Landscape & Locations
How remote are the landscapes? How basic is the accommodation?
Baviaanskloof: This is the most remote location. Communication is limited: there is (usually) Wi-Fi at the house and the office, but no telephone or cellphone reception. There is a small shop which can provide basics such as washing up liquid and canned goods (and functions as the post office), however the nearest food store is over 1 hour away on a gravel road. The accommodation is comfortable, with drinking water from the tap, hot showers and electricity.
Langkloof: There is cellphone reception throughout the area. The house has Wi-Fi, electricity, bath facilities (no shower) and a washing machine for laundry. Drinking water is obtained by capturing rainwater on-site as water from the tap is not potable.
The house is 5km away from the nearest supermarket, however a small cafe which also serves as a post office is walking distance from the office. Our address for sending and receiving parcels is PO Box 58, Twee Riviere 6411, South Africa. In addition, Joubertina boasts two restaurants and a bar which are mostly visited by the locals.
Cape Town Catchments: This is the least remote of the landscapes. The office and student house are in a small town with a variety of shops and amenities within walking distance. The region has cell phone reception.
In all cases, whilst Wi-Fi is available in the houses, beware that the speed is limited/poor. We suggest bringing along alternative entertainment such as your favourite books, games or movies on a harddrive.
What about wild animals?
You may on occasion come across large spiders, snakes, frogs, bats, lizards and baboons in or around the student houses. We advise keeping windows and doors closed especially when leaving your accommodation.
Please note, a staff member in the Langkloof location has three dogs who regularly frequent the house.
What language is spoken in these landscapes?
For all three landscapes the predominant language is Afrikaans. The Living Lands team is generally bi-lingual and English is for the most part understood. However, the majority of locals prefer to speak Afrikaans.
What about crime?
Crime is an unfortunate part of life in South Africa. The areas in which we work generally have lower crime rates than the larger cities however, you still need to always exercise a a degree of vigilance, for instance houses and offices should be locked up at all times and you try to be sensitive about flashing expensive or valuable belongings.
Take the same precautions that you would anywhere else in the world. Avoid travelling alone and off the beaten track, never walk around after dark and heed local advice on where it is safe and where it is not safe.
How flexible are the dates of the internship?
The minimum period for internships is 3 months. The date of arrival is dependent on space in the house as well as landscape commitments. Subsequently, arrival dates will be discussed during your interview and an exact date for your pickup transportation to the landscape will be mutually agreed.
What are the policies on intellectual property?
Every intern agrees to share any data collected during his/her stay with Living Lands, for future research. Living Lands agrees not to publish any findings without consent from the intern. Should data sharing bring up challenges, please revert to the Data Sharing Contract.
Travel & Vaccinations
How do I book internal flights and buses between cities?
Internal South African flights are available from:
Bus tickets can be booked through:
- http://www.computicket.com (under Travel > Bus)
Please note that tickets will need to be picked up from a Checkers or Shoprite supermarket.
We recommend travelling with either Intercape, Translux or Greyhound companies. (Tickets can be booked directly on the Intercape website.)
As well as that, the
BazBus is a great way to travel as a tourist:
Can I rent my own vehicle?
Students are free to rent their own vehicle to explore nearby attractions whilst at their landscape. Please note that is not an option for the remote location of Baviaanskloof, however, our other landscapes offer places of interest in close proximity to the projects. Your mentor is able to advise what options are available upon arrival to the location.
What vaccinations do I need to get?
The usual recommended injections are Hepatitis A & B and Tetanus. A tuberculosis vaccine is only partially effective, with that said we suggest consulting your travel doctor to best advise whether it is necessary. If you are travelling through Kenya, a Yellow Fever vaccine will be required to enter South Africa.
There is no malaria in the Eastern Cape or Western Cape. However, further north in South Africa, especially during the summer, malaria can occur. We advise you investigate your options if you wish to travel.
We recommend you plan your holiday before you arrive in South Africa. That way you and your vaccination clinic can thoroughly plan and advise what injections you should get when travelling through specific areas.
Can I book a holiday during or after my internship?
Many students plan a holiday during their time in South Africa. This is something that we actively encourage provided that your internship planning is up to date and you have allowed sufficient time for travel.
Please note that if you take a break during your internship period there will be no deduction of those dates from your normal monthly fee. If you are concerned with expenses, we suggest planning a holiday prior to or after your project enrolment.
Packing & Accommodation
What should I pack?
Before packing, please keep in mind that houses in South Africa are not insulated, nor do they have air-conditioning or (central) heating.
We recommend packing:
Winter (May – Sept): Pack warm thermal layers – The temperature drops to about 5 degrees Celsius from 17:00 - 10:00 the next morning. As the houses are not insulated, nor do they have heating, you need layers and a jacket to keep you warm. Slippers, hats and gloves are also recommended to combat the cold.
If you intend on travelling, consider packing a sleeping bag and travel gear. However,
bedding is provided in each student house as well as a limited number of towels.
Sturdy shoes or hiking boots
Outdoor clothes that can handle dust and can protect you against the sun
Trousers, shorts, t-shirts, jerseys (sweaters)
A durable jacket
A sun hat
Sunscreen, mosquito repellent (all landscapes are free of malaria but mosquitos are common)
A small medical kit with pain killers, plasters and ear plugs
Your laptop, USB/harddrive with movies or entertainment. (Internet bandwidth is limited, so make sure you have a playlist of music and films downloaded on your laptop before your arrival)
Books, playing cards, games
What are the house rules and set up?
Since each student house is shared by students and even some colleagues, we like to keep it a comfortable living space for everyone. Please note that we have some basic house rules. Students repeatedly disobeying the house rules will be asked to leave after two formal warnings.
Each house has a cleaner who comes in once a week for general house cleaning (not your dishes or your clothes). This is included in the monthly accommodation fee.
Food storage: There is space for your food in the fridge and cupboards. Please keep this space as neat as possible and keep containers closed to avoid luring ants and other insects into the kitchen.
Cutlery and crockery: We provide the utensils needed to cook and eat with.
Microwave, oven and stove top: Please clean up after cooking, especially the inside of the microwave and oven.
Please note that sleeping rooms are shared, however, the rooms are not mixed between male and female students. We ask that you please make your bed every morning.
There is sufficient storage for your clothes and belongings in the closet. We ask you to keep the floor clear to enable the cleaner to access the area properly.
Outside and Braai (Barbeque) Area
The couch, table and chairs are available for your comfort and for relaxation time.
This space is to be used for braaing, exercising, sunbathing, etc.
Before putting on loud music please be considerate and ask your cohabitants if they are alright with the noise
Waste removal services are not available and therefore is carefully managed internally
What living costs should I expect?
The accommodation fee does not include food. The amount spent on food is dependant on your needs and taste.
For R2,500 a month, you’ll have plenty of food (that is about €170 or $190). When eating out, you can get a good meal, including drinks for R150, which is around €10 euros or $9. Please be advised that food is slightly more expensive in remote areas due to transportation costs.
What other accommodation options are there?
It is always an option to organise alternative accommodation instead of the provided student houses. For instance, this is advised if you prefer not to live with other students, your supervisor is arriving or your parents/partner are paying a visit. Living Lands can suggest places to help you arrange this, but the expenses will be your responsibility.