Volunteer Abroad in Johannesburg

Back to Programs

A Guide to Volunteering Abroad in Johannesburg

Johannesburg, South Africa. Jo’burg. Jozi. JHB. Egoli. Nicknames are a term of endearment and the abundance of names Johannesburg answers to shows how near and dear the city is to the hearts of its citizens. Volunteering abroad in Johannesburg allows you to authentically experience the compassion these citizens feel for this country full of natural splendor and friendly faces. Having the opportunity to respond to this compassion might be the most meaningful way to travel. So no matter what you choose to call the city, definitely consider choosing a volunteer abroad programs in Johannesburg.

How to Volunteer in Johannesburg

Diversity is the name of the game in Johannesburg, South Africa. This means that volunteer abroad programs in Johannesburg come in all shapes and sizes. No matter what you are passionate about doing, there is a program that will help you find a spot to park it.

Popular causes for volunteering in Johannesburg. When one thinks of volunteer work in Johannesburg, the first thing that pops into their head is healthcare. Throughout apartheid, the vast majority of people had little to no health services. This, combined with political and social factors, has brought them to have the highest prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the world. The amount of poverty also makes working with children another common type of volunteering. Schools in rural and underfunded areas can use educational and recreational support to inspire the next generation of leaders. For those who are seeking to work in the field or the lab to support conservation efforts and get up close and personal with some really fascinating wildlife, volunteering in Jozi makes perfect sense!

Summer/short term programs. Once you decide on the what, the next step is to decide on the how long. The duration of volunteer abroad programs in Johannesburg can vary from days to months or even longer. If you don’t have a lot of time, don’t sweat it. Many like-minded humanitarians opt to volunteer abroad short term and in the summer months because it is a great way to fill that cherished time off. 

Long term volunteer stints. A couple of weeks or months of volunteering abroad in Johannesburg will definitely make a lasting impression (on you and the city), but volunteers are always encouraged to stay as long as possible to maximize impact. If compassion for Johannesburg is consuming you and you’re considering jumping in for the long haul, there are definitely long term volunteer abroad programs available in Johannesburg.

Volunteer Life in Johannesburg

Johannesburg is a city that truly has a little taste of everything. With its fast-paced city living, adventure, incredible shopping, proximity to national parks and safaris, as well as cultural opportunities like the Apartheid Museum and the Nelson Mandela Bridge, it truly checks all the boxes.

If you’re into sports you’ll be among friends while volunteering abroad in Johannesburg. Both soccer and rugby are considered a must, with several stadiums located in and around the city. Prefer shopping rather than a visit to the pitch? Be sure to find your way to the local weekend markets at Maboneng where you can sample some of the best cuisines in the area and then window shop through an assortment of eclectic boutiques.

GoAbroad Insider Tips

The reverberating effects of apartheid could be a lot to take in for volunteers, especially those who have never experienced a society with a high level of inequality. The beauty of the Johannesburg people is their love for life no matter what their circumstance is. During your time volunteering abroad in Johannesburg, your eyes will be opened to system challenges, individual struggles, and steadfast workers that will both break your heart and give you hope.

On a lighter note, Jo’burg will help you check a lot of things off your bucket list! Shark diving, bungee jumping, seeing a lion roar...you name it and Jozi will show you the way. And if you don’t have these experiences DURING your volunteer program in Johannesburg, you won’t have to go far to do any of the above.

While English is widely spoken, South African English has a flavor all its own. For example, the phrase now now doesn’t actually mean now (that would make too much sense). It’s a good idea to acclimate yourself to some of the nuances and slang of the locals before you go so you don’t find yourself stuck in the middle of a dwaal.

Going out of your way to alleviate the hurts of another is an immeasurable experience. True compassion is a rarity that shines through when strength, guidance, and wisdom are given to empower another with absolutely nothing expected in return. And, whether you mean to or not, you will get something in return when you choose any of the volunteer abroad programs in Johannesburg.

For more information, read our comprehensive guide on volunteering abroad in South Africa.

