Volunteer, work and travel in
Africa

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Volunteer and work in Africa - low cost travel abroad - Workaway

Here at Workaway you will find 784 hosts and organisations for volunteer work in Africa.
Low cost travel without having to pay expensive agency fees.


Travel to regions in Africa

  • Algeria  (2)

    Algiers, Oran, Constantine, Chlef, Arak

  • Angola  (2)

    Luanda, Huambo, Lobito, Benguela, Namibe

  • Benin  (3)

    Cotonou, Porto-Novo, Parakou, Djougou, Lokossa

  • Botswana  (3)

    Gaborone, Francistown, Molepolole, Lobatse, Serowe

  • Burundi  (1)

    Bujumbura, Muyinga, Ruyigi, Gitega, Ngozi

  • Cameroon  (5)

    Douala, Yaounde, Bamenda, Garoua, Bafoussam

  • Cape Verde  (3)

    Praia, Mindelo

  • Gabon  (1)

    Libreville, Port-Gentil, Franceville, Oyem, Moanda

  • Gambia  (5)

    Brikama, Banjul, Mansa Konko, Basse Santa Su, Bansang

  • Ghana  (25)

    Accra, Kumasi, Tamale, Sekondi, Tema

  • Guinea-bissau  (3)

    Bissau, Bafata, Gabu, Cacheu, Catio

  • Kenya  (106)

    Nairobi, Mombasa, Nakuru, Kisumu, Eldoret

  • Lesotho  (2)

    Maseru, Mafetang, Hlotse, Mohales Hoek, Moyeni

  • Madagascar  (3)

    Antananarivo, Antsirabe, Toamasina, Fianarantsoa, Mahajanga

  • Malawi  (21)

    Lilongwe, Blantyre, Mzuzu, Zomba, Mangochi

  • Mauritania  (2)

    Nouakchott, Saint-Louis, Nema, Nouadhibou, Kiffa

  • Mauritius  (6)

    Port Louis, Curepipe

  • Mayotte  (1)

    Dzaoudzi

  • Morocco  (150)

    Casablanca, Rabat, Fez, Marrakesh, Agadir

  • Mozambique  (8)

    Maputo, Beira, Matola, Nampula, Chimoio

  • Namibia  (15)

    Windhoek, Walvis Bay, Rundu, Swakopmund, Rehoboth

  • Nigeria  (4)

    Lagos, Kano, Ibadan, Kaduna, Port Harcourt

  • Reunion  (19)

    St.-Denis, St.-Benoit

  • Rwanda  (5)

    Kigali, Nyanza, Gitarama, Ruhengeri, Gisenyi

  • Sao Tome and Principe  (1)

    Sao Tome, Santo Antonio

  • Senegal  (20)

    Dakar, Thies, Kaolack, Ziguinchor, Diourbel

  • Seychelles  (1)

    Victoria

  • Sierra Leone  (1)

    Freetown, Bo, Kenema, Makeni, Koidu

  • South Africa  (135)

    Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban, Benoni, Pretoria

  • Tanzania  (61)

    Dar es Salaam, Mwanza, Moshi, Zanzibar, Arusha

  • Togo  (7)

    Lome, Sokode, Kpalime, Atakpame, Bassar

  • Tunisia  (30)

    Tunis, Sfax, Sousse, Gabes, Qairouan

  • Uganda  (109)

    Kampala, Mbale, Jinja, Arua, Gulu

  • Zambia  (16)

    Lusaka, Kitwe, Ndola, Kabwe, Chingola

  • Zimbabwe  (8)

    Harare, Bulawayo, Chitungwiza, Mutare, Gweru

Feedback from Workaway members

There are 4910 reviews for 538 Hosts and organizations in Africa.
538 Hosts in Africa were rated at least 4.9/5!

Lucy is very welcoming and warm person, easygoing and clear with her expectations. I had a pleasure to live at her place for a few days in exchange fo...

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I don't even know where to begin...

