Are you looking for an experience you won’t forget? Do you want to volunteer in South Africa?
South Africa is home to Table Mountain and God’s Window, both of which offer stunning views of majestic cliffs, lush ravines, and a large array of fauna and flora.
South Africa is one of the strongest democratic countries and hosts one of the strongest economies.
Sadly, South Africa deals with many racial and social prejudices creating constant conflict and social economic issues. We work with many organizations that help the grassroots communities to attempt to resolve these issues.
As a volunteer in South Africa, you can help with our hands-on, get your hands dirty projects!
We have many extraordinary volunteer opportunities in South Africa that will leave you with unforgettable memories. All of our programs help the communities for positive growth. You can help by volunteering in an orphanage, teaching, or medical health projects. You can choose one based on your interests.
Cape Town is the second largest city in South Africa. There are many residents that do not struggle financially while the others cannot even feed or clothe their children.
South Africa is struggling with poverty, disease, and an abundance of orphaned children. The orphanages are doing their best t provide for these abandoned children however, they do not have the money or staff to provide for so many children.
Our volunteer programs working in the African orphanage, work diligently to help give these children a home, food, clothes, and the love they need.
Experience Needed: Volunteers working in the orphanage in South Africa do not need any experience. We only request that you are patient and compassionate with these neglected and abused children. We also desire our volunteers to be eager to help where needed. Volunteers need a police clearance, be 21 years or older, and commit to at least 2 months.
Volunteer Chores: Orphanage volunteers in South Africa will work with children that have been abused, physically and mentally challenged children and adults, and the safe houses for women and children. Many children are placed in foster families during December, so the orphanage placement is limited.
As a volunteer, you will have a variety of chores from feeding and clothing the children to helping with homework and playing with the children. You may also be asked to help clean and perform basic upkeep of the orphanage.
Cape Town is a fascinating city in South Africa to visit, unfortunately, many children are not getting the schooling they need. The town does not have enough facilities for schools and the ones already there are hugely overcrowded.
Volunteer teaching in South Africa and give these children the education they deserve. Because of you, the class size can be reduced enable teachers to give more focused attention to the students. You can help make school fun and engaging!
Education Required: Prior experience is not required to volunteer teaching. We only ask that you be patient with the smaller children. If teaching primary and secondary levels, a basic understanding of the school structure and challenges they face, is desired.
Tasks for Volunteers: Volunteers teaching in South Africa will work in all levels of the schools. You will be placed based on your abilities.
As a volunteer teaching, you will teach and care for infants through 6-year old. Your hours will be Monday-Friday, 7am to 3pm. Times may vary based on schools and classes. You will help with educational activities and play with the kids.
Teaching volunteers will help with children 6-13 years old. You will work Monday – Friday, 8am -12:30pm. Times can vary based on the school and grade level. You will help with teaching and extracurricular activities. You will work with local teachers, in some cases you will teach your own class.
Volunteers in the secondary levels will work with students ages 14-18. Your hours will be Monday – Friday 8am to 2:30 pm except Fridays, you will end at 12:30 pm. You will assist the teachers, plan fun activities, and possibly teach your own class. If you have experience in other subjects, you may be asked to teach them.
Our medical volunteer opportunities in South Africa are a great way for anyone interested in the medical or health field. It will give you the opportunity to work directly with local doctors and nurses caring for underprivileged people.
This is a wonderful rewarding experience to learn all about the challenges nurses and doctors in South Africa face on a daily basis. This will open your eyes to just how much volunteers are needed to help these unfortunate people.
Required Education: Prior education or experience is not required to volunteer in our medical programs. Our programs are tailored to fit your needs. We will place you where you are most comfortable and can make the most out of your experience. All are welcome, students, professionals, and retirees.
Volunteer Jobs: As a medical volunteer in South Africa, you will be placed in local clinics. Your hours will be Monday-Friday, 7am -4pm. You can also help with HIV/AIDS awareness projects. You can assist with vital signs, help people to different service points, and document patient’s history.
During your volunteer program in South Africa, we will take care of everything. You will stay with a host family that will provide you with 3 meals a day and will be eager to help you learn the culture and traditions. Please note, many homes here do not have running water.
Our local coordinator will be available to you for questions or concerns 24 hours a day during your entire volunteer program.
They are available at all times day or night for your questions or concerns. Our goal is to provide you with an awesome, rewarding time here.
South Africa is the southernmost country in Africa. This multiethnic society has various religions, dialects and, of course, cultures. Volunteering in South Africa is an amazing chance to work with the great African wildlife projects, or help children in orphanages . For people who are looking for an adventure based volunteer travel experience, South Africa is a great option. As well as the magical 'big five' of rhino, buffalo, leopard, elephant and lion in Kruger National Park, there is also the opportunity to dive with great white sharks at Hermanus.
Unfortunately, finding cheap volunteer opportunities in South Africa takes a good deal of effort. There are certainly plenty of organizations offering South Africa volunteer programs on the Internet, and their prices may range from several hundreds to many thousands of dollars. [Plus flight costs, insurance, visa fees etc.] If you make the wrong choice at this stage you risk either paying much more than you need to, or paying for a sub-par experience.
