Surf & Sports Volunteer in South Africa


The Western Cape, where this surf and sports gap year volunteer program is based, is a very culturally diverse area of South Africa. There is a large integration of the underprivileged with the wealthy. The main cultures that you will be working with are Xhosa or Afrikaans South Africans. Most of these children can speak English, yet their home language may be Afrikaans or Xhosa. The homes they live in are often built from scrap metal and second-hand wood, usually they do not have running water in their homes. Forty percent of the families in these areas lack a male head of household and the children often have no one to monitor their educational progress or after-school activities. The children we work with live in the nearby township or settlement in Cape Town, known as Du Noon and Wolwerivier.
Due to lack of funding there is very little physical education provided to the children in the pre-schools and primary schools, this can create physical and mental developmental issues. For this reason, in the mornings we assist Educare Centers in the local township by providing fun games and lessons to children from the age of 3 to 7 years old. In the afternoons we work with children from the age of 10 to 15 years old, developing important skills and teaching valuable life lessons through adventure sports activities. This is a very important part of the program as alcohol and drug abuse is common in the townships where they live, and at this age they are especially susceptible to recruitment by local gangs.

Volunteer in South Africa Gallery

What is involved

This project is a great way for volunteers to gain experience working with children and groups. Learning new outdoor activities such as swimming, boxing, spike ball surfing and skateboarding – volunteers receive lessons so they can help teach the children. The project is run as a weekly curricular activity for disadvantaged youth from one of the local schools.

The main goal is to keep the children occupied and off the streets after school. Volunteers help us teach them valuable life lessons through adventure activities, teamwork, educational classes and sports. For most of the children this is the highlight of their day, which is why it is also used as an incentive for them to do well in school, giving them a better chance at a brighter future. Those that turn up for school every day, behave themselves in class and study hard are rewarded by being given the chance to attend this after school sports activities.

Volunteer Tasks May Include (but are not limited to):

  • Teaching kids how to swim, surf & skate
  • Assist teaching sports programs
  • Run fun days and challenges
  • Assist with computer lessons
  • Assist in the edu-care centers with basic skills teaching
  • Be a good role model encouraging good social and emotional skills

Your week could look like this:

AM: Volunteer meeting
PM: Office Day
AM: School assistance
PM: Surf/ Swim/ Skate/ Sport
AM: School assistance
PM: Surf/ Swim/ Skate/ Sport

AM: School assistance
PM: Surf/ swim/ skate/ sport
AM: School assistance
PM: Surf lesson
AM: Off OR activities with kids
PM: Off

Some details

2022 2022 2022 2022 2023 2023
January April July October January April
8, 15, 22, 29 2, 16 2, 9, 16, 23 8, 15, 22 7, 14, 21, 28 8, 22
February May August November February May
5, 12,19, 26 7, 21 6, 13, 20 5, 12, 19, 26  4, 11, 18, 25 6, 20
March June September December March June
5, 12 11, 18, 25   17, 24  3 4 , 25 10 , 17, 24

What your first three days looks like

Day One: Arrival day

Pool area- South Africa House
You are collected from the airport and taken to your accommodation. You will be shown around and given a map of the area. You have the day at your own leisure so you can explore the beach, shops, bars and restaurants. In the evening you are served a welcome meal with staff and other volunteers.

Day Two - Area Orientation

South Africa Volunteers on table mountain
Start the day with breakfast at the accommodation. Your friendly staff member will teach you about the bus system before you head out to Cape Town City Center. Do a walking tour visiting historical sites like the Castle of Good Hope and the Grand Parade. Alternatively you can take the cable car up Table Mountain and enjoy breath-taking views of the city. In the evening head back on the local bus to Table View where you can join the staff, guests and the locals at one of the restaurants or bars along the beachfront in Table View – all within rolling distance from the hostel where you will be staying the night

Day Three- Start Project Work

Surf and Sports South Africa
New volunteers will receive their training and additional information on our projects and the areas where you will be working. Our team will take you to the projects as well.

Weekend activities


Surf and sport - South Africa volunteer
Take surfing lessons at the sandy white beaches of Blouberg or Muizenburg (weather permitting of course!)

Cape Town Walking Tour

South Africa- Cape Town Tour
Take a guided walk through the city to learn the history from the days of Dutch settlement though the Apartheid years.

Wine Country

South Africa Stellenbosch
Meander through stunning landscapes and wine farms of Stellenbosch. Stop at wine estates for tastings.

Cape Point

cape-point-South Africa
Follow the scenic coastal roads of the Cape Peninsula to Cape Point where the two oceans meet.

Testimonial Videos

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