I stayed at the school for 4 weeks and it was such a wonderful and memorable time.
The bus ride from Arusha was ...

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I stayed with Weza and his lovely family for 4 weeks, and I had a great time.
This was my first workaway experience and I am really happy I did it. We...

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My two-months experience in Cape Town was amazing. It’s a beautiful hostel and it will be forever in my heart thanks to the people that I met there.
...

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Nadia and Radhouene are without doubt two of the kindest people i’ve ever met. They continually gave me everything I needed and more, were quick to dr...

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Popular Hosts and organizations in Africa

NGO (197)

Family (186)

Farmstay (120)

School (107)

Africa

Welcome to the world's second-largest continent - a mesmerising mix of landscapes, cultures, and adventures waiting to be uncovered! Spanning an insane 30.2 million square kilometres and encompassing 54 diverse countries, it is a treasure trove of natural beauty and human history.

From the ancient history of Egypt in the north to the ultra-modern metropolises of South Africa. Breathtaking natural beauty including the epic Sahara Desert, the lush rainforests of the Congo Basin, and the towering peaks of the Rwenzori Mountains - there is so much to see on this incredible continent.

Don’t miss the opportunity for a thrilling safari in countries like Kenya, Tanzania, or South Africa to witness the Big Five in their natural habitats. Or, explore some of the most pristine and unspoiled beaches in the world, from Zanzibar's powdery white sands to the Seychelles' idyllic islands - Africa the perfect place to combine adventure and relaxation.

Best of all, we have over 700 hosts dotted around the continent! This means it could not be easier to have an authentic African adventure. But first, here’s everything you need to know to plan your dream trip.


Climate in Africa

The climate in Africa is as diverse as the continent itself, ranging from arid deserts to lush rainforests. When planning your trip, consider your specific interests and the activities you hope to pursue. This summary will help to determine the best time to visit each region:

North Africa

  • Climate: North Africa experiences a Mediterranean climate along the northern coast, characterised by hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters. Inland areas are predominantly arid with extremely hot summers.
  • Best Time to Visit: Spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) offer pleasant weather for exploring and volunteering outdoors.

South Africa

  • Climate: South Africa has a variety of climates, including a Mediterranean climate in the Western Cape, a semi-arid climate in the Karoo, and a subtropical climate in the northeast.
  • Best Time to Visit: This varied climate means it’s a year-round destination! Generally, the southern hemisphere's summer (November to February) is ideal for coastal areas, while the dry winters (June to August) are perfect for safaris in South Africa.

East Africa

  • Climate: Expect a varied climate, with hot and humid coastal regions, while highland areas are cooler. The Great Rift Valley and savannahs offer distinct rainy and dry seasons, so plan your trip accordingly.
  • Best Time to Visit: If you dream of a wildlife safari, aim for the dry season (June to September) when animals gather around water sources. If you’re visiting to enjoy trekking in East Africa, consider visiting during the cooler, drier months.

West Africa

  • Climate: West Africa has a tropical climate with distinct wet and dry seasons. Coastal regions are humid, while the Sahel region is semi-arid.
  • Best Time to Visit: The dry season (November to March) is the best time for travel in West Africa. Coastal areas can be visited year-round, but the harmattan (a dry and dusty trade wind) can affect visibility in some regions during the dry season.

Central Africa

  • Climate: Central Africa is known for its equatorial rainforests, resulting in high temperatures, heavy rainfall, and high humidity throughout the year.
  • Best Time to Visit: The dry season (June to September) is a slightly more comfortable time to explore, but you’ll still need to be prepared for high humidity and occasional rain.

Safety in Africa

Safety in Africa is a complicated subject and varies from region to region. It’s no secret that parts of Africa struggle with poverty and strife which can lead to crime and civil unrest. While many African countries and destinations are safe for tourists, some areas may pose security risks. It’s important to do your own research and not base your travels on the media’s perception or generalised stereotypes.

