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Medical Volunteer South Africa

Are you interested in the medical field and would like to help those who need medical assistance?? Do you want to travel to the number one tourist destination in all of Africa? If so, volunteer for IFRE's medical volunteer South Africa project!

Medical projects in Cape Town are understaffed and lack many of the resources needed for patients meaning people can be forced to wait a long time for much needed medical care. This can create a stressful environment for staff and volunteers,

as the structure and organization of medical project can be chaotic at times. Most facilities are government-funded, meaning they mainly help individuals who cannot afford expensive private medical care.

Though this chaos can be a bit frustrating at times, you will find health care volunteer program in South Africaextremely rewarding as you get to help those in desperate need of medical care. Volunteers will play an active role in the clinics, but it should be noted that no major operations are performed at the facilities. Struggling with even minor health issues can have a major impact on people’s abilities to live their lives and provide for their families.

By helping people resolve their medical issues you will directly have a positive change on people’s lives and the productivity of the greater community. You will rest assured knowing that the time you spend as a medical volunteer in South Africa will be highly valued and create a positive change in the world.

Take a minute to complete the form and we will be in touch.

Volunteers’ Responsibilities & Impact

As a Volunteer you will work in local clinics helping with basic medical care as well as work alongside HIV/AIDS awareness programs. In local clinics you will help with wound dressing, taking blood pressure and pulse readings, weight and temperature measurements, as well as assisting patients from one service location to another.

You may be required to work in a baby clinic, help with administration and patient observation with local doctors and nurses. Volunteers often also spend time working with local medical awareness programs and helping to raise much needed funds to support medical programs. Due to South African law medical volunteers will never be asked to treat patients or prescribe medications without a resident doctor present.

Skills and Qualifications:

Applicants over the age of 18 interested in joining our South Africa volunteer healthcare program do not need previous healthcare experience or education. Our programs are designed to accommodate volunteers with a medic background and entry level med students a valuable understanding of the South African medical health system.

Those with higher level medical qualifications and work experience will have the skills to provide a greater impact to the patients in need. However, this medical volunteer program is focused on skill sharing to benefit both you and the local staff. Regardless of your experience and background a passion for humanitarian work and ability to show patience and flexibility when working in stressful environments is a must.

You will typically work from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m,. Monday-Friday. However, due to the nature of working as a medical volunteer this may change and requires you to be flexible and adaptable with your routine.

First Day: On your first day of volunteering, you will be escorted to your placement by a local coordinator and introduced to the placement staff you will be working with. You will be given a orientation session to answer all the questions you still have about your volunteer time.

  • Weekdays: Every day is a different and rewarding experience. This schedule will give you a rough idea of what you can expect on a daily basis.
  • 7.00 to 7.30 AM: Enjoy a filling meal at your chosen accommodation.
  • 7.45 AM: Leave home and travel to your work placement. Spend the morning supporting local doctors, nurses and education staff.
  • 12.00 PM: Break for lunch before a busy afternoon of clinic duties.
  • 3.00 PM: Your work placement will usually end around three in the afternoon.. You are free to travel home, prepare for the next day or enjoy some shopping and sightseeing.

Medical Volunteer South Africa: Program Dates

IFRE programs begin every Monday year-round. If you have travel constraints, you can still start your chosen program on any day of the year.

Our Fees

Since 2006, IFRE has been the most trusted and respected volunteer abroad organization in the world, and also the most affordable. We’re dedicated to providing the highest quality volunteer programs at the lowest fees, which make it possible for everyone, especially students, to volunteer internationally and make a positive impact in the lives of others.

We believe in 100% transparency. Rest assured; we never use middlemen. Your one-time registration fee of $299 covers our administrative costs. The low weekly fee is paid in the host country directly to your host family and project (via country coordinator), and includes housing, food, and minor expenses. IFRE is a non-profit organization, so your program fees are tax deductible.

Volunteer Program Fee (US$)

Duration Medical Projects
  1 Week   N/A
  2 Weeks   $450
  3 Weeks   $600
  4 Weeks   $750
  5 Weeks   $900
  6 Weeks   $1,050
  7 Weeks   $1,200
  8 Weeks   $1,400
  9 Weeks   $1,550
  10 Weeks   $1,750
  11 Weeks   $1,900
  12 Weeks   $2,050

Comprehensive Travel Insurance $3.49/day ( below 28 years) and $4.49/day ( above 28 years) »

How your fee is allocated?

Program Fees Cover:

  • Accommodation (host family)
  • Food (only breakfast and dinnery)
  • Airport Pick up/Transfer
  • Program Orientation
  • In-country support
  • Personalized project
  • Pre-departure information
  • Certificate of completion
  • Fundraising ideas and letters
  • Discount for returning volunteers

Program Fees Exclude:

  • Visas
  • Airfare
  • Personal expenses on soft drinks and foods
  • Daily transportation
  • Airport return transfer

Take a minute to complete the form and we will be in touch.

Accommodation and Meal

When you join medical volunteer program In South Africa, you will live in a volunteer house. Our Volunteer House is located in Cape Town’s most bohemian suburb, Observatory! Affectionately called “Obz” by the locals. It’s an arty district that is home to a huge melting pot of various people, sights, sounds, tastes and cultures!

Our Volunteer House is a dormitory style accommodation where you will share room with fellow participants. There are between 4-8 volunteers per room. The House is located close to the City Centre, restaurants, supermarkets, and all the tourist spots the city has to offer.

