Volunteering South Africa! Go Volunteer Africa, the leading and largest volunteer travel organization welcomes you to South Africa. South Africa is a country on the southernmost tip of the African continent, marked by several distinct ecosystems.
Inland safari destination Kruger National Park is populated by big game. The Western Cape offers beaches, lush winelands around Stellenbosch and Paarl, craggy cliffs at the Cape of Good Hope, forest and lagoons along the Garden Route, and the city of Cape Town, beneath flat-topped Table Mountain.
Volunteering South Africa participants work with Go Volunteer Africa’s local teams that support marginalized groups and promote social justice and economic development. These South Africa volunteer projects provide an unparalleled opportunity for volunteers to make a difference and help communities in South Africa realize their full potential.
VOLUNTEERING SOUTH AFRICA PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS
- Take up a medical care job
- Work with our arts and music project
- Get involved in our wildlife & environment conservation project
SOUTH AFRICA FAST FACTS
South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over 60 million people, the country is the world’s 23rd-most populous nation and covers an area of 1,221,037 square kilometers (471,445 square miles). South Africa has three capital cities, with the executive, judicial and legislative branches of government based in Pretoria, Bloemfontein and Cape Town respectively. The largest city is Johannesburg.
South Africa is bounded to the south by 2,798 kilometers (1,739 mi) of coastline that stretch along the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans; to the north by the neighboring countries of Namibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe and to the east and northeast by Mozambique and Eswatini and it surrounds the enclaved country of Lesotho.
South Africa is an upper-middle power in international affairs; it maintains significant regional influence and is a member of both the Commonwealth of Nations and G20. South Africa also has the most UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Africa. Since the end of apartheid, government accountability and quality of life have substantially improved in South Africa. However, crime, poverty and inequality remain widespread, with about a quarter of the population unemployed and living on less than US$1.25 a day.
PEOPLE & CULTURE
About 81% of the population are Black South Africans. The remaining population consists of Africa’s largest communities of European (White South Africans), Asian (Indian South Africans and Chinese South Africans), and Multiracial (Colored South Africans) ancestry.
South Africa is a multiethnic society encompassing a wide variety of cultures, languages, and religions. Its pluralistic makeup is reflected in the constitution’s recognition of 11 official languages, the fourth-highest number in the world. The two most spoken first languages are Zulu (22.7%) and Xhosa (16.0%).
The two next ones are of European origin: Afrikaans (13.5%) developed from Dutch and serves as the first language of most Colored and White South Africans; English (9.6%) reflects the legacy of British colonialism, and is commonly used in public and commercial life. The country is one of the few in Africa never to have had a coup d’état, and regular elections have been held for almost a century. However, the vast majority of black South Africans were not enfranchised until 1994.
During the 20th century, the black majority sought to claim more rights from the dominant white minority, which played a large role in the country’s recent history and politics. The National Party imposed apartheid in 1948, institutionalizing previous racial segregation. After a long and sometimes violent struggle by the African National Congress (ANC) and other anti-apartheid activists both inside and outside the country, the repeal of discriminatory laws began in the mid-1980s.
Since 1994, all ethnic and linguistic groups have held political representation in the country’s liberal democracy, which comprises a parliamentary republic and nine provinces. South Africa is often referred to as the “rainbow nation” to describe the country’s multicultural diversity, especially in the wake of apartheid.
GEOGRAPHY & NATURE
Most of South Africa’s landscape is made up of high, flat areas called plateaus. These lands are covered with rolling grasslands, called Highveld, and tree-dotted plains called bushveld. To the east, south, and west of the plateau lands is a mountainous region called the Great Escarpment. The eastern range, called the Drakensberg, or Dragon’s Mountain, is filled with jagged peaks, some more than 11,400 feet (3,475 meters) high.
Interestingly, South Africa has another country within its borders. Nestled in the Drakensberg is the mountainous kingdom of Lesotho. Much of South Africa’s water comes from the snowcapped peaks of this tiny, landlocked nation. None of the country’s rivers are commercially navigable and most river mouths are unsuitable as harbours because large sandbanks block entry for most of the year.
