Visa requirements can change at very short notice. Whilst the information below is correct to the best of our knowledge, you should always check the latest information with the Department of Home Affairs in South Africa or the South African Embassy/Consulate in your home country.
Option 1 – Holiday/tourist visa
It is completely permissible to complete a volunteering project on a holiday/tourist visa, also referred to as a Visitors Permit. Passport holders from a large number of countries can enter South Africa for 90 days or less without a visa. Once in the country, they can apply for their stay to be extended by a further 90 days. A link to the list of exempt countries is at the bottom of this page.
If you are a passport holder from a country that is not exempt, you will need to apply in advance for your visa, through the South African Embassy/Consulate in your home country. Again, you can apply for a holiday/tourist visa for a maximum of 90 days and, once in South Africa, you can apply for your stay to be extended for a further 90 days.
Option 2 – Volunteer Visa
You can apply for a volunteer visa and stay in the country for a maximum of 12 months. Please note that South Africa only grants volunteer visas for social and community projects. If you are volunteer on a wildlife project, you can only do this on a holiday/tourist visa.
Option 3 – Study Visa
If you are applying for one of our educational courses and internships, you must apply in advance for a study visa. You will need to do this through the South African Embassy or Consulate in your home country.