Volunteering in Cape Town

Making a difference to the communities of Cape Town, South Africa

Why Volunteer in Cape Town

As one of the world’s most beautiful and diverse cities, there are few places where you can experience a world-class safari; while also being steps away from the beach. Cape Town boasts stunning natural beauty, situated between mountains and the ocean; it’s truly a unique and incredible city.

You can spend your weekends exploring her natural wonders, during a hike up the famous Table Mountain. At 1100m, this splendid landmark dominates the city’s stunning horizon, adding an extra touch of beauty, to what is really, an incredible work of nature.

Indulge in a wine experience like no other. Taste some of the world’s finest wines, surrounded by stunning vineyards in this famous wine destination. The Franschoek wine trail is the most luxurious way to enjoy fine wine. Venture out into the vibrant student town of Stellenbosch and enjoy the beautiful vineyards, surrounded by mountains.

A vibrant city, full of life and extraordinary history. Discover more about the deep history of South Africa and the significance of Nelson Mandala, during a trip out to Robben Island, a great one for the history books.

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Cape Town was voted the World’s Most Beautiful City in 2018, and rightly so. Offering the perfect balance of natural beauty, scenery, activities, attractions and a vibrant culture; Cape Town is one of Africa’s most incredible places, with something on offer for everyone.

Sun, sea, sand and surf is the slogan that Capetonians live by and why wouldn’t you when you are living in a city with some of the world’s finest beaches. With a diverse array of beaches dotted along the Atlantic Ocean coastline. With the super high-end luxury in Clifton and Camps Bay, to the chilled-out surfer’s paradise (found in your volunteer home town of Muizenberg!) Carry on along the coastline, you will reach Boulders Beach, famous for its population of African penguins.

Stunning nature, incredible landmarks, fascinating history, world-class food and wine, and some of the world’s most exquisite wildlife – and that’s just scratching the surface!

Cape Town Volunteer Projects

Education & Early Childhood Development

Make a difference to the children of Cape Town with this education & early development project. 

Location: Cape Town

Duration: 2 – 12 Weeks

Gender Equality

Empower the females of Cape Town with this Gender Equality volunteer project. 

Location: Cape Town

Duration: 2 – 12 Weeks

Sports Development

Inspire the people of Cape Town through sports. Bring your passion and make a difference to the local communities.

Location: Cape Town

Duration: 2 – 12 Weeks

Volunteer project in Cape Town

Despite the incredible opportunities and natural beauty on offer in Cape Town, life for many in South Africa is very tough. While there have been big and successful movements, there is still a crippling level of inequality and poverty.

As a volunteer, you will be at the forefront of tackling the education crisis in South Africa, empowering young girls to reach their full potential and encouraging kids to become passionate about sports.

All these initiatives provide the foundations for allowing kids to thrive and prosper. We can only do it with your support.

Volunteering is the perfect way to discover the real, unseen Cape Town, while also having endless opportunities on offer.

Fun Facts about Cape Town

  • Cape Town is known as the Mother City, as the site of the first European settlement in South Africa.
  • The iconic Table Mountain is found in Cape Town
  • Cape Town is one of the 3 capital cities of South Africa – The Legislative Capital
  • The V&A Waterfront in Cape Town is the most-visited in South Africa (ahead of Table Mountain.)
  • Simon’s Town in Cape Town is home to a population of Africa’s only penguin species, the Jackass Penguin (African Penguin).
  • Cape Town was the first city outside Europe to get Blue Flag status due to its excellent water quality, fantastic facilities and top-quality safety and cleanliness.
  • Cape Town is South Africa’s Oldest City
  • Cape Town’s Lions Head was appropriately named because the peak resembles a crouching lion. Also, Lions once roamed on Lion’s head (but one has not been seen in over 200 years!).

Cape Town Highlights & Excursions

Cape Town offers visitors an abundance of activities to keep you busy. Below we have highlighted 10 activities that we recommend our volunteers experience before the end of their project. 

Table Mountain

One of the seven wonders of the world. Take a hike up this recognizable South African landmark.

Lion’s Head

Enjoy some of the most breathtaking views of Cape Town, on top of one of Cape Town’s most recognized mountains. But be ready for a short steep climb when you reach the top!

Boulder Beach

From the volunteer house, right along the coast, discover a land of happy feet (in the form of little penguins)!

Robben Island

Rich with the history surrounding the incredible legacy of Nelson Mandala.

Wine Tasting

Taste some of the finest wines in the world, as you discover beautiful wine farms. Stellenbosch and Franschoek are two hotspots for wine.

Franschhoek Wine Trail

Discover a new appreciation for some of the finest wines in the world, in the best possible style.

V&A Waterfront

One of Cape Town’s biggest tourist attractions. With incredible shops, restaurants, accommodation, the waterfront is a bustling hotspot.

Camps Bay Beach

Check out the high-end luxury that Cape Town has to offer. Camps Bay is known for its stunning world-class beach and its vibrant town.

Surfing & Watersports

Shark cave diving, seal snorkelling, paddle-boarding, surfing, kitesurfing, just to mention a few!

Go on Safari

Just a couple hours out of Cape Town, you can find a wildlife haven. Aquila offers a world-class safari, right on Cape Town’s doorstep.

Volunteer Accommodation in Cape Town

You will be based at our safe and cosy volunteer house in Muizenberg, just a stone’s throw from the beach, famously known as (and rightly so) “surfer’s paradise.”

Enjoy the beach life vibe, with amazing bars, cafes and restaurants, right on your doorstep; in an amazing central location from the top tourist spots.

