October Break with a difference
With half-term fast approaching, there’s still time to book a last minute break!
October can be a great month to travel anywhere in the world because it’s between the seasons – meaning less extreme weather conditions. If you’re heading to South America or sub-Saharan Africa, October brings spring and summer. In the northern hemisphere, the high temperatures of the summer give way to warm pleasant days – great for more comfortable volunteering and exploring in your free time.
We’ve carefully selected some destinations which are popular and straightforward for short volunteering trips during October. For those with more time, these can all be extended into a longer stay.
Morocco is a top volunteering choice, with flying time only 3 hours from the UK. The central volunteer house is only 15 minutes drive from the airport so anyone arriving on an early morning flight can be ready to volunteer that same afternoon! Volunteers can help with street kids feeding programmes, look after and take care of babies in orphanages, teach children, go camping and organise activities. The volunteer group travels around together; a bit like an organised tour with your own coordinator who speaks English, Arabic and French – you really couldn’t be in better hands! You’ll never be short of things to do with newly made friends, from exploring the Souks and desert camel treks to relaxing by the pool on your days off!
If group volunteering isn’t really your thing, then take a look at the Kenya Masai programme. Volunteers stay with local families and living with the Masai people is a real ‘coming home’ type of experience. Unique and with separate sleeping space, it’s also perfect for families who want to experience a rewarding cultural exchange. Activities include helping with teaching and providing general care and assistance in looking after the children. This will involve playing games, teaching English & Maths and basic life skills. For your free time, you may like to take the open-topped sight-seeing bus, which travels all the way around the outskirts of Nairobi. The Masai Mara hosts some wonderful wildlife and in October, you can expect to see lions, leopards, cheetahs, giraffes, gazelles and often wildebeest herds which congregate after spending time in the Serengeti. If you’d like to plan a safari trip, these can be added for approximately £300. Trips and excursions can be easily arranged through the Nairobi Tourist Office upon arrival.
Long haul destinations
For more far-flung trips, try to extend your total time to 10 days so you can allow for a travelling and rest day on your outbound and return journey.
Thailand schools may be closed for October but there are still opportunities in Cambodiawhere you can discover an exciting new culture in a country still relatively unexplored by tourists. One of the main focuses of the volunteering project will be on teaching English, which is in high demand. Through your volunteer work, you’ll be providing local children with better hopes for their future; creating a better chance of securing a job and maybe even a high school or college scholarship. Cambodiais now firmly established on the Asian tourist trail and is famous for its temples. Anyone familiar with the Tomb-raider series of games and films will know already what to expect and why they are a must-see!
Peru – volunteer in the Land of the Incas with misty mountain tops, cobbled streets and colourful traditional costumes. Come and discover the amazing feeling of reward that you get when working with children in friendly, family-run orphanages. The Peru experience delves completely into the children’s lives and volunteers have the chance to do many activities. With a chance to help at two different orphanages, one for girls and one for boys, this is the perfect chance to make a change in children’s lives. The Peru volunteer project is ideal for anyone wanting to combine a holiday and some gentle volunteering so you can be as involved as you want to be. The famous Inca Treks are a must-see and can be arranged upon arrival from approximately £180. And if you want to visit Machu Pichu, the famous ruins can be visited easily on a day’s excursion from Cuzco.
South Africa – come and join a peaceful project, caring for South African monkeys.Situated close to Pretoria, this monkey sanctuary is a rare opportunity to interact closely with cute, lovable monkeys. There are all sorts of different species living in the sanctuary from the Marmosets and Tamarins to the squirrel monkey. At this small and friendly sanctuary, all volunteers will get an exciting opportunity to be involved with all aspects of the daily routine, from bottle feeding, medical care to monitoring their behaviour. The project is a great experience that allows you to be really hands on with the overall care of the monkeys. There are many sights to see and experience in South Africa. These include The Lion Park, The Open Air Museum and Kruger National Park. It is also possible to arrange a horse ride close to the project through surrounding countryside.
Flying times to destinations with Original Volunteers
Best Oct rtn flight on skyscanner.net
Project work in Morocco
£125 (1 wk)
Live with the Kenya Masai
£75 (1 wk)
Caring for animal, S Africa
£125 (1 wk)
Helping at a childrens’ home, Peru
£95 (1 wk)
Informal teaching, Cambodia
£150 (1 wk)