South Africa has no significant natural lakes. Artificial lakes are used mostly for crop irrigation. The Orange River is South Africa’s largest river. Rising in the Drakensberg Mountains, it traverses through the Lesotho Highlands and joins the Caledon River between the Eastern Cape and the Free State before it empties into the Atlantic Ocean, it forms the border with Namibia. Other major rivers include the Vaal, Breede, Komati, Lepelle (previously Olifants), Tugela, Umzimvubu, Limpopo and Molopo.
VOLUNTEERING SOUTH AFRICA OPPORTUNITIES
Go Volunteer Africa offers a number of volunteering South Africa opportunities which gives you a chance as volunteer to make a difference through a wide variety of projects while exploring this beautiful and diverse country! Volunteering South Africa projects range from Wildlife and Marine Conservation to Social Care and Community Healthcare.
Volunteering South Africa – Wildlife Conservation Project: As a wildlife conservation volunteer, you will get involved in many interesting activities and make a difference to wildlife conservation while enjoying the spectacular wildlife environment. Volunteers give a helping hand in the daily ecological field work accompanying field guides to collect data for research projects, maintaining camera traps, photograph wildlife for identikits, game transects to determine habitat utilization and conduct surveys for long term ecological monitoring. Participants also assist with game reserve management tasks! There is a lot of work to do in the wild!
The Go Volunteer Africa’s wildlife conservation project is an exciting opportunity for volunteers to assist at Kruger – a reserve home diverse wildlife and scores of lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos and buffalo. Volunteers will gain conservation experience and knowledge while being immersed in life on the reserve, enjoying the spectacular natural environment and making a meaningful contribution to its long-term sustainability and success.
Volunteering South Africa – Community Healthcare Project: This a great project for pre-health student (pre med, pre dental, pre veterinarian) or aspiring medical professional looking to enhance your skill set and/or gain experience in another community in Africa. You will be working in a local community hospital and medical outreach camps taking part in the effort to bring healthcare to people who usually don’t have the regular opportunity to see a doctor or other healthcare provider.
Volunteering South Africa – Arts, Music, Sports and Social Care Project: There are a diverse and exciting range of opportunities for people looking to become a volunteer working within this program area. There are many activities for those volunteers interested in this field of social work, including working in local schools, youth clubs, agriculture projects, hospitals as non medical volunteers, arts and music clubs.
PROJECT LOCATION & SAFETY
Cape Town: is a port city on South Africa’s southwest coast, on a peninsula beneath the imposing Table Mountain. Slowly rotating cable cars climb to the mountain’s flat top, from which there are sweeping views of the city, the busy harbor and boats heading for Robben Island, the notorious prison that once held Nelson Mandela, which is now a living museum.
Kruger National Park: is one of the largest game reserves in Africa. It covers an area of 19,623 km2 (7,576 sq mi) in the provinces of Limpopo and Mpumalanga in northeastern South Africa, and extends 360 km (220 mi) from north to south and 65 km (40 mi) from east to west. To the west and south of the Kruger National Park are the two South African provinces of Limpopo and Mpumalanga, respectively. To the north is Zimbabwe, and to the east is Mozambique.
ARRIVAL & AIRPORT PICKUP:
After you have booked and confirmed your placement, please book your flights to arrive at either Cape Town International Airport in Cape Town or OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg or King Shaka International Airport in Durban, this largely depends on your project site. A member of staff from our local partner organization in South Africa will meet you on arrival at the airport and take you to the volunteer guest house which will be your base for volunteering. These airports services numerous international carriers. South Africa has good connections to destinations throughout Europe, the Asia- Pacific region, USA and Africa.
Orientation and Placement will be done the next day. Generally, your volunteer orientation is an overview of the project’s mission, expectations and introduction to the local community and project site.