If you were curious, the safest country in Africa is the island paradise of Mauritius. It has the highest score on the Global Peace Index in comparison to all of the other African countries. Generally the majority of North and Southern Africa are considered safe for tourists. This includes Morocco, South Africa, and Namibia.

Regions that have experienced political instability, conflict, or a higher crime rate may be riskier to visit. For example areas in Central Africa, parts of East Africa (such as South Sudan, Somalia), and conflict zones like Mali and parts of Nigeria are typically best avoided.

Things to Consider:

Here are a few other safety considerations to keep in mind before visiting the African continent:

  • Diseases: Yellow fever, dengue fever and malaria are prevalent in Africa. Make sure you get necessary vaccinations before you go, use insect repellent, and sleep under bed nets.
  • Natural disasters: Unfortunately, due to the diverse geographical and climatic conditions some regions face natural disasters. For example: Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia often face earthquake risks while Senegal, Guinea, and Sierra Leone may face threats from tropical storms, hurricanes, and coastal flooding.
  • Tap water: It’s best to drink bottled, distilled water as tap water generally isn’t safe to drink. Cholera and typhoid outbreaks can also be common in certain regions.
  • LGBTIQ Community: While there are many LGBTIQ+ safe destinations in the world, unfortunately attitudes towards this community differ massively across the continent. While Cape Town in South Africa is considered “the gay capital” of Africa, LGBTIQ+ people in other countries, such as Uganda, face discrimination and violence. Research thoroughly before your trip.

Budget Travel in Africa

Africa can be an affordable destination for travellers, but costs will vary widely depending on the country. It also depends if you’re planning on exploring safari or beach destinations as this will prove more expensive. For example Mauritius, Seychelles and South Africa are considered the more expensive countries in Africa.

If you’re travelling on a budget, countries such as Kenya, Morocco, Uganda, Ethiopia, Senegal and Madagascar are ideal. There is still SO much to see and do, but suited to a more modest budget.


Highlights of Africa by Region

North Africa

Countries: Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Libya, etc.
North Africa is a region bordering the Mediterranean Sea, characterised by a hot desert climate and diverse landscapes.

Highlights

  • Sun, Sea & Surf: The Red Sea coast in Egypt is renowned for its crystal-clear waters, vibrant marine life, and stunning coral reefs. In particular, Ras Mohammed National Park in Egypt is one of the best diving destinations in North Africa. The Mediterranean coast of Tunisia features beautiful beaches and incredible weather. Or if you fancy volunteering your surf skills, Morocco is a dream destination. Located near Agadir, Taghazout is Morocco's most famous surf town but other favourites include Tafedna and Essaouira (also known for kitesurfing.)
  • Geological Wonders: Fun Fact: Africa has its own 7 natural wonders - 3 of which are located in the North. The Red Sea Reef (mentioned above) the Nile River in Egypt and the Sahara Desert. The Sahara Desert crosses every country in North Africa, with the section that runs through Tunisia being especially interesting for things to see and do. If you're a fan of hiking, head for the Atlas Mountains. The highest peak is Jebel Toubkal at 13,667 feet (4,167 metres.) And for a truly unique geographical wonder, did you know you can even ski in North Africa!? Visit the Oukaïmeden ski resort, Morocco in the winter months.
  • Man Made Wonders: Northern Africa is also home to some of the world's most impressive man-made wonders. From the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt to The Medina of Fez, Morocco and the Rock-Hewn Churches of Lalibela, Ethiopia. These man-made wonders are not only architectural marvels but allow a glimpse into the rich history, culture, and craftsmanship of the region.

West Africa

Countries: Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Mali, etc.
West Africa stretches from the arid Sahel, at the Sahara’s edge monkey-filled forests all the way to the Atlantic. The countries in this region are tightly packed making overland tours particularly popular.

