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

Reviews

96%
based on 51 reviews
  • Impact 9.1
  • Support 9.1
  • Fun 9.3
  • Value 9.5
  • Safety 8.5
Showing 46 - 51 of 51
Maryke
9/10

IVHQ South Africa volunteer review

South Africa is an absolutely amazing country with some really wonderful people and astonishingly beautiful scenery; however the political and social turmoils it faces will undoubtedly leave you heartbroken. IVHQ and their current in-country volunteer company is great because they allow you to see both sides of the story. You'll fall in love with the kids you volunteer with -- I was placed in Steenberg Primary School seen and I've never seen a school with a more welcoming and loving community of kids. While the program itself has a few flaws and hiccups, the experience is what you make it and it's not difficult to make it life-changing. I miss it so much!

How can this program be improved?
Although the program is quite affordable, I felt that Dreams To Reality should change the way they accommodate for their volunteers. While I definitely wasn't expecting 5-star hotels and gourmet cuisine, they houses/security were very low quality and the food verged on inedible. My advice would be to bring some decent pepper spray and South Africa is a very dangerous country (although if you're street smart and use a bit of common sense you'll be fine) and over budget for food and groceries as you'll be making and buying a lot of your own food!
Yes, I recommend this program
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Katharina
9/10

8 weeks of happiness

I came to South Africa without any expectations, because I had learnt various times before this trip that this is the best way to make the most out of it. But in the end my time there was so much fuller than I could have ever imagined.
I don't know where to start, because so many things were just amazing. The country is beautiful. Just incredibly beautiful. That's why it is especially sad that it is so dangerous there and we could only go outside till 5pm, before it was "hunger games time". Your freedom is definitely taken away from you by the living conditions there, in the sense that you can only walk in groups or take cabs if you don't wanna risk getting mugged or worse. But the kids you teach there make it all worth it. They have the worst background stories and don't even show a glimpse of negativity. Their smiles make your day and in the end I learnt more from them than I could ever have taught them. Moreover the other volunteers I worked with are great. Everyone has their own amazing life story and everyone just wants to enjoy life, which spreads good vibes wherever you go. I did so many things from my bucket list while I was in South Africa, I walked with lions and elephants, did a skydive, experienced Cape Town, drank more expensive wine than I would have imagined, dived with great white sharks in a cage, went surfing, rode in a cab with crazy local "cab drivers", saw penguins, went to beautiful places of which I could not have dreamt of... This list could go on and on. I met people from all over the world, made friends with the most beautiful people and learnt so much during these 8 weeks, more than I could ever have wished for. I highly recommend doing this program to everyone! Of course one will encounter dodgy situations and be to scetchy places, but if you have a common sense and some luck you will survive South Africa without any problems! :)

How can this program be improved?
The food should consist of less carbs and more proteins. We all started feeling impacted by the quality of the food provided after some time.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Katharina, thanks for the recommendation! Sounds like you had beautifully amazing 8 weeks in South Africa. We are so glad that you made lifelong friends and made the most of your time there. Thanks for being an IVHQer!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Alvaro
6/10

Volunteering in Muizenberg, South Africa

I volunteered with Dreams to Reality, IVHQ's local partner in Muizenberg, South Africa.

Accommodation: I stayed in one of the volunteer houses, my room had bunk beds to accommodate up to 5 people. It was in a residential area 15-min walk from where the shops and restaurants are. There was no wi-fi. The house had security gates and procedures to protect from break-ins (luckily, there were no break-ins during my stay), however due to constant power outages, the electronic security door didn't work all times, and once I was locked out of the house at night (fortunately nothing happened).

Food: lunch and dinner was brought to the house during weekdays and they could be much better. Menu was mostly carbs. Manny volunteers chose to eat out.

Transportation to/from placement: due to safety concerns, transportation in a van was provided.