Read More

written by:

Banner Report 2018

A Guide To
Volunteering Abroad in Johannesburg


 Find Volunteer Programs in Johannesburg Now


This listing has been saved 135 times

South Africa - Wildlife Sanctuary

The animals at this wildlife sanctuary have been injured or orphaned leaving them in need of some assistance if they have any hope for survival. The animals become tame during their rehabilitation so they cannot be reintroduced to the wild, but this does allow for an unforgettable experience since volunteers can work so closely with the animals and establish relationships. The sanctuary provide...


This listing has been saved 37 times

Internships and Volunteer Programs in Africa

Volunteering in Africa takes you one step further than the average tourist into the true character of this unique continent. To us, volunteering is a two-way thing. It’s not only about the hands-on help and skills that volunteers bring, but also about what this magnificent continent, its warm people and amazing wildlife can give volunteers in return. African Impact is a multi-award winnin...


This listing has been saved 2 times

African Marine and Wildlife Volunteer Adventure Tour

If you can’t decide on a travel itinerary when visiting Africa, join our African Marine and Wildlife Volunteer Adventure Tour! This 5 or 9-week program is a combination of adventure activities and volunteering opportunities in various locations: Kruger National Park, Swaziland, and Mozambique. We will start with the Whale Shark Marine Conservation Project wherein you take part in coral reef and...


This listing has been saved 1 time

Volunteer Abroad in South Africa: Tembisa Township, Childcare, Teaching and Health HIV

South Africa has been called the adventure capital of the world, with its natural beauty and wildlife that leaves visitors awe-struck. The rich culture, the freedom struggle and the friendly people make this a fascinating nation to explore. With the sounds of the African drum beat; the bright sun, stars and city streets; the natural beauty of the landscape, South Africa is an inviting location ...


This listing has been saved 79 times

Volunteer World: Best Volunteer Abroad Programs Worldwide

Looking to apply your talent and expertise to a good cause? Find a program that matches your interests and skills through Volunteer World! We are the largest volunteer abroad comparison platform around the globe, enabling you to seek and compare offers from major travel agencies as well as smaller grassroots NGOs and local specialists in more than 80 countries. All these with just one click! ...


Great White Research, SA

Have you ever been fascinated by Great White Sharks? Do you like to learn more about them? Volunteer with marine biologists in South Africa and help them conduct research and studies on Great White Sharks along with other species. Volunteers will also help convey the information collected to the public so that they may understand and change the way they think about these spectacular marine crea...


This listing has been saved 2 times

South Africa Community Service - 13 Days

Your student travel to South Africa will be filled with unbelievable wildlife, scenic landscapes, and a cultural experience like none other. The warm relations we have established with the Klaserie Holiday Club enable you to work closely with the local youth. You will gain as much from this service learning experience as the young students you will be privileged to spend time with. Top that off...


Babies in the Bush Volunteering with Hero Holidays

Join this unique and enriching opportunity in South Africa! For a minimum of two weeks, you will care for babies through a support day care program based in the heart of a Big 5 Game Reserve! This is an Early Child Development (ECD) project aimed at giving holistic care to babies and kids to support their development and growth. You will work directly with children or indirectly by assistin...


This listing has been saved 30 times

Volunteer Abroad with an i-to-i TEFL/TESOL Course

If you're looking for the perfect volunteer abroad opportunity, then take an i-to-i TEFL qualification. With our range of classroom & online TEFL courses, you'll be able to start teaching and traveling quicker than you thought possible! The courses are packed full of practical information and teaching methodologies to help you become a great TEFL teacher. You’ll learn all the skills and kno...


This listing has been saved 9 times

Bambelela Wildlife Sanctuary

Bambelela is an amazing and special wildlife rehabilitation centre in South Africa, most regarded for their exceptional work with vervet monkeys. What makes Bambelela unique is that they are succeeding where other primate sanctuaries do not, they are the only sanctuary in South Africa doing successful releases of vervet monkey troops back into the wild. If you want to be part of their success, ...