Highlights

  • Head Off the Beaten Track: West Africa is one of the least visited regions of the continent so it is easy to explore without the crowds. For a truly unique experience head for Benin. Synonymous with voodoo, this ancient and misunderstood religion casts a powerful spell over this little country. Guinea-Bissau also remains virtually unexplored, even by West African standards but that’s not for a lack of places to explore! This includes the tropical Bijagos Islands, which form Africa’s largest archipelago and shelter elusive saltwater hippos.
  • Tourist Friendly: If you prefer a more popular, welcoming introduction to this region then Ghana is ideal! The coast has idyllic beaches and tropical forests as well as the chance to see elephants roam free in the wild at Mole National Park. Senegal is also a popular choice, especially with beach lovers on a budget. With 330 miles of Atlantic coastline, the buzzing bars in Dakar and amazing French-West African fusion food, you won’t be disappointed.
  • Authentic Animal Encounters: While it may not be as famous as East or Southern Africa for wildlife safaris, this means there are limited tourists so the wildlife is left alone and animal encounters are generally more authentic. In particular, Yankari National Park in Nigeria is one of West Africa's most renowned wildlife destinations, known for its elephant population, baboons and hippos. Or, Niokolo-Koba National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Senegal that’s home to elephants, lions, leopards, and numerous bird species.

East Africa

Countries: Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia, etc.
If you dream of witnessing the Big Five (lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant, and African buffalo) in the wild, East Africa is the region for you. Famous for its breathtaking landscapes, including the Serengeti, Maasai Mara, and Kilimanjaro, this region offers unparalleled opportunities for wildlife safaris and trekking adventures.

Highlights

  • Wildlife: East Africa offers diverse destinations for animal encounters. Most famously, Tanzania's Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater are prime for the Big Five (and said to have inspired Disney’s, The Lion King.) Kenya's Maasai Mara is renowned for the Great Migration. Rwanda and Uganda provide unforgettable gorilla trekking experiences in the Virunga Mountains, and Ethiopia's Simien Mountains feature unique wildlife such as the Ethiopian wolf.
  • Natural Wonders: East Africa also boasts breathtaking natural landscapes beyond its famous wildlife reserves. The Great Rift Valley, for instance, offers stunning views, with lakes and volcanic peaks and Mount Kilimanjaro - Africa's highest peak - attracts adventurers from all over the world.
  • Maasai Culture: Interacting with the Maasai people in Kenya and Tanzania offers a glimpse into their traditional way of life. You can visit Maasai villages (called bomas), witness traditional dancing, and learn about their customs, clothing, and daily life. Beyond the Maasai, East Africa is home to numerous other ethnic groups, each with its distinct traditions. For example, the Samburu, Turkana, Pokot, and Rendille in Kenya or the Hadza and Datoga in Tanzania all offer unique insights into their lifestyles, beliefs, and practices.

Southern Africa

Countries: South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, etc.
Located at the southernmost tip of the African continent, Southern Africa offers a unique blend of natural wonders, wildlife and even wine tasting - it’s no wonder it’s one of the most popular regions.

Highlights

  • Victoria Falls: Located on the on the Zambezi River (at the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe) Victoria Falls is one of the world's largest and most awe-inspiring waterfalls with a width of 1,708 m (5,604 ft)
  • The Garden Route: The iconic Garden Route in South Africa, stretches from the Western Cape to Eastern Cape, along one of the world's most stunning coastlines. This 200km stretch showcases enthralling wildlife and beautiful beaches as well as charming towns like Knysna, the Tsitsikamma National Park, and various outdoor activities such as hiking, bungee jumping, and wildlife safaris.
  • Wildlife and Safari Experiences: Countries like Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and South Africa offer some of the best safari destinations on the continent. You can witness the iconic Big Five in their natural habitats, explore vast national parks like Kruger in South Africa, Chobe in Botswana, or Hwange in Zimbabwe, and experience thrilling game drives or boat safaris along the rivers.
  • Adventure: Adrenaline junkies will love Southern Africa! From hiking in the Drakensberg Mountains to sandboarding in Namibia, white-water rafting on the Zambezi River to diving in the waters off Mozambique's coastline.