This article is the result of our research teams having reviewed hundreds of volunteer opportunities in South Africa to ten of the best, in terms of being both inexpensive but well thought of. By using our guide you should save both money and time.
RCDP Volunteer Abroad is an organization with a long history: being registered in 1998. The organization is mainly focused on helping underfunded schools, orphanages, and orphans, as the team believes that working to help children leads to the best long term results.
Every year RCDP Volunteer Abroad volunteering organization send thousands of volunteers all over the world to help children. They have built many orphanages and schools, and these days offer volunteer service opportunities on three continents, including Africa,
Some programs are based on partnerships with other respected organizations and universities in the UK and the USA.
RCDP offer highly inexpensive volunteer opportunities in South Africa. Volunteer programs in South Africa include helping in fields such as teaching, orphanage, sports, healthcare, and conservation. All projects are located in Cape Town, one of the largest cities in the country. All their volunteering programs in South Africa run for a minimum of 2 weeks and of maximum 12 weeks.
Orphanage (Cape Town)
Most of the orphanages in South Africa are short of volunteer help and funds. A volunteer’s activities on this placemat will include helping children with their homework, organizing dance, songs, and games, coking and cleaning and, if possible, fundraising to aid future development.
Teaching (Cape Town)
As schools in many areas in Cape Town are understaffed and underfunded, the country is in a big need in volunteers. The volunteer workday lasts around 2-3 hours from Monday till Friday. Teaching volunteers in South Africa are able to choose their preferred age range of student. In kindergarten, volunteers can play games, teach motor skills and introduce letters and numbers. In schools, the work includes teaching subjects such as English language, science, and math.
Sports (Cape Town)
If a volunteer has soccer or basketball skills, they'll love the sports program, with tis focus on getting kids physically fit. Volunteers in South Africa on this placement organize outdoor activities and games, train kids, and share information about healthy lifestyles. Those volunteers with management skills can help with the administration of the schools.
Conservation (Cape Town)
Conservation is important to South Africa, a country known for its dramatic landscapes, Table Mountain and various reserves. To save one of the most beautiful places in the world, volunteers in South Africa can work on creating brochures for fundraising, counting birds, checking the health of trees, clearing paths, and removing unfamiliar vegetation, etc.
Healthcare (Cape Town)
While healthcare is quite well developed in South Africa there are not enough staff in the field to provide medical help to everyone, consequently volunteers can help increase access to healthcare. Healthcare volunteers in South Africa will work with trained staff to help reduce the number of endemic diseases, measure BP, height, weight and temperature and assist medical staffs with health-related tasks, such as dispensing medications, counseling patients, immunizations and treating minor injuries.
RCDP offers highly rated volunteer abroad programs in South Africa. There are hundreds of volunteer’s reviews about RCDP Volunteer Abroad, with an average rating being between 9 -10 out of 10. All of them note that the RCDP team provides affordable volunteer programs to South Africa, delivered by professional, friendly and constantly supportive staff.
I'm Marc, and I traveled expecting a life changing experience. There were many other volunteers whom were helpful and very welcoming to my ignorance of traveling alone. They were very helpful with all of the volunteering and made my stay very easy. Overall it was a great trip and I recommend anyone who is looking to have a cultural and inspiring experience.- Marcdkeok
They have low cost volunteer programs in South Africa and they are striving very hard to keep the costs low. The required payment often depends on the length of volunteering trip as well as the destination.
RCDP program fees are divided into three separate fees:
These prices don't include airfare, visa, airport taxes, airport drop, extra expenses on food, mineral water or soft drinks, laundry, gifts, daily transportation, telephone, and immunization.
Volunteers pay fees directly to host families and projects to make sure that what they pay will go directly for people who deserve it.
IFRE offers low cost volunteer opportunities in South Africa. Since being founded in 2005 in Texas, USA IFRE Volunteers have organized more than 17,000 volunteer placements on over 200 projects, in 18 different locations. Their cheap prices and insistence on fees being paid directly to the project or host family, creates a great level of confidence amongst potential volunteers.
IFRE organize South Africa volunteer programs to help both children and adults in need to improve their lives. To meet these goals their projects mainly focus on basic needs such as education and health.
IFRE programs all have an orientation period, which is important as it allows volunteers to be fully prepared for life in a different culture.
All their programs run for a minimum of two weeks, with the maximum stay allowed being sixteen weeks.
IFRE Volunteers primary projects in South Africa are:
Orphanage (Cape Town)
Volunteers will work with abused children and orphans, care for physically and mentally challenged people of all ages, and work in safe houses helping kids and women in South Africa. The orphanage project is not available in December because many orphans are with foster families at this time.
