View volunteer testimonials here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why volunteer with AVIVA?

As a South African based volunteer organisation, we do not offer "hundreds of placements around the world", but have chosen to work with a limited number of wildlife and community projects to ensure firstly that we can maintain a meaningful relationship with each one, and secondly, to ensure that your contribution is a positive one that does not adversly affect the wildlife or children you encounter.

Here are the Top 5 reasons that volunteers give us for choosing AVIVA...

  • Personal attention & full in-country support
  • Unbeatable value - with lots of included benefits and the AVIVA Price Promise
  • Wide choice of well researched projects
  • AVIVA is based in South Africa
  • Quick response to your applications and enquiries

1. Personal attention & in-country support

We have passionate and experienced staff in South Africa who are dedicated to making our volunteer's stay as enjoyable and rewarding as possible - in fact, AVIVA has South Africa's largest volunteer support team - no other organisation provides the depth of support or attention to detail that we do.

We also maintain our own volunteer accommodation in Cape Town with a full-time Volunteer Coordinator and Housekeeper. AVIVA House provides a safe, clean and comfortable home from home for our volunteers.

Our Volunteer Coordinator can help you with anything from recommendations for things to do, to organising exciting overland trips to explore the rest of Africa. Her local knowledge is a great help when you’re learning to find your way around and should you find yourself in difficulties, it’s reassuring to know you will have someone to call on.

2. Great value - with lots of included benefits

When you book a project with AVIVA you can relax and look forward to enjoying your South African experience...

Most projects include all your project transfers, accommodation (and meals on most projects), project fees, orientation, supervision, training, certificate and more. Every volunteer arriving in Cape Town receives a comprehensive welcome brief from a member of the AVIVA team...

Many projects give you the option to add a great range of tours in and around Cape Town, where you can enjoy the beautiful Western Cape as you are introduced to South Africa’s diverse cultures, people and history before or during your chosen project. Our experienced tour guides are outstanding and are able to provide you with unique tours that go far beyond normal tourism.

You will find details of benefits included with each project on our web site – detailed project information sheets can also be downloaded from each project page on our web site.

3. Wide choice of well researched projects

AVIVA is committed to supporting sustainable community, wildlife and conservation projects while providing volunteers with a life changing volunteering experience in South Africa. We believe that volunteering promotes self-growth, cultural understanding, and provides international volunteers with a unique opportunity to really experience a country first hand.

We have researched and evaluated a wide range of projects across the country to provide you with the best possible choice when it comes to selecting a project that closely matches your area of interest or passion

We only work with grass roots projects that have evolved to meet real needs in the local community or environment - so you can be sure that you will be contributing your time to a worthwhile and rewarding cause, and can make a meaningful contribution to its growth and future well being.

It is very important that your presence at a project is beneficial not only for the project, but also for you. Too many projects around the world have been 'created' to meet volunteer demand, and provide very little in the way of structure or anything to do. For this reason, every project partner we work with first goes through a strict evaluation procedure to ensure that the project is valid; has genuine aims; can provide a rewarding experience, and has a sustainable plan for improved development.

We believe that by working in partnership with projects that are genuinely committed to their cause, we can provide you with a unique travel experience that not only matches, but exceeds your expectations.

4. AVIVA is based in South Africa

It is normally the case that volunteer organisations based in the UK, USA and elsewhere have only a single representative in South Africa to provide support to volunteers throughout the whole country. With AVIVA, you will have access to support and advice from our entire team, all of whom are resident in South Africa. Not only does this provide peace of mind for you (and your parents!), it also ensures that no matter where you are, you will be able to contact us quickly and can rely on that depth of support to assist you.

Being based in South Africa also means that we do not have expensive offices to maintain overseas, ensuring that your entire volunteer fee goes directly into supporting the local economy, creating jobs, and providing essential support for many grass roots organisations in South Africa.

AVIVA has received world wide recognition for the service we provide for volunteers, and has featured in a number of International magazines, South African television programs, and more recently in a fundraising video which aired on the Animal Planet and National Geographic channels.

5. Quick response to your application & enquiries

One of the first things you will notice with AVIVA is that we don’t like to keep you waiting. Our busy Cape Town team work hard to ensure that you receive replies to your applications and email enquiries by the next working day if not sooner.

We will provide you with simple guidelines and useful information to help you prepare for your trip to South Africa, and if you have any questions or need advice on anything before you travel, you will be more than welcome to contact us at any time by phone, email, or online chat via our web site.

If you are looking to stay in South Africa for longer than 90 days, we can provide you with assistance and a letter of support for your Visa Application and provide you with guidance on completing the application form.