Most Affordable & Trusted Volunteer Programs in South Africa

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About

Trusted by 90,000+ volunteers, IVHQ offers the most popular volunteer programs in Cape Town and 40+ other destinations around the world.

You can choose from 5 volunteer project options in South Africa and give back for periods ranging from 1 week to 24 weeks. Your Program Fee includes airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country support. You’ll be accommodated in a volunteer house, with other like-minded, impact-focused travelers from around the world.

IVHQ is trusted to support the meaningful adventures of thousands of volunteers every year, so before you even depart for South Africa, you’ll receive outstanding personalized service from your expert Volunteer Program Manager and exclusive access to superior pre-departure volunteer training.

With IVHQ, you can expect to establish real connections within the local community while supporting projects that make a genuine difference.

Available Volunteer Projects with IVHQ in South Africa:

  • Teaching
  • Childcare
  • Computer Training
  • Sports Development
  • Surf Outreach
Highlights
  • IVHQ’s South Africa program is available year-round, starting on the first and third Monday of every month
  • Highly affordable program fees starting from $250 - IVHQ provides the most affordable and top-rated programs
  • You’ll be joining between 20 and 50 other IVHQ volunteers who start in Cape Town each month
  • You’ll be traveling with IVHQ, the volunteer travel experts, and joining a network of 90,000+ volunteers. Our outstanding safety systems and track record set us apart, we are the world’s safest organization
  • Your efforts will have a positive impact because our programs are community-driven with a focus on supporting long-term local needs

Questions & Answers

Volunteers 18 years or older can participate on an IVHQ program alone. However, children under18 must be participating in a group with with a parent, guardian or family member who is 18 years or over.

Reviews

97%
based on 52 reviews
  • Impact 9.2
  • Support 9.1
  • Fun 9.3
  • Value 9.5
  • Safety 8.6
Showing 1 - 15 of 52
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Bertram
10/10

International Volunteer Headquarters (IVHQ)

My name is Bertram Scott. September 1, 2018 I landed in South Africa through the International Volunteer Headquarters (IVHQ) Program. I had signed up for the teaching program. I taught math primarily to third and six graders. These students come from poverty communities. They do speak English. I found the students to be resilient in spite of their living and community situation. This was a truly wonderful experience. Additionally, the accommodations and management was very good. Management was very good in responding to any needs we had. We stayed in Muizenberg, a suburb of Cape Town. It was very nice. Once I got to my assigned area I fell under the IVHQ umbrella of the Dreams To Reality management group. They were very professional and available 24/7 to respond to any needs I had. I got to know volunteers that came from all over the world, in the Volunteer House where we stayed. I enjoyed it a lot.
Lastly, South Africa is a beautiful country with beautiful people. I never felt like a foreigner. I was there until November 3rd (a little more than two months). I definitely want to go back again. I highly recommend a IVHQ Program selection to Cape Town, South Africa. The IVHQ Program people are prompt in responding to your questions. They are very professional and polite.

How can this program be improved?
Provide heat in the Volunteer House in the Winter.
Yes, I recommend this program
Sarah
10/10

SA Trip of a Lifetime

I cannot even begin to explain how happy I was during and after this trip I booked through IVHQ. Traveling to South Africa was the best, most life changing experience I've had to date. I was very unsure and nervous about traveling to a foreign country all by myself but after preparing and going through each step on IVHQ I felt a lot better. Upon arrival I was immediately greeted by 5 other girls in the program, all just as nervous as me but after just an hour we had become best friends. I met people on this trip that I will remember forever and made connections that are unforgettable. It was truly amazing to be able to work with disadvantaged children and really try and make a difference. It made me so happy to build relationships with the kids I worked with and I would not trade those memories for anything. I recommend IVHQ to all of my friends and family.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Daniel
10/10

The MOST profound experiance I have had...

When I signed up for the South Africa program through IVHQ I was a little lost and at a crossroads of sorts. I had just graduated from university and was having a hard time finding use of everything I had just spent years learning. I didn't really have a path for the rest of my life beyond getting my 2 degrees but IVHQ gave me that. Because of my experiance in SA I know I want to help fight the growing epidemic of illiteracy and the lack of fundamental education.
The greatest moment of the trip was at the end of the second day of class; students rarely get 1-on-1 help because classes ar between 30 and 50 students for a single teacher. I was able to spend a good portion of the class time giving 5 students 1-on-1 help; at the end of class each one came up to me and gave me a hug and looked up at me with a huge smile and said, "Thank you sir!"
Because of IVHQ I have found a calling and am currently in the process of forming a non-profit to help schools like the one I was helping at form after school tutoring and special education programs.

