Volunteering in Cairo
Make a difference to the communities of Cairo, Egypt
Why Volunteer in Cairo, Egypt
Cairo; Egypt’s majestic capital, is located on the banks of the Nile River and home to a world of history. Experience the bustling city life, while exploring the local culture and all the ancient artefacts Cairo has to offer.
Come bask in the splendour of the Great Pyramid of Giza, the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the Sphinx, the oldest monumental structure in Egypt. Not to mention the Egyptian Museum, one of the world’s greatest museums, with a staggering collection of antiquities, located near Tahrir Square, where the famous Egyptian Revolution transpired in 2011.
Stroll the busy streets of Cairo and explore the rich cultural tapestry, historical monuments and sample delicious traditional local cuisine, while enjoying the warm inviting humour of its inhabitants.
Revel in the prolific spiritual and religious background of this cultural gem with thousands upon thousands of years of history, while admiring the stunning Islamic architecture that continues to attract visitors to this day.
Cairo Volunteer Projects
25% discount for start dates between 15 February and 15 March applicable for bookings made by the end of December
Urban Sustainable Community Development Project
This project is aimed at creating sustainable development to empower the people of one of the largest and most densely populated informal communities in Egypt, through initiatives like teaching, performing arts, vocational training and street improvements.
Duration: 2-12 weeks
Rural Community Teaching & Development Project
This project strives to enrich the lives of the underprivileged locals, living in small villages and farms, through many programs focused on improving the community with efforts ranging from educating and protecting street children, to providing a safe haven for stigmatised special needs members of the community.
Duration: 2-12 weeks
Interesting Facts About Cairo
- The Great Pyramid of Giza is the only remaining survivor of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
- The Nile River is the longest river in the world and the primary water source for Egypt and Sudan.
- Cairo is the largest city in the Arab World. More than a quarter of all Egyptians live in Cairo.
- Cairo had been a hub for many civilizations including Pharaohs, Greeks, Romans, Arabs and Babylonians.
- Cairo has long been a centre of the region’s political and cultural life and is titled “the city of a thousand minarets” for its predominance of Islamic architecture.
- The Arabic name for Cairo is al-Qahirah, which means “the conqueror,” “the vanquisher” or “the victorious.”
Volunteer in Cairo
Explore one of the largest cities in Africa and the Middle East, discover a volunteer experience unlike any other, and join our rewarding projects in Cairo directly working with communities in need.
With a population of over 20 million and a total of over 280 slums in Cairo alone, the capital of Egypt has the highest poverty rate. Of Greater Cairo’s female residents, 20.5 per cent are illiterate, versus 11.3 per cent of its male inhabitants.
Our community projects tackle Cairo’s notable poverty and illiteracy issues head-on through different forms of development with a focus on teaching, to enrich the learning experience of underprivileged children, and vocational training, to teach disadvantaged members of the community crafts in order to make a good living.
You will be at the forefront of our significant efforts to uplift the city’s impoverished communities through reinforcing the various methods of sustainable development ingrained in our programs. Be instrumental in bringing about a better tomorrow for this great city.
Cairo Highlights & Excursions
Get the opportunity to explore everything from the banks of the Nile River and the sands of the Sahara Desert to the beaches of the Mediterranean and the Red Sea. Egypt provides world-class activities and opportunities. You can discover some of the world’s most exquisite landmarks, captivating culture and mesmerising views on offer.
Giza Pyramids, Sphinx and Saqqara
Explore the top three sites in Cairo at ease alongside a knowledgeable guide and engage in the great variety of activities on offer. Come see the Giza Pyramids, the only remaining survivor of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Great Sphinx, the oldest known monumental sculpture, and the world-famous Step Pyramid of Djoser, an archaeological remain in the Saqqara necropolis.
Luxor and Aswan
The city of Luxor is regarded to be the world’s largest open-air museum, with its neighbouring Aswan also housing some of Egypt’s most significant archaeological sites – explore relics of Egypt’s ancient past like Valley of the Kings, Karnak and Philae temples, while enjoying activities like hot air ballooning and sailing the Nile River on a Felucca.
Nile Felucca Sunset Cruise
Sail the longest river in the world on a Felucca; traditional wooden sailing boat. Watch the sun set over Egypt’s capital and enjoy charming views of the Nile River, as you feel the wind on your face with a refreshing beverage in hand. You will get to see Cairo in a whole new light from the water on a journey, sailing down the same river Cleopatra did so many centuries ago.
Red Sea Sinai Desert Road Trip
This adventure tour allows you to explore the best spots and activities the Sinai Desert and Red Sea have to offer. Visit historical biblical attractions, like St. Catherine’s Monastery, and climb Mount Sinai, where Moses received the Ten Commandments. Admire the crystal clear waters and stunning coral reefs of the Red Sea, and beautiful rock formations of the Sinai Desert, while enjoying a variety of activities offered, including kitesurfing, snorkelling, scuba diving, sandboarding, quad biking, horse/camel riding, and overnight Bedouin Safari camping under the stars.
