• South Africa
    • Cape Town
    • Port Elizabeth
1 to 24 weeks

Program Details

Age Min.
Short Term Spring Break Summer Winter Year Round
Guesthouse Hostel
Small Group (1-15) Medium Group (16-30) Large Group (31+)
Travel Type
Budget Solo Women


Starting Price
What's Included
Accommodation Activities Airport Transfers Meals Transportation
What's Not Included
Airfare Travel Insurance Visa
Sep 07, 2023
Apr 18, 2023
23 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Volunteer in South Africa with Plan My Gap Year – an award-winning, international volunteer abroad organisation with programs in South Africa. PMGY provides safe, trusted and affordable programs, with a wide range of projects in South Africa, including Childcare • English Teaching & Wildlife opportunities.

PMGY South Africa have projects located in the picturesque city of Cape Town and the Eastern Cape town of Port Elizabeth. The South Africa volunteer programs start on the 1st & 3rd Sunday & Monday of every month, respectively. Our projects in South Africa run across the year and participants can join us from 1-24 weeks. Volunteers in South Africa are provided with an extensive pre-departure support service, airport pick-up, orientation, meals, accommodation and local support.

Video and Photos


Ethical Impact

Plan My Gap Year is committed to providing ethical volunteer opportunities that truly benefit the local communities. We have personally vetted all of our Volunteer Programs in every destination. We support a small network of Volunteer Programs abroad that we have specifically chosen due to their efforts being sustainable for our volunteers and the local communities alike. We work closely with each of our local teams to ensure we are assessing and adapting to ensure quality experiences for all involved.

For this reason, PMGY does not provide volunteer opportunities in orphanages in any of our locations. Research and studies have shown that visiting and volunteering in orphanages has the potential to generate an industry that separates children from their families. In turn, putting children at increased risk of neglect and abuse. Therefore, we do not support these institutions with our volunteer network.

Instead, we focus on offering alternative childcare volunteer opportunities whereby children come to and from the placement setting each day. In other words, our local teams collaborate with childcare projects which do not offer any form of residential care. These are safe, responsible, and vetted projects, where participants continue to provide valued assistance supporting local staff.

Program Highlights

  • Most Affordable – PMGY’s programs are accessible to everyone who wants to make a difference, through low fees and high-impact projects.
  • Best Support – Our international and local teams provide extensive around the clock services to assist you every step of your PMGY adventure.
  • Safety Prioritised – With safety a PMGY number-1 priority, we have taken all necessary precautions to ensure our programs are as safe and structured as possible.
  • Extraordinary Experiences – With PMGY, you have the opportunity to truly immerse yourself in amazing cultural and travel experiences, ensuring you leave with unforgettable memories.
  • Friendships for Life – Your PMGY experience not only opens up a doorway for new experiences and exciting memories, but also life-long friendships when meeting new people from around the world.

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Program Reviews

4.91 Rating
based on 11 reviews
  • 5 rating 90.91%
  • 4 rating 9.09%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Impact 4.45
  • Support 4.75
  • Fun 4.55
  • Value 4.65
  • Safety 4.1
Showing 1 - 8 of 11 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Unforgettable Experience

Staff were friendly and the experience was absolutely insane. Seeing the big 5 in their natural habitat was an unforgettable experience and the weekends allowed for you to personalise your trip. Accommodation is modest but more than worth the money you are paying. I felt safe throughout on the reserve and when travelling during the weekends staff provide transport for you and can organise activities (e.g. quad biking, horse riding, skydiving, bungee jump, swimming with seals). Mama Africa (Faith), Ali G and Felix were absolutely amazing and made us all feel at home straight away. You will meet amazing people and see incredible things. The only slight criticism I would give was the tasks at the Game Reserve were usually the same each week so became slightly repetitive. I would recommend going for 3-4 weeks.

  • Up close with The Big 5
  • Amazing staff
  • Safe
  • Somewhat repetitive after a few weeks
65 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

You won't regret it

I took a chance and booked my trip to South Africa with the £2000 saving I had and it was worth it. The experience I had was completely different to what I imagined but also just as incredible. To be there among animals in a reserve, going out on safaris everyday. Everybody at Kwantu was excellent and so enthusiastic. Each day we had the opportunity to partake in 2 activities and they were different each day. They jncluded road maintenance, perimeter checking, game count, planting, tree chopping and more. We would have enrichments there such as African dance shows or an animal handler.

  • Opportunity for hands on animal experience
  • Weekend excursions across the coast
  • Opportunity to participate in multiple different volunteer programmes
  • Programmes come with added cost
  • No opportunity to explore and adventure during the week
  • Stay on reserve area in reserve accommodation
90 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

South Africa Big 5 volunteering

I did the volunteer project at the Kwantu Game Reserve and my experience with PMGY was great!!
They took time to answer every question I had for pre-departure and for my stay, and explained everything for my arrival so I felt secure. Also, the fact that they organize zoom calls and also they send us this very well detailed volunteer handbook was really helpful, everything we need to know was in it.