Yes, I recommend this program
Valerie
10/10

HIGHLY RECOMMEND

I highly reccomend this trip to anyone who wants to travel for a reasonable price and get some volunteering credit as well! The people i met and the kids made it so hard to leave. I cried the whole way back home! I am a completely different person now with a better perspective on life. I met life long friends and felt amazing knowing that i was helping out a unprivileged community. This program changed my life and i already booked my trip back to South Africa!

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

We would love to have you back again Valerie! The time you gave was truly appreciated by everyone you worked with on the program. Claire - IVHQ Program Manager.

Yes, I recommend this program
Yousef
10/10

IVHQ South Africa experience

My trip to South Africa was unforgettable. Every day there was fun and amazing. Its wouldn't have been the same if it wasn't for IVHQ team. who were not only supportive and helpful, but also flexible. The accomodation was super comfy and convenient, and most projects were well structured. As for the country there is no shortage of things to do there. South africa is rich with culture and history, and most importantly it's pretty safe. So try to enjoy every moment there because it really is a life changing experience.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Thanks for taking the time to write your review Yousef! It sounds like you truly made the most of your time in the program, and it is always great to hear that the program impacted you as much you impacted the community with the work you did. Claire - IVHQ Program Manager.

Yes, I recommend this program
Jade
10/10

Surf program in South Africa

My volunteer trip to South Africa with IVHQ was the best decision of my life. I was supposed to stay for 4weeks but decided to extend to 6 weeks because I couldn’t leave the kids so soon. It is such an amazing experience, you get so attached to the kids, the locals and the other volunteers. I did a surf program in South Africa and just had the time of my life! We got personal surf time in the morning but the best part was to get in the water with the kids during the afternoons. I really loved my trip so much! I’ll be going back next year for 3 months because after only one week home I miss the kids and want to make sure they’re’ doing alright.
If I could give one piece of advice to futur volunteers it is to stay as long as they possibly can because it never seems to be enough!

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

It is great that you took the opportunity to extend your time in South Africa Jade. We are really looking forward to having you back again next year, as I am sure are the children you worked with! Claire - IVHQ Program Manager.

Yes, I recommend this program
João Pedro
10/10

MUIZENBERG - SOUTH AFRICA (THE BEST EXPERIENCE)

My name is João Pedro, I'm Brazilian, and I'm 24 years old. I came here to present the experience at the IVHQ program in Muizenberg, South Africa, which was held from 2nd to 13th July. Well, before leaving my country I was impressed with the organization of IVHQ's team. Because in the application they asked for many details, they demanded criminal records, registration of documents, schedules of flights and other information. The layout of the site is very practical, and the interactive activities are very useful for people who has never done the program. I wondered about if the organization and effectiveness would be the same as it was till that point.
When we arrived at Cape Town airport, an IVQH team was already waiting for us. A van took me from the airpoirt to the volunteer’s home. The house was very clean, every day were two very dear girls to clean up. Were included the house staying and three meals. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. The three meals were sufficient for all occasions, although they were not as significant in protein, they were very nutritious, varied and delicious. Our house had a vegeterian, his food came separate from ours.
On the first day, orientation day, we went to a house that they explained us what we were going to do exactly in each kind of program. We had the opportunity to know all the volunteers and the staff that worked with us. About the childcare program. Every morning they picked us up by 7:30 and left us in the school of the Capricorn community. The place was very safe, and the school staff and kids were already used to the volunteers, they made us feel like home. The van used to pick us up half a day at school and leave us back at the house with our lunch.
It was an amazing experience that I had, exceeded all my expectations in every aspect. You can try to go there to change but who changes is you. I am very grateful to IVHQ for this opportunity and I hope to return soon and help more.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

It is great to hear that you had an amazing experience, and felt supported through the entire process. Both myself and the local team, would like to thank you for your dedication and time given to the program, it was very much appreciated. Claire - IVHQ Program Manager.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Adriana
10/10

