A Projects Abroad project supervisor shakes hands with a volunteer in South Africa.

South Africa Arrival Procedures

Airport pickup, flights, and visas for your trip to South Africa

We have all the information you need to know for your trip, from helping with visa queries to walking you through a placement induction on your first day in South Africa. Our hassle-free approach means you can concentrate on what really matters, making a difference at your placement.

Arrival airport and pickup in South Africa

Your arrival airport for our volunteer projects in South Africa will be Cape Town International Airport (CPT). One of our staff members will be waiting for you at the airport, clearly visible with a Projects Abroad sign. Being greeted by a friendly, smiling face is sure to put you at ease during your first moments in South Africa!

This staff member will then take you to your host family. You’ll get to meet the different family members and have some time to settle in and rest.

Depending on where you stay, the drive from the airport to your host family will be between 20 and 40 minutes. The airport is located about a 20-minute drive from our main offices in Cape Town. We’ll cover the cost of your trip to and from the airport, so you can enjoy a stress-free drive watching the sights race by the car window.

Booking your flights to South Africa

Searching for flights online is easier than ever, but it can still be a time-consuming, overwhelming, and frustrating process. If you need support, our staff have in-depth knowledge of all our destinations. We’ll let you know which airport you’ll be flying to and recommend the best way to get there.

We can advise you on booking the best return flights, ensuring you have the safest, most convenient, and most cost-effective flight options, no matter how complex your travel plans are. Find out more about the flight booking process.

Visas requirements for your volunteer project or internship in South Africa

One of the perks of volunteering with us is the visa guidance we give you. We have a dedicated visa team who have up-to-date information on visa requirements for all of our destinations around the world. You can get in touch with us if you have any visa queries, big or small, and we will talk you through the process. Once you apply, you’ll also get a link to your own MyProjectsAbroad webpage, which will include all the necessary visa information.

Your induction and orientation in South Africa

You’ll have your induction on the day after you arrive, unless you arrive over the weekend. Then your induction will be on the following Monday.

Your Projects Abroad Coordinator will pick you up from your host family’s home. You’ll get to travel around the area and see some of the major sights and amenities like the post office, bank, and exchange bureau. You’ll also have the chance to buy a local SIM card or phone.

On your first day, you’ll also learn all about how to navigate public transport. Your coordinator will show you the route to and from your placement, so you can feel confident about making your way there each day. We cover the costs of all necessary work-related transport.

During your induction, you’ll also receive an induction pack. This contains all the information you need, like a map of Cape Town with important places highlighted, and contact information for local Projects Abroad staff.

Your coordinator will also show you our offices in Cape Town. You’ll get to hear more about how we run our different projects in South Africa, giving you a deeper insight into the work we do here.

Your first day at your volunteer or internship placement in South Africa

No matter which project you’re doing, you’ll spend your first day learning and getting to know more about the placement. Understanding how things work and where you fit in can take some time, so we’ve set aside a full day for you to get to grips with your project work.

On this day, your supervisor will show you around the placement and you’ll get to meet the staff and other volunteers. You’ll hear more about the project and will get to observe some of the work we’re doing there. We want to make sure you’re comfortable and feeling confident before your project work begins on your second day.

Support, safety, and backup

Your safety and security is our prime concern. We have many procedures and systems to ensure you have the support you need to enjoy your trip with peace of mind. Our Projects Abroad staff are available 24 hours a day to help, and will be on-hand to make sure you settle in well at your accommodation and placement. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.

Find out more about safety and backup.

Our accreditations