Volunteer in South Africa - Cape TownInternational volunteers coming to South Africa can make a real difference here because there is so much to do. From working with children, teaching and taking care of them, to helping conserve the wildlife, there are endless volunteer opportunities in South Africa.
Ranking amongst one of the must visit destinations of the world, South Africa is as enticing in the work it offers as it is in its scenic beauty. International volunteers coming through Volunteering Solutions get a chance to volunteer in a Surf project with disadvantaged children in Cape Town. In Cape Town alone our volunteers get a chance to be part of childcare and social welfare projects, sports development programs, teaching projects and healthcare programs. For our weekend travelers, looking for an extra adventure, weekends can be spent taking safaris and visiting some fantastic beaches in the world.
South Africa Facts
- Location Cape Town
- Arrival airport Cape Town International Airport (CPT)
- Currency South African Rand (ZAR)
- Population 51.19 Million
- Language Afrikaans & English
- Time Zone UTC + 02:00
What our Volunteers say
I really enjoyed working at my project placement. It was a great experience for me and for the school as well. The staffs at the school appreciated my effort in playing sports with the children and helping them.
Tin Chi (Tammie) Chow (New Zealand)
I enjoyed working at my placement. The staff was very welcoming, they wanted to hear about where I was from, they involved me as much as possible.
Jennifer Rojek (USA)
I worked with kids aged between 8 months to 2-5 years old. I used to provide them love and care which they would be missing. I am very happy to have chosen this program.
Verena Sladek (Germany)
I did enjoy my project. Itâ€™s always important to make friends with children that went through a lot in their past and to share the time and great emotions with them.
Emilia Florko (Poland)
The staff was very helpful. I wrote a few times asking about donations and they responded very quickly and very details. :) I definitely feel my time was appreciated and my experience worthwhile. I am a teacher back home so I felt that I collaborated with the teacher and worked together as a team ...Read more
Bridget Russo (USA)
I loved my program placement very much. I loved the kids and it was really hard to say goodbye. I loved my work, the teaching in other countries is awesome and playing soccer with them makes the kids feel so important. I got a lot of positive feedbacks from the teachers and the principals and I fe ...Read more
Simone Coenen (Germany)
Volunteer Programs in Cape Town, South Africa
In South Africa, Volunteering Solutions has exciting volunteering and travel opportunities in Cape Town. VolSol volunteers have the choice to work for children, to help conserve the country's majestic wildlife and do a lot more. Read and find out more about the volunteering opportunities in South Africa.
Cape Town - South Africa
- • Volunteers must be 18 years or older at the time of joining the project.
- • Volunteers joining the medical volunteer project must be either Pre Medical, Medical or Nursing students or possess other qualifications related to medical and nursing field such as CNA or EMT. Medical professionals such as doctors and nurses are also welcome to join the program as well.
- • Need to have an open mind and flexible attitude for working in a new and different environment.
- • The volunteer should bring energy and enthusiasm to make a difference.
- • Clean Criminal Background Check Report for participants joining Childcare and Teaching Projects.
- • Must be in good health.
For more details visit the FAQ section of our website
Volunteers work alongside the teachers and also occasionally teach a class on their own with no supervision. You DO NOT need to be a qualified teacher to join this program. Volunteers can get involved in teaching English, Maths, Geography as well as sports programs in the school.
As a volunteer in this project, you will get an opportunity to make a difference in the school you will work in by getting involved in their day to day activities, giving love and attention to the children and assisting the teachers in their work. Volunteers need to note that this project is closed during school holidays. Please refer to the Program Arrival/Start Dates given below.
Please note that during exam times (which is usually two weeks before school closes for holidays) your working hours may be less due to learners writing their examinations.
Childcare & Social Welfare Program
Volunteer duties vary and generally involve feeding, clothing and playing with the children, assisting children with homework, meal preparation and assistance in general activities at the project. All volunteers usually work alongside local staff or supervisor at the project and plan different activities with the children as well. You can involve the children in art, craft, dance and drama activities.
All the Social Welfare and childcare projects are keen to have volunteers so that they can bring in new ides and also help the overburdened staff.
All the projects are located in Cape Town's townships and suburban areas which are socially disadvantaged areas of Cape Town.
The project is recommended for both short term and long term volunteers. Short term volunteers gain an insight into the local culture along with providing the much needed help at the projects, volunteers for longer period are able to make a greater impact on the community and the project they work in.
Various awareness and support programs are also offered at the clinics. Some of these include HIV / AIDS awareness, special child care and health living (nutrition) as day-to-day medical care. Counseling services are also offered at these centres.Medical staff at the include Nursing, Doctors, Social Workers and councilors etc.
