Volunteer Abroad

The 10 Best Countries for Volunteering in Africa

Eva Wieners
Topic Expert

Eva is a German writer and geographer, currently living in Nepal with her daughter Miriam. She has worked and volunteered in South America, Europe, and Asia for more than a decade and loves to travel.

Africa is the second-largest continent and home to roughly 1.3 billion people. There are 55 countries on the African continent, and it covers almost all ecosystems – the perfect place to visit in 2020. When you decide to volunteer and make a meaningful contribution, you will surely have an amazing time.

But the big question is, where is the best place to volunteer in Africa in 2020? There are so many options and different programs to choose from that it can be overwhelming. In this article, we have chosen the 10 best countries to volunteer in Africa for the coming year to help you make your decision. But who are we kidding, they are all great!

Tanzania

A beautiful East African country, Tanzania is home to the highest mountain in Africa: Mount Kilimanjaro. It is not only known for its beautiful beaches and the enchanting island Zanzibar but also its amazing national parks and wildlife. Did you know that Jane Goodall did her research with chimpanzees in Tanzania?

If you want to volunteer in a conservation project or are interested in supporting local teachers in schools, you can find a great volunteering program in Tanzania in 2020. There are many other projects as well, so make sure you take your time to browse through the list.

Volunteer in Tanzania with IVHQ:

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South Africa

Telling you that South Africa is an amazing destination in Africa in 2020 is no insider tip any more – it’s still true though! The country at the most southern tip of the continent is very diverse. You can hang out at the beach, go on a safari to experience the fascinating wildlife or enjoy the city life in Pretoria or Cape Town.

Even though it belongs to one of the most developed regions on the continent, there are still many projects that you can volunteer with. It doesn't matter if you're more interested in working in the field of conservation or if you'd like to spend your volunteering stint teaching – you can find a volunteer program that suits your interests and skills in South Africa in 2020.

Volunteer in South Africa with GVI:

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  • Impact 9.3
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  • Fun 9.6
  • Value 9.4
  • Safety 9.6

Ghana

Ghana is a West African country at the Gulf of Guinea and one of the best places to volunteer in Africa. It has beautiful beaches, is home to amazing waterfalls, and you can see dozens of forts and castles along the coastline. And of course, you can also visit one of the many national parks and see their impressive wildlife. To top it off, Ghana was voted the friendliest country in Africa 2011 by Forbes.

If you want to spend your time in Ghana in a meaningful way, you can choose one of the many volunteering programs the country has to offer, especially if you are interested in teaching.

Volunteer in Ghana with Plan My Gap Year:

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  • Fun 9.4
  • Value 9.2
  • Safety 9.7

Uganda

Uganda is a landlocked East African country with incredible animals and natural features. The star of the country must be the mountain gorilla that can be found in the lush mountain forests, but there are many other primates and other wildlife to be found in several national parks. Uganda also borders the largest lake in Africa, Lake Victoria, and is culturally diverse. A perfect destination for a trip off the beaten track!

There are plenty of opportunities to volunteer in Uganda in 2020. Especially if you are interested in working with wildlife and primates, you will find a program in Uganda. Also, if you're interested in work with youth and children, the education sector has a variety of meaningful volunteering programs to choose from.

Volunteer in Uganda with A Broader View Volunteers Corp:

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Madagascar

Madagascar is an island off the coast of Africa that has a very special ecosystem. Due to its isolated location, many animals have evolved differently than on the mainland. Madagascar is especially famous for its lemurs. Visiting the remote island can be a challenge, but it's part of the adventure and worth the extra effort!

Madagascar has many volunteering opportunities, particularly in the field of education. If you are interested in conservation, you can choose from projects focusing on forest or marine ecosystems.

Volunteer in Madagascar with Madagascar Research and Conservation Institute:

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  • Safety 8.4

Kenya

Visitors to Kenya are mainly attracted to the beautiful beaches and the amazing game reserves in this East African country. You can spend your vacation enjoying the seaside or going on impressive safaris in one of the many national parks. You can see elephants, lions, buffalo, rhinos, and other indigenous African animals. From the border to Tanzania, there is also a breathtaking view of the Kilimanjaro – so if you are into nature, Kenya may be the top destination to consider volunteering.

While many projects focus on conservation, you can also volunteer in other areas when you visit Kenya. There is always a need for youth and education sectors as well as for health and medical programs.

Volunteer in Kenya with Village Volunteers:

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Namibia

Northwest of South Africa, you can find another African country that is a great contender for volunteering in Africa: Namibia. While most people immediately picture sand dunes when they hear Namibia, the country offers much more. Namibia is home to many different species of animals and a trip to one of the national parks is a real adventure.

Most volunteer programs in Namibia focus on conservation issues, but you can also find different projects that may pique your interest that works on environmental, medical, art, and business projects.

Volunteer in Namibia with Edge of Africa:

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  • Fun 9.2
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Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe is known for one of the new seven wonders of the world, Victoria Falls, in addition to beautiful Hwange and Mana Pools National Parks. During your time in Zimbabwe, you can also see the Zambesi River, making this a once in a lifetime trip.

If you want to volunteer in Zimbabwe, you have many possibilities. If you are interested in wildlife and environmental conservation, this is a great destination to work closely on issues you're passionate about.

Volunteer in Zimbabwe with Worldwide Experience:

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Malawi

A small country, Malawi is best known for Lake Malawi which takes up one-third of the whole country! It's an amazing place to watch the sunset, go horseback riding, or kayak. Malawi is also home to vast tropical mountain forests and a lot of wildlife, making it a great country to explore while volunteering overseas.

When you want to volunteer in Africa in 2020, you should consider projects in Malawi. The small country still needs a lot of support, and you can work in community projects, education, and conservation.

Volunteer in Malawi with Naturally Africa Volunteers:

9.43 Rating
based on 14 reviews
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  • Support 9.6
  • Fun 9.1
  • Value 9.4
  • Safety 9.9

Mozambique

A coastal country, Mozambique is mainly known for its beaches and marine wildlife! Particularly in the northern part of the country, those who are interested in diving will find paradise; you can even see whale sharks! The national parks that lie further inland are a great refuge for endangered species and attract more and more visitors.

If you are particularly interested in marine conservation, Mozambique is the great destination for your volunteering trip to Africa in 2020.

Volunteer in Mozambique with All Out Africa:

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based on 7 reviews
  • Impact 8.4
  • Support 9.4
  • Fun 9.1
  • Value 9.6
  • Safety 10