Teaching (Cape Town)
Volunteers will work in the kindergarten, primary, or secondary schools. The nature of the work depends on the level of teaching:
Physical Education (Cape Town)
Volunteers will be placed in a coaching position at a local school or work at a soccer camp in the area. Their responsibilities will involve helping with basic sports coaching and fitness training, promoting a healthy lifestyle awareness program, and organizing team building exercises.
Healthcare (Cape Town)
On this project volunteers work in local clinics, where they help with HIV/AIDS awareness programs, dressing wounds, measuring blood pressure, pulse and temperatures and help patients get from one service point to another. Other opportuities involve working on local awareness programs.
IFRE offers one of the best volunteer programs in South Africa, and consequently have many positive alumni reviews. They like the affordable volunteering opportunities, open-minded and friendly homestay families and how the experience changed their life.
IFRE offer very low cost but highly reviewed volunteer programs in South Africa, and their program fees are tax-deductible. Costs depend on the length of stay and the trip destination.
IFRE program fees are divided into separate fees as follows:
Volunteers pay fees directly to host families and projects. The weekly fees include food and accommodation, the cost of local tourist/sightseeing sites, language and cultural training, training materials, the cost of recreational activities, as well as comprehensive travel insurance ($3.49/day). Also, their volunteers will get $50 discount of future volunteering programs with IFRE.
Registered in Dallas, Global Crossroad started their affordable volunteer opportunities in South Africa in 2003. From 23 volunteers placed in the first year this program grew to 600 the following year, and in 2005, the organization offered 20 different placements across Latin America, Africa, and Asia.
One of the main missions of the company is to develop countries they send volunteers to. While another is to provide cultural immersion opportunities for volunteers via language and cultural programs, and an affordable way to travel abroad.
Global Crossroad offers highly flexible programs and affordable volunteering opportunities in South Africa..Their volunteer programs range in length from 2-12 weeks, and can be extended in some countries where there is the option of taking part in more than one project in a single country.
Their South African volunteer experience is mainly focused on helping underprivileged children and women, and on supporting healthcare and education projects.
Orphanage (Cape Town)
Volunteers will work with abused children and orphans, and in safe houses for women and children. The main role of volunteers will be to feed and play with kids, help them with homework, tidy up the orphanage, and other related activities.
Teaching (Cape Town)
Volunteers will be working with children of all ages, and duties undertaken vary depending on the placement.
Kindergarten/Pre-K/Crèches: Volunteers in kindergartens take care of children aged between either birth snd six or three and six years old. This may involve preparing and serving food, making learning aids and playing with them.
Primary School: Volunteers in these schools will assist teachers in different classrooms and teach a class on a subject of their own choice. Volunteers with additional skills in music, art, and sports can introduce these recreational activities to the students.
Secondary School: Volunteers will teach teenagers between the ages of 14-18. In South Africa volunteers will assist the teachers in different classrooms, sometimes they may need to teach their own class without any supervision.
Healthcare (Cape Town)
Volunteers join a team of other volunteers and staff to help on HIV/AIDS awareness programs, help nurses dress wounds, weigh patients and help deliver health education programs to local communities. Volunteers on this program must have either medical related experience or be a student in this field.
Physical Education (Cape Town)
Volunteers will either be placed at local schools in a sports coaching position, or at one of the soccer camps in the area. Volunteers help with basic sports coaching and fitness training, help promote the healthy lifestyle awareness program, and contribute to team building exercises.
The organization has had hundreds of letters and emails outlining the positive experiences of volunteers who consider this a highly rated and affordable volunteering opportunity in South Africa.
Volunteers with Global Crossroad note that the team was responsive to questions during all steps of the journey, and many commented that they got more than they could have ever expected from the trip. Volunteers also liked the rage of opportunities and the accommodation, meal, and guides provided.
I plan on going back this year! The support from the company was exceptional. They provided transportation to and from the airport. Answered any questions I had, walked me through everything step by step as this was my first trip. I highly recommend them and can't wait to go back! -Savannah
Read more reviews at Abroad Review.
Global Crossroads offers cheap volunteer opportunities in South Africa and every effort is made to maintain these low prices. programs last for anything from 2 - 12 weeks , with the 16 week maximum SurfPorject being an exception.
Global Crossroads program fees are divided into two separate fees:
The weekly fee cover main meals, accommodation, the cost of in-country coordinator, pre-departure information, a certificate of completion, and fundraising ideas.
The weekly fee doesn’t cover the mandatory comprehensive travel insurance which is $3.49 per day, the Language and Culture program fee ($250), airport pick-up or drop-off, visa, airfare, entry fees, airport tax, personal expenses, daily transportation, and soft drinks.
Original volunteers offers very inexpensive volunteer programs in South Africa which are perfect for those on strict budgets. The affordable non-profit volunteering organization Original Volunteers is based in the United Kingdom, and was founded in 2006. They offer volunteer programs in many destinations all over the world, including African, American, Asian and European countries.
Volunteers are able to choose from 10 different types of volunteering projects, including those working with kids, in education, health care, animals, sport and construction.