Breakfast and dinner is included Monday to Friday and lunches and weekend meals are excluded which the volunteers have to cater for. The Volunteer House provides a clean, comfortable, safe and secure living-environment for all our volunteers – the house is strictly used for our program participants and not open to members of the public.

Learn more about Cape Town volunteer accommodation and delicious meals.

Free Time and Weekends Exploration

Healthcare volunteering projects in South Africa are located at and around Cape Town, South Africa. Cape Town is the capital city, a popular tourist destination, and a major destination for immigrants and expatriates. Cape Town is one of the most multicultural cities in the world giving it a vibrant, diverse culture.

Cape Town has a climate similar to the Mediterranean with mild and moderately wet winters and dry, warm summer., There are many sights to explore around this beautiful city —you will never run out of things to do in your free time. Sights include visiting Table Mountain National Park, City Bowl, numerous beaches, Chapman's Peak Drive, The Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, Two Oceans Aquarium, and much more.

Learn more about how you can spend your free time and weekends in and around Cape Town.

Safety and In Country Support

IFRE has provided over 22,000 people with affordable volunteer experiences in in over 20 countries since 2006 . IFRE is committed to providing safe and life-changing volunteer experiences. You can rest assured knowing that a local in-country support person will be available to answer all your questions throughout your time volunteering and periodically check in to see how you are doing.

Your in-country support coordinator will also pick you up from the airport, help you settle into your accommodation, introduce you to the project staff you will be working with, provide you with safety information, help you book tours for your free time, and tell you about the local culture and customs to ensure you have a valuable and memorable experience in South Africa.

Meet the team of amazing staff in South Africa that will be helping you make your life-changing volunteer experience a reality and read more about your safety and in-country support here.

Learn more about Safety and In-country support

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Medical Volunteer South Africa: FAQs

Arrival and Departure

All of our volunteers will need to fly into Cape Town International Airport to start our medical volunteer work project in South Africa. Please arrive one day prior to your program start date and ensure you provide us with updated flight information at all times. A local representative of IFRE will come to pick you up at the international airport after your arrival. You will need to arrange your return airport transfer.


You need to have a tourist visa to participate in our South Africa medical volunteer program. You can obtain a tourist visa from the Embassy of South Africa in your home country. You can also apply for 90-day on arrival visa at the Cape Town International Airport.

On arrival tourist visas are available for citizens of countries such as the United States, Russia, Brazil, Canada, Argentina, and most of Europe. Check with your local Embassy for visa information. You can always choose to further extend your visa for another 90 days if you wish to continue working in our volunteer programs.

Check out for more information regarding visa extension in South Africa.


Tetanus, Yellow Fever, Malaria, Rabies, Hepatitis B, Diphtheria, Hepatitis A, Measles, and Typhoid are the most recommended vaccines by CDC for those planning to work as a medical volunteer in South Africa .

For further readings:


Volunteer Health and Safety

Safety tips for your volunteer abroad trip

Any other important information?

Most of the medical projects are understaffed and there is a lack of resources; therefore, this can be a very stressful, challenging and fast paced environment to work in. The government funded facilities you will be helping in provide healthcare for people who cannot afford private medical care.

Why volunteer in healthcare project in South Africa?

Volunteering in an exotic country like South Africa gives you a once-in-a-lifetime change to use your skills to make a difference to those in need. The South African healthcare system is severely underfunded and often leaves people with medical conditions in need of help longer than they should have to wait. Your time as a medical volunteer in South Africa will be highly valued and make a real difference in the lives of people that need. This opportunity will also give you with invaluable experiences and get the chance to share knowledge with doctors and nurses within the South African medical system.

You will be helping out people and the communities in need

Volunteering at medical project is highly rewarding. Everyday you will be working with patients and their families who are in need of medical help. Helping people to get back to health helps them to provide for their families and be helpful community members.

You will get the opportunity to understand the South African Health System

When part of a South Africa medical volunteer project, you will get an insightful chance to learn about a different medical system to the one you are accustomed with. This provides eye opening information that will boost your skills within the medical career.

Volunteering Can increase your feeling of fulfillment

Taking part in a health care project abroad helps give you a feeling of fulfilment by knowing you have spent your time helping others in need. Volunteering abroad helps you meet like-minded people from around the world who share your vision for a better future.

You will make a difference in the world:

Being a part of the healthcare volunteer project in South Africa enriches you with life-changing experiences, but also allows you to make a significant change in people’s lives. Helping others shows people that others care and by finding solutions to their medical needs you will help them get back to normal life with family, friends and their communities. Be the change you wish to see in the world.

You will get to collaborate ideas with medical professionals

Volunteering means you will meet different kinds of healthcare professionals to share ideas wit. Talking with people from different perspectives can better help find solutions for difficult health issues. Volunteering will help you form a network of medical professionals from around the world.

Volunteer Programs in South Africa

No matter what your passion for volunteering is, IFRE offers variety of volunteering opportunities such as work in child care, volunteer English teaching,sport coaching, social welfare, wildlife volunteering in South Africa.

IFRE Medical Volunteer Opportunities In Other Countries

Medical volunteers are needed in other countries other than South Africa. See IFRE medical volunteer opportunities in Peru, Guatemala, Uganda, Kenya, Ghana, Thailand, Nepal and Cambodia. With IFRE medical volunteer programs you can help people in need of vital medical care around the world. Contact us now to learn more about how you can help with other medical volunteer programs worldwide.

Take a minute to complete the form and we will be in touch.

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