Volunteer Duties and Activities at the Project
If you have experience in the medical or health profession you might do tasks and activities which include the following but kindly note that your task and duty summary sheet may change upon arrival at your project.
- Wound dressing under direct supervision of nursing staff.
- Blood pressure, pulse and temperature measurements (if competent).
- Assist patients with activities such as getting them from one service point to another.
- Weighing patients, holding babies/adults to be weighed.
- General assistance of medical staff where required and where experience and expertise allow
You could also concentrate on other areas within the clinic if you are not comfortable with the above tasks. Focus on special awareness and information programs. Counseling sessions and programs are also offered and you can observe and get some exposure in this area. This is a very challenging environment but would offer you the
opportunity to assist in various areas within the clinic. It is important that you first need to acquaint yourself with the environment and assist wherever help is required.
It is important that you are flexible as this is very important. Also keep in mind that some of these centres are understaffed and might seem chaotic at times. Busy times will vary and you should be willing to adapt in these instances. Volunteers are also expected and encouraged to also use their initiative at the project.
Sports Development Program
Our Sports Development program runs in conjunction with our Primary Schools, hence Volunteers will be placed at local public/government Schools. As physical education has only been introduced in the Schooling system as of this year, majority of the Schools will not have equipment in place to conduct a Sports Program and volunteers are therefore requested to be flexible and use their initiative on this program. Furthermore, volunteers will only have 1-3 periods of Physical Education per day, i.e approximately 1-2 hours only(depending on allocated Sports period per class), and the rest of the day they will be required to assist the Teachers in the classroom with lessons etc. This can of course vary depending on the activities planned for the day, or the volunteer’s creativity and initiative to conduct their own Physical Education lessons with the children.
These projects aim to keep the children and youth busy which would help them in their overall development as well as keep them occupied. The structure and facilities at the Schools vary depending on the locations. Some projects are very well structured while others lack basic resources and infrastructure. Volunteers are therefore required to use their initiative at the Sports Projects. Volunteers working in the Sport Development Program work for around 4-6 hours in a day from Monday – Friday, and have to be aware that this project may involve assisting the Teacher in the classroom as well and not a full day of Sports. This can vary depending on the specific activities planned.
Surf Program - Disadvantaged Children
Volunteer activities include giving surfing and swimming lessons to the children who are mainly in the age group of 6 to 14 years old. The children also take part in other activities such as sand boarding and hiking. Volunteers are also given surfing lessons so that they can help in teaching surfing to the children. By working with disadvantaged children, you will bring them lots of happiness and also develop in them an interest for this great sport.
The children taking part in the program come from township areas, where they do not have any access to good sports clubs or facilities. The project is run during after school hours for 3 - 5 days a week. During the morning hours, volunteers can participate in other activities of the club, in education projects in schools or in learning to surf. Volunteers also need to work on some Saturdays as well as it is a day off for the children and there are many activities to do.
2 Weeks Special Program 2014-2015
Volunteers have the option to either work in the Childcare/Social Welfare Project OR Teaching Volunteer Project on the weekdays and get an opportunity to explore Cape Town and the surrounding areas on a two day weekend tour.
Weekend Trip - 2 Day WESTERN CAPE WOW TourExplore the winding roads from Stellenbosch to Hermanus and beyond -set against a backdrop of awe-inspiring scenic wonders, blessed with abundant wildlife and pristine sandy beaches.
Experience the creative vibe of informal settlements, the grand elegance of our wine farms and learn about the proud cultures and traditions of our diverse people. Orientate and familiarize yourself with the Western Cape's hotspots and even visit a few local secrets along the way.
2 Day Tour Map - Cape Town , South AfricaDAY 1 > CAPE TOWN > STELLENBOSCH > HERMANUS*
- KAYAMANDI TOWNSHIP - A guided walking township tour
- WINE & CHEESE TASTING in the Winelands
- FRANSCHHOEK - Lunch stop
- OVERNIGHT IN HERMANUS *some weekends overnight in Cape Agulhas
DAY 2 > HERMANUS*> CAPE TOWN
- Choose how you want to spend your morning: Relax in Hermanus, or choose between shark cage diving in Gansbaai or visit Cape Agulhas.
- HERMANUS -Spectacular land-based whale watching spot. (Whale season Jun-Nov)
- SHARK CAGE DIVING - (Optional with extra cost) The brave at heart rise early to go cage diving with the Great White sharks
- CAPE AGULHAS VISIT (Optional with extra cost) - Travel to the southern tip of Africa.