Central Africa

Countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic, Cameroon, Gabon, etc.

While Central Africa may not see the same tourist numbers as other regions in Africa, it does have unique offerings that appeal to adventurous and nature-loving travellers seeking authentic and less-travelled experiences.

Note: It’s important to note, that while Central African Republic (CAR) was one of the best places in Africa to encounter elephants, western lowland gorillas, and some would say the best place in the world to see butterflies, since 2012 political problems and religious-fuelled civil war have made the country completely off limits to travellers for safety reasons, with all Western governments warning against any visits here.

Highlights

  • Eco-tourism: If you’re an eco-warrior looking to volunteer, countries like Gabon and the Republic of the Congo have made strides in ecotourism. National parks in these countries, like Loango National Park in Gabon or Odzala-Kokoua National Park in the Republic of the Congo, are ideal for those seeking off-the-beaten-path adventures. The Democratic Republic of the Congo (despite its challenges) also attracts adventurous travellers who want to trek to see the endangered mountain gorillas in Virunga National Park or to hike the Nyiragongo volcano.
  • Unique Wildlife Encounters: Central Africa is home to some of the world's most diverse and pristine rainforests. In particular, countries like Gabon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the Republic of the Congo offer unique wildlife encounters, including sightings of gorillas, chimpanzees and forest elephants. Loango National Park (Gabon) Known as the 'Land of surfing hippos', is also a remarkable destination offering a blend of savanna, forest, and pristine coastline. Here you can even witness elephants wandering on the beach!

Horn of Africa

Countries: Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea, Djibouti.
The Horn of Africa is located in the easternmost part of Africa, jutting out into the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. Fun Fact: the Horn of Africa is believed to be the birthplace of humanity. The oldest known australopithecine remains (dating back to 3.2 million years ago!) were found in the Afar Triangle in Ethiopia in 1974.

Highlights

  • Cultural and Historical Richness: The Horn of Africa boasts a wealth of ancient history and diverse cultures. Ethiopia, for instance, is home to rock-hewn churches in Lalibela and historical sites like Aksum, known for its ancient ruins and obelisks. Somalia's ancient port city of Mogadishu and Eritrea's well-preserved Italian colonial architecture in Asmara offer glimpses into the region's diverse heritage.
  • Unique Landscapes: The region features a varied landscape, from the highlands of Ethiopia to the otherworldly Danakil Depression, one of the hottest and lowest places on Earth! Somalia's pristine beaches along the coastline and Eritrea's Red Sea coast offer opportunities for relaxation and exploration.
  • Natural Wonders and Wildlife: Djibouti, known for its striking landscapes, is home to Lac Assal, one of the saltiest bodies of water on the planet, and Lake Abbe with its otherworldly limestone chimneys. Additionally, the region houses unique wildlife, such as the endemic species found in Ethiopia's Simien Mountains and Eritrea's diverse marine life along its coastline.

Islands

Countries: Madagascar, Seychelles, Comoros, Mauritius, Zanzibar.
Africa is home to numerous islands, each offering unique charm and reasons to visit. The five main islands include:

Highlights

  • Madagascar: As the largest African island, it is also the fourth largest island in the World. Situated in the Indian Ocean (about 450 km east of the coast of Mozambique) it has been isolated for about 88 million years so many of its plants and animals are unique to the Island!
  • Seychelles: Known for its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and luxurious resorts, the Seychelles archipelago is a tropical paradise in the Indian Ocean. It offers unparalleled opportunities for snorkelling, diving, and relaxation.
  • Comoros: This volcanic archipelago is nestled between Madagascar and the coast of Mozambique. Comoros is cherished for its unspoiled natural beauty, offering opportunities for hiking volcanic peaks, exploring lush rainforests, and experiencing local culture in authentic island settings.
  • Mauritius: Famous for its turquoise waters, white sandy beaches, and diverse cultural heritage, Mauritius is a melting pot of cultures, featuring luxury resorts, water sports, and inland attractions like the Black River Gorges National Park and the Seven Colored Earths.
  • Zanzibar: Part of Tanzania, Zanzibar is renowned for its rich history, spice plantations, and beautiful beaches. Stone Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, showcases the island's Swahili and Arabic influences, while the coastline offers opportunities for diving, snorkeling, and relaxation.

