When you travel with us, your safety is our top priority. Of course, all forms of travel carry some risks, whether you are going on a ‘staycation’ within the UK, or venturing to a far-flung destination overseas. That said, over the past 10 years we have organised trips for over 6,000 volunteers, and have learnt a thing or two about how to deliver a trip that’s safe, exciting, and memorable – for all the right reasons!
Read on to find out how we prioritise your safety and well-being to ensure that you have a stress-free and safe trip…
Safety Management System
Our comprehensive Safety Management System (SMS) is independently audited each year by the School Travel Forum. This ensures that we have the systems in place to protect you, and to respond quickly and efficiently should an issue arise during your trip. In fact, our SMS adheres to the same standards of safety that are expected for educational trips to EU countries, so you can rest assured that you will be in safe hands during your volunteering experience.
As part of this system, our partner projects, accommodation providers, and vehicles are comprehensively risk-assessed each year, and all vehicles and drivers must comply with our strict Vehicle Safety Policy and Code of Conduct. In addition, bespoke volunteer travel insurance is included in our trip packages as standard; this insurance policy explicitly covers volunteering as well as issues such as lost baggage or medical expenses.
24-hour emergency support
While the vast majority of trips are trouble-free, our experience has taught us that it is unrealistic to expect every trip to run smoothly. What’s more important is ensuring that, should something go wrong, our volunteers have access to the support they need.
Our Crisis Management Plan details the process that we would follow in the event of an emergency, and our 24-hour emergency response number ensures that help is available at any time of day or night. In addition to having 24-hour support at your host destination, our UK team is on call 24/7 throughout the year, so that you are always able to contact us if a problem arises.
The staff who run our trips in Ghana, Kenya and Zanzibar are all local to the areas where we work. The reason for this is simple – they are by far the best people for the job. They know their local communities better than our UK team ever could, and are therefore well-placed to keep you safe and ensure that you have the best experience possible.
Upon your arrival at your host destination, our in-country teams will deliver an orientation to prepare you for your experience. This includes information about the local culture, the area where you will be staying, how to stay healthy and safe while travelling, and the support that you will receive during your trip.
Our in-country teams also possess a wealth of knowledge about the local medical facilities in their regions, and would always accompany our volunteers to receive medical treatment if the need arose. All our partner projects are located within 20 minutes of well-equipped regional hospitals that can handle most medical situations; were a volunteer to need further medical care, they would be taken to a larger medical centre by our in-country staff.
Throughout your trip, our in-country staff are in constant communication with our UK office. This means that we are kept well-informed regarding any situations and can coordinate a response quickly and efficiently to ensure volunteers’ well-being.
Meeting the British Standard for adventurous activities
African Adventures is a BS8848 compliant provider, which means that our trips meet the British Standard for minimising the risks of adventure travel outside the UK.
Amongst other things, organisations that comply with BS8848 must:
- Hire competent staff who have the right skills and training for the job
- Carry out relevant checks on any staff that will be working with children
- Plan and research all aspects of the trip to assess their safety
- Prepare a full itinerary for the trip
- Assess the suitability of medical services at the host destination
- Develop an emergency response plan and ensure that all staff are aware of this
In essence, our compliance with BS8848 reaffirms our commitment to the safety and well-being of our volunteers, and ensures that we are doing everything we can to minimise the risks of travel.
Accreditations, affiliations, and expert advice
Finally, we proudly hold a number of accreditations and affiliations that put the safety of our volunteers at the forefront of everything we do. We are a member of ABTA – the UK’s largest travel association – which represents travel agents and tour operators across the country. For more than 60 years, ABTA has set high standards for the travel industry by working with its members to promote responsible tourism, and health and safety, both at home and abroad.
All our trips are also ATOL protected, which provides 100% financial protection to every volunteer that travels to Africa with us.
Finally, we follow Foreign and Commonwealth advice at all times regarding travel to our host destinations, to ensure you have an enjoyable and safe trip.
Don’t just take our word for it…
Read on for a small selection of testimonials from our previous volunteers:
- “We were attracted to African Adventures because they had ‘feet on the ground’ in Africa…this makes them unique from other trip providers”. John, Group Leader
- “The management of our trip in-country was of an extremely high standard…the staff are really friendly, very efficient, and extremely thorough.” Ruth, Group Leader
- “The African Adventures in-country staff are the best you could ever have.” Anthony, Group Leader
- “The African Adventures staff were very knowledgeable about the local area, and made our trip the best it could be.” Vicky, volunteer
- “I was completely overwhelmed by the welcome and support we had from African Adventures.” Madeleine, volunteer
- “The African Adventures in-country staff are exceptional due to their positive attitudes and ‘nothing is too much trouble’ outlook.” Bethan, Group Leader