- Useful Tips
- Packing List
- Useful Websites
- Responsible Travel
Do a little research into the country you are visiting. Know the highlights and hotspots.
Learn a few key phrases in the local language. A little respect goes a long way in promoting goodwill!
Be aware of local taboos, follow the examples of your guides on dress and behaviour.
Be respectful of the local cultures and customs.
- Be ethical when buying souvenirs. Please do not condone the selling of illegal and unethical animal products such as ivory, tortoiseshell and annimal skins. If you are not sure of the origins be mindful before purchasing.
Bargain fairly, with respect to the seller. The perfect deal is where neither party feels ripped off and you have engaged in a social custom with ease and good nature.
Be careful in hot climates drinking too much alcohol it can have a stronger affect and exaggerate dehydration.
Be safe – avoid unlit places after dark, stay in groups. Be aware of any areas that are known for trouble.
Carry two wallets. One normal one that is kept hidden and one which only has a little money and a few out of date cards or cards which are replicable i.e. store cards. In the event you need to, you can hand over the dummy wallet.
- In many developing areas keep expensive items hidden to avoid temptation from pickpockets and thieves.
Always have copies of all your travel documents with you and leave ones with a family member at home.
Take a variety of payment methods and keep them separate in case they get lost.
Always register with the embassy in the country before leaving.
Tell you bank when and where you are going to avoid them from freezing your account.
Have some tissues or toilet roll with you, some public toilets in some countries do not have any or you need to buy some from the attendant.
Carry a small torch; you never know when the lights may go out!
Take a small first aid kit with the essentials i.e. plasters, bandages, pain killers, antiseptic, bite and sting cream, allergy tablets, travel sickness pills and diuretics.
Pack only essentials, you will be able to buy most cosmetic items in the host country (see packing list for more details.
Keep a journal, it is fantastic to read once back from your trip to remember all the memories.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can find plenty of inspiration and information on our website. However, there is nothing better than a little personal direct consultation from our destination specialists. Therefore, if you cannot find the information you need, please do not hesitate to contact us by using our Contact Page.
Do I need any specific skills to volunteer?
No. Placements are designed to accommodate all levels of skill and expertise. Volunteers usually find that regardless of any previous experience they have skills that can be imaginatively applied to the situation in hand.
Many of our projects will provide any training required within the first few days after you have settled into your new surroundings. All that is asked is that volunteers approach their project with an open mind and plenty of enthusiasm.
What is life like as a volunteer?
Blue Lizard Adventures volunteers will be expected to be committed to the project they choose and work with staff and other volunteers to undertake the daily tasks of that particular programme.
Although some tasks may be challenging, the schedules are structured to be enjoyable, fun and rewarding with allocated time off. Evenings are a great time for socialising and relaxing. Volunteer life is at worse good and at the best wonderful!
Why do I have to pay to be a volunteer and where does my money go?
All short term international volunteer programmes charge a fee that covers their operating expenses. However, most of the money goes directly to the particular project, helping to keep money in the host country, supporting local business and making a difference to the lives of the people, wildlife and the planet.
The local businesses and projects offering opportunities overseas have limited resources and are not able to subsidise the costs of housing, feeding, training, supervising and transporting volunteers.
Some people find their own placements, however, this can take a great deal of time to organise, and is not always safe. Paying to volunteer may at first seem a strange concept but take into account the amount of advance organisation involved, all accommodation, food and support provided from local staff, they are great value for money.
Clients can embark on their trip knowing that they are guaranteed to be on a legitimate project that really helps the local people, environment and wildlife. Blue Lizard Adventures takes great care in placing and supporting its volunteers overseas.
How can I fundraise for my project fee?
For some the costs of embarking on a project or tour are not feasible. All is not lost, fundraising and seeking financial support can often seem a daunting prospect; interestingly, for many, the process of raising the necessary funds can to be extremely satisfying and often great fun.
There are so many fundraising opportunities. Below are some ideas that have been successful for other volunteers:
- Gaining sponsorship from friends and relatives for an event i.e. sponsored swim, fun run, walk or bike ride.
- Organising a raffle, or prize draw.
- Organise a car boot sale or coffee morning.
- Sell homemade biscuits or cakes.
- Approach a local newspaper or radio station to publicise the adventure.
- Make a personal approach to local companies.
- Research and approach charitable organisations that support deserving causes or approach organisations offering grants.
- Good Luck and have fun
People from all over the world and from all walks of life to experience what Blue Lizard Adventures has to offer. There is no maximum age limit yet the average age is 18 to 35, with the number of 30-plus increasing as more people discover and travel.
What are my companions going to be like?
A list of optional activities will be provided for individual tours and projects. These will need to be paid for locally; more information will be available in the host country, with all our guides and project staff happy to help. Passengers can participate in as many or as few as they wish.
How do we pay for any optional activities?
How do I book and then what will happen?
- First, having looked at the website decides upon the right project. The Blue Lizard team is always extremely happy to discuss and enquires and guide you through.
- Contact Blue Lizard Adventures by email, with any enquires or details of the project or tour required. Availability will then be checked and a place reserved.
- An application form will then be sent or emailed to you to be filled in and sent back to us.
- A non-refundable deposit of £180 must be paid to secure any booking. This can be done by bank transfer, further details given.
- Please note that if booking within two months of the date of travel full payment will be required.
- An email to confirm the booking and confirmation of the deposit payment will be sent.
- A comprehensive pre-departure pack will be sent electronically or through the post to and an invoice for the balance of the project fee that will need to be paid 8 weeks before the departure date will follow.
| Contact Us |
Blue Lizard is committed to ensuring that all its customers are supported and looked after throughout their experience.
- All clients will receive an information pack relating specifically to their booking.
