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Big 5 & Humanitarian Road Trip

South Africa
2 to 10 weeks
18 to 75

11 others looking at this too. Next opening is Sep 2024, with limited spots.

Book now, pay later. Cancel anytime.

Trip overview

Discover the top sights and hidden delights on the southern tip of Africa! Explore the centre of cosmopolitan life in Africa – Cape Town – before hitting the road to unearth hidden treasures on an African road trip adventure for the books! 

Break out of your day-to-day routine and embark on an adventure that will make the world a better place and help you grow as a person.

On this all-inclusive volunteer trip, not only do you get to live and volunteer with a trusted partner organisation in South Africa. When you go with Global, you get:

  • Volunteer project variety – Experience volunteering from both a humanitarian and animal welfare perspective! See different parts of South Africa and lend your hand to both underprivileged children and to volunteering with animals at a game reserve. 
  • Action-packed adventures included - Experience canoeing through Wilderness National Park, a small-group safari in a private game reserve, a bush walk in the reserve, and exploring the famous Cango Caves! All along the famous Garden Route of South Africa. 
  • Orientation & Tour - You also get a 3-day orientation to get acquainted with the magic of Cape Town when you arrive, including visiting Boulders Beach to see the pengiuns and the viewpoint of famous Cape Point National Park. Plus, a walking tour of Cape Town with a safety orientation.
  • Comfortable accommodation – Relax in a shared volunteer house in Hout Bay, 20 minutes from the centre of Cape Town. In the game reserve you’ll stay in a camp with shared tents. 
  • + way more!


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Volunteer Project Placement
Dedicated Trip Coordinator
Pre-Departure Guide
Trip Visa Guidance
Personal Travel Concierge
Return Airport Transfer
Comfortable Accommodation
Project Supplies
Cultural Orientation
Adventure Experiences
Local Cultural Experiences
Surf Lesson
Certificate of Completion
Ongoing Local Team Support
Global Emergency Line
gWorld Access
Global AcademyNEW
Marketplace DealsNEW
$250 Off Your Next Trip


To qualify for this trip you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be between 18-75 years of age
  • Be a citizen of an eligible country
  • Have no criminal convictions in the past 5 years

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Meet your very first travel buddy, gWorld

Trip details

Can you picture it? You’re living and volunteering in a game reserve. Living in a wild animal’s territory and seeing the problems they face has changed your perspective on life as your appreciation for the natural world soars! 

Your time in South Africa has been varied and impactful. From hitting a skate park in Cape Town with underprivileged children, to road tripping up to the southernmost Afro-montane forest, to tracking and counting vast herds of roaming wild animals. 

For a lot of people, visiting Africa is a bucket-list experience. 

However, most people don’t get the chance to experience something like this. Going on one trip where you contribute to community upliftment in Cape Town and live and volunteer amongst wild animals in their territory is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

And when you go with Global, you get the full experience for a fraction of the hassle. Your volunteer placement and accommodation is sorted before you leave, so you know exactly what you’re getting into. 


A basic proficiency in the English language is a requirement to participate in this trip.

What extra costs will I have? 

Flights, travel insurance, visa, vaccinations, souvenirs & spending money.

Purpose & impact

There are two portions of this trip which means double the purpose and double the impact! 

The first volunteering portion of your trip happens at a game lodge outside Oudtshoorn. Caring for wild animals and preserving wild spaces in Africa is no simple feat, but this meaningful work ensures that the next generation will also have the joy of witnessing these magnificent creatures.

This lodge conducts important research on wild meerkat families, so you can expect to spend some time with these curious little animals. 

There are plenty of other responsibilities that come with operating a game lodge, too. Some of your responsibilities may include: 

  • Monitoring, cleaning and maintenance of lion and elephant enclosures
  • Preparing food for elephants and lions
  • Tracking and monitoring free roaming cheetahs
  • Researching and observing wild meerkat families
  • Performing game counts
  • Electric fence and enclosure patrolling
  • Setting up camera “traps” for research purposes
  • Relocating/ trans-locating wildlife
  • Mitigating human animal conflict
  • Contributing to habitat conservation, including planting spekboom 
  • Community upliftment via local projects
  • Assisting and support at local farm school
  • Farming work such as maintaining water supply, fixing fences, etc.

The second volunteering portion of your trip happens in Cape Town and is focused on community upliftment, particularly among children. 

South Africa has a turbulent past. 

While the worst is over, the scars of years of discrimination and segregation are still apparent in South African society today. 

The worst affected are often the children – the most innocent of victims. By empowering the next generation to improve their own lives and make the world a better place, you’re contributing to long-term positive change across the world. 

