 PCR tests required pre-departure and in-country
Easy 4-step application process
Click here to apply online and pay your application fee to apply for your space on your chosen project. Our advisors will then contact you to guide you through the next steps.
Once we’ve received your application, we’ll review your details and be in touch to arrange your informal telephone interview with your Kaya Placement Advisor.
Following your interview, we will provide you a placement offer. Once you are ready to confirm your placement and dates, you can pay your confirmation fee to book and secure your space.
When you have confirmed your project dates we'll send you your Welcome Pack and lots of other helpful information to assist you with preparing for your placement.
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