24TH JUNE & 22ND JULY 2018








PMGY’s Real South Africa Experience is a big 28 day group adventure around South Africa’s Eastern Cape. Volunteer in South Africa, see the Big 5 and learn to surf. South Africa is a hugely diverse and incredibly beautiful country. On this 4-week group adventure we’ll be exploring South Africa’s foot – the Eastern Cape. We’ll start with two weeks of childcare or teaching volunteer work in Cape Town followed by two weeks adventure travel along the Garden Route – a wonderful mix of wide beaches, dappled forests, peaceful lagoons and buzzing seaside towns. Travelling with a tour guide and a group of 6 or more people you’ll have great fun sharing this amazing trip and will no doubt forge some lifelong friendships along the way.


1. Greeted by children’s great big smiles while volunteering in Cape Town
2. Big 5 spotting in Addo National Park
3. Surfing in Jeffrey’s Bay
4. Canoeing on the Wilderness Lagoon
5. Learning more about the iconic Nelson Mandela
6. Getting up close and personal with the penguins in Betty’s Bay
7. Tackling Table Mountain
8. Wine tasting in Stellenbosch
9. ‘Kissing’ an ostrich in Oudtshoorn
10. ‘Kissing’ a great white shark? (we made that one up but if you go shark diving you do get pretty close)


The second largest of South Africa’s nine provinces, the Eastern Cape is situated along South Africa’s eastern coast and is the homeland of the Xhosa-speaking nation and birthplace of Nelson Mandela. The diverse landscape ranges from the dry, desolate Great Karoo to the under-developed, lush Wild Coast and offers an abundance of activities, surf experiences, a `Big 5’ safari, or bungee the highest bridge in the southern hemisphere.


The Eastern Cape is undeniably one of the most rewarding regions in South Africa to visit. The Garden Route is also a long way from South Africa’s crime hotspots and is traditionally one of the safer parts of the country.


Travelling as a group will make the experience all the more memorable. Our experienced and fun tour guides will not only make sure you’re well looked after but are able to learn all about the background of the places you’ll see.


Despite a number of years of relative prosperity, Cape Town still suffers from a number of endemic social problems and extreme poverty still persists today. Racial tension is ever present, unemployment is high due to the flow of people arriving into the city, and wealth disparity is clearly an issue. We place volunteers at projects that support Cape Town’s schools and day care centres.


Most projects we support are centrally based in the city within Cape Town. Should volunteers wish to experience projects in the townships this may be arranged on an ad hoc basis at the discretion of the local team. Therefore should volunteers have an interest in this they are best to discuss this with the local team when in South Africa.


Your first two weeks on the PMGY Real South Africa Experience will be spent taking part in volunteer work. All the volunteer projects are within walking distance or a reasonable commute (40 minutes max) from the Volunteer House. You will spend approximately 3 to 5 hours at the project each day working from Monday to Friday. You are able to choose either a teaching or childcare based project during the online application process.


Your role will vary from assisting permanent staff in daily tasks, creating learning aids and general supervision to planning and teaching lessons and supporting with reading, writing and basic maths activities. Volunteers are also expected to help with feeding at lunch times if applicable and general maintenance at the project too. Importantly, you will become a positive role model for the children and students, which is something that so many of the children are so sadly lacking.


In general volunteers who select to volunteer on a childcare project focus more on interaction, games and creative activities. Those who select the teaching project have a greater focus an providing additional assistance and supervision for the local teacher and leading and engaging with classroom activities.


Please note that the schools are closed late June to early July and therefore participants joining us on the June start date can only take part in the childcare programme, as the English teaching programme will be unavailable. The English teaching and childcare programmes are available for those joining us on the July start date.


We encourage volunteers to prepare as much as possible for their teaching programme overseas. You can make the most out of your time by completing our convenient, inexpensive and international accredited 60-hour Online TEFL Course for just £99.


Please make sure you arrive into Cape Town International Airport (CPT) on the selected Sunday start date.


Day 1 (Sunday) Welcome to South Africa


Welcome to South Africa! Volunteers will be picked up at Cape Town airport by a local backpacker bus. You will then be taken to our Volunteer House in downtown Cape Town. The journey will take around 30 minutes and will allow you to gather your first glimpses of this amazing country.


