Why do I have to pay to volunteer?


Volunteering in Africa with children
Volunteer as a teacher in Africa

Paying to volunteer may at first seem a strange concept, but local organisations and projects that offer volunteer placements overseas, have limited resources and are not able to subsidise the costs of providing housing for volunteers and producing the extra food necessary for three meals a day for them too. In fact, quite often the lodgings are in a dedicated volunteer home, with many of your home comforts like hot water, TV and sometimes even a swimming pool to relax in after a long and very rewarding day helping on your chosen project.

The local staff also need to spend their time educating, supervising and training the volunteer in the first instance (and sometimes even counseling), working with their transferrable skills, to ensure that they can help the local community. Indeed if they did have available resources themselves, it would almost be more beneficial and cost effective to hire a local person instead.

Volunteering with wildlife in Africa
Volunteering with wildlife in Africa

Identifying suitable, sustainable and worthwhile overseas volunteer projects takes time, money and experienced staff. Specialist UK tour operator, Amanzi Travel takes great care in placing and supporting its volunteers overseas. It will ensure that all volunteers are met at the nearest airport upon arrival and transferred to the project, and taken back to the airport at the end of the placement too.

By volunteering through Amanzi Travel, for example, volunteers can embark on their trip knowing that they are guaranteed to be on a legitimate project that really helps the local people, environment and wildlife, as well as knowing that everything is organized to ensure that they get the most out of their volunteer experience, in a safe, supportive, rewarding and sustainable way.

This is typically what your costs go towards:-

  • Financing that goes directly back into the projects themselves for items such as building materials, equipment, supplies and foodstuffs. These funds are carefully managed to the best advantage of the projects concerned.
  • Comprehensive pre-departure pack and full orientation at the project upon arrival.
  • Airport pick up and transfer to project site at start and end of placement.
  • Daily transfers as required.
  • Full board and lodging including three meals a day.
  • Laundry service during the placement or the facility to attend to this personally.
  • Assistance and supervision by on-the-ground project staff.
  • Support from the UK Amanzi Travel team at all times.
Medical volunteer helping children in Africa
Medical volunteer in Africa

For total clarity, the cost of each volunteer placement generally excludes, flights, travel insurance (this should include cover for repatriation), email/internet and phone calls, visas if required, additional excursions offered whilst at the placement – for example bungee jumping at Victoria Falls and white water rafting in Zambia, spending money (can be minimal as placement fees cover most) and personal travel items, such as clothes.

So, hopefully your question next time, is not Why should I pay to volunteer, but where shall I volunteer and why?



A truly life changing experience, working on wildlife and community volunteering projects in Africa over eight years ago, convinced Gemma Whitehouse to give up her job as a Marketing Manager for an international organisation and use her skills and expertise to set up a company that would offer others the same amazing opportunities with a service second to none - thus Amanzi Travel was born.

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