Original Volunteers organizes low cost South Africa volunteering programs. The local team are passionate about their work and inspire volunteers to be the same. What they do not know about the animals in their care is not worth knowing.
Monkey Conservation (Pretoria)
All volunteers on this project have the chance to help with routine asks such as preparing food, building enclosures and monitoring behavior. This is a great way to gain experience in the field of animal care.
Volunteers in South Africa have plenty of time to travel and see some sights. Popular side trips include:
Original volunteers is one of the highest rating organizations running volunteer programs in South Africa. According to their reviews, volunteers advise others to choose this affordable company because they offer inexpensive volunteer schemes and amazing support throughout,
Having looked at a variety of volunteering websites I finally settled on Original Volunteers. There were certain aspects of the volunteering that was wonderful, meeting new people, some of whom my companion and I would eventually travel with, it was also a great way to acclimatise in this crazy crazy country. It was a great confidence booster. I learnt invaluable life experience, met wonderful people, and had just memorable experiences in a very, very loveable country.I recommend this, especially as it was free... - JackHider
Read more reviews at Abroad Review.
LOne of the main principles of the company is to offer cheap volunteer opportunities in South Africa. Expenses incurred are as follows:
The weekly fees don’t include flights, insurance, local transfer around the country and tourism tours.
Love Volunteers is an affordable volunteering organization, was founded in 2009 in New Zealand. This volunteering organization is one of the cheapest organizations running volunteer program in south Africa, as they don’t have such expenses as a downtown office or company cars.
Their focus is to help people be able to help others and to contribute to the develop of poor countries. Also, they regularly communicate with local organizations all over the world to reduce internal expenses for volunteers. The number one priority of the organization is safety. That’s why they work close with the local country's security services.
They organize projects such way that volunteers have not only work time, but also time for rest to make new friendship relationship and to know better the country they are visiting.
Love Volunteers offers an outstanding and affordable volunteer program in South Africa especially in Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, for volunteers aging over 18 years old who speak English. Volunteers will encounter unfamiliar ways of speaking, thinking, and also interacting, which means that they will constantly absorb the culture and customs of South Africa. The program length is ranging between 2-24 weeks, except the Wildlife Program, which ranges between 2-8 weeks length.
Health (Cape Town)
Volunteers on this program undertake routine tasks such as dressing wounds, taking temperatures and weighing patients, and may also get involved in awareness sign programs.
Social Welfare (Cape Town)
The program encompasses projects in the areas of orphanages, abused children, and are homes for the physically and mentally challenged. Kids in South Africa, the same, as all over the world need someone to listen to them, hug and show real care and attention. This project requires volunteers to be 21 years old or more and is suitable for couples.
Education (Cape Town)
On this project, volunteers assist teachers in educational institutions such as primary or high schools, ( or if working with younger kids is preferred they can help in pre-primary and crèches.) Thanks to previous donations there are a number of computers available the childe nee teacher to show them the basics. (Volunteers working with younger children will help feed and entertain them.
Environment Protection (Cape Town)
The main goal of this program is to educate the younger generations on how-to preserve and care for their environment. Secondary asks may involve gardening, physical labor and general outdoor work, as well as construction.
Wildlife Protection (Port Elizabeth)
Volunteers in Port Elizabeth will be placed in furnished staff housing. The volunteers' duties may vary on a day to day basis, and depend on factors such as the weather. Volunteers can enjoy the beautiful nature of South Africa because the work will mostly be located in the open air, and will include monitoring and tracking wild animals, mending fences, removing alien vegetation, animal counts, and even animal feeding. Volunteers can also work in the elephant sanctuary by accompanying guides.
Sports Development (Cape Town)
Volunteers on this program will be involved in coaching young people at primary school level in sports and fitness training. If the volunteer has team building knowledge or experience in the promotion of healthy lifestyle they can share this while volunteering in South Africa. As physical education has only recently been introduced in the schooling system most schools have very limited equipment.
Surf and Adventure (Cape Town)
The volunteers in this program are expected to take underprivileged children out of the settlements and off the streets and teach them different life lessons through sports, teamwork, adventure activities, and, of course, educational classes. The work time is 3-5 days in a week when volunteers will help children. The schedule is quite relaxed, for example in the mornings volunteers can learn to surf, help in a school or just relax on the beach, and then in the afternoon for 3 5 days a week they teach the children.
Game Ranger (Port Elizabeth)
If a volunteer is looking for the experience and knowledge to become a professional and fully accredited Game Ranger by the FGASA (Field Guides Association of Southern Africa), this program offers an amazing 8 weeks opportunity on the course in Port Elizabeth. Volunteers will combine work on wildlife protection with excursions and activities such as whale watching, hiking, water sports activities and bungee jumping.
The organization has 96% positive reviews about their volunteer opportunities in South Africa. Volunteers note that they got great experience for their future career in the educational or medical field. that the Love Volunteers team wasalways open for any questions and had professional and detailed answers to ofer, and especially the volunteers liked th kids’ reactions to the volunteers help, all of them were friendly and thankful.
