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Volunteer OverseasVolunteer Overseas

Volunteer and Intern in South Africa

  • Location: Cape Town, Wild at Tuli
  • Accommodation: Host families
  • Local languages: English, Xhosa, Afrikaans
Country Info

South Africa, a country twice the size of Texas, has developed rapidly since their first democratic election in 1994, but there is still a great deal of work that needs to be done in disadvantaged communities. As a volunteer with Projects Abroad, you can work on worthwhile projects and help others, whether you are on a university summer break, gap year, career break, or volunteer vacation.

Most major South African cities, including Cape Town, are highly developed and the country has a thriving tourism industry. However, unemployment levels are high and the gap between the rich and poor is wide. Poor township communities struggle with social problems such as alcoholism and domestic violence. The work of volunteers is crucial to making a difference in these communities, and Projects Abroad focuses on sustainable projects that will promote change long-term.

With eleven national languages and a variety of religions, South Africa truly is the “Rainbow Nation”. Thought to be the birthplace of mankind, South Africa historically attracted Europeans as a gateway to Africa. At the start of the 21st century, South Africa is leading the way in African development, and is seen as an inspiration to other countries.

Where You Will Live in South Africa with Projects Abroad

A Care placement receives a fresh coat of paint from volunteers in honor of Mandela Day.

Projects Abroad South Africa is based in the cosmopolitan city of Cape Town, located in the heart of the Western Cape. From its beginnings as the first European outpost at the Castle of Good Hope, Cape Town has grown into the second largest city in South Africa.

Volunteers work within Cape Town in the townships of Lavender Hill and Vrygrond and in smaller outlying suburbs, such as Grassy Park. Volunteers can teach English and many other subjects in schools, and help care for young children in care centres called crèches. There are also options to join a practical building project within the impoverished townships or teach sports to underprivileged youth. Those wanting to gain meaningful work experience in South Africa can choose from a range of innovative internship projects, including Journalism, Law & Human Rights, and Animal Care.

By living and working in these communities you'll start to understand the complexities of South Africa's past and present, and help to give the younger generation the tools they need for the future.

We also have a Conservation & Environment project based on the Botswana side of the Limpopo river border with South Africa, though as a volunteer you may also spend some time in South African nature reserves. Your time will be split between collecting scientific data and creating species lists, hands-on work doing tree wrapping, maintenance of water holes and building bird hides, and learning new skills such as animal tracking and GPS mapping.

Travel and Sightseeing Opportunities in South Africa

Volunteer in Cape Town, South Africa

Living in Cape Town is the perfect base for the huge variety of surrounding attractions. The famous Table Mountain, with its unique species of plants and animals, forms the dramatic backdrop to the city. World-class vineyards, stunning beaches with multiple surf spots, and the trendy establishments at the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront are all within the city limits.

Inside the city lives a population with a hugely varied demographic in terms of race, religion, language, wealth, and interest. Whatever your favourite sport, hobby, taste in music, or preferred choice of dinner you’ll find it in Cape Town, where the cultural calendar overflows with events to suit every taste.

In terms of travel after your placement, South Africa’s attractions will spoil you. With mountains in the east and centre of South Africa, you could be climbing or skiing one day and on the beaches in Durban the next. South Africa is the home of adventure travel, boasting the highest bungee jump in the world. The game reserves where you can view the Big Five are also an essential part of the South African experience. Combine these activities with beautiful beaches and traditional sunsets after a safari and you're in for either a thrilling or a relaxing time. The choice is yours.

Projects for All Ages in South Africa

High School Specials for Teens in South Africa

Grown-up Specials for ages 50+ in South Africa

Projects for professionals available in South Africa

Most recent blogs from South Africa

Long Journey

Hi Readers! Sorry that this must be short but I have an early morning tomorrow reporting for my first official work day. Today I had my orientation which went well. I was shown how to get to my project (much more on this later).  The journey here was long (32 hours plus a loss of 8 hours with the ...

Almost Lift Off!

Yikes! How can it be only seven days till I leave. I hope I am ready for this huge adventure. However, what I really hope is that I am able to make some type of difference in my time with the children & the community.

Sooner Than Expected

Well it looks like I will be leaving sooner than I thought. At the end of this month. I cannot believe how quickly it has come. I am getting a bit nervous now but will forge ahead. 

Mijn reis naar Zuid-Afrika

Zondag 8 november 2015 Morgen is het zover, de koffers zijn gepakt Ik kijk uit naar het avontuur en vind het ook spannend. Dinsdag 10 november 2015  Kort telegram stijl, omdat het me niet echt lukt om de blog te schrijven. Heb al 2 x pogingen gedaan, maar het is steeds weer weg, ook als ik het ...

Upcoming Trip

    Yikes! Only about 7 weeks until I leave and I desperately need to fundraise some money quickly. Any ideas from others for easy & quick ways to make money? I've read the fundraising brochure, however most of the ideas either do not make enough money or involve too many helpers which I unfortunately ...

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