2021 Travel & Volunteering: Where Can I Volunteer Abroad This Summer?

UPDATED: June 8th, 2021

As travel begins to open up, the Kaya team is being asked the question “Can I still volunteer abroad this summer?”

The answer is YES – but knowing where you can go does depend on where you live. So let us take you through the summer programs we are still offering here at Kaya and look at your options to sign up for one of these programs in the next few months!

For those of you who have access to vaccinations in your home location, we encourage you to get your vaccines as soon as possible. For many locations, this will become either a requirement for travel or make your journey easier and provide more protection for our host communities.

Keeping our communities and travelers safe is still our number-one priority, so the locations we have opened up are those where we can maintain an environment where we can control the risks of Covid-exposure, and have location-specific protocols in place to ensure that. You can read more about Kaya’s COVID-19 policies here (add link)

Summer 2021 travel and volunteering options available for all

The locations of these projects are accessible by most nationals at this time – including British, European and North American travelers. This means the country borders are open to allow us in and our home countries are allowing us to travel here.
For British nationals, these countries are all on the amber list, with volunteer and educational programs allowed here.

Marine Science Internship in Belize – Belize is currently a US Department of State Level 2 country (one of only 16 countries in the world at this low level), and only a short flight from the US mainland is a perfect option for this summer. Living on a 4-acre paradise island, learning about marine conservation and snorkeling on the world’s second-largest barrier reef, is the perfect way to get away from the crowds and do something really worthwhile. 

Currently, Europeans do have some challenges finding flights, as most have a stop-over in the USA, which is not allowing Europeans to transit here at the moment, but it is very likely that this restriction will be lifted before the start of this program, at the end of June. There are also a few flights via Cancun, Mexico (also an amber country) that can work.

Turtle spotting during Marine Science Internship in Belize
Jamaica waterfall

Gap Year or Solo Adventure in Community Volunteering in Jamaica – Jamaica has a government mandated 14-day quarantine before moving around the Island, during which we offer a cultural experience combined with remote volunteering at our volunteer house. For US residents, it is a very short flight and there are currently a few flights from Europe that do not transit via the USA, so it is possible to reach the island from most locations.

Childcare and Culture in Morocco – Morocco is being recognized for their great vaccine roll-out and is a hot destination this summer. There are no restrictions on North Americans, and while Europeans are currently not allowed entry, the country has indicated these restrictions will be lifted in June. Live in a traditional Riad in Rabat and for language learners, there is even the options of taking French or Arabic classes. There is talk of Morocco begin moved onto the UK green list within the next few weeks.



Teen Community Volunteering in Costa Rica – Costa Rica has been open to travelers since late 2020 and this program is based in an eco-house in the rural town of Esparza and accepts participants ages 16 years+ and is perfect for summer travel, or anyone planning their gap year. Europeans can travel here without needing to transit through the USA, so it is a great option. UPDATE: Costa Rica moved into the UK’s red list on June 8th due to a surge in cases, but is hoping to drop back down to amber soon as they deal with their cases.

American History Restoration Gap Program – California Ghost Town Circuit – Pushing to the very end of summer and into Fall, this restoration program on a Californian ghost town is a great option for North Americans who want to hold off on international travel a little longer, and we hope to see Europeans being allowed entry very soon – so this is a good one to look out for!


Saloon in California Ghost Town

Destinations for US citizens in summer 2021

There are a few locations where you can travel and volunteer in summer 2021 – mostly in Africa-  that currently remain on European red lists, but have been designated as low-risk by the US department of state. These include:

Zambia allows stays up to 4 weeks for volunteering and longer for internships for those who already have an undergraduate degree. And do you know that you can experience the world-famous Victoria Falls from the Zambian side as well? Within a few kilometers of Livingstone, Zambia is a great English-speaking destination where you will be able to see one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World and experience the best sunsets on the Zambezi river. The projects  to travel and volunteer this summer are:

Sports and Community Volunteering in Zambia – As a sports-coaching volunteer, you will have the opportunity to build the local community through sport. Teach sport skills and tackle important issues like nutrition and healthy lifestyle on this sports development project!

Girl and Women Empowerment Volunteering in Zambia – Become a women’s rights activists and volunteer in women and girls education helping the development and empowerment of the local women within the Livingstone community.

Teaching and Community Work in Zambia – Support local schools expanding their capacity by lending a helping hand in overcrowded classrooms.

Another English-speaking destination with some great conservation options in Zimbabwe that give you the opportunity to work with a diverse variety of African wildlife:

Lion Rehabilitation and Conservation Volunteering in Zimbabwe – Get involved in wildlife conservation efforts caring for endangered species and contributing to activities for their release in the wild wherever possible.

Rhino and Elephant Conservation Volunteering in Zimbabwe –  Gain hands-on experience with nature and wildlife in Africa, including elephants and rhinos working alongside passionate local conservation experts.

Wildlife Orphanage and Rescue Sanctuary in ZimbabweGet first-hand experience of wildlife rescue, rehabilitation and release in one of Africa’s oldest family-owned wildlife sanctuaries.

In the royal valley of the kings, you can join these impactful community initiatives to travel and volunteer this summer:

Sports Volunteering abroad in Eswatini – Even with no formal coaching qualifications, you will enrich the local children’s lives by organizing sports session and fostering community development through sports.

Volunteering for 16- and 17-year-olds in Eswatini – This program is specifically designed for under 18 volunteers looking to do something other than the usual and contribute to a local community development working with pre-school aged children.

School Building and Gardening Volunteering in Eswatini – Learn and assist the local community building and gardening with local resources available to them. What a better way to develop your team-building skills and learn about the local culture!

While we are staying out of the urban areas, South Africa has some remote conservation projects you can still join to travel and volunteer in summer 2021 safely, including:

Wildlife Conservation with the Big 5 in South Africa – Volunteer and have an amazing time working on this game reserve hosting South Africa’s big 5: lion, African elephant, cape buffalo, rhino and leopard.

Rhino, Elephant and Big Cat Research and Conservation in South Africa– Spend some time in the famous Kruger National Park on a research and conservation project collecting data and contributing to the wildlife habitat maintenance.

Photography and Conservation Project In Greater Kruger, South Africa – Join this incredible wildlife photography course to develop skills for taking great shots while participating in essential conservation activities in the Greater Kruger Area.

Similar to South Africa, our Ecuador location has options in rural placements where we are steering away from the crowds and can be a great option for all, especially for those who want to practice their Spanish language!

Wildlife Rescue and Release in the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador – Spending some time in a local Amazon center that rehabilitates wild animals from the jungle that were victims of abuse and animal trafficking.

Environmental Education and Marine/Turtle Conservation on the Coast of Ecuador– Support turtle and marine species on this research, conservation and education project located on the Pacific Coast of Ecuador.

Still unsure?

If you are still unsure about travel this summer, our virtual internships are also a great option. The second summer session begins June 21st and has options for placements in Ecuador, Morocco, South Africa, Vietnam and Thailand. All virtual participants receive discounts on future Kaya in-person programs as well! 

Late 2021 and 2022

If you are looking beyond summer, you can find more projects available for later this year and into 2022 on this page

Talk to Our Advisors!

To discuss any of these options for this summer, arrange a call with our expert placement advisors. It is not too late to make your summer really count!


Hope you found this blog interesting. To hear more about the projects that we offer please connect with one of our advisors using the chat now button, or feel free to request a brochure using the button opposite.


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