About Rustic Volunteers South Africa

Volunteer South Africa

A Life-changing, Rewarding and Affordable South African Experience!

Go beyond your boundaries and volunteer in South Africa! Vibrant and full of colors, South Africa is known as a rainbow nation. It's a land filled with wonders, stunning landscapes and astonishing flora and fauna. South Africa overflows with diversity and has eleven official languages in its constitution. You can get lost in the many national parks where you can see the "big five" (elephant, rhino, leopard, lion and buffalo). In addition, you can take time out to enjoy local seafood or watch the famous sardine run, where millions of sardines travel up the Indian Coast chased by gannets, dolphins, whales and sharks. You'll enjoy the amazing night skies, the garden route and some of the best wine tasting. For the adventurous, South Africa also boasts the highest bungee jump in the world.

You can experience this fascinating country intimately by participating in Rustic Volunteer's Volunteering South Africa programs. We operate out of Cape Town, a city that presents visitors with glorious weather year around. You can easily immerse into local cultures and work in one of our volunteer programs to uplift lives of extremely poor people. In addition, you can join one of our well organized tours and explore the beauty of South Africa beyond Cape Town.

Volunteer in South Africa NOW! Email us for more information, so you can begin your African adventure and life-changing experience. You will change your life as well as those of who you help.

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Fees and Dates

For start date of Cape Town volunteer program, please click the link here to know the exact dates.

If you are tired of expensive volunteer programs but want to make a positive contribution in the world, look no further! Rustic is dedicated to offering high-quality, well-organized and meaningful programs at the most affordable price in the United States. We work hard to keep costs as low as possible, focusing on the effectiveness of our projects, the safety of our volunteers and the quality of participant experiences. We currently offer the most competitive price possible in today's market including an application fee (of $299) AND a small weekly fee as follows:

Duration all projects (Cape Town) Wildlife Conservation
  1 Week   N/A   $700
  2 Weeks   $450   $1,100
  3 Weeks   $600   $1,550
  4 Weeks   $750   $1,950
  5 Weeks   $900   $2,350
  6 Weeks   $1.050   $2,750
  7 Weeks   $1,200   $3,150
  8 Weeks   $1,400   $3,650
  9 Weeks   $1,550   N/A
  10 Weeks   $1,750   N/A
  11 Weeks   $1,900   N/A
  12 Weeks   $2,050   N/A

Mandatory Comprehensive Travel Insurance $3.49/day

  • Program fee covers
    • Accommodation
    • 3 meals a day
    • Comprehensive travel insurance
    • Donation to project
    • In-country office expenses
    • Field support
    • Project coordination
    • Emergency support
    • Airport welcome
  • Program fee does not cover
    • International flights
    • Passport and visa fees
    • Immunizations
    • Personal food and beverages
    • Entertainment
    • Local transportation
    • Laundry
    • Communication (telephone, internet)
    • Personal items
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Volunteer Programs in Cape Town - South Africa

Orphanage project in South Africa (Cape Town)

minimum stay 4 weeks

Do you love working with kids? Would you like to help orphanages care for orphaned children, and let them receive the love and care they so desperately deserve? If so, working for Rustic's orphanage project in South Africa may be just the thing for you!

The second largest city in South Africa, Cape Town sees all sorts of people. Some live the luxurious life daily while others struggle to survive. Socio-economic problems like poverty, disease, and neglect have turned many South African children into helpless orphans. South African orphanages are trying their best to feed, clothe, and educate the orphans, but many have a shortage of staff and funds. Because of this, there is great need for volunteers to assist in the care of the children. Collaborating with many local orphanages in South Africa, Rustic Volunteer helps provide the quality of life these orphans deserve. As a volunteer, you will help love and care for them alongside the staff.

Project/Volunteer's Life

Volunteers will work with abused children and orphans, as well as have the opportunity to work in safe houses for women and children and care for the physically and mentally challenged children and adults. It should be noted that placements in the month of December are limited, as orphans are placed with foster parents at this time.

Volunteer duties include feeding the children, clothing the children, and playing with them. They will help the children with their homework, prepare meals for them, as well as assist with planned activities and sprucing up the orphanage. The work times will often vary, but typical hours will be from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., with volunteers occasionally working until 9:00 p.m.

Skills and Qualification

Though no prior experience is needed to volunteer in this project, a love and passion for working with people, namely children, is recommended. Volunteers will need to exhibit patience working with the children and helping to solve their problems. They must be willing to help whenever needed, working towards making the facility better for the kids that stay there.

Volunteers must obtain a police clearance certificate, and in some projects they must be over 21 years old committing to work in the project for at least two months. They need to have an interest in social welfare homes as well, as most of the children are in school in the mornings, allowing the volunteers to assist in these homes during that time.

