Summer Program: South Africa

Discover the real South Africa and make an impact during your summer.


Welcome and briefing at the project house – get to know your AV group and learn about your project.


Your skills will be well used. Help with school renovation projects, in the classroom or other school activities.



Use your weekends to explore the local area – go rafting, on safari, to a tiger breeding ranch…


South Africa: Summer Program Summary

Departs: July (or anytime for you and at least 3 friends)

Accommodation: Self catered AV houses

Project work: Teaching, Sports Coaching, Art, Music, Drama, Community Work

Explore further: Rafting, Tiger breeding ranch, Traditional South African braais, Safari

Philippolis, South Africa

About the program

Welcome & Briefing

You will need to arrive in Johannesburg in the early morning of the day that your summer program begins.   You will fly to O.R. Tambo International Airport, where you will transfer to the internal flight to Bloemfontein arriving by midday. At Bloemfontein you will be met by the AV representative, before the two to three hour drive to Philippolis.

On arrival in Philippolis you will have time to explore your new home, you will be introduced to South Africa with a two-day briefing on your project. It is a chance to settle in, unwind after the hectic few days leading to your departure and get to know your AV group. The briefing is important to make sure you are fully prepared for the 5 weeks ahead. As well as covering the community work you will be involved with, the course will include the following:

  • History, customs and culture of South Africa and its people
  • Safety, health and security
  • Some Afrikaans lessons
The Project

Over the next five weeks you will spend your time living and working in the communities and schools around Philippolis.

Your project work will include building projects – everything from digging and mixing concrete to painting and decorating.   You will assist our team of skilled craftsmen, providing an extra pair of hands for the heavy jobs, helping with the unskilled work whilst also learning new skills on project.

Should you want to do some teaching and be more involved with the five schools around Philippolis, you could help run lessons, introduce art and craft or music clubs, or even get your hands dirty by helping in the organic vegetable gardens.   Otherwise there are sports to be organised, games to be run and lots of children with endless energy wanting to play.

Each day you will spend time socialising with the villagers. You might even be taught how to cook Vetkoek (a traditional South African pastry) with some of the local women.  This is a great opportunity to make new friends – they will be keen to talk about where you are from, your family and life at home, whilst you can practice your Afrikaans!

In your free time you can do as you wish and explore the area – maybe head to Bloemfontein for shopping, restaurants and rugby; rafting on the Orange River; and unusually, and unexpected for Africa, there is a tiger breeding ranch not far from town.   South Africans love their outdoor living and so why not join them with a South African braai (barbeque).

After an action packed five weeks we will get you back to Bloemfontein in time for your flight home or start of the next phase of your travels.

Food & Accommodation

Your house, which is situated in town, is within easy walking distance of your schools. An important part of the AV venture is to live in local accommodation, shopping at the markets and helping where you can. The house will probably have a bedroom(s), a communal/cooking area and a bathroom. Electricity is intermittent at best, but you will have running water in the house. Wherever you will be staying, you will grow to love it and soon feel very much at home!

We encourage independence; you will be doing your own washing, keeping your new house tidy and help to prepare meals. This is the best way of getting to know people, being involved in the community and gaining the best possible understanding of living there – you are not a bystander watching from afar.

You will need to boil water from a local source or purchase bottled water.

What's included

Before departure:

  • Pre-departure information, support and advice
  • A nominated member of the UK volunteer support team
  • Advice on individual flight arrangements


  • In-country representative
  • 24/7 in-country backup
  • Meet and greet at airport (if arriving with the group)
  • Airport transfer (if arriving/departing with group)
  • In-country briefing
  • Transport whilst on project
  • Accommodation whilst on project
  • Food whilst on project
  • Accompanied by a project leader
  • Management of emergencies, including lost passport, illness, etc. whilst in-country

Upon returning home:

  • Returning home advice
  • Full telephone debriefing

What’s not included:

  • Flights
  • Travel Insurance
  • Country visas
  • Meeting of non-group arrivals
  • Accommodation for early/late arrivals
  • Medical expenses, e.g. inoculations, malaria prophylactics
  • In-country medical expenses
  • Drinks, or bottled water
  • Tips/gratuities – No tips/gratuities for AV staff are necessary or expected
  • Spending money
  • Extra activities that you choose to do
  • Weekend activities, transport, food, accommodation away from the project
  • Independent travel

Dates & Costs

5 weeks (summer program): 1st August 2020

See our Group Program Dates & Costs for full details or contact us if you’re looking for a customized trip.

5 Weeks (summer program): £1,945

See our Group Program Dates & Costs for full details or contact us if you’re looking for a customized trip.

Have more time?

You could try our South Africa gap year program.

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What's next?

If you would love to be part of the AV team and join us on a project, apply now to save your place.

Apply now

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