Plan your trip
MINIMUM DURATION OF STAY
Our programs are designed to run for two, three or four weeks (see Dates and Rates) with your arrival or departure day being on a MONDAY. You are welcome to stay for longer than four weeks however, although we will accept volunteers for only 1 week, we really recommend a minimum of at least two weeks to enable you to thoroughly enjoy all our program has to offer.
Your arrival on your first Monday will consist of your airport or bus pick up, your transfer to the volunteer lodge, unpacking and relaxing or just getting to know your surroundings and the other volunteers. On Tuesday morning (your first day at the Ranch), you will be taken on an orientation tour, meet everyone, sort out your program and planning, after which you will start working!
You do NOT work on weekends - Saturday’s & Sunday’s are for you to relax, catch up on your washing or maybe go on a tour (we do have tour options - you can speak to your hosts when here). On your last Monday you will be taken and dropped off in time for your flight or bus.
WHAT IF MY DATES DON’T COINCIDE WITH THE PROJECT DATES?
We really prefer you to arrive or depart on a MONDAY however we realise that this is not always ideal. If you cannot arrange your transport for Monday arrival or departure, then we will arrange a private taxi (one that we trust and work with) to collect you or take you on the day you arrive or depart – you will need to pay this amount separately as it is not included in your costs.
PASSPORTS & VISA
PLEASE NOTE: It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa if one is necessary. The information provided here is to assist you with that process only – we cannot take responsibility for incorrect and/or out of date information. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, nor any subsequent effects. We advise that you speak to your closest South African embassy/consulate in your home country first. You must ensure that you have a full passport that is valid for at least 6 months beyond the intended length of stay and your passport must also have 2 clear facing pages.
You will NOT need a work permit as you will not be taking paid work.
In some countries, SA embassy’s require you to produce a letter from us to confirm that you are a volunteer and will not be earning remuneration whilst here. Since some may require an original letter from us, please check with your embassy asap and let us know so that we can mail this to you in time. For the most up to date information on passports and visa requirements, please visit
http://www.home-affairs.gov.za/ or www.southafrica.info/travel/documents/visas.htm
Some countries SA embassy’s require you to produce a letter from us to confirm that you are a volunteer and will not be earning any money whilst here with us. Since some may require an original letter from us, check with your embassy asap and let us know so that we can post this to you in time.
For the most up to date information on passports and visa requirements, please visit http://www.home-affairs.gov.za/ www.southafrica.info/travel/documents/visas.htm or
The address where you will be staying, which you will need to list on you visa form is:
Cango Wildlife Ranch
2 Baron van Reede Street
Cango Wildlife Ranch
P.O. Box 559
TRANSPORT OPTIONS AND PICKUP
You will need to plan to arrive at either OR Tambo Airport in Johannesburg (JNB) or at Cape Town International airport (CPT) on a Monday. Once there, you need to allow enough time to clear customs and immigration at International arrivals, before heading to the Domestic terminal for your domestic flight.
You will need to book your domestic return ticket to George (GRJ) Airport.
Please ensure that you leave sufficient time to make your connections. We recommend allowing an hour and a half for domestic flight check in and three hours for international check in. We recommend that you allow yourself at least 2 ½ hours between your International flight arrival and your flight to George.
You will need to book your return flight to leave from George airport again on a Monday.
DOMESTIC AIRLINES THAT FLY TO GEORGE:
(not all of them fly from Cape Town to George but all of them fly from Johannesburg to George):
www.kulula.com (domestic flights only)
www.flymango.com (domestic flights only)
www.britishairways.com (International flights also - domestics are operated by Comair or Kulula)
www.flysaa.com (International flights also)
www.flysafair.co.za (domestic flights only)
Please try and choose flights that arrive ordepart between 11am - 3pm which makes it easier for us to collect you all together and ensures that you do not wait around for other volunteers to arrive/depart. Should your flight arrive outside of this timeline we may need to arrange a taxi for you which will be for your own account.
Please try and choose a bus/coach that arrive ordepart between 11am - 3pm which makes it easier for us to collect you all together and ensures that you do not wait around for other volunteers to arrive/depart. Should your coach arrive outside of this timeline we may need to arrange a taxi for you which will be for your own account.
Please be very careful booking your bus all the way to Oudtshoorn. Depending on where you are travelling from, it is an extremely long and tiring trip and you may have to wait and change buses in George or Mossel Bay. It is far easier therefore for you to disembark in George where we will pick you up (book to get off in George, not George Station).
BUSES / COACHES THAT TRAVEL TO GEORGE:
We strongly suggest that you check your route and details with us BEFORE you finalise your booking.