The rest of the day is yours to spend relaxing and getting to know your fellow volunteers. Depending on what time you arrive, your hostel manager may take you on a walking tour of the local area so you can get to know where the ATM, supermarket, laundry service etc are located. If you arrive late into Cape Town on the Sunday they will do this the following day.


The rest of the day is yours to spend relaxing and getting to know your fellow travellers.


Meals included: None


Day 2 (Monday) Orientation Period


At 08:30 you will be picked up and taken to our local teams office for your in-country orientation. Your day will kick off with an in-depth introduction into South African culture, safety issues and local transport. Our team will then tell you all about the volunteer projects, the do’s and don’ts and answer any questions you may have about PMGY South Africa.


After your initial briefing and a spot of lunch in town it’s time to check out what Cape Town has to offer. You will be taken on a walking tour of this great city where you will see some of Cape Town’s major historical sites and learn about its tragic history.


You will also get a chance to familiarise yourself with the train station, bus stop, mall, markets and company gardens.


On the completion of your city tour, the rest of the day is free to spend time hanging out with fellow volunteers and preparing for your upcoming placement.


Meals included: Breakfast & Dinner


Day 3-6 (Tuesday-Friday) Volunteering Begins!


Tuesday will be your first day at the volunteer projects. On the Monday, our local team would have illustrated to you how to travel to and from the project. in most cases you will travel to the project with a fellow volunteer or our local team will travel with you and introduce you to the project themselves.


Spend the first couple of days getting into the swing of things and working out your weekly schedule. It may seem all a bit much at first, especially if this is your first overseas volunteering experience, but you will soon get the hang of it all.


The typical volunteering day is 08:30–13:30 with a one hour lunch break. You may decide to pack a lunch together before you leave for project in the morning or choose a nearby cafe or restaurant to eat from.Remember that our local team are only ever a phone call away!


Meals included: Breakfast & Dinner


Day 7-8 (Saturday-Sunday) It’s The Weekend!


Weekends in Cape Town are never dull! Whatever you plan to do, our local team can advise you on the best places to go! Some of the activities we recommend are:


The Waterfront – Located in the heart of Cape Town’s working harbour the Waterfront offers visitors an abundance of experiences. You will find a range of restaurants, shops and hotels surrounding the highly impressive marina. There is usually live music being played throughout the day. The Waterfront is only a stone’s throw away from the Cape Town Stadium. It does have a reputation for being a major tourist hot spot, however don’t let this put you off, it is definitely worth a look!


Long Street – Situated in the City Bowl, Long Street is the main hangout spot for backpackers in Cape Town. It is famous for its bohemian feel and the street is lined with bars, restaurants and interesting shops. Many of the backpacker hostels are located on Long Street and it is the main place to go if you want to experience Cape Town’s exciting nightlife.


Table Mountain – One of the most popular attractions in Cape Town is Table Mountain. It stands 1000m above sea level and the summit can be accessed via cable car at a cost of £18 (R270) return. If you’re feeling energetic then you can always trek to the top! The journey takes around 1.5 hours. It is a challenging trek but the views from the summit are truly spectacular. The cable car is weather dependent so don’t rely on it to take you back down to the bottom! There is a restaurant at the top, it’s quite pricey but if you took the trekking option it’s a nice place to sit and relax. For the adrenaline junkies there is an abseiling company who operate from the top of Table Mountain, it’s the highest commercial abseil in the world and costs around £55 (R825) to take the plunge!


Robben Island – For nearly 400 years, Robben Island, was a place of exile, isolation and imprisonment. It’s here that rulers sent those they regarded as political troublemakers and social outcasts. Today Robben Island is a World Heritage Site and a museum. There are 4 daily tours of the island, which leave from Nelson Mandela Gateway at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town. Included in the tour is a half hour boat trip to the island a visit to the Maximum Security Prison, interaction with an ex-political prisoner and a 45-minute bus tour with a guide. This trip with set you back £17 (R255).


Meals included: None


Day 9-13 (Monday-Friday) Volunteering Continues


The volunteering week is Monday to Friday. You will find as time passes you will really come into your own at your volunteer project. It’s important to remain proactive and make the most of your time at the projects. We recommend volunteers plan activities in the evenings in preparation for the following day.


Meals included: Breakfast & Dinner


Day 14 (Saturday) Last Day In Cape Town!


Today is your last day with us in the volunteer hostel in Cape Town. Take some time to reflect on what a great two weeks it has been or even use your last day to tick off those last remaining things you wish to do. Cape Town has so much to see and do that you are sure not to be bored whether its relaxing at Camps Bay Beach or taking a hike up Lions Head for yet more stunning scenery.


