Most Affordable & Trusted Volunteer Programs in South Africa with IVHQ

Video and Photos

This is Curtis
This is Curtis
This is Curtis
This is Curtis
This is Curtis
This is Curtis
Black rhinos
Black rhinos
Elephants
Elephants
Lion
Lion
Surfing
Surfing
Surfing
Surfing

About

Trusted by 110,000+ volunteers, IVHQ offers the most popular volunteer programs in Cape Town and 50+ other destinations around the world.

You can choose from 5 volunteer project options in South Africa: Teaching, Childcare, Surf Outreach, Sports Development or Computer Training 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 like-minded, impact-focused travelers from around the world.

IVHQ is trusted to support the meaningful adventures of thousands of volunteers every year, so even before you depart for South Africa, you’ll receive outstanding 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.

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 for 1 week - 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 110,000+ 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

Popular Programs

Childcare Project

As a volunteer on the Childcare project, you will play an important role in helping increase access to care and education for children from disadvantaged backgrounds and broken homes in South Africa. Some of the children have lost their parents to crime, alcohol or drug abuse, and HIV/AIDS, forcing them to live with their relatives or neighbors, who often do not have the means to take proper care of them.

Teaching Project

The aim of the Teaching project in South Africa is to provide assistance within public schools in low-income communities in Cape Town, to support struggling students and help ease the workload of teachers within under-resourced classrooms.

As a Teaching volunteer in Cape Town, you will be placed in one of three public primary schools, where you will work alongside local teachers or other volunteers.

Sport Development Project

The focus of the Sport Development project in South Africa is on developing both the physical skills and general life skills of the children at schools that do not have Physical Education teachers. Our Sport Development project operates in the same schools as our Teaching and Computer Training projects in Cape Town.

This project is well suited to volunteers who are passionate about sports and youth development, and would love the opportunity to share their passion with young learners.

Surf Outreach Project

You don’t need to be a pro surfer to appreciate the thrill involved in the sport of surfing and surf enthusiasts of all abilities are welcome to join our Surf Outreach project in South Africa! This is an after school project in which volunteers help facilitate local children in learning how to surf while teaching them valuable life skills.

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 58 reviews
  • Impact 9.1
  • Support 9.1
  • Fun 9.4
  • Value 9.5
  • Safety 8.6
Showing 16 - 30 of 58
Ashley
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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!

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ummugul
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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!

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Jessica
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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

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Deanna
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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

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Britania
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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

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Britania
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

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Laura
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

IVHQ South Africa

I had one of the most amazing travel experiences with IVHQ. Volunteering in South Africa has been a trip of a lifetime. IVHQ was always supportive (as well as Dreams to Reality). I felt safe when I was in their accommodation and they were very good with communication. We were driven to our volunteer location every day and picked up, the meals were great, and I met so many people from all over the world. Working with the children at Sunrise was such an eye opening and incredible opportunity. I would definitely recommend this program to anyone who is interested, you won't be disappointed!

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Laura, it's so wonderful to hear that our program in South Africa offered you the trip of a lifetime. We loved having you as part of our program and look forward to having you back to volunteer with IVHQ again soon. ^Claire - IVHQ South Africa Program Manager

Michelle
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Spent 2 weeks in Cape Town doing the childcare program

I volunteered in Cape Town doing the childcare program for 2 weeks and it was amazing. I wish I could’ve stayed longer, but unfortunately I couldn’t take any more time off school. Arriving at the daycare every morning and seeing how happy the kids were to see me was such an amazing feeling!! They were the cutest and always had something they wanted to tell me. They were the best part of the day and I miss them so much.
I’m really glad I chose IVHQ to travel with. They had so many projects and so many destinations to choose from at such affordable prices compared to other volunteer companies. The staff at my placement were also so nice and welcoming. I met some really cool people as well. I would love to volunteer with IVHQ again in the future, and will definitely stay longer because 2 weeks wasn’t enough!

What would you improve about this program?
The only thing I can think of is providing more updated information during orientation. Some things we were told weren’t true or didn’t apply anymore.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Thanks for taking the time to complete the review Michelle! We would have loved to have you for longer but I am sure that you got as much out of the 2 weeks as you could, and the time you put in was appreciated by the local team, local staff, and the children. ^Claire - IVHQ South Africa Program Manager

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Ash
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Unique volunteer experience

Loved my trip to Madagascar!! Was so cool to hang with like minded people on a beautiful tiny Madagascar island while working hard to make a difference! Was really special to have 3 different programs staying at the one camp! Loved chatting to other people about what they got up to each day! Work was hard but rewarding and we got plenty of down time to rest, socialize and enjoy the island of nosy komba! The staff were cool and friendly and the wildlife was amazing! Would 100% do the exact same program again!

