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Planning Your Trip

Visa stuff

You can volunteer in South Africa on a tourist visa for a duration of up to three months. A tourist visa can be extended once while in South Africa. For longer stays, like long-term volunteering, you will need to apply for a volunteer visa at your nearest South African Embassy. 

Whether you can receive your tourist visa upon arrival at the airport in South Africa or whether you need to apply for a tourist visa at an Embassy depends on your nationality. 

For the latest details and more information visit www.dha.gov.za or contact the South African Embassy in your home country. If you experience any difficulties, please contact us.

Vaccinations

No vaccinations are required when travelling to South Africa. However, if you are travelling to or from certain countries in South America and Africa, a yellow fever certificate is compulsory. 

If you are going to travel to the north-eastern areas of South Africa, anti-malaria precautions are recommended. However, you should consult your doctor for further medical advice.

Travel insurance

We strongly recommend that you take out full personal insurance cover. This should include protection against theft and against loss of fees, should the whole or part of a programme or activity or accommodation not be attended.

Medical insurance

As a volunteer, you are required to take out a medical insurance for any of our projects and for any length of stay. You can take out any medical insurance policy as long as it meets the following minimum requirements:

  • The minimum coverage must be USD 100.000.
  • The insurance must be valid from the day you leave your home country to the day you arrive back in your home country.
  • The insurance must cover the country you volunteer in. If you volunteer in more than one country the insurance must cover all counties you volunteer in.

You may want to look at these international insurance companies that specialise in international youth travel (in alphabetical order):

Guard Me

International Student Insurance

Pro Trip World

World Nomads

Before you go bungee jumping or white-water rafting, please check if this is covered by your insurance. It is possible to buy extra insurance to cover most adventure activities, and it is recommended that you do so.

Money

  • Credit cards such as Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted in South Africa.
  • Bring very little cash with you. You can draw local money at ATMs to cover expenses for your daily needs.

What to pack

Detailed information about what you need will be provided in our project descriptions. As a general rule, however, please remember the following:

  • pack light,
  • don’t forget sun protection (caps,  cloths with long sleeves, sun glasses, sun cream),
  • bring some warm clothes for cool evenings (all year round) and cool days (April to October),
  • leave valuables like expensive watches, jewellery or expensive cameras at home.