It was overall a good experience.Everything came together and was an excellent learning experience. It was challenging, but I wasn't looking for anythinv easy.
I recommend for someone who is brave and looking for a challenge. I learned a lot about myself and the country. - Adrienne
Love Volunteers pay an affordable registration fee of only $249, which is valid for 12 months. They have kept their overheads down to ensure volunteers pay the lowest possible fees. Their affodable weekly fees for volunteer program in South Africa start from $390 for 2 weeks, except the Wildlife Program, which costs $920, and the Surf and Adventure Program which is $750. The program fees cover food, accommodation, transport, orientation, and in-country support staff during the placement. Volunteers are supposed to pay for their own flights, visas, travel insurance, and vaccinations, as well as bring some spending money. Additional requirements include travel insurance and a criminal background check, which are necessary for all volunteering programs in South Africa.
The organization was founded in 2007 in New Zealand. International Volunteer HQ has more than 30 volunteer abroad destinations all over the world inccluding South Africa. Their target is to develop the education and knowledge for people in developing countries. They give an inexpensive opportunity for volunteers to share their knowledge and skills with other people traveling abroad.
At the same time, volunteers will get new friends and knowledge about new places and cultures. They have a not only educational project, but also different direction has a different project to solve the country problems. International Volunteer HQ is well known as a trusted, innovative and affordable volunteering organization. They provide affordable trips, because of close relationship with organizations in each country.
IVHQ offers volunteers the opportunity to choose periods between 1-24 weeks for their inexpensive volunteering experience in South Africa. IVHQ require volunteers to be 18 years or over in order to participate unless they are with parents or a guardian. They also require their volunteers have adequate volunteer travel insurance, as well as providing a criminal background check to the local team of IVHQ on the arrival to South Africa.
Every month, IVHQ start between 20 to 50 volunteers on a project, so there are lots of volunteer opportunities in South Africa to meet others from various cultures, extra staff support, lower cost projects, plenty of people to travel and socialize with, as well as a stronger infrastructure for volunteers.
There are three public schools in Muizenberg, and volunteers will work in any one of them to support students as they study. To join this program volunteers need knowledge in on of the following: mathematics, English language, life skills, social studies, different types of art and physical studies.
Sports Development Muizenberg)
Children from grade 1 to grade 7 in South Africa are waiting for volunteers to teach them physical education lessons. Volunteers will be responsible for creatively planning and delivering sports lessons to them.
Surf Outreach (Muizenberg)
After school children also need organized activities. This project involves volunteers working with kids aged between 9-15 years old. These teenagers are from disadvantaged backgrounds, so they need good role models.
There are day care centers in Muizenberg for kids from poor and broken families. Volunteers will be placed there to support these kids because many of them lost all relatives, and some are suffering from HIV/ AIDS and other problems. Volunteers will help them a lot through their care.
Computer Training (Muizenberg)
If the volunteer has some computer knowledge, and ideally has some certificates, they can join the computer training program. In school holidays or as additional training kids in South Africa will be happy to take computer lessons and learn some simple skills. Also, volunteers will open a new world of opportunities for children by teaching them how to use the internet.
IVHQ is highly rated volunteer abroad organizations offering program in south Africa. The organization has hundreds of positive reviews from volunteers from all over the world. The biggest pleasure for volunteers was to see happy kid’s eyes whom they could help by sharing their knowledge and skills. The experience that they got during affordable volunteering in South Africa opened many doors for the future. First of all, volunteering changed their life aims, also the teaching experience meant they were able to use innovative techniques and tricks. The most important point volunteers note is that they made new friends, and those relationships hve lasted.
I spent two weeks with IVHQ and I don't regret my decision : this was the best trip of my life. Finally, the IVHQ team is perfect. They assist you with your arrival and they stay in touch once at your placement. I had lots of questions in my mind before going, but they all received answers, and when I landed, I knew exactly what would happen and where I was going.
In brief, this was an amazing experience that I recommand to anyone who wants to volunteer in Africa, especially for the first time. - Julie
IVHQ offer cheap but highly rated volunteering experience in South Africa. The program fees are set based on the destination and the length of stay.
IVHQ program fees are divided into the following fees:
Volunteers need to cover additional cost for a visa, criminal background check, travel insurance, in-country trips and tours, vaccinations, flights, transfer back to the airport, souvenirs, and any additional spending money (about $30 per week in South Africa).
The nominal weekly fees will include airport pick-up, meals, accommodation, program supervision, orientation, in-country 24/7 volunteer support, and in-country administration costs.
Natural Africa was established in 2004 in the United Kingdom. The organization has programs in six African locations: Malawi, Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, Namibia and South Africa. Naturally Africa offers cheap volunteer opportunities for budget volunteers in South Africa without compromising on support. This affordable volunteering organization has a local management team in each destination, providing a 24/7 contact point for volunteers.
