GVI: Volunteer in South Africa

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Travel to sunny South Africa and make a difference to critical conservation and community development programs. From working with underprivileged children, to getting up close with the charismatic wildlife, there's a volunteer project for everyone in South Africa! Discover Cape Town; the Design Capital of the world, get up close and personal with the Big Five on safari and conquer the iconic Table Mountain.

Top Volunteer Projects in South Africa:

  • Volunteer with Children in South Africa: Assist with childcare & educational activities in a township educare center while exploring South Africa
  • Wildlife Research in South Africa Expedition: Get up close and personal with Africa's large game such as lion, leopard, elephant and hyenas. Learn how to use conservation and research equipment to help locate collared predators, receive invaluable training in large animal identification, tracking and behavioral study skills.
  • Sports and Surfing in South Africa: Volunteers will be teaching children to surf in conjunction with coaching a range of different sports including football, netball, cricket, tennis, athletics and rugby in townships that surround the beautiful city of Cape Town.
  • Volunteer Healthcare Project in South Africa: Volunteer on a program in a colourful township just outside Cape Town, educating child-minders, parents and children on the importance general hygiene practices.These fun and interactive workshops are set up in an informal environment and involve lots of fun activities.
  • Wildlife Conservation and Childcare in South Africa: Provide disadvantaged children with much needed educational improvement in Cape Town and help with the conservation of wildlife in Limpopo on a private game reserve. Immerse yourself in a country known for its rich history, culture and natural beauty!
  • Volunteer with Cheetahs in South Africa: Discover wild South Africa when you join an international team of volunteers assisting in the research of the world’s fastest land mammal, the cheetah.

Questions & Answers

Hi, so for the cape town projects over 18 it consists of 1 day of lesson planing, normally Monday, and then the rest of the days on site. You get to site at about 9am and go to 3pm with an hour for lunch. You will most likely leave the base at about 8.20 am having had breakfast and made your lunch. In the afternoon after volunteering you have free time to go to the beach, just chill out before you...


based on 24 reviews
  • Impact 8.9
  • Support 9.5
  • Fun 9.5
  • Value 9.3
  • Safety 9.6
Showing 16 - 24 of 24
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Never too Old to Volunteer

As a 52 year old past international volunteer through Rotary International I admit I wanted to do this volunteer experience for both selfish and altruistic reasons. Selfishly I have always wanted to travel to Africa and go on a safari. Volunteering I have found addicting and has left me with powerful feelings for people from other cultures and other life experiences than my own. I signed on to this particular program because of the selfish reasons and because I felt I could use my past teaching experience to possibly help others. When asked how I enjoyed my trip I have found that the more exclamation words I use (Fantastic! Life changing! Amazing! Awesome!), the enthusiasm I feel of my experience is best communicated. I enjoyed the raw beauty of South Africa – pristine beaches next to mountains with clouds below the peaks next to colorful wine country. The weekend adventures (including my safari!) were memorable and my picture portfolio proves this. My fellow volunteers from Australia and United States and England and Columbia and Scotland made the trip so much fun. (I like to say I gain another son or daughter in every country I visit). Teaching subtraction with carrying to my 4th grade boys and playing dice with them and seeing their progress was well worth the days of flying to get there. I am so lucky to have been able to experience this South Africa teaching project. Thank you!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Life Changing

I spent 4 weeks in the summer of 2011 with wonderful children in South Africa on the Childcare Programme. I am now returning for the whole summer of 2012 which I think proves how amazing, life-changing and rewarding spending your time with these children really is.

The staff are brilliant and are always there when you need them to answer any questions you may have no matter how stupid they sound! Their first priority is health and safety but they all want you to enjoy your time in South Africa, experience the lifestyle and your surroundings and above all make a difference to the children’s lives in the best way you can.

Being away from home can be scary but with GVI it’s like a home away from home. After just a few days you feel like you have been there months and have made friends that you know will be in your life for years to come. You all become a little family and you make a special bond that no one can ever take away from you.
I would highly recommend GVI to anyone considering volunteering abroad in places that really need your help...I promise you won’t regret it xx

Yes, I recommend this program
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Would i go again?

Definitely. I would have stayed forever there if i could.
Just imagine, living in the middle of the nature, sharing your home with lions, elephants, hyenas... Where nothing matters, no politics, no economics, no tv. The only "worry" is where the lions are.
More than a dream.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Best thing I've ever done

Had an amazing time on the program. I went to Karongwe Game Reserve along with people from the whole world, who later became really close friends to me. I learned a lot about the bush, the animals, other cultures (not just South African) and myself. You live close to the others everyday, and you are almost never alone. Almost every day of the week (besides when you were on base duty, town trip or in the mountains) we went on reasearch or conservation drive, or bush walk, where we walk on the roads in the reserve, or even in the thick bush!