The next morning we will begin the 2 week epic travel and adventure taking in the best of the East Cape along the way.


Meals included: None


Day 15 (Sunday) Let’s Hit The Road!


Today is the day our tour guide partner will come to meet and collect you in the morning time from the volunteer hostel. It’s time to start the travelling phase of your trip. The group will travel around by private minibus and be accompanied throughout by our tour guide driver.


First point of call for the trip will be Stellenbosch. On the way we’ll visit Cape Point, where wild oceans crash into the tip of Africa at its most south-westerly point on this dramatic peninsula. Some of the scenes on route are simply breath-taking, particularly the ocean views along Chapman’s Peak Drive.


There is an optional boat trip during the day where you can go to Duiker Island – home to a colony of thousands of Cape Fur Seals! The boat trip to go and see these wonderful and inquisitive creatures is £5 per person.


We arrive into Stellenbosch in the evening. We’ll check into our hostel and chill out for the evening. Stellenbosch is a historic town and university campus cradled by the soaring Stellenbosch Mountains. Some of the world’s most scenic wine estates are scattered in and around the town. Stellenbosch has a fantastic and relaxed atmosphere and vibrant nightlife.


Meals included: None


Day 16 (Monday) Cape Town to Stellenbosch


Today is varied and eye opening. After breakfast at the hostel, a local tour guide will take you on a walking tour through Kayamandi Township. The local guide will teach you about Xhosa culture and the context of life in the townships. Despite the hardships of the people in the township, you’ll find them hospitable and warm.


Later on we’ll see a different side of Stellenbosch as we visit a wine estate. You’ll be taken on a tour of the vineyard and learn all about how the locals produce wine. We’ll also have the time to sample the wines alongside local cheese and even chocolate!


We’ll continue to visit the gourmet capital of South Africa, Franschoek. The charming main street is dotted with quaint shops, galleries, street-cafes and restaurants. This is the perfect place to pickup some dinner. That evening, we’ll drive back to Stellenbosch.


Your evening is free.


Meals included: Breakfast


Day 17 (Tuesday) Who Fancies Kissing An Ostrich!?


Our journey will continue along Route 62 – South Africa’s famous country road where you’ll be able to capture the beauty of high mountains, twisting passes, rugged Karoo plains, vineyards and orchards in your personal road movie.


Our first major stop of the day will be at an Ostrich Farm. We’ll be shown around the farm learning more about these peculiar but wonderful birds. If you fancy an adrenaline rush then you can actually ride the ostriches! If you’re feeling slightly less adventurous you can stand on their eggs and even kiss Betsie, the world’s most friendly female ostrich. A crazy experience on so many levels!


After lunch at the Ostrich Farm, we’ll make our way to Cango Wildlife Ranch – a sanctuary to some of the world’s most endangered animals that contributes towards the conservation of over 60 species, including: White Lion, Cheetah, Bengal Tiger, Nile Crocodile, Hippo’s Meerkat, birds and other wild animals.


Here you’ll get the opportunity of a personal ‘Natural Encounter’ to touch cheetahs, hug Bengal tiger cubs, wrap yourself in a python and even dive with Nile crocodiles! Please note all of these activities come at an extra cost as this money is used towards funding the great work that Cango Wildlife Ranch continues to do.


That evening we’ll check into our hostel in Oudtshoorn where you can relax and reflect on the weird and wonderful events of the day!


Meals included: Breakfast


Day 18 (Wednesday) Elephant Adventure


Elephant lovers you’re in for a treat! This morning we’ll visit an Elephant Sanctuary. You’ll have the option to interact and feed elephants. Get to know these gentle giants by name and their meanings from close up, feel the texture of their skin, scratch behind their ears and sit on an elephant’s knee. This Elephant Experience costs £15 per person. All monies go to the maintenance of the sanctuary and conservation of these amazing animals.


We’ll wave goodbye to the Elephants and head over to the Cango Caves. These caves are an illuminated wonderland of subterranean magic and mystery. Our adventure tour will explore three kilometres of passageways that lead to vast halls inside the earth, where colourful stalactites hang from the roof like ancient chandeliers.


