Surf Outreach Volunteer Project in South Africa - Cape Town
Ready to ride the waves as a Surf Outreach volunteer in South Africa? International Volunteer HQ’s Surf Outreach project is a thrilling opportunity for volunteers to assist with an after-school program that aims to teach children to surf and care for the beach environment. The project is designed so that volunteers can spend time developing their own surfing skills as well as providing local children with a great opportunity to learn new skills and spend their time in a healthy and productive way.
- Programs start on the first and third Monday of each month
- Affordable fees from £246 for 1 week
- Includes accommodation, meals, airport pick up, orientation and 24/7 support
Teach surfing and conservation to disadvantaged local children
Discover South Africa’s beaches and famous surf breaks
Stay in a volunteer house in a coastal surfing town
Who is this program suited to?
What to expect and how you'll make an impact
You don’t need to be a pro surfer to appreciate the thrill involved in surfing, and surf enthusiasts of all abilities are welcome to join the Surf Outreach project in South Africa. Volunteers help to provide structure, education and new skills to children from disadvantaged neighborhoods.
The project is divided into two parts. The first part allows volunteers to work independently with a surf instructor to develop their own surfing skills. For the second part, volunteers work with children from the community to help improve both their surfing abilities and general life skills.
In order join the program, students must attend, behave and do well at school so it also provides an extra incentive for them to stay engaged with their education. As a volunteer you’ll be a positive influence and help to build their self-confidence by providing them with an opportunity to spend their time after school in a constructive way.
The project is also designed with long-term sustainability in mind, aiming to give the children of the community skills and experience that could potentially lead to a future career. Volunteer duties can vary but generally include helping children learn:
- To surf and and swim well
- Social and life skills
- To care for the natural marine environment
- To understand, appreciate and manage risks posed by sharks
- About the ocean and its importance the world over
Please note, this project is subject to favorable surf conditions. If the weather is unfit for surfing, you can help to organise and carry out educational classes or beach games.
If you choose to volunteer during the school holidays, you’ll help on a special holiday project, which operates during the day and involves surfing and a variety of other activities aimed at promoting physical, social and personal development.
School Holidays 2021:
- 27th September - 4th October
- 13th December - 18th January 2022
School Holidays 2022:
- 26th March - 4th April
- 25th June - 18th July
- 1st October - 10th October
- 16th December - (exact date for returning to school in 2022 has not yet been confirmed)
Why do Surf Outreach volunteering in Cape Town with IVHQ?
As a volunteer surfing coach in South Africa you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:
- Providing disadvantaged young people with valuable learning opportunities
- Helping students develop life skills in a safe place
- Developing your communication skills
- Gaining teaching and surfing experience
- Immersing yourself in South African culture
- Discovering South Africa’s beautiful beaches
- Volunteers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to participate in this program, and may be asked to provide additional documentation to the local team
- All volunteers aged 13+ are required to provide a criminal background check to IVHQ prior to departure. Those aged 13-17, if unable to obtain a criminal background check, can provide two character reference letters instead
- All volunteers are required to have adequate volunteer travel insurance
- All volunteers must speak fluent English.
South Africa photo gallery
”If you’re thinking of volunteering do it. I lucked out and had the best group of friends and experiences that were unimaginable. I wouldn’t change a thing.”
Read reviews from Surf Outreach volunteers in Cape TownSee more reviews
The IVHQ South Africa volunteer program is based in Muizenberg, a beautiful, small coastal town with excellent surfing. It is about 30 to 40 minutes from the city of Cape Town, and 20 to 30 minutes from volunteer placements located in the Philippi, Steenberg and Grassy Park communities.
South Africa is known for its natural beauty, wildlife, sporting prowess, and diversity of culture and ethinic groups. It’s turbulent socio-political history is also well known, and is important to learn about in order to gain insight and understanding of the country’s people, culture and attitudes. There are many places where you can do this in Cape Town and the surrounding areas.
The IVHQ South Africa program is one of our longest running volunteer programs and has the aim of delivering positive outcomes in communities throughout the area by placing volunteers on a wide range of impactful projects. There is a focus on animal welfare as well as supporting children and young people who have had a challenging start to life because of exposure to drugs, alcohol or physical abuse.
Arrival and orientation
The program orientation begins on the first and third Monday of each month and volunteers need to arrive in Cape Town on the day before orientation. After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at the Cape Town International Airport (CPT). Your airport pick-up is included in your program fee.
When you arrive, you will be greeted at the airport by a member of the local team and transported to the volunteer accommodation in Muizenberg. Your accommodation is covered by your program fee and includes the night before your program orientation.
If you are travelling in South Africa prior to your volunteer program, we can arrange for you to be picked up within the Cape Town CBD area on the day before your program orientation.
Orientation is taken by our South Africa team in Muizenberg, Cape Town. Orientation begins on the morning of your chosen start date and covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in South Africa – an introduction to South Africa, South African customs, language training details, rules and expectations, safety, travel opportunities in South Africa, and an introduction to your project and placement. The orientation will also give you a chance to meet other volunteers and make plans for weekend travel and socialising. Once your orientation is complete you will take a trip into Cape Town before returning to your volunteer accommodation.