Enjoy the true taste of home cooking with three wholesome meals a day, prepared by our fantastic in-house chef, providing you with plenty of fuel for your day.

The house will become your home away from home, with plenty of spacious social facilities and outdoor spaces. Where else better to rustle up an authentic South African Braai! (Barbecue.)

Know Before You Go to Cape Town

Visa Requirements

Packing List

Code of Conduct

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Cape Town safe?

Despite South Africa’s negative portrayal in the western media, South Africa is a safe country as an international tourist, and as part of an organized trip. Our volunteer safety is our utmost priority and our team on the ground are dedicated to ensuring that you have a safe and enjoyable trip with us. You will be staying at our very safe volunteer house, with 24-hour staff on site.

You need to take precautions in order to stay safe. You will have the most incredible time in Cape Town, but as with any area of the world, remain vigilant and aware of your surroundings. We recommend you avoiding travelling or walking alone at night, be alert for petty theft, leave your valuables in a safe place – the usual. Check out our tips on staying safe in Cape Town, so you can enjoy your stay without stress.

What is the weather/climate like in Cape Town?

Cape Town has a Mediterranean-style climate, with wet, cool winters and dry, warm summers. This differs largely, with the rest of South Africa. Nestled on the coast, Cape Town experiences a gentle regular breeze all year round.

During the winter months, the temperature does drop significantly compared to the of the peak summer months (December-March.) But, when we say winter, we aren’t quite talking the sort of winter you expect in Europe (although it isn’t uncommon to see snow on the mountain tops of the Western Cape during the winter!) The peak tourist season is during these peak summer months, especially December.

But Cape Town does not close. No matter what time of year it is, you will be able to do the activities that you want to do. Whether you are hiking up Table Mountain, kitesurfing, shark cage diving, enjoying the Winelands, Cape Town is an all-year-round destination and an amazing one at that.

How do I get to Cape Town?

There are many international flights to Cape Town International Airport (CPT.)

  • British Airways: London- Cape Town
  • South African Airways: London – Cape Town (via Johannesburg)
  • Ethiopian Airways: Addis Ababa – Cape Town
  • Qatar Airways: Doha- Cape Town
  • Emirates Airways: Dubai – Cape Town

You can find multiple daily flights from Johannesburg airport to Cape Town. There are many airlines that fly regularly into O.R Tambo International (Johannesburg – JNB); The main flight operator to Johannesburg is South African Airways. 

What is the currency in Cape Town/ South Africa?

The official currency in South Africa is the South African Rand (ZAR or R) The notes are R10, R20, R50, R100, R200. As the rand is weak against most western currencies (GBP, USD, EUR,) things in South Africa are considered much cheaper than Europe and North America. The Rand currently sits at around 14-15 rand to the US dollar.

The majority of places in Cape Town will only accept the Rand. Most major retailers, hotels, and restaurants accept major international credit and debit cards, such as MasterCards and Visa Cards.

You can withdraw money at ATMs as well.

What electrical plugs are used in Cape Town/ South Africa?

The majority of power sockets found in South Africa are ‘Type D’ the three-round pin style sockets.

What languages are spoken in South Africa?

South Africa has 11 official languages, including English, Afrikaans, and Zulu. English is widely spoken, especially in Cape Town, as a tourist hotspot.

Best time of year for each activity?

Beach Holiday: December to April time, when the weather is hot and dry.

Whale Watching: July- September, when migratory whales arrive along the coastline.

Wine Tasting: Good all year round.

Windsurfing: January – February

Table Mountain and Hiking: For crisp and clear days, late April to early June.

What is Cape Town famous for?
  • Table Mountain
  • Lions Head
  • Boulders Beach
  • V&A Waterfront
  • Wine Tasting
  • Franschhoek Wine Trail
  • Robben Island
  • Camps Bay & Clifton Beaches
  • Cape Point
  • Shark Diving
  • Surfing

Volunteering Safety Tips

  • Do not wander outside of the volunteer house on your own or without informing a member of staff.
  • Avoid travelling alone, especially at night.
  • Ensure that excess amounts of cash are left in safe boxes, not lying around in plain sight.
  • Do not carry excessive amounts of cash on you.
  • If you are taking a taxi anywhere, make sure you book it in advance through a trusted and reliable driver.
  • Avoid wandering down dark streets, even in large groups.
  • Be aware and alert at bars. Do not leave your drink unattended at any time. If you drink has been left out of your sight, discard it.
  • Do not enter township areas without being accompanied by one of our local staff members.
  • Be wary of people who seem too friendly too fast.
  • Avoid leaving your personal items like bags or mobile phones unattended.
  • Do not share personal information with 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 person at home.

We will review safety again in detail during your orientation.

South African Vaccinations

Please consult your private doctor with regards to immunizations/vaccinations.  Below are details of what is likely to be recommended.

Tetanus: A recent tetanus injection is highly recommended

Polio: Recommended

Hepatitis A&B: Recommended

Typhoid: Recommended

Yellow Fever: If coming from a yellow fever risk country or transited through one (mainly Latin America and Central and Western Africa) it is a requirement to show proof of yellow fever vaccination, through a valid yellow fever certificate. If unsure, please check with your Destination Specialist.

You will need an adequate supply of sunscreen cream for the hot African sun – SPF 30 and above.

Even if the sky is overcast, the sun is very strong and it is usually on those days when you don’t realise the sun is there. Don’t let the sun stop you from having an amazing time. Make sure you have a full water bottle at all times, and you apply plenty of sun cream. Bring a hat with you and take plenty of breaks out of the sun.

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