South Africa Gap Years

Overview and Highlights

South Africa is one of the most beautiful, interesting countries in the world and it is no surprise that for many it is a gap year must. Whether you are hunting the Big Five (with a camera!), indulging in high adrenaline adventure sports, sampling some of the world’s finest food and wine or volunteering on a nature reserve, you are sure to fall in love with the Rainbow Nation. The iconic Table Mountain, Kruger National Park, idyllic Garden Route, wales, sharks, penguins and so much more await.

For a developed, westernised country, South Africa is also incredibly good value. In a post-Brexit world, South Africa is one country that still offers a lot of bang for a British buck.

South Africa Gap Year Companies

We found 19 companies in our database that provide South Africa gap years. Choose one below to learn more.

Gap Provider What They Offer Learn More
Gap Provider
Frontierbrand-logoGap Years, Volunteering and Inspirational Adventures 103,000 Successful Volunteer Placements since 1989.Visit Site »
What They Offer: Gap Years, Volunteering and Inspirational Adventures 103,000 Successful Volunteer Placements since 1989.
Blue Venturesbrand-logoBlue Ventures is an award-winning, marine conservation organisation working in remote tropical coastal communities in Belize and Madagascar.Visit Site »
What They Offer: Blue Ventures is an award-winning, marine conservation organisation working in remote tropical coastal communities in Belize and Madagascar.
Africa and Asia Venturebrand-logoAfrica & Asia Venture (AV) is a not-for-profit social enterprise. Based in the UK and established in 1993, AV specialises in gap year and summer volunteer projects in the developing world for 17 - 25 year olds.Visit Site »
What They Offer: Africa & Asia Venture (AV) is a not-for-profit social enterprise. Based in the UK and established in 1993, AV specialises in gap year and summer volunteer projects in the developing world for 17 - 25 year olds.
Oyster Worldwidebrand-logoOyster Worldwide is a well-regarded gap year travel and responsible travel specialist. Many of our projects were founded in 1999 and have been nurtured and supported by us ever since. We are known for running life-changing gap year programs, giving you the opportunity to make a genuine contribution and for the first class support you receive.Visit Site »
What They Offer: Oyster Worldwide is a well-regarded gap year travel and responsible travel specialist. Many of our projects were founded in 1999 and have been nurtured and supported by us ever since. We are known for running life-changing gap year programs, giving you the opportunity to make a genuine contribution and for the first class support you receive.
Travellers Worldwidebrand-logoEnrich your life and change you and the lives of others with a volunteering holiday as a vacation, on a gap year or career break, or by gaining valuable work experience to boost your CV/ResumeVisit Site »
What They Offer: Enrich your life and change you and the lives of others with a volunteering holiday as a vacation, on a gap year or career break, or by gaining valuable work experience to boost your CV/Resume
Project Trustbrand-logoProject Trust has 50 years experience of providing Gap Year opportunities for 17-19 year old school leavers. Since 1967, over 7000 Project Trust volunteers have challenged themselves, learnt about the world and discovered how to be a positive force within it. Now its your turn.Visit Site »
What They Offer: Project Trust has 50 years experience of providing Gap Year opportunities for 17-19 year old school leavers. Since 1967, over 7000 Project Trust volunteers have challenged themselves, learnt about the world and discovered how to be a positive force within it. Now its your turn.
CESA Languages Abroadbrand-logoLive in a new country, improve your language skills, mix with native speakers and share the experience with like-minded language learners from across the world! Have fun exploring the CESA world of language learning.Visit Site »
What They Offer: Live in a new country, improve your language skills, mix with native speakers and share the experience with like-minded language learners from across the world! Have fun exploring the CESA world of language learning.
POD Volunteeringbrand-logoPod Volunteer is an award winning non-profit organisation arranging ethical, inspiring and supported volunteering opportunities around the world since 2001. Volunteers are needed from 1 - 12 weeks for animal, conservation, child care support, education and teaching, building and community volunteering projectsVisit Site »
What They Offer: Pod Volunteer is an award winning non-profit organisation arranging ethical, inspiring and supported volunteering opportunities around the world since 2001. Volunteers are needed from 1 - 12 weeks for animal, conservation, child care support, education and teaching, building and community volunteering projects
Global Vision Internationalbrand-logoWe're a family-run organisation with an amazing culture and an awesome team of people across the world who are passionate experts in their chosen field and will make your experience a truly unforgettable one (in a good way).Visit Site »
What They Offer: We're a family-run organisation with an amazing culture and an awesome team of people across the world who are passionate experts in their chosen field and will make your experience a truly unforgettable one (in a good way).
Raleigh Internationalbrand-logoRaleigh is a sustainable development organisation with 30 years of expertise in working through, for and with young people to create lasting change.With our project partners, local communities, funders, and over 42,000 previous local and international volunteers, we form a global community who are passionate about working together to build a sustainable future.Visit Site »
What They Offer: Raleigh is a sustainable development organisation with 30 years of expertise in working through, for and with young people to create lasting change.With our project partners, local communities, funders, and over 42,000 previous local and international volunteers, we form a global community who are passionate about working together to build a sustainable future.
Lattitude Global Volunteeringbrand-logoOur mission is to educate and develop young people worldwide by providing opportunities to volunteer abroad and to make a positive difference to the lives of others through a distinctive, challenging, structured and supported overseas volunteering experience in a culture and community different from their own.Visit Site »
What They Offer: Our mission is to educate and develop young people worldwide by providing opportunities to volunteer abroad and to make a positive difference to the lives of others through a distinctive, challenging, structured and supported overseas volunteering experience in a culture and community different from their own.
Gapforcebrand-logoWe've been delivering life-changing adventure travel programs for over 20 years. That's why we're a leader in gap year programs.Visit Site »
What They Offer: We've been delivering life-changing adventure travel programs for over 20 years. That's why we're a leader in gap year programs.
The Leapbrand-logoWith The Leap, every program on offer involves variety. You'll travel to several different places across the country you've chosen to visit, and take part in all sorts of activities along the way. One week you could be entertaining local kids whilst living with an indigenous tribe, the next you could be taking surf lessons on the Pacific Ocean.Visit Site »
What They Offer: With The Leap, every program on offer involves variety. You'll travel to several different places across the country you've chosen to visit, and take part in all sorts of activities along the way. One week you could be entertaining local kids whilst living with an indigenous tribe, the next you could be taking surf lessons on the Pacific Ocean.
African Conservation Experiencebrand-logoOur meaningful volunteering and travel experiences bring you closer to the action, transforming the lives of Africa's animals and travellers from around the world.Visit Site »
What They Offer: Our meaningful volunteering and travel experiences bring you closer to the action, transforming the lives of Africa's animals and travellers from around the world.
Flying Fishbrand-logoSpecialist watersports training provider with over 22 years of experience. Train with experts who are passionate about what they do.Visit Site »
What They Offer: Specialist watersports training provider with over 22 years of experience. Train with experts who are passionate about what they do.
i-to-ibrand-logoA TEFL course opens doors. Not only will you experience new cultures in a way no tourist ever could, but you'll also meet friends for life whilst sharpening your teaching skills. What's more, there's a huge demand for English teachers worldwide - and all you need is our internationally-recognised i-to-i qualification to start your adventure. Exciting times!Visit Site »
What They Offer: A TEFL course opens doors. Not only will you experience new cultures in a way no tourist ever could, but you'll also meet friends for life whilst sharpening your teaching skills. What's more, there's a huge demand for English teachers worldwide - and all you need is our internationally-recognised i-to-i qualification to start your adventure. Exciting times!
Projects Abroadbrand-logoFor over 20 years Projects Abroad have been experts in volunteering abroad, work experience and gap year placements. Founded in 1992, Projects Abroad has now sent nearly 100,000 volunteers from all walks of life to volunteer projects in the developing world.Visit Site »
What They Offer: For over 20 years Projects Abroad have been experts in volunteering abroad, work experience and gap year placements. Founded in 1992, Projects Abroad has now sent nearly 100,000 volunteers from all walks of life to volunteer projects in the developing world.
Outreach Internationalbrand-logoWe make volunteering abroad possible for gap year students, career break volunteers (those with specialist skills or just wanting a change), and increasingly retired persons who have a life-time of experience and skills to share with a community.Visit Site »
What They Offer: We make volunteering abroad possible for gap year students, career break volunteers (those with specialist skills or just wanting a change), and increasingly retired persons who have a life-time of experience and skills to share with a community.
Gap Gurubrand-logoGapGuru is a gap travel specialist offering a wide range of exciting gap year volunteering, teaching, travel and internship opportunities across Asia, Africa, South America and Europe.Visit Site »
What They Offer: GapGuru is a gap travel specialist offering a wide range of exciting gap year volunteering, teaching, travel and internship opportunities across Asia, Africa, South America and Europe.