Cairo Citadel, Khan El Khalili Bazaar & Egyptian Museum
This comprehensive sightseeing tour allows you to immerse yourself in the rich Egyptian culture and history while admiring the stunning Islamic architecture Cairo is famous for. Come explore the Citadel of Salah al-Din, a medieval Islamic-era fortification, revel in the extensive collection of antiquities on display at the Egyptian Museum, and browse the shops at Khan el Khalili, the busy colourful street bazaar, located in the heart of Islamic Cairo, filled with unique and exotic items from spices and perfumes to jewellery and souvenirs.
You will be staying in a 3-star hotel, located in Zamalek, a district in the middle of the Nile river possessing some of the most beautiful views in Cairo. As host to the majority of the city’s embassies, the area is very safe, with plenty of security on the street, providing you with reassurance to go out and explore, in a safe environment.
Not only is Zamalek ranked as the safest neighbourhood in Cairo, but the district is also known for being Cairo’s nightlife hub, with plenty of bars, restaurants and cafés.
You will share a twin or triple room with a bathroom, accompanied by fellow volunteers or interns. Private rooms are available upon request and availability, at an extra charge.
Know Before You Go to Cairo
Code of Conduct
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you swim in the Nile River?
It is not recommended to swim in the Nile or its canals because of the risk of exposure to bacterial and other infections. However, there are areas safe for swimming down south in Aswan.
Are there fish in the Nile River?
Many varieties of fish are found in the Nile system. Notable among those found in the lower Nile system are the Nile perch (a freshwater fish that can grow to be quite large, some weighing as much as 200 kg and measuring 2 meters in length), the bolti (a species of Tilapia), the barbel, several species of catfish, the elephant-snout fish, and the tigerfish, or water leopard.
What is the dress-code like in Cairo?
Cairo is a modern city, however, it is also a conservative, mostly Muslim city and women are expected to dress appropriately. Avoid wearing short shorts, tank tops/sleeveless tops, see-through and tight clothes.
Is it safe to walk around Cairo? How do I get around?
Cairo is a relatively safe city with a low crime rate. You will be staying in the safest neighbourhood in Cairo where you will feel secure walking around, however we ask that you have a fellow volunteer or staff member with you when leaving your volunteer accommodation. Also, be aware of your surroundings when cross the streets in Cairo due to conditions of chaotic traffic.
You will have transport to and from your projects. For recreational purposes, you will find many restaurants, bars and shops within walking distance and if you’re not walking, we recommend you use the Uber application and share your ride and location of destination with your volunteer manager.
Why are weekends different in Egypt?
As Islamic countries are most likely to have their weekends centred around Fridays, which is their holy day, Sunday is the first day of the week in Egypt, with the weekend being Friday and Saturday.
Is tap water safe to drink in Cairo?
It is not safe to drink tap water in Egypt as it’s highly chlorinated. It is advisable to drink bottled water during your entire stay. You can use tap water to brush your teeth etc. with no worries.
Volunteering Safety Tips
Despite media portrayal, Egypt is considered a very safe country in comparison to the rest of the world. According to a recent Gallup poll conducted in 2018, Egypt has been ranked the safest country in Africa and higher than both the UK and US.
Egypt has been ranked 16th out of 135 countries, while the UK was 21st and the US 35th.
You will be staying in one of the safest neighbourhood in Cairo, so you can comfortably explore the streets. However, there are some safety tips you need to follow:
- Volunteers must be accompanied by at least one other volunteer or staff member when leaving the premises and must notify Volunteer Manager prior to departure.
- For your safety, do not use public transport. We recommend you always use Uber when going anywhere that is not walking distance and share your ride on the app with the Volunteer Manager. Please make sure to save the address or location of the accommodation.
- Sign out and in – when leaving accommodation you must sign out and sign back in before curfew. Even though the volunteer manager is not living on-site, there are staff members and security cameras there to keep track of this.
- Do not leave valuables and money unattended. There is a safe located in your room to store your valuables.
- Do not carry excessive amounts of cash on you.
- Listen to your project manager and respect the local rules and customs at all times! Please remember that you will be working outdoors, in an unfamiliar community and environment.
- Do not enter townships unless accompanied by a local staff member.
- To avoid unnecessary attention in the streets please follow the recommended dress code discussed in your induction and found in the Know Before You Go section.
- Be wary of people who seem too friendly too fast – do not give out your personal contact details to anyone under any circumstances.
- Save your project manager’s number on your phone and make sure to provide us with a copy of your emergency contact at home.
- Only drink bottled water. Tap water is not safe to drink in Egypt.
- Do not swim or drink from the Nile River.
- Local vendors can be very persistent especially in popular touristic spots, its best to just dismiss them and keep walking.
Please consult with your private physician or doctor in regards to what immunizations or vaccinations are needed.
- Tetanus: Recommended
- Typhoid: Recommended
- Hepatitis A: Recommended
- Yellow Fever: Egypt is NOT at risk to yellow fever. You only require a yellow fever certificate if you are arriving from a yellow-fever infected area.