Volunteering at Yellowwood Forest
Click on the volunteer name to read their respective reviews of Yellowwood Forest
Rosie & Jamie
Volunteering at Yellowwood Forest is great for gaining work experience or building up your CV and will always be a rewarding experience no matter what it is you end up doing. Despite living here for eleven years, Sean and Robyn still classify themselves as a fledgling eco-campsite, which gives some indication of their hopes and ambitions for their home. In my opinion it is by no means fledgling. Yellowwood is an African eco-campsite predominantly, but there is also a bush camp, gift shop, chill out tea room and tea garden/restaurant, pizza oven (which makes some incredibly good pizzas), and a cosy loft house to accommodate a couple. This 'Campsite' also has a rock pool, river and forest with a lovely trail to walk. To me, coming from the UK, I wouldn't classify this as an eco-campsite, but more the beginnings of an eco-resort in an incredibly unique and beautiful location.
Yellowwood Forest is very much at the hub of the community in Morgan Bay, also playing host to weddings, farmer's markets and other special events. From watching the rugby over the weekends, sitting out under the stars with a savanna, bird watching, or braaing, you as a volunteer are never far from socialising with the locals in this homely and laid back place.
At the same time Yellowwood strikes a good balance with the more tranquil and peaceful side of life and if it's a quiet afternoon you're after, you can escape into the forest, sit on the local cliffs and watch dolphins, walk along the beach, bird watch - the bird life here is truly phenomenal - or even just find a quiet corner at Yellowwood in the hammocks.
Every volunteer to Yellowwood will bring with them new skills and ideas which Sean and Robyn encourage you to talk about and put into use. I graduated with a Degree in Publishing Media and after a chat with Robyn explaining exactly what that entails - most people look very quizzical when I tell them - I was put in charge of designing the website for Yellowwood, applying the skills which I learnt at Uni. Not only will it look great on my CV, but it has been great practice for me. Although not every degree is suited to here, many are. For example, Zoology, Ecology, Tourism, Sustainable or International Development, Sustainable Farming and even Engineering.
Your Role as a Volunteer:
What to expect from the placement:
There is a trip into East London (the nearest city to Morgan Bay) with Yellowwood either once a week, or once every two weeks to stock up on food and shopping. But you can get into town on your own accord by using the buses or hitching a ride with the locals (which is incredibly safe and easy to do)
Time off is one and a half days a week and a typical day here starts at 8.30 and finishes at 4.30 which leaves your evenings free to do whatever you want.
There is so much to do here in Morgan Bay and you can make your lifestyle as active as you want to.
This includes horse trails, hiking, quad biking, dolphin, whale and shark watching (The Sardine run happens right here on the coast of the Eastern Cape - one of the biggest feeding frenzies on the planet which literally attracts 1000's of great whites and dolphins), braaing, canoeing, visiting local Xhosa Villages, surfing and relaxing at the beach.
You can also visit bays up and down the Wild Coast including Coffee Bay and Chintsa where they have some great backpackers which you can stay at and get a real taste of the travel scene out here and meet other folk like yourself.
There is also scope to meet up with other volunteers working on other placements in the surrounding area.
Sean and Robyn:
Yellowwood has been the perfect springboard for my boyfriend and I to settle into South African culture before travelling on. We both hold work visas for South Africa so it has provided us with a base from which to go to job interviews and find out about the work opportunities here. We are very lucky to have found such an incredibly friendly, safe and laid back community. It really has been such a welcome to South Africa. We have both made some real friends here and I for one will be sad to leave Yellowwood and the refreshing and magical way of life here behind.
Matt & Ali
We arrived at Yellowwood after having spent two enjoyable weeks in the Western Cape and a rather bumpy 24 hour coach journey to Morgan's Bay! On arrival we had two days to become acclimatized to the campsite and the local area. Although quiet, the area of Morgan's Bay is stunning and very tranquil but it may prove too quiet for some.
The accommodation for Yellowwood volunteers was comfortable though basic and fairly small. We both felt as though the volunteer schedule was too unstructured for us as we prefer to tackle larger projects with an end goal. However, both Sean and Robyn were very accommodating and happy for us to be involved in any and all of the jobs on offer. Although we were assigned different tasks to do on a daily basis this contributed to the feeling of not being able to fulfill a given role.
For future volunteers we would recommend pre-discussing any projects prior to arrival. This would allow forethought by both parties and help to ensure a more rewarding experience. By it's very nature the campsite can be archaic so a more structured volunteer schedule would help to really get the most out of volunteers.
I arrived at Yellowwood Forest late Sunday afternoon, a little nervous not knowing what to expect. This was going to be my first week away from home with people I didn't know- but I was pleasantly surprised. Sean and Robyn are the most down to earth, creative, friendly, easy to talk to, hospitable, cool people I know.
Yellowwood forest is definitely a place to put up your tent and relax (even if it's just for a weekend). In their relaxed environment, it will put you in a place of peace and tranquility, with the amazing birdlife, visits from the monkeys in the mornings and their forest walk or a walk along the river.
If you are not a camper, you can always stop at Yellowwood's for a cup of tea/coffee in their tea garden or even have some pizza (which is the best by far!)
Yellowwood works according to the 3R's - reduce, re-use and recycle. Their craft shop, the loft and bathroom area are all made with recycled or re-used materials. (They are unique and beautiful) They try to be as environmentally friendly as they can. My week I stayed there was definitely beneficial as they taught me tons and gave me lots of career advice.
Yellowwood isn't far from the beach and Morgan Bay hotel. (Walking distance)
As a volunteer I helped out where I could, whether it be: helping in the craft shop, waitressing, making pizza's, baking, helping at the craft market, gardening, feeding the animals (rabbits, chickens, ducks) or keeping their dog Cassie entertained. ?
I had the best week ever - and definitely recommend it to anyone who needs to get away or would like to volunteer. Definitely a fun destination!