The continent of Africa is perhaps the most popular destination for many, especially those looking to get involved in volunteer work. The traditional backpacking route through Asia and Australasia is well traveled, but many African countries offer safe travel in beautiful environments, including rainforests and deserts. Your work will contribute to the lives of people and communities in real need of help. Projects on this page include football coaching in Ghana, teaching in South Africa, elephant conservation in Zimbabwe and much more.
Gap Year Provider: Jubilee Sailing Trust, New Zealand, Australia, Fiji, South Africa
A JST adventure is like no other! Join extraordinary crews on our tall ships, the only in the world that allow disabled and able-bodied people to sail together. We voyage to stunning locations around the world. No matter what sailing experience you have, you're set for a life-changing voyage!
Teaching and Youth Development in Cape Town
Gap Year Provider: African Impact, South Africa
As a teaching volunteer in Cape Town, you will educate, support and empower children who come from disadvantaged township communities. This is an exceptional opportunity to visit one of the most beautiful cities in the world, while also contributing to the future of it's poorest citizens.
Big 5 Wildlife Research in South Africa
By far the BEST way to see Africa's wild animals in their natural habitat is as a wildlife research volunteer! Join our team at our beautiful lodge in the Greater Kruger Area of South Africa to study and monitor Africa's 'Big 5' animals (lions, elephants, rhinos, leopards and buffalos!).
Volunteering / Internships with Animals
Take part in an incredible opportunity to spend time volunteering with majestic animals during your gap year! Set in spectacular locations around the world the projects will bring you close to the animals as you take part in their daily routines.
Culture and Volunteer experiences in Asia, Africa and South America
Begin with an orientation to the country you have chosen, it is great way to embrace your new environment and become familiar with the new culture. After this fun packed orientation you will be able to begin on your volunteer project, from Teaching, Conservation, Construction or Healthcare.
Culture & Community
Projects Abroad offers the unique experience to immerse yourself in the local culture through our Culture & Community Projects. Whether you are on our Nomad Project in Mongolia or participating on our Khmer Project, you will become an important part of a local community overseas.
Medical Experience Abroad
By volunteering on a Medicine & Healthcare Project you will have the opportunity to experience the challenges faced by medical institutions across the developing world. You will have the chance to gain work experience whilst helping some of the poorest people in the world.
Summer Projects for 16-19 year olds
Our Short-term Special Projects for 16-19 year olds offer teenagers the chance to volunteer and make a difference during their summer holidays! Projects Abroad has a wide range of projects from our Care & Panda Project in China to Conservation Projects in Peru.
Teach English Abroad
A Projects Abroad teaching placement is ideal for anyone who would like to make a positive contribution across the developing world. Your role will include working with local schools, NGOs or universities, where you will find yourself taking classes or teachers with lessons.
Volunteer with the Maasai Tribe in Tanzania
Work with one of Africa’s most iconic tribes, the Maasai, near Africa's highest mountain - Mount Kilimanjaro. Your support will give members of the tribe who have not had access to education as a child a second chance at education in adulthood, and empower them to earn an income for their family.
Affordable Volunteer Abroad Programs from £120
Africa, Asia, South & Latin America
IVHQ provides safe, responsible, and extremely affordable volunteering placements in developing countries all over the world. Each year we place thousands of volunteers on our programs abroad, making us one of the world's most trusted volunteer organizations.
Volunteering on a Building Project with Projects Abroad will give you a great opportunity to help construct, repair and build houses or classrooms across the developing world. Whatever you are involved with you will have the opportunity to make a long term difference to the community.
Teaching in Livingstone, Zambia
Join us near the 'Adventure Capital' of Africa, Victoria Falls, and offer much-needed teaching assistance at under-staffed Zambian schools. This is an opportunity to give individual attention to children who really need it, assist local teachers, and to gain some valuable teaching abroad experience.
Medical Work Experience
Our projects offering medical experience are an excellent way to boost your university application and to give you a great foundation towards your medical degree. Get practical experience with both medicine and healthcare and at the same time be helping those who really need it.
Conservation Gap Year
Australia, Costa Rica, Galapagos, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Namibia, S.Africa, Malaysia, Borneo, Romania, Ecuador
Make a genuine difference with Oyster's many links to charities and organisations from around the world. Volunteer with exotic wildlife and help with environmental conservation by choosing from a variety of beautiful and exotic locations. Volunteer from as little as one week to up to 12 months.
Trusted and Affordable Medical Volunteer Programs
Africa, Asia, South & Latin America
Looking to gain invaluable experience for your medical career and assist communities in real need? International Volunteer HQ offers affordable volunteer programs for pre-medical and medical students in developing countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America
Conservation Projects Abroad
Volunteer on a Conservation & Environment placement with Projects Abroad and help to conserve some of the world’s most beautiful and fragile ecosystems. You may find yourself diving on our Shark Conservation project in Fiji, working in the heart of the Amazon rainforest or working with sea turtles
Trusted and Affordable Farming Volunteer Programs
Africa, Asia, South & Latin America
Are you willing to get your hands dirty to help make a difference in communities in need? International Volunteer HQ offers a range of outdoor work and agriculture volunteer programs in developing countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Construction and Renovation Volunteer in Africa, Asia & Australasia
If you’re looking for a chance to get your hands dirty volunteering to help underprivileged communities with construction projects, look no further! Aiming to improve the quality of life for under-privileged citizens,the construction work improves the local living conditions.