The two main things the Natural Africa team focus on are that their volunteers can choose a program which utilizes their personal skills and abilities, and that each project is fully managed and supported. This company also supports the education process for children by paying for uniforms, books and enrollment fees that orphaned children, or those that have run away from home, due to abuse, or other reasons, can’t usually afford.
Volunteers in South Africa will have plenty of opportunities to explore this beautiful country, either before or after their placement, or sometimes even during it.
Naturally Africa offer programs which run for a minimum of 2 weeks, and a maximum of 12. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old or more, and English language ability is required.
South Africa Pre-Vet Wildlife (The Wild Coast)
The volunteers on this project are looking to enter the professional fields of veterinary science, so the focus here is on providing knowledge about animal welfare, and animal management. This South Africa volunteer placement involves working with professionals, and learning on both an academic and practical level. The latter involves, wild, farm and domestic animals.
Volunteers can gain secondary skills and experiences in a variety of other areas too, including health and safety and animal management.
Wild Coast Schools Volunteer (The Wild Coast)
On this project volunteers usually spend mornings teaching computer skills to children in rural South African schools, and afternoons on community development initiatives such as after-school sports sessions or gardening projects.
South Africa Community Pre-school (The Wild Coast)
Volunteers support both teachers and students on this program, making a positive impact on the lives of all involved. Volunteer opportunities in South Africa on a pre-school, project may involve helping teachers to prepare lessons, helping kids with homework, reading schemes, gardening and so on.
African Angels School Volunteer (The Wild Coast)
Volunteers on this project will have the opportunity to work closely with the pre-school children in a professional classroom environment. Volunteer tasks will include assisting teachers in lessons, developing resources and preparing materials, as well as taking part in cultural activities, such as dancing, singing and art.
Volunteers have shared their experiences about their low cost volunteering in South Africa through the Natural Africa organization in dozens of reviews. Volunteers like that they could have an inexpensive volunteering experience with full support and enough time to rest. Some were surprise that the accommodation was not as comfortable as that which a hotel would provide, but volunteers on Naturally Africa programs live in conditions similar to the people they serve,
From June-July 2-14, I volunteered with Naturally Africa in the village. My experience was excellent. I was impressed with the mix of international and local staff, the commitment to cultural awareness, and genuine community engagement. Its goals were focused and realistic, making its work more impactful. The camaraderie between staff and volunteers was wonderful. I highly recommend this program. - Courtney Erwin
Volunteers pay fees starting from $730 for 2 weeks, (this is the minimum period to stay for all projects).
Prices vary depending on the project and destination as follows:
This fee includes a shuttle from East London airport upon arrival and departure, arrival orientation including T-shirt, 24 hours support from the in-country coordinator, accommodation, emergency contact in the UK, 1-hour free internet access, as well as a donation to the project. The price doesn’t include flights, meals, drinks, personal items, any extra activities, the internet, telephone calls, travel insurance, or visa fees.
Real Gap Experience has 35 directions in 6 continents, where they organize more than 150 projects. They found best offers for everyone according to the volunteer’s skills and wishes. They have offices all over the world: UK, Australia, and North America. Their team includes an experienced traveling specialist who is always ready to give any tips and to support volunteers. To support volunteers, Real Gap Experience has hotline working 24/7. To ensure volunteers of right and honest using their fees, the organization has a part in TUI Travel PLC. Traveling abroad with Real Gap Experience let volunteers learn new skills, challenge themselves, and see new things in different lights.
This non-profit volunteering organization offers cheap volunteer opportunities in South Africa. Real Gap Experience has about 18 different programs to give their volunteer the opportunity to have a wide variety choices based on their interest. All their programs have a minimum 2 weeks length and may vary based on the project and the destination.
Sports Volunteer (Cape Town)
Volunteers on the South Africa Sports project get to help in South Peninsula schools. Sports volunteers are really needed as there are about 750 children and only 33 teachers at the school, which means that even employing a full-time sports specialist is not enough. The volunteer will provide sports coaching and encourage the students to get more involved with sports activities.
Childcare (Cape Town)
The volunteers on this project have the opportunity to make a real difference to the lives of the children at Doreen’s Crèche’s center, which cares for over 50 children aged between 3-6 years old in the Masiphumelele Township. The volunteer’s enthusiasm will lead kids towards a brighter future.
Turtle Conservation (Zululand)
Volunteers here will be a part of the longest continuous turtle monitoring program, helping conserve endangered sea turtles. This volunteering in South Africa project will help all 5 species survive and thrive. Volunteers will be responsible for monitoring breeding habits, checking for predators and after making sure that the beach is safe letting the turtles lay and hatch their eggs.
Education (Cape Town)
Volunteers will spend time both teaching in Simons town and helping at some development schemes to support the disadvantaged kids at the school. Volunteers will help prepare lessons for the learners or assist with reading and numeracy. Creativity is always welcome in this project, especially if the volunteer has any suggestions to help improve learning in the classroom.
Children's Hospital Volunteers (Cape Town)
The volunteers on this project spend some time enriching the lives of patients in a hospital dedicated to sick and injured young children who have experienced some terrible situations. Their main role is to bring fun, excitement, and joy to the wards through playing games, singing songs and reading stories. Volunteers can also spend time with the children while their parents have a break.
