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Bench unveils new Africa volunteer program

Bench International has launched a new partnership with volunteer expedition operator Camps International, as the Africa specialist marks 45 years in operation.

The agreement will see Bench become the London-based firm’s exclusive Australian partner, adding volunteer programs between two weeks and three months to its range.

The wide selection of projects in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda will allow people to become involved in the community and responds to rising demand in Australia for these types of trips, according to Bench general manager Martin Edwards.

“To this day we haven’t been able to offer that type of trip,” he said at the program’s Sydney launch. But with the new partnership, Bench is finally able to tap into this market.

“We are going to be working very closely with our brand new partner, Camps International… an extremely established volunteering company with similar values to Bench.”

Although 45 years ago, Bench founder Charles Bench was one of the first people to start offering African adventures, the landscape has become much more competitive with Africa increasingly popular in the Australian marketplace.

“We have to identify what is the difference between someone booking elsewhere and booking with Bench,” Edwards said.

“We’ve always known that our client would be looked after by Africa when they’re on safari. What we’ve tried to really improve and enhance over the last five years are the way in which we get those passengers to Africa through the passionate reservation team that we have.”

The company is also focusing on a number of other initiatives such as a 24 hour emergency hotline and its new and “constantly updated” website.

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