I'll confide that I've never been to Africa, but it's one of the top places in the world that I want to visit next. Everything about the continent fascinates me, and I imagine it to be a place bursting with culture, life, and landscapes that I have yet to encounter anywhere else in the world. Many safari outfitters take travelers up close and personal to the amazing wildlife of the African savanna, and while some of these travel companies do give back to local communities and help to develop sustainable tourism, what many travelers may overlook when planning travel to Africa is the incredible amount of need that exists in these countries for aid and volunteers and a kind, helping hand. Consider voluntourism, a way in which you can still travel and experience new places and cultures, all while contributing to the greater good. And with the handy help of the Internet, you can easily find volunteer vacation opportunities. A simple search of "voluntourism" on Google brings up 116,000 results. But of course, before you commit to going with a certain company, do some research and make sure your dollars and your time are being put towards a credible cause and organization. For some inspiration, here's a video featuring volunteers at World Camp in Malawi, an organization committed to empowering impoverished children through education.
For more voluntourism ideas and resources, check out our Volunteer Vacations Guide.
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