Medical and Hospice Support in Cape Town

South Africa has a two-tiered, and highly unequal, healthcare system. The public sector is state-funded and caters to the majority – 71% – of the population. The private sector is largely funded through individual contributions to medical aid schemes or health insurance and serves around 27% of the population. The public sector is underfunded while most South Africans can’t afford the exorbitant cost of private care. South Africa’s biggest problem is that the health needs of its people exceed capacity, and the public sector is overburdened in comparison to the private sector. South Africa also faces the challenge of doctors and other medical healthcare professionals leaving the country.

NGOs are major role players in the healthcare sector, as they fill the vacuum created by governments’ inability to honour their social contract, particularly in a developing country like South Africa. However, the role of NGOs in the development process does not come easily, as they are faced with several challenges. Amongst those challenges is not having enough hands to assist and provide satisfactory care to patients therefore volunteers become essential to NGO’s. As a volunteer you offer a helping hand by doing basic healthcare and administration tasks to enable the trained staff to assess patients and begin treatments.

You will need to be over the age of 21 to take part in this healthcare volunteering project. 


Project Highlights

  • This project helps those children most in need of respite care.
  • Provides children with a safe, secure place to stay as they make the first steps towards a healthier future.
  • It helps adults with chronic illnesses by providing temporary shelter. Most of the patients are referred by local hospitals, clinics, or other health facilities for a 3–6-week restorative period. 
  • Their commitment is for all patients to be restored physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally, and ensure that this happens during their stay at the adult respite centre.
  • Each day a team made up of a senior nurse and 3 carers walk through the poorest neighbourhoods offering medical support and attention to those who are house bound.
young lady giving a health check to a local zambian woman

Quick Facts

Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town International Airport

Specific Start Dates

10 days - 12 weeks

Impact: Healthcare

$2,450 – $5,150


cape town beach with table mountain in the background

Cape Town is officially one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Framed between oceans and mountains, it’s surrounded by incredible natural beauty, with Table Mountain, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, an absolute highlight. Cape Town is also a place of huge diversity, lively cultures, and a vibrant nightlife. Living here is dynamic and interesting, and weekends will give you a huge variety of exciting activities.

You can, for instance, venture to the top of Table Mountain, go paragliding, take to the ocean by kayak, hang out on some of the many beaches, sip wine at stunning vineyards, head out on safari, enjoy some Africa’s finest restaurants and even take to the skies on a helicopter flight over the city. For those more interested in exploring South Africa’s culture, how about visiting the historic Robben Island, or taking a free walking tour through the city to learn about Apartheid.

You will live in a spacious guesthouse in the centre of town, with views towards Lion’s Head and just a few minutes from trendy Kloof street. From here, the main sights of Table Mountain, V&A Waterfront and Company’s Gardens are within easy reach. Accommodation is dorm-style with shared bathroom facilities and social areas. Our team on site will be happy to help you in anyway during your stay with us.

Three delicious meals a day, during the week, cooked by chefs from the local community. Please note, some days this includes a packed lunch to take with you to project.

South Africa has a few different cellular network providers, for which sim cards can be purchased from most shops or at the airport. Various package options allow for phone calls and/or data usage. At the guesthouse there is free WiFi to enable you to make contact with home.

Cape Town has a Mediterranean-style climate: wet and cool winters, dry and warm summers. The annual average temperature in Cape Town is a delightful 17 degrees celsius. During the months of March, April, May, October, November, and December you are most likely to experience good weather with average temperatures that fall between 20 degrees Celsius (68°F) and 25 degrees Celsius (77°F).

The months of June, July, and August have a high chance of rain. Cape Town has dry periods in January, February, November, and December. The warmest month is January with an average maximum temperature of 26°C (78°F). The coldest month is August with an average maximum temperature of 17°C (62°F).

Project Impact Areas


Clinic Support

Volunteers have the opportunity to observe patient care being provided by local staff in several Livingstone clinics, which provides valuable insight into the public healthcare system in Zambia. With the clinics having limited medical equipment, under-staffed, and overrun with patients, the assistance provided by volunteers is invaluable. Help with tasks such as taking basic vitals and allow staff to treat the large number of patients quicker. The clinics have several departments that you may be involved in, including outpatients for adults and children, HIV and TB services, as well as the pharmacy and maternity departments.