Almost every day we saw lions and cheetahs, as they are our focus animals. In the first week you learn to track down the animals, and how to identify every mammal species in the reserve. I had a lot of great (epic) sightings in Karongwe, caracal, honeybadger, pangolin, rhinos mating etc., and in the mountains we even saw a serval. You share the reserve with other nature lovers; theres Eco-training and around 10 different safari lodges, plus the reserve manager, so you are not completely alone in the bush. Town is around 40 minutes away, so almost every week you have the chance to go there and buy snacks/clothes/post mail/eat at a restaurant/withdraw money.

You live very simple. I realized that I don't need things such as tv, because theres so much stuff to do, when you are surrounded by nice people. Between drives I usually went for a nap (because we wake up at 4:30 am when you go on drive), or play pool with the other vols. The staff there is amazing, you can easily talk to them, and they become friends to you as well, as you spend a lot of time with them.

From volunteering with GVI I gained wisdom, great close friends, and I became a lot more social. I miss the place everyday, and I am sure that I will return to SA someday, and definately see my close girl friends again.

Yes, I recommend this program
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exactly what i was looking for

Everything about the program was wonderful; it was well organized, you were with kids for 8 hours a day, the staff was wonderful and helpful, the culture was rich and influential.
The only thing I would say is more consistency with the lessons for the children. They already have people going in and out 2 weeks at a time! But my experience was exactly what I wanted and they needed. South Africa is a beautiful country with amazing people and hopefully through this program we will give them the tools to better themselves and their communities even more!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Life Changing Experience!

This was my first time out of the country and it was absolutely incredible. From the moment I got off the plane the GVI staff was extremely accomadating - waiting for me at the arrival gate. When traveling to a country such as South Africa safety is obviously a major concern and not once on this trip did I feel like I was in harms away. At the same time, you get a hands on experience in the townships working directly with those who need it most! Leaving was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. South Africa and GVI has a special place in heart and not a day passes without this experience crossing my mind. GIV and the Cape Town Pediatric Project comes with my highest endorsement!

Skills Developed/Improved:
- Practical training on lesson planning & teaching strategies
- Strengthened presentation skills
- Utilized reflective practices
- Developing sustainable program initiatives
- Greater understanding of community-based prevention programs
- Deepened interpersonal skills & enhanced cultural awareness

Yes, I recommend this program
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This is Africa

Once you go and experience Africa, you will always go back, it gets under your skin!

Through this program or any other for that matter yu will understand the important things in life. Often the most simple things, and the things we take for granted in ours means so much to somebody else.

Use your educational skills to teach others less fortunate. Have a real impact on helping a child learn English, Maths and Creative/Social skills. Whether you go for 2 weeks or 2 months you will have an impact on their lives. As they will on yours. It's a truely humbling experience.

Don't Hesitate get involved, what is two weeks of your time?

Don't hesitate, what is two weeks of your time f

Yes, I recommend this program
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Amazing and rewarding experience!

I spent 10 weeks on this program, and it was without doubt the most rewarding experience of my life!

The community and children this project supports are incredible, they really are resilient people and really appreciate the pressence of GVI. I felt the project allowed me to contribute alot, but also walked away feeling I gained so much from those around me, GVI staff and the community I worked in alike.

This really does provide the opportunity to be directly exposed to a different culture, experiencing so many amazing this, coupled with supporting a really worthwhile community!

One warning, if you do take part in this, be prepared it will be really difficult to leave at the end of your time! Enjoy!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Literally changed my life...

I know it sounds cheesy, but the 4 weeks that I spent on this project really have changed my life for the better. Its not just spendinding time with the amazing and beautiful children, its getting to know the culture, the environment and most importantly, making lifelong friends.
GVI are a great company, and one which I wouldnt hesitate recommending to anyone. The co-ordinators are all previous volunteers so really do know exactly how your feeling, and how to make you feel at ease. If you have any questions they are always there to answer them, and really do give you a lot of support both on and off project.

Yes, I recommend this program


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About Global Vision International (GVI)

GVI is an award-winning organisation that tackles critical local and global issues by operating education and training programs on sustainable development projects around the world.

Formed in 1997, we have been operating our award-winning...