To talk about the project, every word would not be enough to describe how incredible this experience was. It was sooo much better that I expected it to be, and I expected it to be amazing! The local team was so nice, the project and activities/work we did was really interesting, it was so uplifting to think that we did contribute to the improvement of these animals life and environment!

And to come back to PMGY, if you are thinking about doing a volunteer project, I would 100% recommand booking with this organization.

  • Game drives
  • Friendly staff
  • Great activities
105 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program


The experience during my time volunteering with PMGY was simply perfect. The experiences I gained, from the program exceeded my expectations. Even though I could only go for one week with a friend of mine the local guide managed to show us everything we needed and although a couple more weeks would have been great when I left I felt full of experiences and memories. On top of the great activities I perticioated in, the people I met were amazing. The locals that guided me throughout the activities were as helpful and friendly as they could and they provided a personal experience during the entirety of my trip. The other volunteers I met the days the program lasted are very social and we started talking and sharing stories almost immediately. It was unfortunate that I had only one week time though and I didn't manage to bond with the rest of the volunteers as much as I would like. All the things I did during my stay though was perfect. I went in safaris where I observed and took photos of the wild animals mostly in the morning and one time in the afternoon when the animals that hunt in the night were out. Another lifetime experience was our visit in a village nearby where we gave food to a school and played with the children. In that particular village there had not been volunteers in two years so the excitement and happiness we provided to the children was truly a once in a lifetime experience and made me appreciate some things I took for granted.

  • People I met
  • Things I did
105 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Awesome experience

The volunteer trip to South Africa was a unique experience that you live once in lifetime. First the country of South Africa has the most beautiful and majestic landscapes I have ever seen. The nature and the wild animals combined just astonish you! The program was perfect when it comes to the transportation, quality of accommodation and food in the reserve and staffs communication and friendliness. Especially the staff were so kind and caring that are one of the main reasons that I would return to the program just to see them again and see how they doing. The program has the full Africa safari and animal close encounter experience that it promises.

  • Friendly staff
  • Nice food
  • Close animal encounter
  • The work was too easy and basic at least for me
  • I wanted to contribute a bit more
111 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

The best volunteering program!

I took part in the SOUTH AFRICA WILDLIFE RESERVE VOLUNTEER project. It’s possible to arrange pickup from the airport so you don't have to worry about getting to the volunteer site. The place is very clean and meet western standards. The accommodation on site was beyond my expectations, food was very tasty with a choice of many dishes at each meal. Free water is always available.

Activities included things like tree chopping, fence clearing, building fences, giving water to animals, feeding animals, and more relaxing activities like animal counting, game drives. There is also something like a wild cats hospice, besides the reserve, so if you are worried that you won’t be able to see the cats in the reserve, you have nothing to fear because there will always be some in the hospice. In addition to work, you will also learn about the animals that live in the reserve, you will learn their names and the most interesting information that will be provided to you by the caretakers and volunteers who were there before you.

I was in Kwantu in October (the beginning of spring in the southern hemisphere), so the weather was perfect, warm but not too hot, only rained a few times.

All the people working there and the volunteers are very friendly and helpful. They often work with volunteers to improve the place. There is a very nice atmosphere.

PMGY's pre-departure support was very helpful and quick. The volunteer handbook I received was comprehensive.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
You don’t need to have any special skills to take part in this volunteering. Comfortable work clothes and cloth gloves will be useful. Most of work tools are guaranteed.
123 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

South Africa big five

Overall I had an amazing trip, met lovely people and contributed effectively to help preserve the area. I had lots of help and support before leaving so I knew exactly what I needed, the handbook is very useful and you should scan it before leaving. Whilst in South Africa the staff were very friendly and provided help whenever it was needed. The accommodation was average but was always kept clean by everyday cleaners which was very good. We did conservation work and even though it was tough, it was good fun and we were never overworked and we were never forced to do any work if we didn't want to.

What would you improve about this program?
It could be more organised so we know what we're doing during the day so we know what to bring and what to wear.
139 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

once in a life time

I will keep this short and simple because this is the way I am. I've been to Kariega reserve for 4 weeks, been surrounded but lions, allies, rhino. There isn't actually word that can describe this experience because it's just magic. I've been dreaming this probably for my entire life. I was so happy to speak with baboons in the morning, helping young turtles to survive, been able to live the bush experience

What would you improve about this program?
I would say that probably a more control over the age of the volunteers will be better. I've been sharing this experience with other 9 18 years old ladies. I'm 29. Nothing wrong with that but we weren't having a lot to share and talk
145 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers