Projects Abroad Volunteer Programs in South Africa

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About

Become a valued volunteer in South Africa with Projects Abroad! Every year we send dozens of volunteers to South Africa to take part in projects that include: Teaching, Child Care, Equine Therapy, Conservation & Environment, Sports, Farming, Creative & Performing Arts, Building, and Culture and Community. We also offer internships in : Nutrition, Journalism, International Development, Veterinary Medicine, and Law & Human Rights. This is your chance to enhance your professional skills in a setting where volunteers can make a profound difference.

During your time as a volunteer with Projects Abroad you will have the opportunity to travel and explore South Africa. This is a beautiful country and we're proud of the work we're doing here.

New Gap Semester Programs!

🌍 Cultural Exchange ⭐ Experiential Learning 📅 6 weeks+

Asia, Africa, and Beyond! Looking for an alternative to virtual learning? Our new Going Beyond gap semester programs are a safe, structured, yet flexible option to see the world while gaining valuable work experience and knowledge abroad. Half semester up to a full year - choose your own path and tasks. Next escape is November 8th!

Discover more & Apply! - Limited spaces available.

Popular Programs

Volunteer with Children in South Africa

Do volunteer work with children in South Africa and focus on supporting early childhood development.

Volunteer Surf Coaching In South Africa

Teach surfing to underprivileged children and adults and help develop the community.

Volunteer with Animals in South Africa

Gain practical experience with animals and support staff at a shelter or help rehabilitate seabirds at a rescue center.

Volunteer Teaching IT in South Africa

Teach computer skills to disadvantaged children and adults while experiencing life in vibrant Cape Town.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

9.63 Rating
based on 19 reviews
  • Impact 9.5
  • Support 9.3
  • Fun 8.9
  • Value 9.5
  • Safety 8.9
Showing 1 - 8 of 19
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Milly
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Life-changing

My experience with Projects Abroad was like no other, I had so much fun working with kids and getting to know the other people on the trip and I’d do it again in a heartbeat! I felt like I was actually making an impact in the children’s lives which is so fulfilling and it made me want to help even more people around the world. The social part of the trip was great as well, they took us all around Cape Town to do loads of different activities including cycling, trampolining, surfing and going out for dinner. We also did a few community projects in the township where we gave out food and helped with a women’s day event, this was an incredible experience as we got to know loads of the people in the township as well as the children. If you want to travel and make even a small difference in the world, I’d 100% recommend projects abroad!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Go in with an open mind and be willing to try new things.
Response from Projects Abroad

Hi Milly,
Thank you for your review on our High School Specials, Care & Community Project in South Africa. I’m delighted that you had a positive and rewarding experience. Your involvement with the project is hugely appreciated by Projects Abroad and the local community. We look forward to you volunteering with us again.

Harry Kent, Head Office Coordinator for South Africa

Default avatar
Svea
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

New experiences and new friends

I was in Cape Town for a Human rights and law project. We had a supervisior who always stayed near us, so we never felt insecure. Also our host family was super cool, we felt save and got the best meals everyday. However also the project was great. We met a lot of people, who were so impressive. They showed us, how they live even if most of them had no money. We tried to help them every time we were in the townships with cooking or creating schools. We also had a moot court to see the legal aspect in South Africa, it was an unbelievable experience to work on a case which really happend. To understand the whole topic between black and white people we visited a lot of museums and historical buildings. And next to all the beautiful moments, we met a lot of new people and found friends for life.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Always be open minded, even if people look different or have no money, they can be the nicest people you meet in your whole live.
Response from Projects Abroad

Hi Svea,
Thank you so much for taking the time to leave this excellent review. Projects Abroad and the local community really appreciated your help on the High School Specials Law & Human Rights project in South Africa. We hope to see you again soon on one of our projects or internships.

