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Despite being one of the top tourist destinations in the world, many visit Cape Town and don’t experience what life is like for the millions of poverty-stricken people living in the communities surrounding the city. Khayelitsha – the largest of the settlements – has a population of roughly 2 million people, meaning statistics relating to unemployment, HIV and orphaned children are staggering. It is here where we have worked since 2014 and invite you to join us for a week of volunteering before continuing on your adventure. Your contribution will directly support struggling children, providing them with skills and an education that gives them a positive head-start in their schooling.
During your first week at the tip of Africa, you’ll live in our shared volunteer house in Muizenberg, just 3 minutes away from one of the most popular beaches in Cape Town’s South Peninsula. Aside from being one of the best surfing beaches around, it’s an area filled with vibey bars, cafes, and amazing restaurants. It is from here where you will travel into Khayelitsha each day to volunteer. In your free time, you could venture to the top of Table Mountain, visit the historic Robben Island, go paragliding, take to the ocean by kayak, hang out on some of the many beaches, sip wine at stunning vineyards or even take to the skies on a helicopter flight over the city.
Aside from having free time to explore everything Cape Town has to offer during your first weekend in Cape Town, this tour is perfectly complimented by a second week traveling the Garden Route with South African Tour Operator of the Year 2018. It is a stunning stretch of coastline famous as one of the best road trips in the world. And with spectacular natural beauty, world-class beaches, awesome backpacker hostels, an incredible range of adrenaline-fueled activities, iconic wildlife and a safari or two… it’s easy to see why.
Note: The tour returns to Cape Town, where you will book your return flight home.
Arrive in Cape Town, meet our team at the airport and be driven to a backpacker hostel in Muizenberg, just minutes away from one of the most popular beaches in Cape Town’s Southern Peninsula. The day is yours to settle in, explore the area, and try and catch some sleep after your flight.
And it begins… One of our team members will meet you at your accommodation and bring you to our volunteer house (just down the road), where you’ll be living with your fellow travelers for the next 7-nights. After a morning of induction and training you’ll join other volunteers at an after-school program for disadvantaged children in the township of Khayelitsha.
Your first full day of volunteering. Up first, assisting local teachers at pre-school with pre-planned educational activities. After lunch, it’s time for arts, crafts, sports and play an after-school program that aims to keep children away from the dangers of street-life.
Between volunteering at the pre-school and after-school program, it is a day to explore Khayelitsha, South Africa’s fastest growing township. At lunchtime, volunteers learn about the Apartheid era and the consequent history of the formal settlement, while trying local delicacies such as chicken feet and sheep’s head (vegetarian options available!).
This morning you will provide one-to-one attention to children falling behind at pre-school in the morning, before spending the afternoon working closely with grandmothers living with HIV/AIDs. This weekly workshop provides an opportunity for cultural exchange, where the grandmothers teach the volunteers a skill, and in return, volunteers teach the grandmothers a skill.
Spend your final morning at pre-school, having contributed to a brighter future for the children. On Friday afternoon, you will leave your legacy by planning the following week’s activities for the volunteers remaining in Cape Town. What have you learned during your week?
Collected from the volunteer accommodation, you will depart Cape Town and head out along one of the most beautiful coastal roads in South Africa. Before reaching the most southern tip of Africa, you’ll have met endangered African penguins, dived with sharks*, or even spotted whales*.
There are 2 very important things to know this day; you will drive along South Africa’s longest wine route, and end up in the Ostrich Capital of the World, Outdshoorn. Expect wine tasting, plenty of ostriches, and a guided adventure tour of the Cango Caves; South Africa’s oldest tourist attraction.
Up next, Wilderness (it’s exactly like you’re imagining it). There will be kayaking, a gentle hike through an indigenous forest to a waterfall, incredible views across the Indian Ocean, and plenty of photo opportunities. The evening is spent watching the sunset from Sedgefield’s stunning beach.
If you’re feeling brave, you could start the day with the highest commercial bungee-jump in the world*, or zip-line through the trees on a canopy tour*. The afternoon is spent exploring in the Tsitsikamma National Park before the tour departs for ‘Big 5’ country, ADDO Elephant Park.
Get ready for a ‘Lion King’ moment as you head out on safari at the ADDO Elephant National Park, home to lions, rhinos, and over 600 elephants (to name just a few). Be sure to wrap up warm for the early morning game drive, and keep watch for the big cats.
Having overnighted in Wilderness or Mossel Bay, the trip begins its return to Cape Town. However, you can’t visit South Africa and not sky-dive* or sandboard*, so there will be plenty of time for that before you leave.
Please note: You can fly out of Cape Town Saturday evening (after 9pm), or spend one final night in Cape Town. Your final night’s accommodation is not included in the price.
We recommend flying home on the Sunday, however accommodation and airport drop-off will be at your own expense. We’d be more than happy to suggest accommodation options that offer airport drop-off to make sure you catch your flight safely.
*Anything marked with an asterisk in this itinerary is not included in the price.
The perfect time to tick off your Cape Town bucket-list. Some must-do’s (not included in the price, but our team will help you to book them):
We believe that when you travel, there should be no compromises. Even if you are limited on time you should be able to explore while still doing some good in the world. This is what we do. In fact, we are the experts in Africa. We create volunteer travel experiences that change lives (and not just your own).
Named the Top Volunteer Abroad Organization in 2017, we are expanding our extremely popular Expedition Programs that take you #BeyondVolunteering. They are not your average tourist holidays; they are the ultimate way to see, do and achieve as much as possible in two weeks. Join our team of passionate staff on the ground for a week of volunteering with local communities or wildlife, before heading out on a road-trip to discover some of Africa’s most iconic destinations.