WE WILL BE THERE TO MEET YOU IN GEORGE AT THE AIRPORT OR AT THE BUS STATION !
Whichever way you decide to travel, please make sure you have provided us with your correct arrival details to ensure we meet you at the correct time….…with a warm welcome!!
Transfer time from George to Oudtshoorn takes approximately 45 minutes to an hour
MEDICAL AND TRAVEL INSURANCE
Insurance cover is compulsory, and you are required to send us a proof of your medical cover/insurance before your arrival.
Your insurance should cover the kind of activities you will be doing on your trip, including contact with wild animals.
Please ensure that it covers all medical requirements which could arise during your trip, including full air evacuation and repatriation in the unlikely event of this being necessary
When sending us your proof of cover, please ensure that your documentation contains the following: Name, Address & 24 hour emergency contact number of the insurance company, Your full name as the insured person, a policy number, confirmation of the amount of medical cover as well as confirmation that you are covered for the evacuation and repatriation. You will not be able to participate in this program if you do not have the correct cover.
Most of our volunteers use www.caremed-travelinsurance.com and our Netherlands visitors prefer www.verzekeringeninhetbuitenland.nl
You should consult your doctor with regards to immunizations and vaccinations as we cannot give professional medical advice, however, below are details of personal recommendations for consideration purposes only.
The good news is that we are based in the Western Cape which is a Malaria-free area! It is only recommended if you are travelling to a Malaria area before or after your time with us
Tetanus: A recent tetanus shot is highly recommended
Hepatitis A & B: Recommended
Yellow Fever: only required if travelling through a yellow fever designated country on your way to South Africa, and if this is the case, you will be required to carry proof of a yellow fever vaccination
Rabies: Oudtshoorn and surrounds is a Rabies free area so this vaccination should not be required, unless you are travelling through a area of concern before or after your trip with us.
Covid19: Please ensure that you have a clear covid test 24 hours before departing and note that you will need to do another one before returning home.
WHAT TO PACK / WEAR
In summer, swimwear and a strong SPF sunblock/lotion is a must!
Irrelevant of the time of year, we always suggest that you pack clothes for both the warmer and cooler temperatures as our weather can fluctuate quite bit during season transitions.
You are here to make memories so make sure there is enough storage on your camera/phone because you are about to blow it up!
To ensure that you blend in with our staff and maintain a professional image on the facility, you will be required to wear a volunteer uniform at all times when at work.
Our uniform is ‘stone’ in colour. Please bring your own long and/or short pants in stone (they can be difficult to find here). See stone colour-palette above.
Your attire should be practical and comfortable. Jeans (denims), skirts and really tiny shorts are not permitted onsite due to the nature of the work – it is important to maintain professionalism as you will be seen by the public.
.Comfortable walking shoes are NB!
2 Volunteer t-shirts will be issued to you upon arrival.
Stone caps, fleece tops and windbreakers are available for purchase in our curio shop.
INDEMNITY AND CODE OF CONDUCT
On your arrival, you will need to sign an indemnity document with us. This is pretty standard in this industry when you are working with wild animals. A draft copy of our indemnity form is included in your Pre-Arrival Information Booklet which will be sent to you once your placement has been confirmed however should you like a copy of this before you make your decision, please let us know and we will happily email it to you.
You will also be required to sign our code of conduct which information is also included in our Pre-Arrival Information Booklet but let us know if you would like a copy of this ahead of time.
The Klein Karoo generally has extreme temperatures. Our Summer (Oct to Mar) can be extremely hot with temperatures reaching up to 40ºC. Our Winter, (May to Sept) can get very cold with snow often appearing on the surrounding mountain ranges. Our days are generally still sunny but with very cold nights. Overall, we have about 600mm of rainfall per year.
South Africa has 11 official languages! Oudtshoorn is predominantly an Afrikaans community (similar to Dutch) but most people can understand and converse in English throughout South Africa.
South Africa makes use of 220/240 V plug sockets, 3 circular pins in a triangle.
Most major religions are represented in Oudtshoorn and there are interdenominational churches with Sunday services. There is also a small but strong Jewish community and a Synagogue.
BANKS AND SHOPPING
Most businesses in Oudtshoorn operate from 8am to 5pm from Mon - Fri. On Saturday, businesses generally operate from 9am to 1pm, and most are closed on Sundays. Major Supermarkets are open every day until around 7pm.
Banks hours are 8:30am to 3:30pm, Mon to Fri. There are ATM (teller machines) to draw money, all over town and in our Curio Shop onsite.
The currency is the South African Rand (R). Currencies can be rather volatile so please keep an eye on current exchange rates for accuracy. Major credit cards are accepted throughout South Africa.
South Africa is 2 hours ahead of GMT