Healthcare project in South Africa (Cape Town)

Volunteer in the Community Health Project in South Africa and gain valuable experience, explore Cape Town and most importantly, help South Africans live healthy and productive lives. Many hospitals and clinics in and around Cape Town lack financial and human resources and urgently need volunteers. If you're a qualified medical professional or are in the process of becoming one, you can volunteer in this project and help local hospitals and clinics treat people who would not otherwise have access to healthcare. You will share your knowledge, time, skills and talents with the local nurses, doctors and staff, making treatment possible for hundreds who daily seek medical help. Participating in the Community Health Volunteer Project in South Africa provides tremendous opportunities for volunteers to immerse themselves in another culture while positively contributing to poorer communities where the need is the greatest.

Project/Volunteer's Life

Each volunteer in South Africa working in the community health/medical project will have varying responsibilities and tasks in the volunteer project depending on one's qualifications and certifications as a medical professional.  Duties may include:

  • Assisting in the lab
  • Helping patients with physical therapy
  • Working in rehabilitation centers
  • Providing basic first aid and care
  • Shadowing health workers, therapists, nurses or doctors
  • Working with organization administrations
  • Helping in the pharmacy
  • Recording patient details
  • Measuring vital signs such as blood pressure, height, weight
  • Distributing medicines
  • Assisting with medical procedures
  • Helping incoming patients
  • Performing and assisting in the in-day emergency room
  • Partnering with local doctors
  • Qualified doctors can diagnose and treat patients

Note: In each community, projects may support orphanages, schools, HIV/AIDS projects, hospitals, etc. Volunteers may work in more than one project during the duration of their volunteer period. By multi-tasking, you will have a more varied volunteering experience and be able to reach out to more people.

Skills and Qualification

Volunteers interested in joining the volunteer health program must possess health care certification, such as an ID as a medical student, EMT or paramedic certification or nursing/physician's credentials. Medical volunteers without credentials are not allowed to work in this program because of the potential risk. Local hospitals require a copy of your resume, clearly stating credentials and education before your arrival to the project.

Physical Education project in South Africa (Cape Town)

Do you love playing sports? Would you be willing to teach youngsters to play sports in their school programs? Would you like to live in one of the most multicultural cities in all of South Africa? If you answered yes to all of these questions, the physical education project in Cape Town, South Africa is just the program for you!

Sports play an integral part in the development of a child. Not only do they add value to a quality education, allowing for recreational time and being active, they are also learning team-building skills and working together for a common goal. Many underrepresented communities lack proper sports programs for their kids, with many of them ending on the streets with bad behavior instead. As a volunteer, you will teach them the world of sports while also contributing greatly to their quality of life.

Project/Volunteer's Life

Volunteers will work in a sports coaching position at a local school or work in one of the soccer camps in the area. A volunteer's project will vary depending on location, resources available, and the level of the trained staff. Some projects are well-structured, but many lack the proper infrastructure needed for effective management. This is often because many of the sports projects are funded through subsidies, donations, and grants.

Skills and Qualification

Though no prior experience is needed to volunteer in this project, a love and passion for sports is required as it is a physical education program. We also encourage a willingness to help whenever needed and have a passion for working with children, as you will be teaching them the world of sports daily.

Teaching project in South Africa (Cape Town)

Although English is an official language of South Africa and is widely spoken, many low-class families only speak their own language and often have difficulty speaking and writing in English. English is increasingly important to compete in local and global markets; therefore the demand for lessons is extremely high. As a volunteer in South Africa teaching English, you will have the wonderful opportunity to help young students improve their English and in turn, you will open doors for their futures. Volunteer in the teaching English project in South Africa and help children have bright futures, all while exploring all that South Africa has to offer. This project truly is the opportunity of a lifetime.

Project/Volunteer's Life

Job responsibilities as a volunteer teaching English in South Africa will vary with each school (secondary or primary).  The schools provide the curriculum and teaching material.  You will typically work with another teacher and report to the head teacher. Your main role will be teaching English, but other activities may include:

  • Assisting the main English teacher with lessons and activities
  • Teaching other subjects such as math or science
  • Playing with the children
  • Organizing extracurricular activities such as music, dancing, sports, art, games, etc.
  • Teaching life skills such as painting, sewing, cooking, etc.
  • Promoting nutrition and health
  • Helping to fundraise for schools
  • Working with local teachers on curriculum development
  • Assisting school administrations with daily tasks
  • Helping with basic maintenance of schools
  • Aiding local school staff in any way possible

South Africa has 4 academic terms a year: January-March, April-June, July-September, and October-December. A minimum commitment of 2 months is required to volunteer for the Teaching English in South Africa project.

Note: In each community, projects may support orphanages, schools, HIV/AIDS projects, hospitals, etc. Volunteers may work in more than one project during the duration of their volunteer period. By multi-tasking, you will have a more varied volunteering experience and be able to reach out to more people.