- BETTY'S BAY - Get close to a colony of over 5000 African penguins in their natural habitat.
- CLARENCE DRIVE - Take the scenic route to arrive back in Cape Town late afternoon.
Things to Bring
- Comfortable/ walking shoes
- Sunscreen & hat
- DOOR-2-DOOR transfers
- Pick-up from, and Drop-off at your accommodation in Cape Town.
- Guided township culture tour
- Wine and cheese tastings
- Penguin-visit entry fee
- Friendly local driver-guide
- Transport to tour's hotspots - with licensed and insured vehicle(s)
- Accommodation for 1 night - as per package selected
- Breakfast included in GUESTHOUSE & HOTEL Accommodation Packages
- Meals and drinks
- Personal insurance
- Optional extras available: Shark cage diving -OR- Cape Agulhas trip
Start Date / Arrival Dates
All program in Cape Town have different start dates, please see the relevant tables below for your choice of program. Volunteers need to book their flights to arrive on the dates below.
South Africa Childcare, Surfing & Healthcare Program Dates
|2014||22, 29||06, 13, 20, 27||03, 10, 17, 24||07, 14, 21||05, 12, 19||02, 16|
|2015||18, 25||01, 15||01, 15, 29||12, 19||03, 17, 31||07, 14, 21, 28||05, 12, 19, 26||02, 16, 23, 30||06, 13, 20||04, 18||01, 15|
South Africa Sports Development & Teaching Program Dates
|2014||20, 27||03, 10, 17, 24||07||12, 19||02|
|2015||18, 25||01, 15||01||12, 19||03, 17, 31||19, 26||02, 16, 23, 30||06||18||01|
Cape Town Program Cost
Volunteering Solutions strives hard to keep costs low and offers one of the most affordable volunteer abroad programs. Compare our prices and services to other organizations and you would be surprised to see the difference.
|No. of weeks||
2 Week Special Program Cost
Healthcare Medial Program Cost
Surfing Program Cost
Teaching, Childcare and Sports Development Cost
|No. of weeks||
2 Week Special Program Cost
Healthcare Medial Program Cost
Surfing Program Cost
Teaching, Childcare and Sports Development Cost
|No. of weeks||
2 Week Special Program Cost
Healthcare Medial Program Cost
Surfing Program Cost
Teaching, Childcare and Sports Development Cost
What are you Paying For?
- 24 hrs Assistance and support from Staff
- Comprehensive Pre- Departure Information
- Airport Pickup from Cape Town International Airport
- Accommodation in Volunteer house or host family
- Travel & Medical Insurance (Available at an extra cost)
What's NOT Included?
- Visa Fee
- Return Airport Drop(Can be arranged at extra cost)
- Local Transportation
Living and Other Arrangements
Volunteering Solutions makes great efforts to provide best of living standards to its volunteers. In Cape Town, our international volunteers are picked up from the airport and put in volunteer houses or with host families, equipped with all modern amenities. We also make sure that we help our volunteers with their local requirements, sightseeing or weekend tours.
Airport Receive/ TransferVolunteers are picked up from the Cape Town International Airport by the local coordinator or representative. Those volunteers who are arriving overland or are already in South Africa will be picked up from a meeting point decided beforehand.
OrientationA half day orientation will be provided by the local staff on the program start date. The orientation would cover topics such as introduction to the program,General information about South Africa,Safety Tips / Guidelines,customs,health guidelines, communities, projects, host families, support services, travel and tours.The volunteers also receives a City Tour which is a 2 hour walk around the City Centre.
Volunteering Solutions arranges accommodation for volunteers in a Volunteer house or in home stays in local communities. The Volunteer House is a dormitory-style volunteer hostel situated in Sea Point, a beautiful suburb of Cape Town that is located a stone-throw away from the city centre. This hostel is perfectly situated close to shops, restaurants, public transport, and some of the best beaches in the world! The area is also very safe.
Living in the hostel is a “once-in-a-lifetime experience” because you will meet and live with more than 20 other volunteers from all over the globe. It’s a great opportunity to make lifelong friends and learn about different cultures. Each day you will travel to your project, usually by mini-bus taxi which is a very cheap, efficient way to travel in Cape Town and is also very fun! After you finish your project for the day you usually spend your evenings doing different activities with the other volunteers in the house like movie nights in the lounge or having a braai which is a South African barbeque.
