Gap Years and Backpacking in South Africa

Countries  »  South Africa

Animal Projects
Volunteer on one of our animal conservation projects
Backpacker Tours
Explore the Rainbow Nation on these tours
Short Gaps
Perfect for gappers short on time
Work with Local Communities
Make a difference in the townships of South Africa
A Guide to South Africa
Find all our advice on South Africa here
Travel in South Africa

Gap Years in South Africa

South Africa is basically amazing. It's a diverse, multi-cultural and multi-awesome gap year destination. There's been a backpacking trail there for ages, but there's also plenty of undiscovered gold; so whether you're looking for a traditional gap year trip or a more off-the-beaten-track journey you'll find it here. You can see Africa's Big Five of elephants, lions, buffaloes, rhinos and leopards. There's lush green coastline for beachbums and surfers, quality nightlife in Cape Town and Durban for city lovers, barbecues and beer for meat-lovers and a world of tradition and history for culture vultures. Oh, and South Africa is fanatical about its sport, so it's a paradise for rugby, cricket and football lovers.

Backpacking in South Africa

South Africa essentially has all you could want out of a varied backpacking destination, so dive into this this South Africa section and read guides and advice, check out photos and blogs and look for amazing stuff to do.

Backpacker Tours

Backpacker Tours

Multi-Country Trips

Multi-Country Trips

Overland Tours

Overlanding Tours

Short Gap Years

Short Gap Years

 

Volunteering

Volunteering in South Africa can make a real difference to local communities. Regardless of whether you're helping them learn English, learn micro-finance skills or even just building homes, it's all a fantastic and rewarding way to spend at least part of your gap year. There are large rural populations living in townships and shanty towns on the outskirts of the major cities like Johannesburg and Cape Town that really appreciate the help that can be offered on these volunteering projects.

Volunteering in South Africa

Conservation Projects

Conservation Projects

Community Projects

Community Projects

Care Work & Childcare

Care Work & Childcare

Teaching

Teaching

 

Advice

Not sure what to do while you're in South Africa? We've got loads of stuff here to help you plan your trip, work out what you can and can't do and make sure your trip is as safe and fun as it possibly can be. There's information on local languages and some basic vocabulary that'll make your stay easier and much more enjoyable, or details on what currency you should take and even some key facts and famous people. There's a lot more to South African celebs than just Nelson Mandela!

Advice on South Africa

South African Highlights

South African Highlights

Guide to South Africa

A Complete Guide to South Africa

Teaching in South Africa

Teaching in South Africa

Travelling in South Africa

Travelling in South Africa

View all our advice on South Africa


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Grand Africa

Country Expert

Country Expert - Andy Tipp - South Africa Featured Image

Andy Tipp

Andy has been to South Africa twice. Once was on his original gap year, where he spent 6 months living and working on a volunteering project at a school in the northern Limpopo province. 

The second visit was during his post-university backpacking trip, where he re-visited several places and explored lots of new ones. 

To learn a bit more about South Africa from a backpacker perspective, read his personal country guide. To see some nice pictures from his time in the country, check out his photo gallery