Health Education

Be part of the bigger picture and contribute to health talks at local schools, training centers, and support groups by discussing relevant health issues. Facilitate workshops with community members on topics such as living positively with HIV, nutrition, cervical cancer, and women’s health. This form of education is vital as it provides individuals with the knowledge and ability to make healthy lifestyle choices within the context of their environment. Sharing knowledge is very powerful and the presence of volunteers is key in motivating community members. 



Afternoon Activities

The unique part of our Livingstone projects is that you can choose from a range of fun, engaging afternoon activities. Whether you’re playing to your strengths, broadening your knowledge, or just trying to step out of your comfort zone, you will get to work with a range of different community members on development projects and make an even greater impact on the ground.

Each afternoon you could be involved in Math Club, Reading Club, After-School Care, Adult Literacy Class, Art Club, environmental initiatives, or even some building activities. 


Home-Based Care

Many people living in the poorer communities of Livingstone do not have the means to visit a clinic or hospital and therefore rely on home-based carers to deliver basic medical aid. Volunteers will have the opportunity to walk through local communities offering home-based care to people who need treatment for things such as burns, bites, and cuts. Wound observations are noted during each visit to monitor improvements and plan for follow-ups. Basic vitals are also taken to monitor the overall health of patients. 

Other Activities

Recent Volunteer Reviews

Dates & Rates

Select your Start Date
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Select your Duration
3 weeks $2450
4 weeks $2750
5 weeks $3050
6 weeks $3350
7 weeks $3650
8 weeks $3950
9 weeks $4250
10 weeks $4550
11 weeks $4850
12 weeks $5150
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Volunteer playing hopscotch with young kids.

Project Fee Includes:

  • Accommodation throughout your entire stay at the lively Victoria Falls Backpackers Zambia, in a private section shared by our volunteers, interns and staff
  • 3 delicious meals a day cooked by chefs from the local community (weekdays only)
  • Airport pick-up and drop-off by the African Impact team
  • Experienced international and local staff members who live and work alongside you every day
  • A full induction, orientation and training session to ensure you can contribute sustainably
  • All necessary project equipment and resources you’ll need on the ground

Project Fee Excludes:

  • Flights
  • Medical or travel insurance
  • Visa-related costs
  • Weekend trips or tours, or any other non-project activity
  • Snacks, soft drinks, gifts or souvenirs
  • Laundry
  • Mandatory contribution of US$25 that is donated to the African Impact Sustainability Fund

Related Projects

Frequently Asked Questions

As a medical volunteer, you’ll be making real, transformative impacts on the lives of the local community members in desperate need of medical attention. Working alongside local doctors and nurses and gaining invaluable professional experience in global healthcare practices, this is an adventure like no other, powerfully transforming you and the local community alike.

Often considered Africa’s adventure capital, Livingstone is a community filled with kind locals, unique cultural activities, and endless opportunities for bucket-list experiences. Located less than 8 kilometers from the world-renowned Victoria Falls, Livingstone regularly welcomes backpackers of all backgrounds, drawn to the exciting adventures to be had in the areas surrounding this beautiful town. Leap off the famous Victoria Falls bungee jump, white-water raft down the powering Zambezi River, or take a helicopter tour to see Livingstone at new heights. If you want to volunteer in Zambia, Livingstone is the place where your travel adventures will truly never end!

We place each volunteer in a healthcare setting that perfectly suits their education, previous experience, interests, and the local community’s needs. We’ve welcomed everyone from nursing students, recently graduated doctors to experienced healthcare professionals in the past. If you have any questions about qualifications for volunteer opportunities, please contact us.

Joining us as a Medical and Community Development Volunteer is the experience of a lifetime. Here’s how you can make your impact with us.

Read through our project page: This project page has a wealth of information on what you can expect as a medical volunteer in Zambia, and how you’ll be making your impact.

Get to know us: We want you to fully get to know us and discover if we’re the proper organization for you. Here are a few relevant pages to read if you’re curious to learn more about who we are; Our Mission and Values, Our stance on Responsible Volunteering, Why Volunteer with African Impact.

Ask the right questions: If you have questions about joining us, we’d love to answer them!

Choose your dates and apply! If we’re the right organization for you, we cannot wait to welcome you with open arms to one of our projects! Scroll down to the bottom of this page to choose your dates and apply.