South Africa Gap Year

South Africa is one of the most popular gap year destinations in the world where you can go in search of exotic wildlife, see incredible places and meet other people from all around the world. Find gap year trips and programs in places like Cape Town, Pretoria and Johannesburg. Start planning your trip today.


Gap Year Jobs, Trips & Programs in South Africa

Plan a Gap Year to South Africa

There are so many constructive ways to spend a gap year in South Africa, view opportunities today. The following pages will help you book the ultimate experience:



Gap Year South Africa

Guide to Taking a Gap Year in South Africa

Taking time out from the daily routine is important. Gap years are a wonderful and necessary reward for our hard work, but sometimes a week away isn’t enough. The excitement of being in a new place is delicious; but all too soon it’s gone again and you’re back to work, college or university. South Africa is a diverse and colourful country and when visiting you can expect lots of backpackers, things to do, places to visit and amazing wildlife to see like lions and leopards.

After some adventure and wildlife packed into one destination? South Africa is for you! Home to the incredible Big Five, make sure you head on a safari to experience a real life game reserve. With a variety of trips, can help you volunteer with a local community, get hands on with endangered wildlife, or even monitor Great White Sharks (yes really!). In your spare time make sure you soak up the atmosphere in Cape Town, and of course don’t miss out on the jaw-dropping Garden Route. 



South Africa Gap Year Highlights

There are so many highlights when taking a gap year to South Africa, these include visiting Soweto which was home to Nelson Mandela, watching a live rugby game, diving with sharks, learning to surf, seeing exotic wildlife up close, visiting the Kruger National Park, seeing elephants in the Addo National Park, riding the stunning Garden Route, partying on Long Street in Cape Town, learning to surf in Jefferys Bay and chilling out on beaches in Durban.



South Africa Gap Year Jobs

Gap Year Programs in South Africa

Gap year programs are a good way to experience the country in a different way, make a contribution to a worthwhile cause and also explore new destinations, usually you will have weekends free and South Africa has so many places you could visit. On most placements other than medical related projects you wont need any previous experience to apply, but you will need to be open minded to a new experience and also adaptable, flexible and okay living and working in rustic conditions. 

Prices can vary depenging on what you would like to do.South Africa has a wide range of conservation projects where you can work at places like a private game reserve, farm or wildlife retreat. Tasks can include helping research teams, caring and feeding elephants, or walking and rehabilitating lions and rhinos.

There are also a selection of media, journalism, medicine / healthcare, law and human rights placements. Some placements are very worthwhile where you can work in marginalised communities in places like Cape Town gaining practical hands on experience. On some law or social justice interhships you will meet community groups, help to raise awareness on human rights, learn how to use the media and investigate individual cases of women's rights, children's rights and prisoners rights.



Gap Year Jobs in South Africa

Interested in spending your gap year working in South Africa? You can find paid jobs throughout the country.



South Africa Gap Year Travel, Itinerary & Routes

There is a good infrastructure and transport network and you can find some of the best hotels and hostels in the world here along with luxury game reserves and camping locations. If you are worried about traveling solo, or want to enjoy the safest and most fun experience we really advise joining a group tour in South Africa. Book in advance as spaces can fill up quick. If you are looking to travel independently then there are bus companies and routes built specifically for tourists like the Baz Bus. The Baz Bus is a hop on hop off bus service which runs through South Africa and is great if you want a flexible itinerary. This bus service picks you up and drops you off at hotels and hostels in towns and cities all around the country and is also a great way to meet new people. 



Requirements & How to Apply

Most gap year programs will require you to be aged 18 and over, but there are also special trips for families and summer tasters for 16 and 17 year olds during summer. You will need to be from a country where you will be eligble for a tourist visa. There are a lot of gap year companies and local organisations offering experiences in South Africa and some will require you to pay a fee to join. This usually includes placements, a donation, airport transfers, meals, accommodation and in-country support. These trips are very organised and are perfect if you want to see the country in a safe and structured way. 



Gap Year in Cape Town

If you’re looking to experience one of the most amazing cities in the world then Cape Town is a great place to visit on a gap year in South Africa. Cape Town is perfect in any season, whether it is in the height of its gorgeous autumn season when spring breaks elsewhere, during summer and even winter when there is still a warm climate. Cape Town is known for its beauty and pleasant weather, so even though it isn’t uniquely “spring,” it is well worth a visit as soon as you get a chance to break away. Why not do something rewarding and volunteer in Cape Town - there amazing experiences available all year round.



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