The well-being of our volunteers is paramount, and we pride ourselves on our Safety Management System (SMS) which ensures the highest possible standards of safety in-country.
Our experienced in-country staff are experts at delivering our trips, and are one of the primary reasons why we have a proven track record of providing safe, memorable trips.
Thanks to our international network, we know what is happening on the ground. We have regional offices in Ghana, Kenya and Zanzibar, allowing us to build strong relationships with our host communities.
Since 2009, we have organised trips for over 6,000 volunteers, giving us a wealth of experience. From pre-departure support and in-country orientations, to familiarity with nearby hospitals and medical centres, we know how to deliver a safe and exciting experience.
There is, of course, some risk associated with any form of travel, which is why we are happy to share our knowledge and planning with you.
When you book to travel with us, you’ll be supported by a friendly Trip Co-ordinator who will be on hand to answer any questions you have about your trip – from visa applications to vaccinations advice, and everything in between. Our online portal – My African Adventure – contains everything you need to prepare for your experience. During your trip, you’ll be looked after by one of our experienced Trip Hosts, who will ensure you have a safe and unforgettable experience.
We monitor the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office website to ensure that we’re aware of any issues which may affect our volunteers’ safety, and our in-country staff also let us know about anything that could affect the delivery of our trips. We risk-assess every aspect of our trips, and share these assessments with group leaders before departure. Our Crisis Management Plan sets out the steps we would take in an emergency, and our 24-hour emergency number means that our staff can always be reached.
By following African Adventures’ advice and adhering to our Code of Conduct, volunteers can also help to ensure they have a safe experience in Africa. This advice, which we’ve collated from over 10 years’ experience of organising trips, ranges from simple things like avoiding tap water to respecting the culture of your destination. All volunteers are covered by our specialist volunteer insurance, and we ask that you disclose any medical conditions and dietary requirements so that we can make any preparations we need to for your trip.
ABTA is the UK’s largest travel association representing travel agents and tour operators. They offer advice and guidance to the travelling public, as well as working with its members on health and safety.
As a BS8848 compliant provider, African Adventures demonstrates its commitment to ensuring the safety and protection of those who travel with us by meeting the code’s qualifying standards.
STF Assured Members understand and facilitate the needs of educational travel; manage safety effectively; offer fair terms and conditions, and the best financial security; and are fully inspected every year by independent experts.
Pharos provides access to a range of integrated specialist services and experienced crisis management professionals. Their services combine together to provide an effective incident support system for our trips.
Safety Management System
Our comprehensive Safety Management System (SMS) covers all aspects of safety regarding your trip, and details all steps we take in respect of your well-being.
Our SMS is independently audited each year by the School Travel Forum (STF), so you can rest assured that all necessary checks have been made, signed off and are regularly monitored. In fact, the SMS covers the same areas of safety that are expected for educational travel throughout the European Union.
Your safety is our priority, and we ensure that all requisite measures are in place to protect you, so that you can focus on enjoying the experience. Occasionally, things don’t go to plan; that is, in part, the nature of travel. Our experience tells us that it is unrealistic to expect a perfect safety record, and that it is more important to have the right systems in place to respond quickly and effectively if things don’t go to plan.
We are here to support you, so please contact us if we can help you.
As part of our SMS, each project, accommodation and vehicle we work with is comprehensively risk assessed on an annual basis.
All of our trips include a comprehensive personal travel insurance policy that explicitly provides cover for volunteering. Furthermore, it features all of the conventional inclusions you would expect whilst travelling abroad, including lost baggage, medical expenses and personal equipment.
All volunteers are also covered by African Adventures’ public liability insurance.
During our trips, all volunteers have access to 24-hour emergency support, both in-country and the UK.
Our UK team is on call throughout all seasons, and volunteers have access to both emergency and non-emergency contacts.
As part of our SMS, all vehicles must comply with our strict Vehicle Safety Policy. All vehicles are privately hired, have seat belts, and are regularly serviced. Whilst it is unrealistic to expect the same standard of coaches that you may be accustomed to in the UK, all vehicles must be fit for purpose in order to be used on our trips.
All drivers who work for African Adventures must adhere to a strict Code of Conduct in respect of their driving style. This is to ensure the highest possible standards of service. Our drivers are experienced staff who are familiar with the areas we work in and the routes we take.
We employ the best people for the job! Our In-Country Directors are Ghanaian, Kenyan and Zanzibari – bizarrely, this is rarer than you might imagine. Employing locally means our highly trained staff know the projects and the region far better than our UK staff could. However, a large proportion of our UK-based staff have volunteered in Africa so their experience will help support you through your journey – our aim is to provide you with the best possible experience.
As soon as volunteers arrive at their accommodation, our staff deliver a comprehensive orientation that covers:
- Cultural expectations
- Volunteer expectations
- Volunteer support
- Information about the local area
- Forthcoming itinerary
- Travel tips
- How to make the most of the trip
This is in addition to a pre-departure briefing that is delivered in the UK.
All of our partner projects are within 20 minutes of well-equipped regional hospitals which are able to deal with most medical requirements.
Should a volunteer require more significant medical care, they will be taken to a better-equipped facility in order to be treated.