As mentioned before, accommodation is set up in typical backpacker-style, with rooms sleeping 4-8 people per room. 2 meals are provided on weekdays (Monday- Friday) – a breakfast consisting of eggs, cereals, fruit, toast, tea/coffee, etc. and dinner at a contracted restaurant located within 5 minute walk from the house, where a set, wholesome meal is provided to each volunteer on a daily basis.
When staying with a host family while volunteering in South Africa you will live in one of the local communities of Cape Town. There you will experience life in a South African family and it will be a great cultural experience. You will be fed 3 meals a day, prepared by your host. Breakfast before your project, a packed lunch to take with you and a delicious home cooked meal for dinner. You will travel a short distance to your project in the morning and in the evenings you will spend time bonding with your host family. On the weekends you can either spend your leisure time with your host family or book yourself into a backpacker in town to explore the city centre during the day and experience Cape Town night life.
MealsVolunteers are provided with all meals for 7 days at home stay and meals from Monday to Friday at volunteers house. If you have any special dietary needs, please inform us in advance. Breakfast and dinner are taken at the accommodations while lunch is usually packed for taking to the project. Please note that no meals are provided on the day of arrival and during the day of orientation.
Frequently asked questions
Application and Program Details
Volunteers are requested to apply as soon as possible after you have made your decision regarding choice of project and dates in Cape Town as it is a very popular project destination and we receive high volume of requests. The earlier you apply, the better it is, as you would get more time to be prepared for your program in Cape Town, South Africa and complete the necessary documentation, visa formalities as well as take the vaccinations in time.
How long does it take to process my application? Will my application be accepted?
Usually it takes around 10 working days for the application to be processed and placement to be confirmed. After the application is accepted, your placement document shall be updated in your account online and you can view the information in your account. The application acceptance depends on the availability of seats in the project as well as the eligibility criteria of the program (age, skills and experience etc.).
Are there any necessary requirements to participate in the Cape Town, South Africa volunteer programs?
Below are the necessary requirements to participate in the Cape Town, South Africa volunteer projects :-
- Volunteers must be 18 years or older at the time of joining the project.
- Volunteers joining the medical volunteer project must be either Pre Medical, Medical or Nursing students or possess other qualifications related to medical and nursing field such as CNA or EMT. Medical professionals such as doctors and nurses are also welcome to join the program as well.
- Need to have an open mind and flexible attitude for working in a new and different environment.
- The volunteer should bring energy and enthusiasm to make a difference.
- Clean Criminal Background Check Report for participants joining Childcare and Teaching Projects.
- Must be in good health.
Can I volunteer as part of a Group?
Yes, you are welcome to take part in South Africa Volunteer Program as part of a group. We welcome group of friends, high school, college/university and corporate groups in the South Africa program.
What are the Program locations in Cape Town, South Africa?
Volunteering Solutions places volunteers in projects in and around Cape Town. The city is located with one of the most stunning backdrops of Table Mountain and is surrounded with some beautiful beaches and countryside. Cape Town is one of the most popular destinations in South Africa and is also very cosmopolitan with people of different religions, race and beliefs living together in the city.
Volunteers in Cape Town work in city as well as as in many different community suburbs such as Grassy Park, Athlone, Philippi, Mitchells Plain and Belville. Projects are located close to city center as well as in suburban areas and townships.
When do I need to arrive in Cape Town, South Africa for my program? What will happen once I arrive in Cape Town?
All volunteers need to arrive at Cape Town International Airport (CPT) on the program start date i.e Sunday. To view the arrival dates for the projects, click here
The assigned driver from a backpacker airport pickup service would be waiting for you with a sign in the arrivals area and you would then be transferred to a hostel accommodation in the city. Orientation takes place on Monday morning.
Flights and Visa
All travelers to South Africa need to have a valid visa.The citizens of most the European (including UK & Ireland), African and South American countries as well as USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand do NOT need to obtain a visa prior to arrival into South Africa and can stay for a period upto 90 days. However, you must have a passport valid for at least 6 months period.
All participants joining the South Africa volunteer projects for more than 90 days, need to apply for volunteer visa at the nearest South African Embassy or Consulate. Along with the visa application, you need to attach the required supporting documents. Volunteers are provided with the necessary supporting document for their South African visa application. More information shall be provided after you become a Volunteering Solutions enrolled participant.
What are the recommended airlines to fly to Cape Town, South Africa ?
Cape Town International Airport (CPT) has direct flight connections from European Middle East, African and some Asian destinations. South African Airways, KLM Dutch Airlines, Qatar Airways, Emirates,British Airways, Lufthansa, Kenya Airways, Condor Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Air France and Singapore Airlines are some of the major airlines that have direct connections to Cape Town.