Medical Volunteer and Internships
Many hospitals are understaffed and require assistance with basic treatments and more complex procedures if you have the credentials necessary. You have the opportunity to help people back to health.An incredible opportunity to gain medical experience as an Intern or Volunteer abroad.
The Ultimate African Adventure
Spend 5, 7 or 10 weeks living and working alongside a remote Tanzanian community whilst working on a life changing water and sanitation project. Protect some of the world's most vulnerable environments and trek through stunning landscapes in the diverse Southern Highlands of Tanzania.
Affordable Overseas Volunteer Programs From £150
Plan My Gap Year is an award-winning international volunteer placement organisation based in the UK. We provide the worlds most affordable, need-driven and supportive short-term volunteer programmes in Africa and Asia. Our programmes start from just two weeks in duration right up to six months.
Go Make A Difference in Tanzania
Go Make A Difference in Tanzania (Go MAD) is a small independent Christian charity headed up by experienced leaders, some of whom have led groups to Tanzania for 23 years. We offer people the chance to visit Tanzania and get involved in community development projects.
Dolphin Conservation in Zanzibar
Help us protect Zanzibar's wild dolphin population by researching the impact that tourism is having on these amazing animals. You will get up-close encounters while learning how to swim ethically with dolphins, all the while contributing to marine conservation on this stunning tropical island.
Volunteer in Conservation around the world
From Turtle Conservation in Bali and Sri Lanka to Eco-Agriculture Conservation in Costa Rica and Guatemala, International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ) provides a range of highly affordable and high quality Conservation volunteer programs around the world.
Medical and HIV/Aids Volunteering in South Africa
As a medical volunteer in a rural Zulu area of South Africa, you will gain real insight into the daily struggles of those living in poverty. Through clinic work, home-based care initiatives and HIV education, you will make a positive difference in the lives of those less fortunate.
Support Orphaned and Vulnerable Children in Cape Town
The focus of this project is to care for and support abandoned and orphaned children in emergency care homes and after-school care facilities in Cape Town. Volunteers get to live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, all the while assisting with early childhood development.
Trusted and Affordable Sports Volunteer Programs
Africa, South & Latin America
Keen to share your love of sport with students from low income communities? International Volunteer HQ offers a range of affordable sports volunteer programs in developing countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America.
South Africa Wildlife Volunteer
Combine wildlife and community volunteering with culture and adventure in the Rainbow nation, South Africa! Your adventure starts with an action-packed week introducing you to the customs and culture of South Africa. Next you volunteer with the Big 5 on a Wildlife conservation project before heading
Sports Coaching Volunteer and Internships
Are you passionate about sport and passing on valuable skills to children? Grab this opportunity to take part in a project aimed at developing children’s sports skills while encouraging their emotional, social, physical and academic growth.
Learn a Language Abroad
Argentina, Bolivia, China, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Peru, Romania, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Togo, Vietnam
Why not learn new languages in a diverse community in the developing world? With help from our teachers you will improve your speaking, reading and writing skills through one-on-one tuition and group sessions. There will also be plenty of opportunity to practice your new skills with your host family
Looking for something else? We have plenty more gap year ideas to inspire you.
Popular African Destinations:
South Africa, Ghana, Zimbabwe
Quick Africa Facts:
Population - Over a billion
Languages - more than 2 thousand!
Check Foreign Office travel advice for the latest Visa information for Africa!
This is a land of surprises. Located at the southern tip of the African Continent, the next landfall to the south is Antarctica. This explains why South Africa is home to a type of penguin, as well as the more expected big game animals such as elephants, lions and hippos.
You may also be surprised to learn that English is only the fifth most spoken language, with Zulu and Afrikaans being far more popular. But don't let this put you off considering this as a destination for your travels. Plenty of people do speak English and you shouldn't have many problems if you only speak English.
Due to the sheer size of the continent, Africa can provide a diverse range of year out opportunities. Hosting some of the worlds best safari wildlife, Africa can give you the chance to spend your time as a conservation volunteer working on any number of conservation and management projects that help protect the native wildlife and ecosystems. This could involve anything from tracking elephants, hand rearing orphaned chimpanzees or wildlife film making and photography, volunteers are always needed to work alongside and support wildlife rangers and conservationists.
It's not all about the animals though, Africa is home to some of the worlds most impoverished communities that need your help. Community Development programmes take place throughout Africa, aimed at improving the lives of the local inhabitants by providing the care and opportunities they may otherwise not get. These programmes range from sports coaching, childcare and orphanage work, teaching, medical care and community regeneration, all of which are vitally important in providing an alternative to poverty and a lack of basic amenities and human rights.
For the more adventurous traveller, why not take advantage of Africa's great wilderness and unspoilt landscapes by joining an expedition through the desert on a quad bike (or a camel), bungee jumping, white water rafting, parachuting, or simply enjoying the miles of deserted beaches.