- Any enquires regarding medical and health issues; Blue Lizard has their very own in-house doctor, Joseph Turner. Inquiries can include necessary immunisations, malaria medications and medical travel kits. Please note: clients in addition are always advised to consult with their own doctor.
- Blue Lizard staff are always available to answer any questions no matter how big or small that clients may have.
During the Trip
- The local project leaders, coordinators and tour guides offer outstanding support and guidance throughout your time in the host country.
- The UK Blue Lizard team will always be on hand any problems.
- Blue Lizard Adventures team will contact all customers on their return to check that all went well and receive feedback.
Most of our projects are available all year round, but check the individual details of each project to be sure. Contact us if you are unsure.
What are the start dates or start days for the projects?
What about visas?
Blue Lizard Adventures will advise to the best of their knowledge, however, we strongly recommend visiting the countries consulate website for further information.
Do I need insurance?
Absolutely Yes! Blue Lizard Adventures requires that all clients have full comprehensive insurance before embarking on your travels and will require insurance details before confirmation is given.
Try to keep things to the minimum and stick to the essentials!
Travel Documents & Money
- Vaccinations Card
- Insurance details
- Emergency Contact details
- Spending Money
- Credit card
- Money belt
- Day pack or small bag
- Sleeping bag/Sleeping bag liner (depending on season)
- Good torch (head-torch if camping), spare batteries/bulbs
- Durable water bottle (1-2 litre)
- African power adaptor
- Travel towel
- Camera, charger, memory sticks
- Alarm clock/watch/phone (appropriate chargers)
- Small sewing kit
- Binoculars for game viewing
- Luggage padlock(s)
Most people make the mistake of bringing too much! Clothes should be easy to launder and reasonably hard wearing. Countries can be cold in winter and in the evenings bring a good sleeping bag or extra clothing you can wear in bed if necessary. Additionally warm clothes and jackets are essential especially on morning game drives in open vehicles. This applies particularly if travelling in southern Africa in the southern winter months (Jun - Aug). In the summer months choose clothes of light fabric and light colours to reflect the sun.
- Hat, cap, beanie
- Sunglasses and case
- Quick dry t-shirts and sweatshirts
- Warm & waterproof lightweight jacket
- Long pants/trousers
- Warm socks
- Sarong - doubles as skirt, beach towel, pillow and picnic rug!
- Trainers/ pumps or sturdy boot with ankle support for hiking
- Flip flops/ thongs/ jandals or sandals
- Underwear (girls - include a sports bra)
- One nice 'going out' outfit
- Toilet bag
- Hand sanitizer
- Small mirror
- Soap/shower gel
- Wet/make up wipes (great for a multitude of things)
- Toothbrush and paste
- Sunscreen lotion
- Moisturiser or aftersun
- Sanitary items
First Aid Kit
Antiseptic ointment or spray (spray is better), cotton wool, sterile dressings, crepe bandage, band aids, scissors, tweezers, tape, antibiotic powder, painkillers, lip salve, sun block, insect repellent, water purification tablets, hypodermic needles and syringes, anti-malaria tablets, anti-diarrhea tablets, and a good supply of re hydration powder sachets.
- Jumper/ sweatshirt top
- Waterproof jacket
- Warm trousers
- Walking trousers
- Waterproof trousers
- Warm jacket
- Thermal Underwear
- Balaclava / Scarf
- Hiking Socks
- Hiking Boots
- Light Shoes
- Cap/warm hat
Non Essential Clothing
Some clothing will serve you better at home:
- Designer clothing.
- Clothing embellished with expletives or inappropriate images.
- Fashion footwear and high heels.
- Brand new shoes that will result in blisters.
- Short shorts and miniskirts.
- Overly revealing tops.
- Outerwear with labels that may attract a following.
- Anything that you feel is irreplaceable.
Non Essential Accessories
A few items best left at home include:
- Expensive jewellery.
- Designer handbags.
- Sunglasses with large labels.
- Laptop computers.
- New, top-of-the-range iPods/mp3 players.
- New, top-of-the-range mobile phones.
- Hair dryers.
- Hair straighteners.
Non Essential Toiletteries and Health Care:
- Prescription medication that is not in your own name.
- Illegal amounts of prescription medication, even if it is in your name.
- Illegal drugs.
- Heating pads that require an adapter.
- Cool packs that require freezing.
- Any medication that is, or will pass, its use-by date during your travels.
- Perfume or aftershave.
- Scented body lotions or sprays that may attract insects or even wildlife.
- Expensive hair accessories.
- Vast amounts of makeup.
Blue lizard Adventures aim to minimise the effects on the planet by:
- Minimise paper usage, always use recycled paper and recycle any paper waste. Wherever possible send out information via email.
- Curb the company’s energy output by: using energy saving light bulbs, all electrical equipment is only used when necessary and always turned off when not in use. Heating is kept to a minimum.
- Off set carbon where possible.
- Promote education of sustainability, responsible travel and support conservation.
- Work with, advocate and promote projects that have close links with their local communities and support local schemes.
- Work with projects and companies of the same values.
Advice for the visitor on responsible travel:
- Reduce your carbon footprint by choosing the appropriate mode of transport.
- Off set some carbon emissions.
- Pack only essentials, many items can be bought or replaced.
- Turn off electrical items
- Eat seasonally and locally, thus reducing the energy cost of transportation and supports local traders.
- Carry one sturdy refillable water bottle instead of buying every day.
- Recycle plastic, glass and paper were possible
- Donate clothes, electronics, books and cosmetics to local charities and hostels
As part of our determined plan to promote responsible travel, we are part of Climate Care. Climate cares offers you the facility to offset carbon against the emission created by flying Carbon offsetting enables you to take responsibility for your emissions by paying somebody to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere on your behalf. Please visit their website for further details.