Volunteering in Africa

Now you’re clued up on the different regions of Africa, it’s time to get planning your trip of a lifetime. From beaches to the Big Five and unforgettable cultural exchanges in between – you can have it all with Workaway!

As the world’s leading community for volunteering and cultural exchange, Workaway is the perfect platform to connect with locals and experience authentic Africa. Whether you are a solo backpacker trying to find a travel buddy, recently retired or setting off on a grown up gap year – we can help you find your perfect host. Best of all, you can join as a solo traveller, as a couple, or even as a family!

In exchange for a few hours of work each day, your host will usually provide free accommodation and meals. Whether you want to witness elephants roam the savannah, master your surf skills in Morocco, or dance with Maasai in Tanzania, with Workaway you can do it all at the click of a button by signing up today!


Making a difference in Africa

From homestays to hostels volunteer work in Africa covers a broad spectrum of opportunities, catering to various interests and skill sets. Here are just a handful of examples of the type of projects you could get involved in:

  • Conservation and Wildlife: Volunteers often engage in wildlife conservation efforts, including monitoring endangered species, habitat restoration, and anti-poaching initiatives. Countries like South Africa, Kenya, Namibia, and Tanzania offer diverse opportunities, with projects focused on protecting wildlife in national parks and reserves.
  • NGOs and Community Development: Many NGOs in Africa work on community development, healthcare, education, and poverty alleviation. Countries such as Ghana, Uganda, Zambia, and Malawi provide opportunities to volunteer with NGOs focused on community empowerment, social impact projects, and healthcare support.
  • Teaching and Education: Volunteer opportunities in schools and educational institutions are prevalent across Africa. Countries like Ghana, Tanzania, Kenya, and Ethiopia often seek volunteers to teach English, assist in classrooms, or facilitate educational programs in underprivileged communities. We have over 100 teaching projects in Africa alone from teaching football in Tanzania to teaching French in Morocco!
  • Sports and Youth Development: Volunteering with children is one of the most rewarding types of volunteering there is! But that doesn’t mean you’re limited to classrooms or schools. Volunteer programs focusing on sports coaching, particularly football (soccer), are available in countries like Ghana, South Africa, Kenya, and Uganda. These programs aim to use sports as a means of youth development and empowerment.
  • Environmental and Sustainable Development: Volunteers interested in environmental projects may find hosts passionate about permaculture, off grid living, eco-building, and sustainable agriculture. Countries like Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Rwanda offer opportunities to work on sustainable development projects.

While we pride ourselves on being a cultural exchange, Workaway is also a great way to boost your CV, learn a new language and make friends all over the world. With over 700 hosts in Africa alone, there are so many ways you can share your time and make a difference while enjoying this incredible destination.


How to find the perfect host in Africa

As well as using the regions above as a guide, you can use your skills and interests as keywords in the search box to find your perfect host in Africa. Whether you're captivated by the rhythms of African drumming in Senegal, yearn to witness the Great Migration in the Serengeti, or dream of exploring the ancient wonders of Egypt's pyramids – your ideal adventure awaits with Workaway!

Best of all, when you join Workaway you are not limited to one project or region. For a small membership fee you have access to over 50,000 volunteer opportunities across 170 countries. With hosts in 36 out of Africa’s 54 countries there are endless ways to explore this incredible continent.

With its breathtaking landscapes, insane wildlife and fascinating history, Africa offers endless opportunities to make memories as well as give back to the community. Whether you want to support local NGOs, explore the Sahara or snorkel in the Red Sea - with Workaway you can do it all.