Harry Kent, Head Office Coordinator for South Africa

Default avatar
Lara
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

2 week internship in SA

I did this internship because my school required us to do one at 16. I have been interested in human rights and law for a long time and thanks to this experience I know for sure that that is the path I want to pursue. The staff were very helpful before, after and during the trip. They gave me a lot of space to work on my own and with others despite my young age and I was able to get in direct contact with the clients. I felt very respected and felt like what I was doing actually had an impact which definitely makes it worth the expenses. I hope that I can go again and would recommend the trip to anyone who has an interest in law or any other subjects (projects abroad offers so many types of volunteer programs!). I still think about my experience very often and would recommend 100%

What would you improve about this program?
I heard many good stories about the different hosts but I was not completely happy with the one I had.
Response from Projects Abroad

Hello Lara,
Thanks for leaving your review about our Law & Human Rights project in South Africa. It’s warming to hear about your story, what an experience you’ve had – I’m sure you’ll remember it for a lifetime! You are most welcome to volunteer or Intern with us in the future.

Harry Kent, Head Office Coordinator for South Africa

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Layla
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Farming in Cape Town

Young Farmers trip to Cape Town, I had the most amazing time learning how to plant fruits trees and vegetables. We made vegetable patches for families in the townships and it was great to feel you were making a difference.
We went to Sozo and helped plant some vegetables and make new patches. We also helped out at woman’s day, which was a really great thing to help out with, it was very inspiring seeing all the women doing their talks, it was great fun with the dancing and singing. We went on the peninsula tour and saw the penguins, which was lovely to see. The food was great and I tried many different foods, such as ostrich and kudu.
Of course coming to South Africa we enjoyed the safari and tourist things, such as skating and shopping. I had the most amazing experience that I will ever forget. Our host was amazing and did us delicious food.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
The most nerve racking moment was the travelling and meeting the host family but there was no need to be nervous. It was a little nerve racking waking around the main town of Cape Town with the crime of pick picketers etc.
Response from Projects Abroad

Hi Layla,
Thank you so much for taking the time to leave this excellent review. Projects Abroad and the local community really appreciated your help on the Farming project in South Africa. We hope to see you again soon on one of our projects or internships.

Harry Kent, Head Office Coordinator for South Africa

Default avatar
Bengu
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Human rights and law volunteering SA

I have never experienced anything quite like this in my life! I went to the human rights and law volunteering in summer, 2018 and it's incredible how big of an impact those 2 weeks can have. As someone who had never been to africa before, let alone Cape Town, it was an opportunity to see the different lifestyles and cultures of a new country. What surprised me the most was the religious and cultural diversity in Cape Town. We stayed with a host family for the 2 weeks with around 10 other volunteers and occasionally had our meals together. During our time there, we went to court and witnessed a man on trial for a rape case, went into parliament, were separated into 2 groups and had to solve a real-life murder case which had happened a few years back, met some volunteers from another school and practiced debating with them, amongst many other things. These experiences were incredible and I am so lucky to have been able to practice skills like these which I know will be essential for my future. During our spare time, our supervisors took us to see the cultural sites of Cape Town including the table mountain, the gangster museum, the parliament, robben island, the water front, boulders beach, and muizenburg beach where we were taught how to surf. we also had volunteering days once a week. The first week we went to a primary school where there were about 30 children and cooked for them, painted the outside of the building as it was worn away and played, sang and danced with the kids. The following week was womens day, so we held an event for all women who were previously imprisoned and painted their nails, gave them hand massages, brought food for them . From these 2 weeks, I made friends for life who although I only knew for 2 weeks have become some of my closest friends. I have learnt so much from this experience and done things which could not be possible without this volunteering program and would without any hesitation, recommend this program to everyone, regardless of whether or not you want to study law in the future.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
On our last day, we went to a South African restaurant and ate springbok, ostrich and another kind of meat which I had never tried before but they insisted we try as it was a traditional dish.
Response from Projects Abroad

Hi Bengu,

I'm so glad to hear you had a rewarding experience on our High School Specials Human Rights project in South Africa. Your effort towards the project is greatly appreciated. We can't wait to have you back again with Projects Abroad.

