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Volunteer work - Make a difference Switch to English
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We offer a variety of exciting and rewarding volunteer programmes suitable for anyone looking to make a real difference during their gap year, career break, leisure travels or working holiday abroad.

About Volunteering

Why pay for Volunteering?

Why should you pay money to work for free? Don’t you have enough costs while forgoing income and giving up your time at home?

Here are a few aspects you should consider as to why international volunteers are charged a fee:

As an international Volunteer you are helping non profit organisations or communities to provide education, health care, housing, animal rescue, wildlife care or conservation. These local organisations have limited resources and they are often not able to support you with housing, living costs or transportation. Most of them are dependent on donations and every helping hand.

There are costs involved to prepare, train, transport, house, feed and supervise volunteers. These expenses add to our recruitment and organisation costs.

Our agency will help you to find the right volunteer placement, prepare you for your trip, provide you with information, answer your questions, answer the phone, organise accommodation/car hire, social meetings and be your contact person in South Africa. All of this requires experienced and professional staff!
Our Volunteer Programmes
Social Programmes
Wildlife/Environmental programmes

Wildlife Rehabilitation Farm
(Not Available at the moment)

Bush and wildlife experience
(Not Available at the moment)

Animal Care for abused cats and dogs

Creche and pre-school for
township kids

Day-care centre for disabled children

*We are busy updating the site with new links

Who can apply for volunteering?

Everybody older than 18 years who want to make a difference!
Some of our programmes require experience and certain qualifications.

Please check each programme description!

How can you apply?

Contact us with your enquiry. We will send you the necessary application documents consisting of:

  • CV template
  • Volunteer Questionnaire
  • Booking form

We will provide you with a “CV template”, which you can use for content and orientation and a “Volunteer questionnaire”.
Our native speakers will look through your documents and will correct misspellings, but we will not work on a new layout, so make sure that your application looks good!

After we received your completed application and your booking form, we will come back to you and start with the placement process. Within 1-3 weeks we will contact you if your placement was successful.


Cape Life offers a range of accommodation in and around Cape Town.
It depends on your requirements. We can arrange a student house, backpacker, guesthouse and on request a stay with a host family.

Click here to view our apartment and houses.

Some projects are not in Cape Town, in this case you will stay with the project in shared accommodation with other international Volunteers

Flights & Insurances

Cape Life cooperates with STA Travel in Germany. At this stage we can offer this service just for our German applicants, but we are busy getting more partners in various countries. To find a cheap flight option to Cape Town, check out the STA travel flight offers especially designed for students! STA travel can also assist you with various insurance packages.

Placement Fees

The placement fees depend on the projects and length of stay. Please find the current fees within each programme description.

On receipt of your payment, your volunteer agreement between yourselves and the volunteer project will be validated.

Should you decide to cancel your signed volunteer placement an administrative fee will be charged. Please read our terms and conditions.
What extras do you get for your money?
In Cape Town
  • Experienced staff will advise you a project which fits your goals and schedule and assist you throughout your volunteer adventure
  • Necessary, important and relevant information.
  • Pre-departure information to ensure you are prepared (Visa, travel insurance, vaccinations..) and properly equipped
  • Important telephone numbers (Cape Life, police, emergency numbers)
  • Important addresses (Embassy, tourist information, restaurant and bars)
  • A “Things to do” list (Table mountain, Robben Island…)
  • Information about car dealerships, rentals and private buys.
  • We offer a range of accommodation in and around Cape Town.
  • Discounted Language school classes
  • Discounted Tours and Travel Services
  • Personal contact person in Cape Town
  • Weekly meetings and activities with other Cape Life and international students

Once you have arrived in Cape Town you will receive a welcome package. This includes: additional information, a small map of Cape Town, some vouchers and a cell phone SIM card. (A prepaid cell phone card to access the South African mobile network)

We will provide you with a free airport pickup to your accommodation in Cape Town.

Your orientation in Cape Town is over three days and starts on a Wednesday before your placement begins.

Depending on the time of the year our introduction programme can vary.

If you do Volunteering outside of Cape Town
  • Experienced staff will advise you a project which fits your goals and schedule and assist you throughout your volunteer adventure
  • Pre-departure information to ensure you are prepared for your trip and properly equipped
  • Important documents (visa, orientation and project information)
  • Partner organisation will provide you with local support and services during your stay
  • Airport pickup and orientation in your gateway city to make arrival at your destination easier
  • Accommodation will be provided and food is also included in most placements
  • Professionally, locally- based staff to provide training, supervision and guidance throughout your stay

Period of volunteering
It is possible to take part at a volunteer programme for just four weeks, depending on the project requirements. The maximum of stay is six months due to the visa restrictions.
A shorter placement is not recommended.

Holiday and leave during internship
Any holiday or leave during your volunteering must be prearranged between the placement and the volunteer.

Time of application
You can apply for volunteering anytime during the year, but you should plan your stay in South Africa at least three to four months in advance.

Visa requirements
We can help you with organising the right visa for you.