Great White Shark Experience (Kleinbaai)
Working with white sharks is really exciting but this project is only for brave volunteers, as research is carried out directly in the cage. They will work together with marine biologists and some volunteers will be able to track and tag sharks. This project offers a fascinating and unforgettable experience.
Big 5 Wildlife Conservation (Port Elizabeth)
This project offers volunteers amazing opportunities to monitor and care for elephants, and, when available, lions, tigers. Volunteers will also be able to take part in essential conservation work,
This organization offers the most affordable volunteering in South Africa programs. They give volunteers the unforgettable experience of traveling and helping poor families. The organization cares about volunteer’s safety and comfort, and reviews reveal that the local team working with them in South Africa are kind, professional and friendly. Reading stories that volunteers share in their reviews every person with a sensitive heart will get a wish to travel with Real Gap Experience to do something good in life and help develop South Africa.
It was a great first experience and I never had any problems. Some of the other volunteers did have some issues though and while I can't comment on the issues specifically, it did concern me that they sometimes had a hard time getting in touch with somebody to help them. We did have a local contact, but there was no central office that we could go to with concerns. The program, as it turns out, is more expensive than other options out there that also offer more accessible in-country support. That is why I would not recommend this program. - nicolette.rae
Real Gap Experience ask for no registration fees, have no differing costs between programs, and no hidden charges' just one clear price. There is a 65 USD security deposit for some projects that will need to be paid to the in-country team on arrival. This will be returned before volunteers leave the accommodation at the end of the project.
The weekly price of their cheap volunteering in South Africa programs starts from $879 per two weeks, which is the minimum duration to stay on their programs. Further costs vary depending on the project, destination, and period of stay, as follows:
The weekly fees include 3 meals daily (not for all programs), accommodation, airport pick-up and drop-off, registration and administration, orientation, as well as travel insurance. The weekly price doesn't include vaccinations, flights, malaria tablets, spending money (around $200-$430), visa costs, safaris or any extra trips.
African impact is a award winning volunteer abroad company running affordable volunteer programs in South Africa. African Impact started as a small, family-run organization in 2004 in Zimbabwe. With more than 10 years of experience in affordable volunteering, nowadays they offer 13 different destinations in Africa, and over 13,000 volunteers have traveled abroad with their help.
Their aim is to help people in Africa, and to promote this continent as a traveling destination with many unique cultures.
The company is proud to have won many industry awards, including recognition for their sports, Cape Town Teaching, and Vulnerable Childcare Volunteer programs.
African Impact offers volunteers more than 37 different low cost volunteering programs in South Africa, and each begins with an orientation program which introduces volunteers to the beautiful scenery and wildlife. Placements vary in length depending on the project and the destination.
Teaching and Community Development (Cape Town)
Volunteers on the teaching project will spend time planning for each lesson and making resources, so the children have a very interactive, fun and educational class. Other tasks include developing reading skills and providing health education classes on HIV.
African Big 5, and Wildlife Conservation (Greater Kruger Area)
Volunteers joining this project will focus their attention on the African Big 5'. Daily tasks include data gathering and processing on these animals' behavior and movements, Volunteering in South Africa on a conservation project offers a variety of hands-on experiences to, such as maintaining waterholes and clearing alien plant life from the area.
Sports Coaching and Development (Cape Town)
The volunteer will help coach physical education sessions at schools and organize sports classes, and think of new approaches which will engage children in physical activity. These may include competitions, games and fitness tests. Volunteers can out their own sports interests and experiences to good use by organizing programs which suit this agenda.
Rural Medical and HIV/AIDS Awareness (Zululand)
Those volunteers who are, or plan to study or work in the medical field will be interested in this project. Tasks are geared towards each volunteers experience level, and may include helping local professionals in health clinics, organizing educational-health workshops and visiting sick patients at their homes in villages in the area. This is a great chance to get practical medical experience, and help the South African community to develop and have healthy and happy lives.
Wild Coast Uplift and Outreach (Eastern Cape)
Volunteers will be expected to assist the Wild Coast Schools and Community Project team with computer literacy skills or, interactive sport’s development, and environmental education. They may also organize and enjoy outdoor activities and weekly art classes, and support local children’s home of safety and playground development.
Great White Shark Research and Conservation (Gansbaai)
As this project need specific knowledge before dealing direct with sharks, volunteers must attend the safety course provided before getting directly involved in monitoring the Great Whites.
Prison Youth Creative Arts and Empowerment (Cape Town)
The volunteer here is expected to work within the challenging (but safe) environment of prison life to empower and rehabilitate young offenders aged between 14 - 25 years.. To change their life after prison they need special attention and programs, and volunteers help with art exhibitions, post-release programs, and various workshops.