Gap Year Opportunities

For almost everyone who goes to South Africa, nature and wildlife are big motivating factors in their choice to visit. Whether your encounters with the natural world are limited to a day or two on safari, or stretch to an extended period of ecological or zoological volunteering, South Africa has a plethora of enticing options available.

Aside from volunteering with animals (working with lions is a popular choice), South Africa also has a large range of charities and NGOs whose aim is to help people. Much as South Africa is a modern country, many of the population live in poverty and medical and educational volunteering is a great way to help, be that in the cities, townships, orphanages or rural communities.

South Africa offers myriad opportunities to unwind, relax and enjoy yourself on a more hedonistic level, if the mood takes you. The vineyards of Stellenbosch, Swartland and Franschhoek, to name just three, will delight oenophiles. The brilliant restaurants and nightlife of Cape Town offer more ways to sample the local produce. South Africa also possesses all sorts of outdoor adventure activities, from bungee jumping, sky diving, shark diving and rafting (Blyde River in Mpumalanga is a great choice for the latter), while others prefer more sedate options such as trekking and sailing.

Practicalities, Health and Safety

South Africa has a somewhat unfair reputation for high levels of crime but it remains a popular destination for Brits of all ages, which reflects the fact that most tourists experience a trouble-free visit. Avoiding ostentations displays of wealth and sticking to normal tourist destinations unless you have a qualified guide will go a long way to ensuring you remain safe.

Travelling in South Africa is easy, with almost everyone speaking English and a combination of good roads and cheap domestic airfares making the logistical aspect a doddle. What’s more, those entering on a UK passport can stay for business or tourism for 90 days. For full information, especially if you intend to stay longer, contact the South African High Commission.

In terms of medical requirements, certain vaccinations may be required and anti-malarial medication is also necessary in some areas. Contact your doctor or local travel clinic at least two months before travel for the latest advice. Visitors should also practice safe sex. This is highly advisable everywhere of course but it should also be noted that South Africa has the fourth highest prevalence of HIV in the world.