For this portion, the main idea is for you to be a role model and provide inspiration and happiness to kids from disadvantaged backgrounds. You can choose from: 

  • Care of Cape Town Kids. Help out with childcare and pre-school education for 250 kids between the ages of 10 months and 6 years. 
  • Skate. Hit the skate park with the kids as you help them learn how to shred! This also encourages youngsters to avoid a life of gangsterism and crime and pursue good things instead.
  • Yoga & Community. Combine yoga, meditation, and organic vegetables while you help out with community development aimed at reducing poverty and get your hands dirty in the vegetable garden.

Accommodation & meals

When you arrive at Cape Town International Airport, a driver will be waiting for you. You’ll be taken straight to your initial accommodation at a shared volunteer house in Hout Bay. 

The house is close to everything you need in Hout Bay – shopping centres, grocery stores, bars, restaurants, and the beach. This will be your home while you’re in Cape Town. 

During the game reserve portion of your trip you’ll be staying in a shared tent (same-sex) in the reserve. Bathrooms are en-suite and WiFi is available. Who said tents had to be basic? 

With your accommodation in South Africa sorted and your volunteer placement organised, what will you do about food? 

You’ll be given 2-3 meals every weekday, prepared fresh by the on-site staff.

On weekends and days off you can sample some of South Africa’s cuisine – which ranges from world-class and pricey, to super affordable if you stick with the local ‘hole-in-the-wall-serving-the-best-food-ever’ joints.   

Trip itinerary

Day 1

When you arrive at Cape Town International Airport, a driver will be waiting for you. You’ll be taken straight to your initial accommodation at a shared volunteer house in Hout Bay.  Take some time to relax and settle in, get to know your new friends, or explore the area.

Day 2

Since all arrivals happen on a Thursday, you’ll have time to rest up before your first weekend in Africa! This weekend will be all about orientation as we show you the best sights of Cape Town. Transport and lunch included.  Your first day of orientation will be a walking tour of the city, covering South African history, social skills, transport, and safety. 

Day 3

Cape Peninsula tour. Drive one of the most epic roads in Cape Town (maybe the world?) as you wind along Chapman’s Peak Drive which clings to the mountainside above the icy ocean.  You’ll end up at Cape Point Nature Reserve – an important geological location as it’s the precise point where the warm(er) Indian Ocean and frigid Atlantic Oceans meet. You could also spot ostriches, baboons, and giant antelope on the beach.  And finally, you’ll get to hang out with one of the few colonies of African Penguins (yes, there are penguins in Africa) on Boulder’s Beach. 

Day 4

You've finished your jam-packed orientation and get picked up and driven along the Garden Route to the Big 5 game reserve near Oudtshoorn.

Days 5-9

It’s time to make an impact on the lives of animals at a private game reserve outside Oudtshoorn. You’ll be living on the reserve, too. So you’ll be lulled to sleep by the sounds of nature after a full day of making the world a better place. You'll do a full 5 days of volunteering here before winding your way back along the Garden Route to Cape Town.

Days 10-11

Time to hit the road again to check out one of the longest wine routes in the world as you slowly make your way back down to Cape Town over 2 days packed with adventure! The scenic R62 connects Cape Town to George – the economic hub of the Garden Route.  The next 2 days are full of adventure. You'll get to experience:  Explore Wilderness National Park via canoe, keeping an eye out for the dazzling Knysna Turaco in the treetops, Get lost in the mystical Tsitsikamma forest. If you’re lucky, you might bump into the last free-roaming forest elephant in South Africa, Visit the majestic Cango Caves, 4x4 safari in a game reserve with a qualified game ranger, Bush walk in the private game reserve, An optional activity for an extra cost: Jump for joy at one of the world’s highest commercial bungy jumps.  

Day 12+

You made it back to Cape Town for the final portion of your volunteering duties. Choose from a range of projects covering assisting with early education to teaching kids how to skate!

Final Day

It’s home time. After over 2 weeks of life-changing experiences making a positive impact in the lives of vulnerable animals and disadvantaged people in South Africa, it’s time for you to go home. But don’t despair! You’ll have loads of awesome stories to impress your friends and family back home. You’ll be taken back to the airport so your return trip will begin safely and easily.   


We’ll be in touch with you throughout your stay. If you ever need advice or support our team is available to answer your questions. And our 24/5 emergency support line will help with urgent matters.  Don’t go alone. Go with Global.

Why choose us

We take care of pretty much everything so you don’t have to. You’ll arrive in South Africa totally prepared with a plan of action and trusted people helping you along the way. 

Our volunteer trips are designed to help you make a real change in critical causes around the world. All while experiencing off-the-beaten-path locations with passionate locals. Our goal is to save you time, money, and stress while eliminating the risk of returning home early. Here’s how we do it: 

We’re on your side from the moment you get started. 

