If you want to see South Africa in a different light and get to really know the place and the people—all while doing some good—then volunteering is the way to go. Pretoria and the surrounding area offers some great opportunities to have fun while giving back. Do good, feel good, and have fun while volunteering abroad in Pretoria!
What you need to know about volunteering abroad in Pretoria
Volunteering in South Africa gives you the opportunity to travel, leave your comfort zone, and learn about your surroundings. Here’s a snapshot of important things to consider before packing your bags to volunteer in Pretoria.
Popular causes/projects in Pretoria. South Africa is home to eleven official languages, including English. While English is generally considered to be the lingua franca and is used in education and business, it is only the mother tongue of about 9% of the population. This means there is a need for volunteers who want to teach English.
Have you ever heard of the Big Five? They’re the most popular animals you’ll see on safari: the African elephant, lion, leopard, rhinoceros, and cape buffalo. South Africa is home to hundreds of other species of wildlife, too. If you want to get involved in wildlife conservation efforts, volunteering in Pretoria is the place to go.
Short term volunteer programs in Pretoria. You don’t need to wait until you finish school or quit your job to travel and volunteer. There are programs that are perfectly suited to your two weeks of vacation time, or summer break. If you’ve got friends who want to volunteer too, get a group together for an alternative spring break trip.
Long term volunteer programs in Pretoria. More time means that much more of an impact. If you can spend more time in South Africa the monkeys or cheetahs, or children you’re helping will surely appreciate it. Spending a few months, or even a year, volunteering in Pretoria will have benefits for you too. Longer term programs give you the chance to see the positive impacts of your time and hard work. You’ll also have the opportunity to get to know the city and the people better, and perhaps come to see it as a second home.
Life Abroad in Pretoria, South Africa for international volunteers
Pretoria is often referred to as the Jacaranda City. In October, the thousands of Jacaranda trees planted all over the city bloom and turn the city purple. While not quite as popular with tourists, the city is bustling due to it being the executive capital of South Africa.
When you’re not busy volunteering, you can spend time in Pretoria’s beautiful botanical and zoological gardens. There’s a lot of history to discover here, too. The city was founded in 1855, but people have been living in the area for millennia. South Africa is home to some of the oldest human fossils in the world. If you’re into sports, you’ve come to the right place. Rugby is the most popular sport in Pretoria. Not too familiar with the sport? Now is the time to learn!
GoAbroad Insider Tips
As the southernmost country on the African continent, South Africa is firmly in the southern hemisphere. This means the seasons are opposite from what we experience in North America. If you are planning to volunteer in Pretoria during your summer break from school, remember to pack a sweater since it will be winter there. Summers in Pretoria are long, hot, and humid, while winters are often short and dry.
Although apartheid ended in South Africa in 1991, the country is still dealing with its complicated history. This has created many volunteer opportunities as the nation wrestles with newfound identities and equality. As is true with any trip you are planning, it’s a good idea to do a little research before you leave home. If you’re serious about volunteering and about making a positive impact, it’s a good idea to understand a bit about your destination and the people you are going to meet.
Today, South Africa is known as the Rainbow Nation, due to the importance placed on multi-culturalism. Volunteering abroad in Pretoria will give you an excellent opportunity to discover this nation, it’s people, it’s nature, and it’s wildlife. As a volunteer you can help with a good cause, while improving yourself too. What are you waiting for?
Read our comprehensive guide on volunteering abroad in South Africa to learn more about the many program options available.