Veterinary Assistance and Abused Animal Shelter (Cape Town)
The volunteer will offer care and help to homeless animals. The goal of this program is to re-home abused, neglected and lost pets. Volunteers will have to establish a working relationship with the local residents, supporting them through effective education to protect the rights of animals. They work with highly qualified veterinarians and other veterinary staff who are happy to share their knowledge with volunteers.
Africa Impact is one of the best companies offering volunteer opportunities in South Africa. During 10 years of organizing trips they have received only 100% positive reviews, which praise the affordable volunteering opportunities, and invite others to experience Africa as part of a real community.
Overall the experience was nothing short of incredible- I wasn't prepared for the attachment I would feel for many of the people (kids and adults alike) I met on project and the way they would fill me with happiness even though I was the one who was meant to be bringing them whatever happiness I could by volunteering in the first place. My advice is simple- if you're considering volunteering in Africa- DO IT- I've only been home a week and I'm already working out when I can go back! - Amy
African Impact offers cheap volunteer opportunities in South Africa. Their prices varies according to the length of stay, destination, and the project as follows:
The weekly fee is divided as follows: 70% for operation costs, 24% for marketing and sales costs, and 6% as profits for the new projects.
The weekly fees cover 24/7 support from the on-site project team, transfers to and from the airport with an African Impact staff member meeting you at the airport, project orientation and induction, emergency medical assistance, transport from and to projects, health briefing, a safety briefing, as well as safe and comfortable accommodation.
Eli is a non-profit charitable organization that was founded in 2001, and offers a unique approach to the usual programs in the volunteer abroad field. ELI, [Experiential Learning International] has a philosophy based on learning through experience, and if this can involve international experience then so much the better.
They offer excellent programs, often with partner organizations, across four continents.
ELI offers a wide variety of projects open to anyone looking for inexpensive volunteering experience in South Africa. Volunteers can join programs in townships and wildlife parks, or take part in professional internships in fields including engineering, business, marketing, fashion, tourism and wineries.
Orphanages (Cape Town)
Volunteers on this project are expected to coordinate group activities, assist students with homework, and mentor the kids that need emotional support. Many children in South Africa are from broken families, or have been removed from their homes for safety reasons. Some of the children in orphanages are HIV+. This project is a great option for those who want to help youngsters gain sills and hope for the future.
Women Empowerment (South Africa)
Volunteers who are interested in working specifically with marginalized women can get involved in this project in various ways, including capacity building, small business development/microfinance, soup kitchen assistance, and health-related programs. If volunteering in South Africa on this project you can work on different projects during your stay, as many organizations offer assistance in different fields. The minimum time commitment required to join this project is eight weeks.
Teaching (Cape Town)
Volunteers are needed to help poorer schools meet the needs of their students. The volunteer will usually start by shadowing as a teacher aide before taking charge of their own classroom. All educational backgrounds are welcome to join this program, and most volunteers will teach English, math, social studies, music, and/or art. The minimum time commitment for this option is 8 weeks.
Health (South Africa)
Volunteers joining this project are expected to work in teams to create and present material, and answer questions. They will also spend time with the patients, undertake research and help with administrative aspects. Volunteers with public health research background will be able to assist at the university.
Wildlife Conservation (Cape Town)
This project is a great opportunity for volunteers who are looking for experience in this area and are either conservation, pre-veterinary or veterinary students, This program is a low cost way to develop knowledge practical skills while working with the top professionals of the country. Volunteers will be able to work with different animals, such as horses, monkeys, reptiles, ostriches, cheetahs, birds, penguins and those in the aquarium. The minimum time required for this project is eight weeks.
The overall rating given to ELI is A. Most of the volunteers who leave reviews are satisfied with their experience. They describe ELI as an affordable, low cost, professional organization that they will continue traveling with.
I volunteered trough ELI for 4 months and I am very happy with my experience.
First of all it was the only affordable program that I found, their prices are the best, and after meeting volunteers that came with other organizations, I can say that you get pretty much the same benefits for less than half the price. - ScottJason
ELI fees are affordable compared to their competitors as volunteers have the option to extend their duration of stay from 2 months up to six months without any extra fees.
The ELI youth initiative program costs $395, while all of their other volunteer opportunities in South Africa cost $695 - a onetime fee. ELI also have a separate 20 USD application fee, which comes with a 7 day refund option in case a volunteer changes their mind.
Housing is not included in these fees, so volunteers will need to rent a house. This can be arranged through the company for around $350 a month, (the actual cost may vary depending on size and location.) Most rental fees include Wife.
Program fees do include the pickup in the Cape Town airport, work placement, orientation upon arrival, activities, and 24/7 in-country coordinator support. Program fees don't include flights, the required travel, and medical insurance, as well as the visa fees.
Some readers of this article have probably already had great experiences with one of the organizations covered here, or perhaps with another company offering South Africa volunteer programs. Others may make their decision based on what they read here. Either way, we'd love to hear about any experiences you have had.
Share your experiences, and let us know which organization you use. If you didn’t, then tell us which one of these organizations made you interested in cheap volunteer opportunities in South Africa.