Health & Safety
Cape Town is a safe city and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Africa.It has been rated as one of the best places to visit in the world by New York Times in 2014 and receives millions of tourists every year. As in any major metropolis around the world, you need to take general precautions for safety. You will be given safety precautions and instructions by the local coordinator team during the orientation as well as in your Pre departure handbook after you become an enrolled participant.
What immunizations/vaccinations will I need?
We recommend you to consult your physician or travel doctor before travelling to South Africa. The government of South Africa requires proof of yellow fever vaccination only if you are arriving from a country with risk of yellow fever.
Generally the following vaccinations are recommended for travellers going to South Africa :-
Yellow Fever ( Required if travelling from a YFV infected country)
Hepatitis A and B
Do I need to buy health insurance?
Yes, for all participants it is mandatory to have a travel medical insurance.Volunteers have the option to purchase Travel and Medical Insurance at a nominal extra cost from Volunteering Solutions. To provide the best option to our participants, we offer comprehensive insurance coverage in collaboration with a leading insurance provider. To view the coverage details, please click here
Accommodation and Living
A member of the local coordinating team will take you to your placement and introduce you to your project after giving you a basic orientation about the program/city/culture etc. You will be told about the directions to the project from your accommodation and the mode of transport you can use.
I want to know more about accommodation and food arrangements?
Volunteers in Cape Town are provided accommodation in a volunteer house/ hostel or in home stays in suburbs and communities. The volunteer house is centrally located close to the city center as well as to many cafe's, restaurants and deli's. Living in the volunteer hostel is a great opportunity to meet other likeminded volunteers from around the world. Volunteers staying in the hostel get 2 meals a day ( Breakfast and dinner) from Monday - Friday.
If staying with a host family while volunteering in South Africa you will live in one of the local communities of Cape Town. There you will experience life in a South African family and it will be a great cultural experience. You will be fed 3 meals a day, prepared by your host. Breakfast before your project, a packed lunch to take with you and a delicious home cooked meal for dinner.
Can vegetarians be accommodated?
Yes, however you must inform us in advance and also mention about any dietary requirement in your application form.
Would I have free time during my program? Can I do sightseeing during my program?
Volunteers typically work for around 5-6 hours in a day. Depending on the workload every day, working hours can vary. Evenings are free for the volunteers and volunteers usually get together and go out for social gatherings, eat out or just relax at the volunteer house. Weekends are free for the volunteers and you can go for short weekend trips.There is also lot to do in Cape Town and you will never experience a dull moment in the city. On the weekends you can explore the city and go to different places such as Bo Kaap, Robben Island, climb the Table Mountain or just relax at one of the the beautiful beaches in the city.You can also take the Western Cape tour and explore the beautiful winelands.
Are there more expenses once I arrive in South Africa?
Your program fee covers you for Airport Pickup , Accommodation, Food and In country Support.
You will need to cover yourself for your personal expenses, such as local transport, telephone, internet, shopping, weekend trips etc. However, you should carry around $70-80 per week for your basic personal expenses. This amount can vary and you would need a higher amount if you go on weekend sightseeing tours.
For how many hours do I have to volunteer in a day?
Volunteers usually work for 5 to 6 hours a day depending on their program. You will have weekend off so you can go to travel on weekends. However, volunteers need to be flexible, open minded and understand that work requirements can change as well on certain occasions.
Where can I change my money in Cape Town ? Are there ATM's in Cape Town?
On arrival in Cape Town, you can change your foreign currency to get South African Rands (ZAR). Cape Town International Airport has a foreign exchange service and you can change your money there. South Africa has a modern banking system and there is abundance of ATM's and foreign exchange outlets in the city.
Connect with Past Volunteers
How can I connect with past Volunteering Solutions South Africa alumni as well as other former and current volunteers?
We encourage volunteers to get in touch with former Volunteering Solutions South Africa program participants and also other program participants joining our projects. You are recommended to join the Volunteering Solutions Community Page as well as Volunteering Solutions Facebook Page to meet other participants.
To read alumni interviews from past participants, visit, the Meet a Volunteer section on our website.
Volunteer in South Africa - Cape Town
South Africa - STAFF PROFILE
From the time a volunteer commits to making the trip to South Africa, Roxanne oversees the entire process. She first reviews the original application and profile to determine the best placement to match the volunteers interests, aptitudes, and preferences with corresponding projects and accommodation arrangements. She also checks in with the assistance of the local staff to make sure that the volunteer is situated and is available to advise the volunteer when in the country ...Read more