You’ll be assigned a dedicated Trip Coordinator. They’ll guide you through the next steps and answer all your questions. They’ll also help you with the pesky visa. No guesswork – only the right paperwork, approved the first time, in your hands before you leave. 

Your Personal Travel Concierge will help with flights, insurance, and any add-ons you’d like for your trip. These are real humans too – no robots here. 

We maintain relationships with a huge network of screened and vetted partner organisations all over the world. We know they’re trustworthy and that you’re in good hands because of all the successful trips Global Travellers keep having with our partners. 

Our team is well travelled so you can rely on our experience. We’re with you every step of the way. 

Join 75000+ travellers – giving us 10000+ 4 & 5 star reviews – by choosing Global to make your travel dreams come true. 

Most travellers book their trip 6-12 months in advance. Dates are flexible, but spaces are limited. So if you’re serious about volunteering in South Africa, don’t delay. 

With our Book Now, Decide Later feature, you can get started with a small deposit today, and take a full year to choose your dates. 

We’ll take over from there, helping you with visas, flights, accommodation, and setting you up with our partner in South Africa. 

This is the trip for you if you’re after the ultimate volunteering experience in South Africa, complete with everything you need and 24/7 support.

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Frequently asked questions

Why are you the best company to choose?

As the world’s leading gap-year and "work & travel" company, we pride ourselves on providing a premium service for Global Travellers. Choose from a variety of awesome experiences worldwide, and let us assist you with visas, pre-departure preparations, flights, insurance, and tours. Throughout your journey, our cool tech features will support you every step of the way. As a Global Traveller, gain access to gWorld, our personalised app designed to enhance your travel experience. Keep important documents and trip details handy, and take advantage of exclusive Marketplace deals, a vibrant social network, language learning resources, side trips, meet-ups, and more. It's like having all your favorite travel apps merged into one, but even better! But our support doesn't end there. With four international offices, over 100 dedicated staff members, a 24/5 emergency team, and the backing of over 90,000 Global Travellers who have turned their travel dreams into reality with us, rest assured you're in good hands. We also proudly boast the most and best reviews in the biz, and maintain a massive following on our social channels including Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook. Embark on your next adventure with confidence and ease. Join us and discover the world in a meaningful way!

Are flights & insurance included?

While we would love to include flights and insurance in our trip packages, it is not feasible to have a fixed price due to the diverse destinations, trip durations, and individual coverage needs of our travellers from around the globe. However, once you register for the trip, we will assign you a dedicated Travel Concierge. They will work closely with you to arrange the ideal flights and insurance tailored to your specific adventure. Rest assured, our team is here to ensure you have a smooth and hassle-free travel experience from start to finish!

Why do I have to pay to volunteer?

The trip fee covers all the essential trip inclusions that ensure you have a meaningful and safe volunteering experience. It includes comprehensive pre-departure support to assist you throughout your journey. Once you arrive at your destination, the fee covers transportation, accommodation, and in most cases meals and some amazing excursions you'll do alongside other international volunteers. This comprehensive support is essential to provide you with a positive and secure volunteering experience, which is of utmost importance to us. Your trip fee allows us to ensure your well-being while making a meaningful impact, and it contributes to the sustainability and effectiveness of the volunteer projects we support.

Will I receive guidance and support before starting the volunteering trip?

Absolutely! Before starting your volunteer placement, you will receive comprehensive pre-departure support, which includes project-specific information, cultural orientation, and advice on preparing for your journey. Additionally, most trips include on-site training and an orientation to ensure you are well-prepared and confident in your volunteer role.

How do I choose the right volunteer trip for me?

With so many incredible options, we understand that selecting the perfect volunteer trip can be tricky. That's why we recommend booking your favourite one, and your dedicated Trip Coordinator will guide you through the project details. They will consider your interests, skills, desired location, and the impact you want to make. If we find another trip that better suits your preferences, we can easily swap you over to ensure you have the ideal volunteer experience. Rest assured, we're here to help you find the right fit!

How long should I volunteer for?

We offer flexibility in our volunteer trips, allowing you to choose the duration that best suits your schedule and desired experience. While most volunteers join us for 3 or 4 weeks, our trips accommodate durations as short as two weeks or as long as 12 weeks, and even extended stays. The choice is yours!

What ages are most volunteers?

The ages of our volunteers can vary depending on the project, but we have a wide age range. Our volunteers typically range from 18 years old to 85 years old! Our Trip Coordinators ensure that all volunteers are vetted before embarking on their journey. While age may differ, what unites our volunteers is their shared passion for travel and their dedication to making a positive impact in the community or wildlife conservation efforts they are involved in. Regardless of age, anyone with a passion to contribute and explore is welcome to join our volunteer trips.

