Travel and experience a new culture in one of the most rewarding ways possible by volunteering at our community projects in Cape Town! This isn’t your typical gap year volunteer project. By joining this program, one of the cheapest volunteering projects you will find out there, you can make a valuable contribution to the Xtreme / Save foundation. We do not charge you for volunteering you are only covering your costs and a donation to the foundation. This is the perfect project to be involved in, to give something back, meet others and set yourself up for an amazing gap year experience in South Africa. You can volunteer from two weeks up to 12 weeks, and then head off and travel South Africa or bolt on a multitude of optional activities.
Cape Town Community Volunteering Project plus 3 day IntroBook Now
- Super rewarding hands-on experience working with those in need. Join our volunteer projects in and around Cape Town helping local communities, schools and nurseries improve their lives.
- Help beautiful kids develop and grow and give them valuable attention. These are some of the most unfortunate yet loving children in the world. They need your help and this is your opportunity to give it.
Grow as an individual as you experience what it’s like to give back to those most in need. By supporting this project you genuinely help change people’s lives by supporting the Xtreme Gap Year foundation.
- Location, location, location! Check out the amazing Cape Town over a three day guided intro, learn to Kite Surf, go surfing or shark cage diving with loads of exciting bolt on’s.
- Very safe and fully guided experience. With airport pickups, live-in coordinators and large groups of 30 or more it’s a great way to make friends, experience Africa if you are a first-time traveller.
- Super easy with all of your meals, accommodation, transfers included.
- A great way to start your travels in South Africa, and experience one of the worlds most exciting cities.
The Cheapest & Safest and ethical way volunteer in Africa on your gap year.
Firstly if you are serious about volunteering in South Africa, and you are looking at different options we strongly recommend you listen to this interview below. This was conducted between the founders of Xtreme Gap Year, and the founder of the not-for-profit organisation we work with. We discussed some of the real issues around gap year volunteering programmes. Namely companies over charging people for profit with contributions from clients not filtering down to the grassroots level. This is a real problem in the industry and why historically Xtreme Gap Year has not offered volunteering programmes. So if you are planning on doing a volunteering program such as this one, please be aware when looking at other options not to fall into the trap.
What happens at the project.
You can really split this trip down into two areas. What happens at the project and what happens during your free time. Both are equally rewarding, and exciting but for very different reasons.
Firstly what you can expect during the project:
We work with a local NGO which has been fighting to improve the lives of local communities throughout Cape Town. You will be working in various community settlements, helping look after the kids, getting involved in adult learning projects plus assisting various events and projects as and when necessary. You will be exposed to some quite distressing environments. Which will only encourage you to help out even more. Playing with the small children who are growing up in these communities with nothing, will really open your eyes to how lucky and fortunate you are. But the kids don’t know any different, because they are exposed to the love and attention from various volunteers throughout the year through this foundation. So that is the most important thing to focus on. You can genuinely make a difference to a child’s life by giving your time to do something rewarding and worthwhile.
Some of the projects you could be involved in include:
- Helping out in a nursery.We have helped set up preschool to educate small children and they need lots of love and attention.
- Disabled school assistant. Assist children with learning and care at a disabled township school. The school has been set up and built by the foundation throgh contributions from volunteers just like you!
- We have a watersports academy and adventure swim and surf club. Help teach local kids how to swim, surf and enjoy the water!
- If you have your own individual skill that you can share, you may be up to assist on a specialist skills development project.
- We have various sport and youth development projects. Help the kids play various sports at a local recreation centre. You can also assist in classes.
This is not an exhaustive list of projects that we offer. Due to the nature of the project, new opportunities come up all the time. Whilst most people focus on just one project, you do have the option to move between different projects. But please remember this is about the projects themselves, so you would be expected to genuinely help out!
When you are not on the projects.
When you are not on the projects you are living in one of the best suburbs of Cape Town. It’s about 25 km from the centre, which means you are not stuck in the madness of a big city, plus you have the benefit of being located by an amazing beach. Yet the centre of Cape Town is accessible should you want it.
There are loads of activities you can get up to, and usually volunteers head out into the local area in the evenings.
There’s always something going on, and full backup and support with coordinators living with you day-to-day.
Day 1, Friday
You will be welcomed at the airport by our representative who will transfer you to your volunteer house accommodation. First up is an introduction session. Then you have the rest of the day to chill out and settle in. In the evening you are invited to a barbecue where you can meet the rest of the new arrivals and begin your new adventure.