Best experience

Volunteering abroad in South Africa is by far one of the best decisions I have ever made. I really loved working every morning in the program of childcare and spending time with the kids in the school were we worked at. I created so many meaningful bonds and relationships with all the people I met: the kids, the teachers and all the volunteers from all around the world. What I love about IVHQ is that it has a really good balance between volunteering time and free time to explore the city and all its wonderful surroundings. My favorite parts were seeing the kids every day from Monday to Friday and as a tourist I love hiking both Table Mountain and Lion's head and the Bloukrans Bridge bungee which is the highest in the world!!! This is an experience you won't regret. Lots of love, friendships and adventure.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

We are so happy that you chose to expand on your current volunteer experience, and joined the IVHQ volunteer team in South Africa Adriana. I am sure the children have as many fond memories of you! Claire - IVHQ Program Manager.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Beau
10/10

I Would go back tomorrow!

I choose IVHQ because I had read amazing reviews and the program they offered seemed to fit exactly what I was looking for- a mix of culture, children interaction, exploration, and the opportunity to meet new people. After spending almost four weeks in South Africa I can say that my experience exceeded all of those wishes. The program from the beginning was very easy to apply and pick a location, for me South Africa has always been a bucket list item so that was easy. Communication with the team was great even when the trip was over when they wanted feedback to make the program better. I have to say the people you meet though was the best by far- I created so many new friendships with people across the globe and for almost a month I left everything back home to just be present and live in the moment. I would in a heartbeat go on another volunteer trip with this organization, honestly I cannot wait to starting planning for when that can happen.

How can this program be improved?
Would be nice to know a rough schedule for your volunteering so you can plan.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Thanks for your review Beau! We are so happy that you decided to volunteer with IVHQ as your first international volunteer experience. Your time was appreciated by all and we would love to have you volunteer again with IVHQ in the future! Claire - IVHQ Program Manager.

Yes, I recommend this program
Ashley
10/10

Unforgettable Experience!

My overall experience with IVHQ was fantastic from start to finish. Claire was extremely helpful with the support prior to leaving for South Africa and responded to questions, even hours before leaving for the trip. Also, when in South Africa, I never felt alone as the staff from DTR was always available.

As for the Program and the children we worked with was life changing. There is so much need that I felt like my time in South Africa really did help and make an impact. And I cannot wait to go back!

Yes, I recommend this program
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ummugul
10/10

One of the Best Place to visit!

I decided to volunteer in South Africa- Muizemberg and I don't regret one bit! As soon as I came to Cape Town I was greeted by a local who came to pick me up. He was the nicest! Then, I met my house mother, who truly cares for you. I needed to have access to wifi for a tour the next day and she called all her contacts to find someone who can hotspot me for a few minutes and not long after she found someone! All the people who stayed in the same house as me greeted me and helped me to get organized and comfortable.

They also cook amazing food! If you are vegetarian you just need to let them know and they'll make a separate meal for you.

As for the program itself, I was in teaching and it was the holiday program. We started volunteering at 9:00 and ended around 13:00. We worked along the sports development program and it was the best! All the kids are so adorable and genuine. They just want love and affection and they'll be the most happiest person in the world! They knew all the volunteers name by heart before I knew theirs. If I could stay for more than 2 weeks in there I would without hesitation. There are just so many things to do in there and the locals are so nice that you wanna extend your stay and so many people did. Every day we tried to do a new activity. I totally recommend you to hike lions head and table mountain. They're just the best hike you can ever find in the world. Also, if you can go to Chapman's peak, do a three day safari tour, do the Cape Point tour and go to the Roben Island you'll have the best time believe me it's worth it! I had a budget of 500$ before going there, but there are just so many thing to do and see that I didn't care spending more.

Also, if you are worried that Cape Town might not be the safest place just know that there will always be people to help you. I've never had an issue there and you just have to be cautious. For example don't walk alone at night and try to stay with a group of people when you're going out and you'll be fine.

Just know that by volunteering with IVHQ you're never be alone. They will always be there to help you by guiding and preparing you for the trip! They're the best!