Is it safe to volunteer overseas?

Safety is our utmost priority, and it drives our thorough trip planning process and comprehensive inclusions. With a successful track record of safely sending tens of thousands of travellers overseas since 2008, we prioritise your well-being throughout the journey. Before you depart, we provide full support, ensuring a smooth and secure experience. Upon arrival, we take care of every detail, including secure airport transfers, comfortable accommodations, usually meals, and dedicated project supervision. Additionally, our 24/5 emergency line ensures immediate assistance whenever needed, providing peace of mind throughout your entire volunteer experience.

Why should I book now?

After the last unexpected disruption to travel caused by the..c word..people are now more eager than ever to venture out and explore the world, determined not to miss out on any experiences. Global Work & Travel works on a first-in-best-dressed basis. Booking earlier ensures that you don’t miss out on the best intake, season, placements and more! We recommend our travellers take 6-12+ months to plan their trip for a reason - to make sure you’ve got everything organised perfectly, stress-free. As a Global Traveller you’ll get exclusive access to gWorld, our personalised app where you can keep all of your important documents and trip details in one spot and gain insider access to everything Global. This is where you will find exclusive Marketplace Deals, a unique social network to connect you with other like-minded Global Travellers, access to our Academy with an ever-growing range of skills & languages, and so much more. Think all of your favourite apps merged into one, but like, better? Why not give yourself something to look forward to by booking that trip!

Can I travel with a friend or partner?

Yes you can! Simply tell your Trip Coordinator after booking that your friend is also going and they can link your profiles. For most of our trips we should be able to have you and your friends placed together or nearby. Meaning that you can live, work, play & travel together! But wait there's more! Not only can you travel the world with your besties at your side, you can also earn some extra cash towards your own trip just by referring your friends to Global Work & Travel. You can learn more about the great referral rewards program inside your gWorld account once you join. And for those who decide to go-it-solo, we’ve made it easier to meet other Global Travellers in the same region as you. Just like any other social platform, you’ll be able to interact, share, chat and meet with some really cool people who are doing trips just like you!

Can I bring my pet along?

At Global Work & Travel, we share a deep love for animals and fully understand the special bond you have with your pet. We recognise the challenges of embarking on a trip without them. Due to travel restrictions, requirements, and limited pet-friendly accommodations among our host organisations, we regretfully cannot facilitate their inclusion in the journey. However, many of our customers choose to entrust their pets to a family member or friend, embark on their adventure, and return home to wagging tails and furry cuddles.

What happens if I need to cancel my trip?

We know that life can get in the way of travel, so all our trips come with a great deal of flexibility. In most cases, if you cannot travel on your selected date, you can place your trip on hold to deal with whatever is holding you back, and continue in the future without incurring any penalty. You may also have the option of transferring to an entirely different trip and destination as well, or even transferring your trip to a friend or family member. In the event that you need to outright cancel your trip, if you give us 84* days notice you can do so with only a 50% cancellation fee. Your refund of the balance will come in the form of a Store Credit which you can put toward any other trip that we offer, including tours through third-party providers, as well as holidays through, and is valid for 2 years from date of issue. As international travel can be complex, your options are based on the progress of your trip organisation and our support team can assist you in finding the best solution for your needs.

How it works

1. Choose a trip style

Find your dream experience & destination, then secure your spot with a flexible & low deposit. Activate your gWorld to unlock some cool perks. Well done! The hardest part’s over!

2. We become friends

Book a time to meet your dedicated Trip Coordinator who knows all the ins & outs of your trip. They’ll be by your side and working behind-the-scenes to pull everything together.

3. Time to go!

We’ll get your tickets, accommodation & transfers ready. Our in-country team or partner will have everything prepared & waiting for your arrival. Get on the plane with no worries!

4. 24/5 support

Never stress, knowing we’re there with you when you need us with ongoing & unlimited local team support. And just in case, we’ve got an emergency team on stand-by, 24 hours, Mon-Fri.

Still have questions?

Why go Global

Flexible trips

The unexpected can happen sometimes. Can't travel right now? Swap your trip, gift it or save it for later with our Lifetime Deposit Guarantee.

Worldwide support

Know that someone is always ready to assist throughout the journey & they’re only a call, tweet, comment, text or double tap away, 24/5.

We're the experts

With over 10 years in the industry and a team of over 90 passionate pros, you can bet we know our stuff better than anyone else.

Partner network

We have over 1,200 partners around the globe, so we have access to plenty of exclusive opportunities to make your trip the best it can be.

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