South Africa Programs

South Africa is a land of contrasts. Volunteer to experience all it has to offer.

Map of South Africa

About South Africa

Did you know that most of its 46 million inhabitants live in the major towns and cities and that its vast bushveld is virtually empty?

The contrasts are extraordinary: first world cities on the one hand, and communities as poor as anywhere on the continent on the other – a genuine “Rainbow Nation”!

This is a stunning and rugged country, where a new generation of talent is emerging from the rebuilt townships – but slowly.

Volunteering in South Africa you will see there is a passionate desire for education – in the classroom, on the sports’ field and about the world.

South Africa Gap Year Program

We offer gap year projects and volunteering opportunities with a small, rural community in the Karoo, South Africa’s ‘Big Sky’ country, in the southern part of the Orange Free State, where there are five schools in need of your help. You will live in the town of Philippolis and spend your time getting to know these wonderful people.

You literally have to prise these children off you at the end of the day – they just don’t want you to go home!

Our volunteers have found the challenges here immensely rewarding. Volunteering in South Africa with AV gives you the chance to teach anything (primary to secondary), play anything (especially football), sing, dance, paint and act. Your days will be busy and you’ll love it!

Generally warm all year, although the nights can be quite cold between June and September in Philippolis and westwards. Heading east, it’s warm all year, day and night.






Capital: Pretoria.
Language: Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Pedi, Sotho, Swati, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa, Zulu.
Population: Nearly 46,000,000.
Population Density: 36.8. people per km²
Size: 1,219,090 km²

RSA is not expensive relative to Europe but the huge distances between towns make it expensive to travel, unless there are a lot of you. Backpackers can live quite well for less than £25 a day. Tourist spots and activities are more expensive, so what it costs depends on how you live! There are ATMs in all towns. You’re advised to bring Visa debit or credit cards.

Excellent roads and regular flights but with slightly erratic trains. Taxis and several bus companies operate throughout the country. Minimum age for car hire is 23 but AV strongly discourages it.

Excellent local produce, including meat, fruit and wine. The long coastline produces fresh, cheap seafood. Typical dishes include sosaties (a type of kebab), bobotie (a curried mince dish), bredies (meat, tomato and vegetable stews). Poetoepap or stywepap, made with white maize meal, is often served with meat. Biltong (dried meat) is a speciality.


We have representatives throughout east and southern Africa. Kate Groch is our South Africa Manager, and she has Lulani Vermeulen in her team to help you with day-to-day problems. They are all wonderful at solving a wide spectrum of problems and handing out TLC, when required. Be warned…Kate and Lulani have a highly contagious virus called “enthusiasm”. You will catch it!




  • Malaria Area: Only in some reserves and the east
  • Wet Season (Global warming permitting!): Jun-Aug but steady throughout the year in Eastern Cape
  • Internet cafes: Everywhere
  • Electricity Type: UK type 220-240 volt
  • Plugs: Large 3 pin, round pin
  • In Country Rep: Kate Groch and Lulani Vermeulen
  • Language: Mainly English, Afrikaans, Xhosa, Zulu
  • “Hello!”: “Goeie dag!”
  • Money: South African Rand
  • Visa or MasterCard: Visa is best but most are accepted

Help us make a difference by volunteering with AV in South Africa


Pin It on Pinterest

Share This