Although this program is unavailable this summer, you can still add it to your favorites and consider it for summer 2025.
South Africa Volunteer Program for Teens
This teen volunteer program in South Africa is filled with unbelievable wildlife, scenic landscapes, and a rich cultural exchange. We have a long-established relationship with Eco Children Klaserie and you will get the opportunity to work closely with the local youth. This South Africa summer travel program uses a service-learning framework, where our staff provide guidance and reflection on the impact of the work we do throughout the program and promote the value of empathy and cultural sensitivity. You will gain as much from this experience as the young students you will be privileged to spend time with. Top that off with an unforgettable safari to see the Big 5 in Kruger National Park and this is a summer experience sure to create life-long memories.
About This Program
What It’s Like
The perfect balance of meaningful service projects, cultural immersion and unforgettable adventures.
This program requires an open mind to experience a different culture, new foods and comfortable hotels.
60 Community Service Hours
A certificate of completion detailing the program's service hours and projects will be issued after the trip.
Everybody participates together in each project. Specific projects are confirmed in late spring and are similar to those described.
Hotels & lodges.
Includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily.
Includes all recreation & activities listed.
Chartered, air conditioned vehicles with a professional driver.
Up to 24 participants.
We can accommodate most dietary preferences and allergies.
• Embark on a sustainable project with a local school.
• Safari in Kruger National Park to see the Big 5.
• Play soccer and run activities with local children.
• Learn to surf in Muizenberg.
• Help students practice their English with songs and games.
• Learn about African wildlife conservation.
• Taste the rich flavors of South African cuisine during a cooking class.
• Enjoy spectacular views at Cape Point & the Cape of Good Hope.
Our project with Eco-Children Training focuses on hands-on environmental education amongst the youth in the Hoedspruit and Acornhoek areas of the Klaserie Nature Park. Eco-Children Training has committed itself to becoming involved in local schools to spread the theme of conservation through creating awareness, teaching, and inspiring youth to appreciate nature in many areas. In the past we worked alongside the students of the Primary School to construct vegetable gardens. We dug holes for the foundation, laid the bricks, filled the gardens with soil and compost, planted seedlings and erected a fence around the mini eco-village.
About Eco-Children Training
Eco-Children Training’s mission is to empower children rural Mpumalanga and Limpopo by developing their capacity as catalysts of positive change in their communities. They sow the seeds of change by improving the quality of education and providing opportunities for talented learners.
You will have the opportunity to use your creativity to plan and implement activities for the children supported through Kidz Africa. You will help teach the children English through songs and play games in these informal settlements to support the families and communities. Regardless of which volunteer project the community is in need of, you will serve as a role model for youth, impacting them through sports, recreation and the arts.
About Kidz Africa
Kidz Africa is an organization that uses sport, adventure and performing arts as tools to mentor future generations of at-risk youth living in rural communities. The aim is to develop effective young people, by coaching and mentoring around character, discipline and respect, creating effective adults, who are Africa’s future leaders.
Your adventure begins with an orientation to South Africa as well as to one another by whitewater rafting the Sabie River. Take part in a team-building workshop to facilitate collaboration amongst our group. Visit the Apartheid Museum and take a tour of Soccer City – one of the stadiums of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Heard of the Big 5? Scout with bush trackers for elephants, leopards, rhinos, Cape buffalo and lions on an exciting safari drive in Kruger National Park, home to South Africa’s most varied wildlife. Discover Blyde River Canyon, the third largest canyon in the world, and take in the beauty of Bourke’s Luck Potholes.
At Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope, experience spectacular views from some of the southernmost tips of the continent. Explore Boulders Beach and the colony of African penguins which call this bay home. Experience a Seal Island boat cruise and see firsthand where some of the incredible scenes from the Discovery Channel’s Planet Earth were shot.
Welcome to Cape Town, South Africa’s oldest and most striking city! Journey up to the top of Table Mountain and be amazed by the sights and the views of this world-class city. Descend by cable car and then explore the V & A Waterfront for hidden treasures and to check out the seals basking on the wharf in the South African sun. Soak up the scenery atop Elsie's Peak and prepare delicious dishes at a traditional Cape Malay cooking experience. Learn to surf in Muizenberg, one of the best surf beaches in the world! Ferry out to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Robben Island and tour the Maximum Security Prison where Nelson Mandela spent many of his 27 years in prison.
Johannesburg, South Africa
The Holiday Inn is conveniently located ten minutes from O.R. Tambo International Airport and a great place to start your South African adventure. Rooms have TVs and WiFi.
Kruger National Park, South Africa
The amazing and authentic Timbavati Safari Lodge is situated close to Kruger National Park. The surrounding land is inhabited by all kinds of wildlife, from Giraffes to Wildebeests, which can regularly be seen from the verandas of the rooms. The property has Wi-Fi.