Volunteer schedule example
On your first day of volunteering, you will be escorted to your placement by a local coordinator and introduced to the placement staff you will be working with.
Work and hours are dependent on the project and placement that each volunteer is working at. A typical volunteer day would be as follows:
|7:00 AM||Breakfast at the volunteer house.|
|8:00 - 8:30 AM||Volunteers leave home and travel to their placements.|
|12:00 - 2:00 PM||Work at the placement usually ends. Volunteers are free to travel back to the volunteer house for lunch, go sightseeing, or do some shopping.|
|7:00 PM||Dinner at the volunteer house.|
On the weekends, volunteers have spare time to relax or take the opportunity to explore Cape Town or other areas in South Africa. See unusual wildlife like antelope and penguins, visit the spot where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned, paraglide off a rock high above the city, visit a local vineyard, or watch the sun sink into the Atlantic ocean with a glass of the region’s finest wine in your hand. Long weekends can be taken if volunteers wish to go on safari, bungy jump, or travel to places further afield, such as the Garden Route or Stellenbosch.
Looking for more ideas of things to do in South Africa? Check out our South Africa Travel & Tours page!
Accommodation and WiFi
You’ll stay in volunteer houses and can expect to share a room with one to five other volunteers. Bedrooms have single beds and bunk beds with bedding provided.
The accommodation is safe and secure with the volunteer houses located in a safe suburb near the communities where volunteers work. Living is comfortable with a vending machine for snacks and a television.
The volunteer houses have electricity and running water with Western toilets, but you’ll need to bring your own towel and toiletries.
The volunteer houses have 4G internet access. Data is limited so volunteers will not be able to download or stream TV shows/movies.
Volunteers in South Africa receive three meals a day, Monday through Friday. Meals served in the volunteer house are typically Western-style and can be high in carbohydrates.
Breakfast consists of self-serve tea, coffee, toast and cereal. For lunch volunteers will be provided with supplies to make their own sandwiches, and dinner consists of dishes containing meat, vegetables and a starch, such as potatoes, bread or pasta.
It is not possible to drink the tap water in South Africa, however, bottled water is readily available in South Africa, and you should budget approximately US$5 (approximately £3) per week for 2 litres a day.
If you have any special dietary requirements, please let us know when you apply for the program so we can make arrangements for you. However, we need to stress the point that you should not expect to eat as you normally do at home. We will do our best to see that you are well taken care of, but also as a volunteer, there is a need to be flexible.
Due 30 days before you start, or within 48 hours if you register inside of 30 days. Covers the cost of hosting you.
|1 week||£246 Equivalent to £36/day|
|2 weeks||£430 Equivalent to £31/day|
|3 weeks||£615 Equivalent to £30/day|
|4 weeks||£800 Equivalent to £29/day|
|5 weeks||£985 Equivalent to £29/day|
|6 weeks||£1169 Equivalent to £28/day|
|8 weeks||£1539 Equivalent to £28/day|
|10 weeks||£1908 Equivalent to £28/day|
|12 weeks||£2278 Equivalent to £28/day|
|16 weeks||£3016 Equivalent to £27/day|
|20 weeks||£3755 Equivalent to £27/day|
|24 weeks||£4494 Equivalent to £27/day|
- 24/7 in-country support
- In-country program orientation
- Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
- Airport pick-up
- Personalized preparation tools, guides and check lists
- Access to IVHQ’s preferred insurance and flights partners
- Certificate of International Volunteering
- All programs attract a Registration Fee of £229 in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services. IVHQ fees are priced in USD but you may elect to pay in GBP.
- A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
- Additional things to budget for include: Visa, flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check and return to the airport when your program finishes.
- Recommended spending money: Volunteers in South Africa generally find US$50-75 per week to be sufficient for expenses.
Check what's required to visit South Africa
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Safety and support
IVHQ follows best practice and industry-leading health and safety procedures, which are regularly reviewed and optimized as part of the B Corporation recertification.
- All volunteers encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training.
- All local teams trained on best practice volunteer management & First Aid.
- All IVHQ programs are required to adhere to IVHQ's Risk Management Policy.
- All volunteers have access to 24/7 in-country support from our local team.
Protecting against COVID-19:
Volunteers tested for COVID-19 within 72 hours of travel
Health & safety information provided during orientation
Strict disinfecting standards for programs & accomodation
Greater physical distance between volunteers
Essential country information
|Capital||Pretoria (Executive), Bloemfontein (Judicial), Cape Town (Legislative)|
|Languages||Afrikaans, English, Zulu, Xhosa, Swati, Tswana|
|Currency||South African Rand (ZAR)|
Weather and climate
The subtropical location, moderated by the Atlantic and Indian Oceans on three sides of the country and the altitude of the central plateau, are responsible for the warm temperatures typical of South Africa. Across much of the country, summer (December to February) is characterised by hot, sunny weather with temperatures averaging around 25°C (77°F). Winter (May to September) is cooler and drier with evening temperatures averaging around 10 °C (50°F). In Cape Town, sporadic showers and chilly winds are common during the winter months, but with daytime temperatures can average around 15°C (59°F).