South Africa volunteering guide

Away from affluent areas, out of sight of Stellenbosch, and past the protected perimeters of private game reserves, there’s a side to South Africa that needs your help. Volunteer your time, skills, and enthusiasm, and you’ll find out what’s beyond the tourist highs; just make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into before you sign up with rose tinted intentions. Short stays – one or two weeks – are better suited to volunteering with animals or physical projects where the more hands on the job, the better.
Hard work, cultural shocks, emotional exchanges and obliterated clothing – if you’re still looking to volunteer and make a difference in South Africa, you might just have what it takes.
Longer stays – four or five weeks, or more – are ideal for those looking to work with people, form relationships, and get a deeper understanding of South Africa’s complex character. Passionate pupils, orphaned monkeys, great white sharks, drought damaged soil; you can visit Cape Town, safari in Kruger or beach braai at weekends but, you know what, it will most likely be the working week, the eight till five, that you miss the most.
is/isn't...

Volunteering in South Africa is...

for the kids, the teachers, the carers and the lions within us all.

Volunteering in South Africa isn’t...

a holiday or a safari; it’s much better than that.

WHAT WE RATE & WHAT WE DON'T

UNDERRATED

GREAT WHITE SHARKS

Getting out of your depth with a great white shark …

FAMILY VOLUNTEERING

This is not your average family holiday, and there will …

ENDANGERED WILDLIFE

Cheetahs, wild dogs, black rhinos and vultures all fall into …

MANAGING EXPECTATIONS

Starts are usually early, work can be laborious and clothes …
RATED

SPORTS COACHING

PE isn't taught in many of the schools that support …

MONKEYS:

The fight for food, water and space in South Africa …

BIG CAT SANCTUARIES

Volunteering to care for lions, tigers and leopards that have …

VOLUNTEER PARK RANGER

A day in the life of a park ranger can …
OVERRATED

WHISTLESTOP HOLIDAYS

We recommend community based volunteers sign up for a minimum …

CUDDLING CUBS

Although legitimate animal welfare centres benefit hugely from volunteer projects, …

EASY ACCESS

If you're applying to volunteer with children and there aren’t …

Our top South Africa volunteering Holiday

Endangered wildlife conservation in South Africa

Endangered wildlife conservation in South Africa

Award-winning, Fair Trade certified conservation work!

From US $1330 14 days ex flights
Small group travel:
2019: 14 Jan, 28 Jan, 11 Feb, 25 Feb, 11 Mar, 25 Mar, 8 Apr, 22 Apr, 6 May, 20 May, 3 Jun, 17 Jun, 1 Jul, 15 Jul, 29 Jul, 12 Aug, 26 Aug, 9 Sep, 23 Sep, 7 Oct, 21 Oct, 4 Nov, 18 Nov
Helpdesk
Hello. If you'd like to chat about South Africa volunteering or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.
Written by Chris Owen
Photo credits: [Page banner: Frontier Official] [volunteering is...: Seth Doyle] [Underrated..shark: Olga Ernst] [Underrated..family volunteer: Pod volunteer] [Underrated..endangered wild: Derek Keats] [Underated..managing expectations: Frontier Official] [Rated..sports coach: Richard Matthews] [Rated..monkeys: Afrika Force] [Rated..Big cat sanctuaries: Wade Lambert] [Rated..volunteer park ranger: Frontier Official] [Overrated..whistlestop tours: Travellers Worldwide] [Overrated...cuddling cubs: Frontier Official] [Overrated..Easy access: Frontier Official]
Convert currencies