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Volunteers in South Africa program picture

Volunteer in South Africa

Often referred to as “The world in one country” South Africa is a land of extraordinary beauty, mystery and adventure. Although this expression alludes to the varying climatic conditions, vegetation and the abundance of animals, it can also be used to describe the diversity of cultures, languages and religions, and the extremes of first world development alongside third world difficulties.

Working with VIP in South Africa gives the volunteer first hand knowledge of a new nation working toward a vision of unity and prosperity. Many serious problems need to be tackled if this vision is to be realized--such as poverty, inequality and AIDS. This is where volunteers make a real contribution--in areas such as education, health care and environmental projects.

Read a first-hand account from a volunteer in South Africa or watch the video below for an introduction to volunteering here.

Volunteer Abroad Program Overview — South Africa

Arrival & Orientation in Cape Town

Applicants will arrive into Cape Town International Airport, where a shuttle service has been arranged for a pick up from the airport to the SASTS Volunteer House.  A representative from The Shuttle Service will wait for you at the arrivals hall with a board marked SASTS Working Adventures and transport you to the SASTS Volunteer House. You will be based here for the two days during the orientation before starting your volunteer project.

The purpose of the orientation is to provide an understanding of the people, culture, languages and political climate of South Africa. It will also give the volunteer the necessary travel-safety and medical advice and how to prepare for the upcoming work or project.

At the end of this orientation period, the participant will be taken to their host families (or move into their accommodation) to get to know their family and their local community. Volunteers will then start at their project the following day.

Example Orientation Schedule

  1. Sunday: Airport pick up from Cape Town International Airport to accommodation. Welcome session with the House Manager and first night accommodation at Volunteer House.
  2. Monday: Transfer to local office for orientation followed by a walking tour of Cape Town: a tour offering an overview of the city. In the afternoon, volunteers will be transported to their prospective accommodation.
  3. Tuesday: Start at the project.

* Participants have the option to include a 3 Day Cape Peninsula Tour at an additional cost which includes 2 nights accommodation, Cape Point, Winelands and Township Tour as well as a visit to Hermanus. Optional activities such as shark cage diving is available. This tour can be done before, during or after volunteer placement.


Volunteers will have to find their own way back to the airport or into the city after completion of the Volunteer program.



Duration & Visa requirements

Work Hours

Time spent on work is approximately 35- 40 hours per week, applicants will usually have 2 days off, generally over the weekends but it does depend on the project.

Standard Program Fees 2012*

* Note: The published prices remain subject to change in case of major currency fluctuations. Contact your sending office.

Included in fee

    1. Courtesy call during the placement and visit at the project/ host family by a SASTS representative during the course of their stay (this is only applicable to volunteers staying 4 weeks and longer.)
    2. The full support of the partner organization, SASTS, while on the program.
    3. Access to email, internet and mail-holding facility at the SASTS volunteer house.
    4. Travel advice and information for volunteers who would like to travel further after their program.
    5. Booking made for extramural tours and activities.

Not included

Children South Africa

Not Included

Kindly note that applicants cannot select specific projects but should rather indicate which categories they prefer.

Payment procedures

A deposit of 20% of the total program fee is required with your application. It is non-refundable upon notification of acceptance and is applied to the total program fee. The balance of the program fee is required 30 days prior to departure.

Cancellation Policy

Other Volunteer Abroad Programs:

Fraud Alert
Be advised that there is an individual misrepresenting himself as a participant in a VIP program who is trying to sell/rent property to unsuspecting individuals.

This is not a legitimate offer and this person is not in any way associated with VIP.

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