Volunteering in South Africa with Projects Abroad
South Africa is a unique environment in which to spend time volunteering abroad and is a thriving and lively destination for a work experience placement. Projects Abroad is based in the bustling cosmopolitan city of Cape Town, close to the southern tip of the African continent. Projects are available for anyone interested in volunteering in the developing world; whether you are on a gap year, a summer placement, or a career break.
Volunteers are needed to help teach literacy, music and assist local teachers in schools, and to work in crèches and day care centres. There are also options to join a practical building project within the poor townships or work on sports projects with underprivileged youngsters.
Volunteers wanting to gain work experience in South Africa can choose from a range of innovative projects including International Development, Journalism, Law & Human Rights and Animal Care projects.
Where we are Based in South Africa
Most of our projects are based in the townships of Lavender Hill and Vrygrond, and in the smaller outlying suburbs. By living and working in these mixed-race communities, you’ll start to understand the complexities of South Africa’s past and help to give the younger generation the tools they need for the future.
Our Conservation & Environment project is based on the Botswana side of the Limpopo River border with South Africa, though you’ll 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.
General Information on South Africa
Five times the size of Great Britain, South Africa has created a diversity of lifestyles and a diversity of environments, from the lofty Drakensberg Mountain range to the Cape Vineyards.
Thought to be the birthplace of mankind, this land historically attracted Europeans as a gateway to Africa. At the start of the 21st century, South Africa is leading the way in African politics, and is seen as an inspiration to other countries. With eleven national languages, and a variety of religions South Africa truly is the 'Rainbow Nation'.
Travel and tourism in South Africa
Living in Cape Town, the third largest city in South Africa, is the perfect base for the huge variety of surrounding attractions; from the famous Table Mountain with its unique species of plants and animals which forms the dramatic backdrop to the city, to world class vineyards and stunning beaches with multiple surf spots, to the heady mix of trendy establishments at the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, finally stretching on to the foreboding beauty of Cape Point.
Inside the city bowl lives a population with a hugely varied demographic, both in terms of race, religion, language, wealth, and interest. Whatever your sport, your hobby, taste in music, preferred choice of dinner… you’ll find it in Cape Town, whose 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 sundowners after a safari and you're in for either a thrilling or a relaxing time; the choice is yours!
Projects available in South Africa
We have building projects in several township areas of Cape Town. As a volunteer, you will help construct better quality, safe homes and classrooms for children and their families.
Situated in the townships of Cape Town, you will be working in school clubs, care centres, crèches and pre-schools. Volunteers work with children between three and six years old.
Volunteers support riders and instructors, providing the opportunity for therapeutic and recreational horse riding for disabled people in Cape Town, South Africa.
On this exciting placement in Cape Town, volunteers gain valuable work experience in a modern, fully-equipped music studio, learning about all aspects of artist management and music production.
Volunteers in South Africa work on building a community centre in the local township, running activities and sports for children, and assisting with an organic garden and nutrition project.
Volunteer and help us to conserve local wildlife in Southern Africa. Live and work in a game reserve with opportunities to conserve elephants, hyenas, and many other species of plants and animals.
Volunteer in South Africa and work alongside NGOs in Cape Town, focusing on education and tackling issues such as unemployment, crime, domestic violence and alcohol abuse.
Intern at the Cape Chameleon online magazine in Cape Town and get practical experience in digital journalism. Research and write stories, get involved in social media, conduct interviews in the field and more.
Volunteer alongside local staff in Cape Town and gain first-hand experience of human rights law in practice. An average day will involve carrying out research, client consultations and reviewing cases.
Volunteers at this placement will have the opportunity to work closely with a dietician at a clinic in South Africa to assist with weighing children, handing out supplements, helping with administrative tasks and more.
Help develop the sports skills of children in schools in Cape Town, South Africa. As a volunteer, you can coach anything from basketball to football, softball to rugby.
Volunteer and teach children in Cape Town how to surf, while improving your own surfing skills. Surfing has a number of rehabilitative effects, and teaches valuable skills such as teamwork and perseverance.
Volunteer on our Teaching project in South Africa and work with local school children as a teaching assistant. You can also provide one-on-one literacy lessons and music lessons.
Volunteer in the beautiful city of Cape Town and teach children or young adults basic IT skills. Teach students practical computer skills, and explain how to use software programmes and the Internet.
Animal Care Animal Care
Volunteer at a domestic animal centre in Cape Town and work with animals such as dogs and cats. Alternatively, you could work at a seabird rehabilitation centre in Bloubergstrand.
High School Specials for 15 to 18 year olds available in South Africa
Work with children from disadvantaged communities in a local township and learn about South Africa's culture. As a volunteer, you will also help with renovation work to benefit the community.
Volunteer and make a difference in Cape Town, South Africa by helping to build facilities and care centres in local communities and giving children a safe and comfortable place to live and learn.
In Southern Africa, there is a great deal of conservation work for volunteers to get involved in. You can take part in activities such as wrapping trees to prevent damage from elephants, removing alien plants and collecting scientific data about the birds and elephants living in the reserve.
Projects for professionals available in South Africa
On this professional law project, you will be helping defend victims of human rights abuse. As a volunteer, you will be situated in the Projects Abroad Human Rights Office (PAHRO) in Cape Town.
On this voluntary teaching project in South Africa, you will be providing IT lessons to children from disadvantaged backgrounds, enhancing their education and improving their skillsets.
As part of this voluntary teaching project, you will be working alongside local teachers in South Africa, exchanging ideas and skills whilst teaching and observing in the classroom.