What would you improve about this program?
Wish there was more variety in food! Expecialy for people with dietary requirments
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Ash, Thanks for taking the time to submit your review. It is great to hear that you enjoyed your time volunteering while travelling, and enjoyed the social aspect of camp, and island life! Both myself and the local team would love to have you back anytime. ^Claire - IVHQ Madagascar Program Manager

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Charlotte
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

South Africa

This was my first volunteer opportunity out of the country & I was scared but IVHQ put me at ease & basically provided everything I needed to feel comfortable safe & at ease in a new surrounding. They thought of everything & I can't wait to do it again next year God willing. Taking care of the kids for 2 weeks I fell in love with them & it gave me a new outlook on life. For me this was what life is all about giving & being in service & Pure True Love

What would you improve about this program?
It's perfect!
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Thanks for your kind words Charlotte, we are so happy to hear that you enjoyed your first volunteer abroad experience, and look forward to having you join another program in the future.
Claire - IVHQ South Africa Program Manager

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Maura
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

IVHQ Victoria Falls - Exceeded All Expectations

I did this IVHQ Victoria Falls program as a semi-vacation from work and was expecting to have a relaxing, yet physically demanding experience at Nakavango - just a restful break from work. I thought 2 weeks was nowhere near enough time to truly connect with the local team and country - but I was wrong! I ended up connecting incredibly well with the reserve manager and gained a real understanding of the local people's conflicts with wildlife, and how that intertwines with national and international politics, trade, and economics. It was absolutely fascinating and the volunteering itself was incredibly rewarding. If felt amazing to be outside all day with such wonderful people and to be contributing my small part to the overall project. I studied environmental policy in college and work now for an environmental NGO, so this program was right up my alley and is a perfect jumping point for anyone interested in environmental justice, land/wildlife, and international relations issues. The animals are pretty spectacular as well!

What would you improve about this program?
Better orientation when you arrive - there is a bit of a learning curve! But you figure it all out after two weeks.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Thanks for sharing your awesome review! It is great that you were able to learn from the wealth of knowledge that the local team have, and I know the local team enjoyed teaching you, as much as you enjoyed learning.
IVHq Victoria Falls Program Manager

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Hannah
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Trip of a lifetime

My trip to South Africa was the best 2 weeks of my life! Volunteering with the kids was so amazing and I loved each of them so much. I would recommend this trip to anyone with the desire to travel. My favorite memory was hiking table mountain. The hike was fun and the view was breathtaking. My favorite part of each day way waking up and going to help with the kids. The staff was so sweet and helpful. I also enjoyed going out at night. The night life was very fun and the citizens of South Africa are extremely friendly and fun people.

What would you improve about this program?
Nothing needed to be improved
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Thanks for your review Hannah, it is great to hear that you enjoyed waking up each morning to spend time with the children, and also had the opportunity to explore Cape Town. It is an amazing place with so much to offer.
Claire - IVHQ South Africa Program Manager

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Destiny
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best experience ever

This was by far the most amazing experience of my life. It was super easy to make friends with the other volunteers and by the end of it I made lifelong friends and was sobbing when I had to leave it felt like such a family. I did 4 weeks childcare and extended for one more week and did surf program, the kids were amazing and everyday I looked forward to getting up at 630 to make it there because they were so filled with love. It was definetly the hardest goodbye. The surf program was amazing and I wish I had knew about it earlier because I would have stayed another month, surfing all day was the coolest thing ever. Capetown and muizenburg were so beautiful and offered so much, I miss everything so much and I know I will be back. Best program ever. You won't regret it.

What would you improve about this program?
Absolutely nothing it was awesome.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Thanks for your review Destiny! It is great to hear that you have made some new life long friends, and to hear that enthusiasm you had for the children and the work. We look forward to having you return, and nail those surf skills!
Claire - IVHQ South Africa Program Manager

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Annie
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My Cape Town Experience

I absolutely loved my time spent in Cape Town with DTR through IVHQ. Although I only spent two weeks, I felt as if I grew so incredibly close with my fellow volunteers as well as the kids I worked with every day. The experience truly gave me more of an open mind and made me thankful for all of the privileges I have here at home, and this has driven me to want to return so bad. The kids really filled my heart with so much joy and love and I could tell that I was doing the same for them, it was moving. If I were to return, I'd want to stay longer, as well as pack more accordingly to weather. My favorite memory was either my safari trip, or simply playing with the kids outside on nice afternoons.

What would you improve about this program?
Possibly more organization with our placements and instructions of what we are supposed to incorporate with what we do with the kids.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Annie, Thanks for sharing! We are so glad to hear that you loved your 2 weeks in South Africa and we would love to have you return in the future.
Claire – IVHQ South Africa Program Manager

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Jonathan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Life Changing

I've always dreamed of a trip to Africa, never did I expect it to be so rewarding. Wildlife has been a passion of mine since birth and on top of that African wildlife seemed to be the crown jewel. Being able to come work with a program where I can not only support wildlife, but see for the first time what I've been missing my entire life; while still contributing efforts to help wildlife and protect the lands so these amazing creatures may flourish. The connection I felt with this place made it feel I was leaving home, what's meant to be my home; and returning back to just where I live when my 4 weeks were over. I look forward to going back next year! In the beginning I had thought I wanted to travel everywhere, now all I want to do is travel back to Nakavango in Victoria Falls.

What would you improve about this program?
Not one single complaint. Absolutely perfect program.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Jonathan, Thanks for your awesome review of the Victoria Falls program! We are so glad to hear that you had a rewarding experience and we can’t wait to have you back next year!
Claire – IVHQ Victoria Falls Program Manager