Skills and Qualification

There are no specific skills or qualifications needed to join the teaching English project in South Africa. However, volunteers are expected to be fluent in English. Teaching experience is beneficial (but not required). You should also be open-minded, caring, responsible and flexible.


Rustic Volunteer arranges volunteer meals, accommodations and strong field support for the duration of projects and optional travel packages. In South Africa, volunteers generally stay with host families and accommodations are simple and clean homes in safe neighborhoods.

Volunteers usually have a private bedroom, but occasionally rooms will be shared with a same-gender volunteer. Our host families are well screened and are respected members of their communities who live in affluent neighborhoods. Most of our host families have experience with hosting international volunteers. A host family stay is a great chance for cultural immersion and exchange. During orientation and training program, volunteers stay in our hostel in Cape Town. Our hostel is located in the city center and volunteers will have easy access to all parts of the city.

Volunteers receive three local meals per day (breakfast, lunch and dinner). We can provide vegetarian meal options, but needs must be detailed in a volunteer's application. Snacks and beverages outside of mealtimes are not provided; however, there are local restaurants and grocery stores near the residences in which we place volunteers.

Rustic offers unparalleled field support to volunteers to ensure a safe and rewarding experience. Once in South Africa, there are many layers of support for you. The most important support comes from our country coordinator/field staff. The secondary support comes from the host project staff and members of host families. Volunteers will have access to our country coordinator's mobile number and they are available 24/7. Throughout the volunteer project, our local staff stays in contact with volunteers either with face-to-face visits or via email/telephone. Our field staff will visit regularly (every 2-4 weeks) to make sure things are going well and as planned. However, if placement is far from our local offices, staff members will stay in touch via email/ phone. Volunteers are also welcome to stop in the offices at any time.

Specific details regarding accommodations, food and contact details for our local coordinator will be provided in personalized volunteer placement documentation prior to arrival.

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Project Locations:

South Africa VolunteersAll of our projects are available in Cape Town, home to Table Mountain, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront and the City Bowl, but volunteers interested in teaching English, working in an orphanage or working in social projects may also work in Stellenbosch, Albertinia, Knysna or Riversdale. South Africa's multicultural metropolitan cities are renowned for their deeply rooted African cultural and atmosphere where visitors are always welcomed. It's full of contrasts: from traditional culture and history to modern infrastructure. You can easily find most of the amenities you would expect from a modern city. Volunteers can organize several combinations of excursions during and after the project to visit popular tourist attractions. There is a tourist infrastructure already in place that the volunteers can use during weekends. Attractions include national parks & harbors, safari trips, hiking, markets, museums, restaurants, nightclubs, festivals/carnivals, wine tasting, art galleries, whale watching, beaches, hotels, and much more.

Major FAQs - South Africa

  • Application Process
  • Please read Rustic Volunteer's 5-step application

    • You can either apply online or download the application and mail it to us after filling out the form. To complete your application process, we'll need an application fee of $200. Without the fee, you're application won't be processed.
    • When we receive your completed application, it will then be forwarded to the country coordinator of South Africa for processing. The coordinator will thoroughly check your application and search for the project you mentioned. The coordinator will also fix the details regarding your accommodation and meal. Your accommodation will either be fixed in a home stay, where you'll stay with a South Africa family and enjoy local food, or you'll be accommodated in a project hostel.
    • After the country coordinator finalizes the details of your program, the information will then be passed on to us. We then forward the details to you, along with the final invoice. You will have to make your final payment six weeks before the start of your program. If your application has been expedited, the payment has to be settled as soon as possible. The placement details have local contact information, which you can use while applying for South Africa Visa or to get in touch with the local staff and host family.
    • You'll then start to prepare for your trip to South Africa. You'll have to have your immunizations required before travelling to South Africa as well as get a visa to enter the country (for details on this, check the Visa section of FAQ) and book airline tickets. If you want to contact us any time during your preparation, we're only a phone call away and eagerly waiting to help and advise you.
    • Once you have confirmed your tickets and arrival details, please pass on the information to us (US Office). We'll inform your flight timing to the South Africa country coordinator and you will be picked up at the airport, upon arrival. You can also email the country coordinator directly.
  • Arrival Information
  • Visa
  • Health & Safety
  • Vaccination
  • Money Matter
  • Field Support and Supervision
  • How does Rustic Volunteer help me when I am in the field? How can I maintain communication? Does Rustic Volunteer visit volunteers?

    Our coordinators stay in touch with volunteers via personal visits, telephone calls or emails. The director of each project will serve as the participants' immediate supervisor. Rustic Volunteer's in-country coordinator maintains a mobile phone so participants are able to reach him with questions and concerns.

  • Communication
  • Climate of Africa
  • Materials to Bring
  • Gift for Host Family and Project
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