GROUP VOLUNTEER TRIPS
Get some friends together or organize a group from your school and embark on this incredible adventure! Discounts are offered on any group of 5+ participants on South Africa volunteering program.
LONGTERM VOLUNTEER WORK
Please contact us for more information about our long-term volunteering program in South Africa. We will guide you on the best times of the year, what to pack, and what extra health precautions to keep in mind and all logistics.
Volunteers are provided accommodation in a volunteer house managed by the local coordinating team. Three meals a day (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) are provided to the participants from Monday – Friday. The accommodation is neat and clean. Accommodation is shared amongst volunteers on the ‘same gender sharing’ basis rooms. Wifi internet, warm water is not guaranteed.
The homes are close to useful amenities like banks, ATM’s, currency exchanges, restaurants, cafes and shopping places. All placements are around 10 – 30 minutes from the accommodation. At some point volunteers might be on the move and hence we suggest also bringing a sleeping mat and sleeping bag/pillow for travel and weekends away on adventures. Bathrooms are usually shared. There is a lounge area for relaxing, reading, or watching movies.
For Volunteers Working on Wildlife Conservation: Accommodation is in the wild, in the middle of the Kruger Wildlife reserve. Accommodation is in basic dormitory styled rooms! If you prefer your own room you can opt for a premium room at an additional cost. Let us know! There is an outside dining area with a typical bush as well as a swimming pool! There is electricity in camp and high-speed satellite Wi-Fi in the recreational areas. The camp has a fully equipped kitchen, where participants prepare their own meals (groceries are supplied).
Accommodation at the camp caters to a variety of guest requirements and is well suited for those guests looking for a self-catering bushveld experience. Stay in a rustic camp and experience the African bush on foot, immersing you in the wilderness and bringing you as close to nature as you can get. That is what is on offer for our more adventurous volunteers when they go on a wilderness trail – remoteness, tranquility, peace and seclusion.
Our program is for anyone eighteen years and above who loves service above self and social experiences with people from all over the world. We also accepts volunteers of 16+ years of age if they are in a group with a guardian or supervisor above 25years. Volunteers under 16 years old are only considered when accompanied by a parent/guardian. There isn’t a maximum age limit, though a reasonable fitness level is necessary. Families are encouraged to apply and are welcome!
Visitors to South Africa must obtain a visa from one of the South African diplomatic missions unless they come from one of the visa exempt countries, in which case they get what is called a “Port of Entry Visa”. Visitors who require a visa must apply in person and provide biometric data. All visitors must hold a passport valid for 1 month after departure and with one blank page (two if a visa is required). South African Government announced that an e-Visa system would be introduced in February 2021.
Nationals of the following countries/territories who hold valid national passports are not required to obtain South African visas for visits of up to 90 days: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States of America
You’ll need to buy appropriate travel insurance covering your participation on the program. You won’t be able to go without the right travel insurance so double check to avoid disappointment. Please make sure that you’re covered for the whole duration of your trip – from the day you leave your home to the day you return. Buy here Now
WEEKENDS AND FREE-TIME
Over the weekends or evenings, participants are free to eat out and explore the different delights that South Africa has to offer. We arrange city day tours and long-weekend safaris. No matter what your interests, there is always something for everyone to enjoy!
PROGRAM FEE: (USD$)
Program Fee Excludes:
- Personal Expenses
- Airport Drop off (Can be arranged upon request)
APPLICATION & PLACEMENT BOOKING FEE
Please Note: An application and placement booking fee of $180 is charged over and above the program fee as an application payment to secure your placement.
The fee covers: Administration Costs, Placement Booking & Confirmation, Pre-departure support & documentation, 24-hour international HQ back-up.
HOW TO APPLY
If you are planning to start the program in less than 3 months from now (start within 12 weeks from date of application), Fill Volunteer application form. If you are planning to start program more than 3 months from now (start within 13 weeks and above – up to 24 months) or if you are not very certain of the exact start dates- just reserve your placement by filling volunteer reservation form. or Simply Make an inquiry here