Volunteers work hard during the week on our Orphan Day Care and Community Support Program and Rural Medical and HIV/AIDs Awareness Project. However, on the weekends, volunteers are able to have adventures enjoyed by all tourists visiting the area. The small town of St Lucia is a holidaymaker's paradise, and as a volunteer you'll be able to experience all the luxurious, adventurous tours on offer, but with a flair only volunteers can take advantage of.
The opportunities are unique and endless, so we're helping you out by picking the Top 10 adventures you can't afford to miss as a volunteer in St Lucia, South Africa.
1.) A gateway to paradise St Lucia is considered part of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park which is a World Heritage site so you will have plenty easy access to some game viewing activities. You can even drive yourself through the park, head up to Cape Vidal Beach for a surf, or go bird spotting in the early mornings.
2.) Head to the beach The St. Lucia beach and river estuary is an approximate 30 minute walk from the volunteer house, and besides catching a tan you can also go for a beach horse ride or catch a surf lesson.
3.) Immerse yourself in culture You'll be completely surrounded by the local Zulu culture as an intern, but taking it one step further will help you understand the history and background of the community in which you work. You can do this by attending the tour at the local cultural village, which includes a tour of a traditional Zulu homestead and a traditional meal. You'll even get the opportunity to taste some homemade Zulu beer!
4.) Gentle Giants A quick drive away is the Bayete Elephant Interaction tour, where you can feed and touch three of the reserve's elephants. Rescued from poachers in Zimbabwe, the elephants consider humans a part of their herd and although they interact with people during the daily tour, they roam the reserve as freely as any other elephant you'll find in South Africa! Speaking of gentle giants, from June to November you can witness whales migrate up the coast. Tours launch straight from the St Lucia beach, but you might even catch a glimpse of one from the shore!
5.) Fun & Games Staff at our projects in St Lucia are famous for their evening gatherings - whether it's a traditional South African barbecue, a movie night or evening out for their monthly Pub Quiz in town, there's never a dull moment!
6.) Hippo Spotting It's not hard to spot hippos at night in St Lucia, and the staff there will take you on a drive through town to spot the giants as they graze on the lawns of shops and homes. Certainly a unique experience you won't get anywhere else!
7.) Cultural evening You'll learn plenty about the local Zulu culture while volunteering or interning in St Lucia, but the learning doesn't stop there! Head to the unique Veyane Cultural Village (the staff will drive you!) and you can spend an evening taking a tour of a historic homestead and learn about the indigenous dress and language before sitting down to a delicious traditional meal while you watch a group perform age-old Zulu dancing!
8.) Experience the Estuary St Lucia's estuary is one of the largest in the world, and is home to hundreds of hippos and crocodiles. Don't miss out on watching the sunset from one of the estuary's many jetty's, and take the opportunity to board one of the cruises that will take you up the estuary into the park where you may catch a glimpse of the park's wildlife drinking from the water.
9.) Little Miracles Between November and March, you can catch a glimpse of leatherback and loggerhead turtles laying their eggs and the hatching of these eggs on the beaches surrounding St Lucia - a rare sight anywhere in the world!
10.) Witness a Traditional Ceremony The St Lucia projects are fully immersed in the local communities so much so that often volunteers and staff are invited to local ceremonies such as church services, weddings, and other occasions. No tourist gets these types of invites and you'll surely want to capitalize on these rare invitations!
All these adventures and more await you at our projects in St Lucia, where you can help with HIV education and lessons at preschools, empower at-risk members of rural communities, or assist on our healthcare project.