Simon's Town, South Africa
Each bedroom at the Quayside Hotel has a magnificent view of either False Bay and the Simon’s Town yacht basin or the majestic Simon’s Kloof mountains. The rooms are all comfortably furnished with Wi-Fi and TVs.
Cape Town, South Africa
Located in the heart of Cape Town, the Cape Town Lodge Hotel offers spacious rooms that are located on the higher floors, so that guests can appreciate the views of Table Mountain, Lions Head, Signal Hill, Cape Town Harbour and the eclectic colours of the Bo–Kaap Village. The property has WiFi.
Flight to Johannesburg, South Africa
We begin this trip with a chaperoned overseas group flight from New York to Johannesburg. Our trip leaders greet you at the airport and are with you from check-in onward. Everyone has the opportunity to begin trip bonding before we even land. For our many travelers from outside the New York area, we require all participants to join our group flight to South Africa and are happy to assist you with arranging connecting flights at suitable times into New York.
Internal Flight Separate from the airfare to and from this program, there is an additional $295 USD fee for the internal flight from Johannesburg to Cape Town.
Return Flight Home from Cape Town, South Africa
For your return from Cape Town, we offer a chaperoned flight to New York. You may choose to join that flight and arrange transfers (if required) at suitable times after the group has cleared customs and immigration in the USA; or you may fly from Cape Town to your home city and our leaders help you check-in and remain in the airport until flights at designated times have departed.
South Africa Entry Regulations
To enter South Africa, your passport must have two blank pages facing one another. If you travel often and no longer have this space available, you have to get a new passport, as this requirement is strictly enforced.
In addition to a valid passport, it is recommended program members have a letter of consent signed by a parent(s).
Where We Stay
We carefully select clean and comfortable accommodations with the needs of our students in mind. While our volunteer programs do not stay at luxury resorts, we do know that a good night’s rest, in your own bed, is key to performing your service hours well and having enough energy to enjoy the day’s activities. For this reason, and also to maintain the close group bond and to uphold the quality of this program, we do not offer any homestays.
Meals & New Cuisines
Eating well while away from home is an important part of a summer’s success. Part of your travel experience will be immersing yourself in the local cuisine and culture so please bring with you an open mind and a willingness to try new things. In South Africa, you can taste local game including warthog, kudu and impala but don’t worry, they also have North American style options on the menu.
We have satisfied the choosiest of eaters and gladly accommodate most special dietary requests including vegetarian, food allergies, lactose intolerance, celiac disease, and kosher style. We welcome discussing your individual requirements with you and have extensive experience in this area.
On this program, we will have large containers of clean water for you to fill up your own water bottles as needed.
We recommend you follow the advice of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and consult with your physician for current immunizations and medication required for travelers to South Africa. These recommendations may change from time to time. We will send you detailed information in March (or upon enrollment if later) regarding the current recommendations for this itinerary.
You will only need one week’s worth of clothing as outlined in the packing list that will be sent to you prior to departure. You will have the opportunity to do laundry at your convenience by dropping off your laundry at a local wash and fold service and then pick it up clean, folded and ready to go.
Included in your program tuition is all lodging, breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, recreation & entertainment listed, airport transfers in designated times, gratuities & taxes.
Not included is transportation to and from the program, internal flights, and personal spending money for snacks, souvenirs, and laundry. We also make available optional travel insurance that is not included, but highly recommended.
Please contact us with any questions. We are happy to hear from you!
Frequently Asked Questions
What if I need to contact my teen during the program?
Participants may bring their cell phones so parents may call and message their kids directly. You may also contact our Communication Centers which serve as the official link between programs on the road and parents. We are staffed every day during the summer and have somebody on call for after hours emergencies ready to assist you 24/7.
Who are the staff and what are their qualifications?
Our staff are educators, guidance counselors, coaches, college and university students, former camp counselors, residence life coordinators, community volunteers, world travelers, and other leaders with diverse backgrounds. Many are former participants themselves who couldn’t get enough of the Westcoast experience! Learn more about our summer leaders.
How are roommates assigned?
Giving everyone a chance to make new friends creates a cohesive group and the warmest and most welcoming social environments in our industry!
On our Active Teen Tours, Global Adventures and Community Service programs, rooming rotation is as follows:
To promote this we’ve found the best system is for the Program Director to assign the rooms for the first and second stops. For the first stop, independent travelers room with other independent travelers and any friends who enrolled can room together. All participants will be assigned a different roommate for the second stop. After the first two stops, choice of roommates is always up to you!
On our Pre-College Enrichment programs & Career Experiences, rooming is as follows:
We assign independent travelers with another independent traveler for the duration of your stay. Any friends who enrolled together can room together.
Roommates are assigned based on gender identity. We welcome all genders, inclusive of those anywhere on the gender spectrum.
On a few programs where we spend an extended period of time at the first stop, participants have the opportunity to rotate after the first two nights.