Thank you IVHQ for this unforgettable experience. I will definitely volunteer again with you guys.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Ummugul, it sounds like you really made the most of your time on the program as well as exploring Cape Town - you really got to fulfil your wish of doing something different, and helping others while travelling. The time you spent on the program and your positive attitude was appreciated by all of the team, and I am sure the children that you worked with as well. Thanks again for joining the program and being a great volunteer!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Jessica
10/10

Incredible Volunteering Experience

I continuously smiled, laughed, played, taught, sang, and took many pictures with the kids. This program had exceeded my expectations. From the moment I had arrived to Cape Town, I had felt welcomed and felt like this trip would be a life changing experience. I volunteered in the childcare program for 2 weeks, and the teaching program for 1 week in the township of Capricorn. At both schools I had felt very welcomed by the staff, and was able to interact, connect and help with the kids by the first day of volunteering. The local staff for IVHQ were very helpful and kind, and made sure each volunteer had a great experience. Within such a short time I had felt like I had connected with everyone so well, and had fallen in love with the culture of South Africa. I will absolutely never forget this experience as I completely stepped out of my comfort zone, had opened my eyes to a new culture, and had confirmed that I want to become an elementary school teacher.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Thanks for taking the time to write your review Jess! It sounds like you had an amazing time, and really made the most out of the experience outside of your comfort zone, learning about the amazing South African culture and its people. I am sure the teachers and children enjoyed the time with you as much as you did with them! ^Claire - IVHQ South Africa Program Manager

Yes, I recommend this program
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Deanna
10/10

Amazing Experience!

This was the best experience of my life! I have always wanted to travel and volunteer abroad and IVHQ made this so fun and easy.

During the week we were able to volunteer and take in the experiences we wanted while leaving plenty of time to explore the country for the weekend. The South African organization has ties to several tourist organizations so highly recommend taking a safari on the weekends.

Highly highly recommend this organization if you want a new way to travel and give back.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Deanna. Thanks for such an awesome review! It's fantastic to hear our program offered you one of the best experiences in your life and that we made the process of volunteering easy and fun for you. Thanks for being a great volunteer and please join us on another program soon. ^Claire - IVHQ South Africa Program Manager

Yes, I recommend this program
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Britania
10/10

Childcare Project- South Africa

Prior to making the decision to volunteer with IVHQ, I did my research and read many reviews that were positive. Now with firsthand experience, I can attest to the organization’s tremendous ability to effectively provide volunteer abroad opportunities for anyone. I volunteered in South Africa for three weeks on the Childcare Project. Before, during, and after, IVHQ program managers have kept an open line of communication; ensuring smooth transitions between the numerous aspects of volunteering internationally. IVHQ made international volunteer accessible and trouble-free. Moreover, teaching, comforting and encouraging children who have little to nothing, yet wear a smile each day, was the best experience of my life thus far. My weeks spent volunteering in a township of South Africa weren’t meant to change the world. Instead, I intended on leaving a lasting impact on each child I came across. IVHQ helped me to do just that.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Britania. Thanks so much for your review! We're so glad to hear that you found our service trouble-free and that you had the best experience in South Africa. Thanks for being an awesome volunteer and we hope to have you back soon on another IVHQ program. ^Claire - IVHQ South Africa Program Manager

Yes, I recommend this program
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Britania
10/10

South Africa Childcare Project-IVHQ

Prior to making the decision to volunteer with IVHQ, I did my research and read many reviews that were positive. Now with firsthand experience, I can attest to the organization’s tremendous ability to effectively provide volunteer abroad opportunities for anyone. I volunteered in South Africa for three weeks on the Childcare Project. Before, during, and after, IVHQ program managers have kept an open line of communication; ensuring smooth transitions between the numerous aspects of volunteering internationally. IVHQ made international volunteer accessible and trouble-free. Moreover, teaching, comforting and encouraging children who have little to nothing, yet wear a smile each day, was the best experience of my life thus far. My weeks spent volunteering in a township of South Africa weren’t meant to change the world. Instead, I intended on leaving a lasting impact on each child I came across. IVHQ helped me to do just that.

Yes, I recommend this program

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About International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

IVHQ is the world’s most trusted and affordable volunteer abroad organization, offering the largest range of safe and impactful volunteer programs in 40+ destinations around the world.

Over 80,000 travelers have volunteered abroad with IVHQ over the...