Volunteering in South Africa
Over the past half century South Africa has undergone many transformations physically and socially. It has developed into a fantastic country and the natural landscapes and wildlife are quite a sight. Despite all the forward steps the country has taken there are still many issues especially in the shanty towns surrounding the major cities and poor rural areas which are seriously under-resourced in terms of medical care and education.
We have several project sites in South Africa. They are Cape Town, KwaZulu Natal, Port Elizabeth, Plettenburg Bay and St.Lucia. In Cape Town, volunteering focuses on community programmes like our sports coaching project, teaching English in rural schools and the community medical volunteer programme. St. Lucia has two excellent and very much needed HIV/AIDS volunteer programs one focussing on HIV infected children living in orphanages and the other is our medical and HIV/AIDS awareness program. We also run two fantastic photography courses, one working with primates in Plettenburg Bay and another with communities and wildlife in Kwazulu Natal. For those of you looking to join programmes solely geared towards people aged 30 and over, why not volunteer our specialised projects in Cape Town or KwaZulu Natal. Alternatively, If you are looking to compliment your studies why not join our veterinarian or hospitality internships in Port Elizabeth.
For other volunteer opportunities in Africa please take a look at Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Ghana, Botswana, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Zambia.
About South Africa
Over the past 20 years South Africa has gone through some remarkable changes - most notably the abolition of apartheid through Nobel peace prize winner President Mandela. Located at the southern-most tip of Africa, South Africa draws in more visitors than anywhere else in the continent, due mostly to the many different contrasting environments on offer. Modern cosmopolitan cities like the bustling Johannesburg, stunning natural scenery from Table Mountain National Park, the extremes of the Karoo desert, the snowcapped peaks of the Drakensberg Range, the fresh lush coast of KwaZulu-Natal and of course spotting the 'Big 5' at the world famous Kruger National Park.
Although South Africa has made great strides in recent times a divide remains greater than ever between the rich and poor, leading to many shanty towns and poor health facilities and education. Things do not seem to be getting any better in South Africa with 57% of the population still living below the poverty line and 35% living on less than $2 a day. Kaya projects need your help as a volunteer in South Africa with community and conservation initiatives to help this great nation.
South Africa Travel Highlights
Kruger National Park
This is South Africa's largest game reserve and one of the oldest in Africa. The park is now part of the Kruger to Canyons Biosphere, an area designated by the United Nations Education and Scientific Organisation (UNESCO) as an International Man and Biosphere Reserve. Kruger is home to an impressive number of species: 336 trees, 49 fish, 34 amphibians, 114 reptiles, 507 birds and 147 mammals. The best time to go is during the dry season (May - September) when the plains are sparse and animals are easier to view.
The Drakensberg mountains of South Africa, known as the barrier of spears is a 200-kilometre-long mountainous world heritage site. There are a number of adventure activities that you can do including rock or ice- climbing, abseiling, white water rafting or take a helicopter ride to view the Drakenberg mountains from above.
Surfing in South Africa
South Africa is renowned around the world for it's many surfing hotspots due to the mix of beautiful coastal scenery and high quality surf. There is a strong surfing culture and way of life that is very contagious due to the friendly people and their enthusiasm and passion for the sport. Whether you are a novice or more experienced you will love surfing in South Africa. In the Eastern Cape province of South Africa, about an hour’s drive southwest of Port Elizabeth, Jeffreys Bay is one of the most famous surfing destinations in the world. Especially great during the winter months of June, July, and August, surfers come here for a great ride and for the renowned blue flag beaches.
South Africa is the largest producer of gold and platinum
Zion Christian 11.1%, Pentecostal/Charismatic 8.2%, Catholic 7.1%, Methodist 6.8%, Dutch Reformed 6.7%, Anglican 3.8%, Muslim 1.5%, other Christian 36%
IsiZulu 23.8%, IsiXhosa 17.6%, Afrikaans 13.3%, Sepedi 9.4%, English 8.2%, Setswana 8.2%, Sesotho 7.9%, Xitsonga 4.4%
57% of the population live below the poverty line
Average Temperature: 17°C
Wet Season: November - March
Dry Season: May - August
Hurricane Season: NA
• Is a visa required?: No visa required for British citizens
• Allocation of Tourist Visa: NA
• Duration of Tourist visa: Lasts up to 90 days
• Cost of Tourist Visa: British citizens exempt from fee
• Tourist Visa Extension: Extensions can be arranged as long as you apply 30 days before.
• Cost of Tourist Visa Extension: Uk citizens exempt from fee
• Passport validation: Must be valid for at least 1 month after intended departure.
• Return/onward flight ticket: Required upon entering the country.
• Confirmation of Funds: You may be asked to show evidence of sufficient funds for the duration of your trip.
• For more information: South African Embassy in London
• Usual International flight cost: £350 - £550
• Airport fees/taxes: Included in flight ticket
• Airport code: Johannesburg (JNB), Cape Town (CPT)
• International Flights: Orbitz, Expedia, Travelocity
• Domestic Flights: Kulula.com, 1time, Mango
• Currency: The rand (ZAR)
• Inform Banks: Give the dates of travel and destinations to prevent security blocks on your bank and credit cards.
• Cash: Always take enough cash to cover your expenses for the first week in case there is a problem with your bank cards or access to ATM’s is limited.
• Credit Options: Good idea to have at least two different credit/debit card options i.e. MasterCard, Visa, Maestro, or Cirrus.
• Travellers Cheques: Will only be able to exchange in major cities and best to take them in Dollars.
• Western Union: If at any time you have any problems in accessing money you can use Western Union transfer. Money can be sent from your home country and received in South Africa the same day.
• Vaccinations: Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Hepatitis B.
• Malaria medication: Required
• See local GP: If vaccinations or medication is required see the doctor 4-6 weeks before your departure.
• Less than 4 weeks before you leave: You should still see a healthcare provider for needed vaccines, anti-malaria drugs and other medications and information about how to protect yourself from illness and injury while travelling.
• Check the following for up to date information: World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention