Why Volunteer in Cape Town

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Often referred to as South Africa’s Mother City, Cape Town offers everything needed for the perfect volunteer experience. You might already know about its vibrant city life and diverse cultures, and we can’t forget to mention what’s most known about Cape Town and one of the world’s famed natural wonders, Table Mountain. But what’s often left out of tourist brochures are conversations about the city’s severe poverty in local townships. Now’s your chance to change that! 

Help support local communities by volunteering in Cape Town. There are schools that are looking for you to teach sports to young kids, and there are hospital homes that need the help of volunteers to take care of patients. These are only some of the opportunities out there to explore!


Where is Cape Town?

Located on the shore of Table Bay, Cape Town is the oldest and second largest city in South Africa. Most volunteers who go abroad have this destination at the top of their bucket-list, and we understand why! With iconic mountain ranges, stunning natural wonders, and thrilling Africa safaris, Cape Town offers no shortage of adventures. If you want to explore one of Africa’s most modern cities from a different perspective, then volunteering in Cape Town is the perfect way to do so.

Top Reasons to Volunteer in Cape Town

If you decide to volunteer with African Impact in Cape Town, you’ll definitely have an unforgettable experience. Here are the wonderful reasons why:

1. Beautiful Destination

Cape Town’s city center is full of life, with lots of hustle and bustle in trendy areas like Long Street, Kloof Street, and De Waterkant. Once you hit the beach shores of Sea Point and Camps Bay, it’s a bit more relaxed and laid-back. And if you want a change of scenery, a 30 – 40 minute drive outside of the city center takes you to the Deep South, as it’s called by locals. It’s even more slow-paced there. Before you book that trip, though, you’ll want to hire a car. 

Roadtripping is quite common in Cape Town, and you’ll likely spend lots of time on the road if you’re going to specific places to see all the gorgeous sites around. If you’re interested in volunteering in Cape Town, there are numerous places to visit or stay over the weekend. Cape Point and Simon’s Town are definitely two places you’ll need to see in person if you like relaxed weekend trips and incredible ocean views. If you’ve got more of an adventurous spirit, there’s also shark cage diving and whale watching that you can do in Gansbaai. Check out this packing list for your Cape Town trip, so you’re fully prepared ahead of time.

2. Culture Immersion

Cape Town’s large population of 4.8 million is a mix of cultural backgrounds, including European, Southeast Asian, South Asian, and African descent. Even though there are such stark differences between religion, lifestyle, and economic status, Capetonians are known to be very friendly and welcoming people. For example, when you visit the childcare volunteer program in Cape Town, you’ll definitely see many smiling and happy kids ready to greet you, laugh with you, and get lots of hugs. The Capetonian way is to strike up a conversation with people, no matter where you’re from. They welcome visitors with open arms and are eager to share stories. 

While you’re here, you’ll find it useful to learn some of the local languages. And there are many. In fact, South Africa has 11 official languages. In Cape Town, Afrikaans and isiXhosa are the most frequently spoken South African languages, besides English. But really, don’t worry too much! English is a common language here too. So, you’ll definitely get around all right if you just learn some basic South African phrases. Why not start learning today? Here are some useful South African phrases for volunteers that even a complete beginner can get started on!

3. Community Support

Join NGO-led volunteer projects in Cape Town and support local communities. Get that end-of-day reward feeling when you see how your volunteer work helps empower these initiatives and ensure that they have the support they need to make a real impact in the community. 


Nothing feels better than giving back to the community. And that’s one of the best reasons to volunteer in Cape Town. In reverse, you’ll receive just as much back, if not more. You’re going to spend money on this experience, but you’ll definitely go back home richer than when you came. And by the end of it, you’ll immerse yourself in the real, honest lifestyle of South Africa and its local people, which will make your time here unique and unlike a regular holiday.


4. Contributing to Positive Change

Share and develop your own skills while making a difference in other people’s lives. Inequality and social justice issues are deeply rooted in the history of South Africa, with Apartheid causing a rift between different groups. Despite this past, its many social, economic, and political challenges don’t prevent Cape Town from fostering a vibrant community of activists and organizations that promote a more equitable future. 


When you volunteer responsibly in Cape Town, you can support local initiatives to make a positive social impact in their communities. It’s an amazing chance to help make a difference in the lives of people who have the least and to work with organizations focused on education, healthcare, and community development.

5. The Rainbow Nation

United we stand, divided we fall. For South Africans, this statement will really resonate. And that’s because, just less than 30 years ago, in 1994, South Africa became officially liberated from the Apartheid regime. In celebration of this historic moment, a new term was coined, the Rainbow Nation! Today, we see this term used as a political symbol of unity among the diverse people of South Africa. And it’s commemorated each year on Freedom Day, April 27. If you’re visiting Cape Town during this month, you can also learn about the experiences of the people who once were so separated as a nation. 

Now, when we look back at the formative years of a new nation, we can pinpoint important events, like the iconic 1995 Rugby World Cup win that created national pride in South Africa. Sports, including rugby, cricket, and soccer, united South Africans amid tough times, despite a history of racial segregation. If you want to volunteer in sports coaching, you’ll get to know more about South African history through sport. And once you’re more acquainted with the history of South Africa, you’ll become more familiar with the many diverse cultures and traditions that are intertwined with its heritage. Volunteering here gives you the chance to learn about the country’s unique history and to engage in meaningful conversations with locals.

How to Volunteer in Cape Town?

Because our list above confirms all the great reasons to volunteer in Cape Town, let’s get you signed up! How and where do you start? First, with research, and lots of it. You’ll want to become super familiar with the different volunteer projects available in Cape Town. So that when it comes time to choose one, your final decision is even easier to make. Secondly, submit your application on time. And lastly, prepare for your trip with ease! 


Read our step-by-step guide below and complete your application hassle-free.

Step 1: Research Volunteer Projects

Our goal is to help you find a volunteer placement that meets your expectations. And it’s important to us that you get to your final decision in the easiest way possible. So, we’ve created a bunch of amazing resources for you to look through. Read more about our missions and values, or head over to the GoAbroad website to see what previous volunteers are saying about our volunteer projects in Africa! 


You can make a difference in Cape Town and be part of a movement that is working towards a more equal future. Start by researching and finding volunteer opportunities in Cape Town that align with your values and interests. Then join the movement and make a difference!

Step 2: Apply to a Program

Finding the right program and submitting your application only takes a few minutes! Now that you’re well aware of all the fantastic reasons to visit Cape Town, it’s time to take that exciting next step. And if your application gets the thumbs up, you can count on us reaching out to you!


Find our application form on the program page, and follow these easy steps:

  1. Fill out details that outline your preferred travel start date
  2. Select a duration and price that suit your preferences 
  3. Enter more personal information and contact details
  4. Hit apply!

Step 3: Prepare For Your Trip

Make all your preparations the right way, and enjoy a comfortable trip to Cape Town. If you’re finding it hard to know where to begin and you need some help, don’t worry. That’s why we’re here to help. 


Our team has a lot of experience organizing volunteer trips, and we know exactly what you need to do to get ready. We’ll guide you through the whole process, making sure you don’t forget anything important. If your application has been accepted, a journey coordinator assigned to help organize your trip will get in touch with you directly. Read our guidelines on safety and planning when visiting Africa. 


We assist through advice and guidance in the following areas:

  1. Obtaining a visa in your destination country
  2. Arranging travel costs and expenses
  3. Arranging medical insurance
  4. Undergoing the necessary protocols for vaccinations

If you have more questions about this, you can get in touch by filling out our contact form or giving us a call.


Why Choose African Impact Volunteer Projects in Cape Town?

Traveling is one of the many great reasons to volunteer in Cape Town. By traveling abroad, you can broaden your horizons and experience things that you might not encounter in your daily life. To the millions of people who live in Cape Town, they are the communities, people, and stories that make up everyday life.  


We believe Cape Town’s future will be even brighter if volunteers can contribute to improving the quality of life in disadvantaged communities. If just sightseeing doesn’t cut it for you, then volunteering with us can give you amazing insight into the city’s local townships and the initiatives that are adding value in these areas. Reach communities that have limited government support and volunteer responsibly in these areas. Make a real difference in the lives of Cape Town’s communities with our fantastic volunteer projects!



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