Harry Kent, Head Office Coordinator for South Africa

Default avatar
Thomas
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great Experience with the Projects Abroad Human Rights Project

Overall, Great Experience!
This summer I took the Bar Exam to become a lawyer. After taking the exam, I wanted an opportunity to gain legal experience while going abroad. Projects Abroad was the perfect combination of that. On the project, I learned a lot which taught me how to manage a high case load of indigent clients who cannot normally afford paid legal advice. The supervisors on the project were great. They were easily approachable and always answered my questions. I worked mainly property, family, consumer, and employment types of cases. The Human Rights Office also handles claims from refugees who have settled in South Africa. On Mondays, I would go to the Townships which are low income communities and I would meet with clients and give advice to help achieve their objectives. I also continued to meet with the same clients as they would come to our office for appointments. I felt like a gained a great legal experience working abroad, and I would definitely love to do another project!

My host family was amazing. They truly cared about me and made me feel welcome. I enjoyed sitting at the dinner table with them each day and talking to each other the day went.

The other volunteers were great. I met new friends from various countries around the world. Outside of the project, I would go to dinners, do tours, hikes, and social events with the volunteers that I met.

Cape Town was amazing. So many activities to do there from several hikes on Table Mountain, walks on the beach, surfing, scuba diving, shark cage diving, whale watching, wine farm tours, peninsula tour, etc.

I had a truly memorable experience and really enjoyed my time in Cape Town!

Response from Projects Abroad

Dear Thomas: Thank you for sharing your experience in Cape Town! It's great that you were able to get involved in such interesting cases and help clients in disadvantaged situations. It's amazing how much you can help while you are also learning yourself. Hopefully you can come visit your host family soon, as well as your new friends from around the world!

Default avatar
Heidi
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My unforgettable experience!!...

My trip to South Africa was phenomenal! I am blown away by the beauty of the country and the people! I volunteered for the child care program in Cape town for two weeks. I worked directly with the children and assisted the staff with creating programs that will enhance their social-emotional development and academic abilities. The other volunteers and I taught the children basic hygiene practices through songs and visual prompts. Seeing the children learn while having fun was very rewarding! The principle was constantly expressing her gratitude and pointed out how happy the children were having us around to play and learn with. I will never forget all the moments of playing, singing, eating, having small talks, doing arts and crafts and reading! They will forever stay in my heart and memory.
I am impressed by the professionalism and support Projects Abroad staff members offer. Being that it was my first time traveling alone overseas, I was nervous and skeptical about booking my flight. The travel team was patient with me and helped me book my flight. This gave me a sense of peace and security. I appreciate the attentiveness staff members provided during my stay in South Africa. They made sure I was safe and satisfied at all times.
My host family were sweet and welcoming. The meals were delicious and there were always snacks and fruits available (which helped for long days at work). It was interesting living with five roommates from all around the world. I was able to learn about different cultures and upbringings. From talking about our day at work to going on unforgettable adventures together, everyday was filled with excitement! I will forever be grateful to Projects Abroad for creating such amazing opportunities for people to give to those in need in exchange for a life changing experience. I went on this trip with an open heart to help children and came back filled with compassion and hope!

Default avatar
Jordan
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Law & Human Rights Placement In Cape Town

I spent an incredible eight weeks in Cape Town with the Projects Abroad Human Rights Office (PAHRO). Most of my time was spent travelling to townships to meet with clients and researching and drafting legal documents alongside PAHRO’s staff. On Wednesday afternoons, I helped run educational workshops at the Bonnytoun youth juvenile detention centre. While much of what I worked on was challenging, I always had a strong support system in place. PAHRO’s staff were open to any questions and checked up consistently to make sure I was comfortable with my role. As well, I became close with several other law students from around the world who were volunteering within the same placement.
Cape Town is an amazing city, and Projects Abroad encouraged me to take advantage of all it had to offer. During nights and weekends I took part in a number of activities with other volunteers. My favourite memories include surfing at Muizenberg together every Friday, Braais at Mzoli’s, climbing Table Mountain, and Saturday mornings at the Old Biscuit Mill. I also enjoyed spending three days on the Garden Route along the African coast. Undertaking meaningful volunteer activities while experiencing Cape Town’s culture made for a trip that I’ll never forget.