Safety: South Africa has safety issues. We heard from staff mugging and break-ins in the volunteer house happened, but fortunately no major issues happened during my stay. I recommend volunteers to avoid using their credit cards, since many volunteers had been victims of credit card frauds, including me. Also, I recommend having a local mobile number to take Uber to travel around the city.

Volunteering: my placement was at a day care center with other volunteers (we stayed there in the morning). We helped the teachers feeding the children, playing with them. The children were lovely.

How can this program be improved?
Quality of food could definitely be improved. Also, I think working hours should be increased since volunteers stayed at their placements only in the morning.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Alvaro, thank you for the feedback on your trip to South Africa. We appreciate your comments and have passed on you suggestions to the Program Manager. Thanks again.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Rebecca
10/10

Best summer in South Africa

My volunteering experience with IVHQ in South Africa was absolutely amazing. I was doing the Surf Outreach program and I loved every single second of it. The volunteers on this program got connected very fast and it was a lot of fun to work together. There was always this happy and positive vibe going around.
Working with the kids at the beach and seeing them being happy, was the best feeling you could ask for. The kids might be shy in the beging, but as soon as they know you a little bit better, they won’t leave you alone and want to play with you all the time.
You will be staying in a beautiful town just outside of Cape town. The stuff is very helpful, always around if they are needed and very passionate about the community support we are doing. The accommodations are in good conditions and you’ll be sharing a room with other volunteers. It is very easy to socialize and fun to meet all those new people from around the world.
You are not only teaching and helping the kids, you will learn so much about yourself and from the people you are staying with.
The hardest part is to say good bye. You can’t get those sad faces out of your head, when you tell the kids that it is your last day on program.
Back home I’m already trying to find the perfect time to go back again and spend more time with the kids.
So if you are still thinking about the program, just do it! I’ll promies, you will have the best time of your life!

How can this program be improved?
I had a very good time on the program and nothing to complain about.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Rebecca, It's great to hear from you. We totally agree, it will be the best time of your life - just do it!! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on your experience volunteering on our South Africa program. It sounds like you had a really special abroad experience where you met some great people and made some good memories. It's great to have you as an IVHQer and we hope to see you on another IVHQ program soon.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Alondra
10/10

South Africa Childcare program

I traveled to SA in 2013. I was 18 years old and traveled alone. I was quite nervous at first but once I met the staff and volunteers, they made me feel right at home. I volunteered in the childcare program for 6 weeks and I got to spend time with the cutest little kids. They were very welcoming and as the weeks flew by I got to know each one individually. In the classroom we would sing songs, play games, and help pass out the porridge to the kids. During recess they would dance and sings songs, one of the songs they sang to me was "peel banana". It was really sad when I had to leave :( The volunteers were very friendly and outgoing. I made life-long friends while coming here. I really do recommend IVHQ. I promise you wont regret this program. I'm actually planning my next trip with them now to Peru! If you decided to volunteer in SA I really recommend shark cage diving in the great white shark capital, and bunji jumping Africa's highest bridge!!

How can this program be improved?
I would probably say the food. The lady who cooked for us did'nt cook as good as I imagined.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Alondra, It’s great to hear from you! Thanks for sharing photos and a little insight into your experience volunteering in in South Africa back in 2013. We hope you are having a fantastic time volunteering in Peru.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Megan
10/10

Volunteering with IVHQ in South Africa

I was in South Africa for three months working at the Sunrise Educare Center. I had the privilege of working with the 3-4 years who changed my life. They taught me no matter what hardships you face, smiles and love can guide you through anything. For a few hours a day, I played, read, did crafts, and sang with these beautiful children. There are so many amazing places and people to meet while in South Africa. From safaris, to the world's highest bungee jump, to the beaches, this place will leave you speechless.

How can this program be improved?
If I had to change one thing about the program, it would be that some of the houses upgraded their security. For example, higher fences or more durable barbed wire.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Megan, Sounds like you had fantastic volunteer travel experience in South Africa. Thanks for sharing!

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...