Day 2, Saturday
After a hearty breakfast it’s time to hit Cape Town with a vengeance!
Our tour guide will explain how to get into town on the local bus system which is super easy and very quick. Then it’s on to a walking tour, which is guided, and we will take you to the Castle of good Hope, grand Parade and you will visit loads of areas of interest. You will find out about apartheid, see Green Market Square and there will be ample opportunity to purchase loads of African arts and crafts.
Definitely take time to see the waterfront, some great restaurants and live bands. Good shopping here as well. You can also check out the old biscuit Mill, great if you are into tasting fresh delicious food.
Around 4 PM most people head back to the hostel, to start planning the next day. Kick back at the bar, meet other travellers and start to feel the excitement and bars of what it’s like to be living abroad travelling with loads of new sensations and experiences.
Day 3, Sunday
Sunday is a free day. So we recommend you check out the amazing beach!
Day 4, Monday
Breakfast is from 7.45-8.15am on all volunteer days. Project volunteering from 8.30am-12/12.30pm. The afternoon will start with a volunteer meeting. We will discuss the local issues and areas that need your attention. There will be lesson planning, and you will be taught how to teach and plan activities with kids. There’s quite a lot involved when you hold a lesson. So you will need to be taught how to plan activities that are appropriate for ages, and how to manage the behaviour of the naughty ones!
Days 5-7, Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday
Breakfast 7.45-8.15am. You will take part in your volunteer programme at morning sessions, running from 8.30am-12/12.30pm. Lunch is taken between 12-2/3pm on volunteer days, and afternoon volunteer sessions run from 2-4.30 for settlement or teaching projects and 3-4.30pm for the swim/surf project. During the evenings you will set aside some time for project or lesson planning.
Day 8, Friday
On Friday we mix it up a bit. Depending on the needs of the local projects, what you are up to depends on what is needed.
Days 9 & 10, Saturday and Sunday
Free days. Usually the groups head into Cape Town and explore. We recommend going up table mountain or hitting long street. This is also a great time to try a kite surfing lesson if you want to sign up for one of those. Please ask us for the details. For more suggestions see here: Things to do in Cape Town.
Day 11-15, Monday-Friday
The second volunteer week is identical to the first week.
Day 16, Saturday
On day 16 we usually organise a social event. Things like exploring Cape Town on hop on hop off bus passes, lunch in a township or hiking up to some of the impressive viewpoints like Lions head or Signal Hill for sunset.
Day 17, Sunday
Your trip is coming to the end, so take the opportunity to enjoy where you are. Chill at the beach, shop in Cape Town or just hang out with your new friends on this day of relaxation. You are going to miss it when it’s gone.
Day 18, Monday
You will say your goodbyes and depart from your hostel after breakfast. Travel further up the garden route with a variety of bolt on tours that we offer. For example our garden route tour. Or talk to us for other options to extend your stay in South Africa on other volunteering projects, wildlife conservation projects or sports courses.
You will need to fly into Cape Town International airport (CPT) on Friday. Where we will have someone waiting for you with a sign with your name on. You are located about 30 minutes from central Cape Town by Blauberg beach. This is a great location because it’s an amazing place to stay by the beach, and also a fantastic place to learn to Kite Surf if you have time or the inclination. (Check out Kite surfing in Cape Town programme which can easily add this trip). The views of table Mountain a truly epic from here as well.
One of the great things about this volunteering project is where you stay. We have a shared volunteer house located five minutes from the beach. The house is set in a very secure safe compound, and we have space for up to 50 people. Attach next door is a hostel, where we run our other Cape Town programs. So it is a very social vibe and a very welcoming place. There is a plunge pool, bar, TV room kitchen and loads of facilities at your disposal. In the local area there are loads of nice little bars and restaurants, so it’s not uncommon to head out in the evenings in groups to enjoy your local environment. Check out this link to see more about the location on our blog.
- Large group sizes
- Airport transfer from Cape Town airport
- Accommodation in either a volunteer house or hostel
- A welcome pack
- Orientation tour
- Walking tour of Cape Town
- Traditional welcome BBQ
- Transport between the hostel and your volunteer project (the staff will drive you)
- Weekly social events
- A donation to the project organisation is included in the total price
- A certificate of appreciation once your work here is done
- 24 hour emergency support
- Travel insurance
- return airport transfer (although easy to arrange in country)
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