That evening we’ll check into our hostel in the surfer’s town of Jeffrey’s Bay. The bustling town is bordered on both sides by nature reserves & rivers – the Kabeljous & Seekoei Estuaries & within Jeffreys Bay – the Noorsekloof nature reserve. This is a really cool place to be!


Meals included: Breakfast


Day 19 (Thursday) Surfing and Shopping!


We’ve got a whole day in Jeffrey’s Bay. Although it will be a bit chilly, this is the perfect place to go for a surf or just chill on the beach. The hostel we’ll be staying at hire out surfboards and wetsuits, and there are plenty of places you can take surfing lessons. Please note that the cost for hiring the surfboards and taking lessons etc is not included in the Programme Fee.


For those interested, we’ll be making a trip to the Billabong, Rib Curl and Quicksilver factory shops where you can grab some bargains.


There are some cool beach bars where you can go in the evening.


Meals included: Breakfast


Day 20 (Friday) Big 5 Safari


Today we’ll be visiting Addo National Park, the third largest national park in South Africa. The lush vegetation provides protection and a rich food source supporting the most dense population of wild elephants on the planet.  Today this finely tuned ecosystem is sanctuary to over 500 elephants and also lions, buffalo, black rhino, spotted hyena, a variety of antelope and zebra and other species. We’ll take a game drive through the park.


There is an option to take an additional 2-hour game drive in 4×4 vehicle with a ranger for £20 per person. This will give you the chance to see some of the more shy animals aren’t as easy to sport on the main game drive.


We’ll leave Addo National Park in the afternoon and make our way to Grahamstown for the night.


Meals included: Breakfast


Day 21 (Saturday) A Chilled Out Day Of Culture & Stunning Views


We’ll start the day with a walking tour through the historic Grahamstown, known as the City of Saints. Grahamstown is in the heart of South Africa’s Frontier Country, a region that manages to keep its historical roots and charm in not only its buildings but in the hospitality of its people.


Later on we make our way through the Transkei section of the Wild Coast. This is rural Africa at its best and the roads to the coast lead the visitor through the Xhosa heartland, a stunning landscape of rolling green hills dotted with thatched mud huts, offering interesting glimpses into a culture far removed from the stresses of modern life.


We’ll stop over in the Coffee Bay area, checking into a backpacker hostel for the night.


Meals included: Breakfast


Day 22 (Sunday) A Day In Coffee Bay


Coffee Bay is a small settlement with an attractive beach, good fishing and hiking along the cliffs. This legendary little village in the Wild Coast got its name in 1893 when a ship full of coffee beans ran aground here. Though some of the beans did take root, none survived in the salty soil. Still, the legend of the shipwreck was enough to leave its mark on the bay for centuries to come and today the bay is still named after the event. Coffee Bay is famous for the ‘Hole in the Wall’; a formation of rock with a hole in which the sea rushes through.


Today is free. We recommend going for some hikes around the local area and of course there is the beach where you can for swim, surf or just chill out.


Coffee Bay has a great vibe and there are some fantastic restaurants and bars you can head out to in the evening. We’ll stay overnight in Coffee Bay at the hostel.


Meals included: Breakfast


Day 23 (Monday) Learn About The Life Of Nelson Mandela & Ride Horses


This morning we learn more about the life of South Africa’s iconic former president, Nelson Mandela. The Nelson Mandela Museum offers a memorable cultural experience that gives insights into the life of Nelson Mandela, with a guided tour and a heritage trail that follow his footsteps.


After lunch we will travel through beautiful landscapes to Chintsa. This coastal village has a laid-back atmosphere with unspoilt white sandy beaches, backed by forested dunes, lagoons and rivers. Here you can go for a swim in the Indian Ocean or go on a sunset horse ride on the beach. The horse riding option will cost £20 per person.


We’ll stay overnight at a hostel in Chintsa.


Meals included: Breakfast


Day 24 (Tuesday) Tsitsikamma National Park


It’s time to hit the road again as we drive to Port Elizabeth, where we will stop for lunch. We’ll then make our way to Tsitsikamma National Park.


Tsitsikamma National Park stretches for 50 miles from the Krom River Forest Station to the Salt River. It lies between the Tsitsikamma Mountains and the coast. Tsitsikamma is a Khoisan (early inhabitants of the area) word meaning, “place of much water” and is Africa’s oldest and largest marine reserve, playing a vital role in the preservation and conservation of marine fauna and flora. Tsitsikamma’s spectacular scenery includes the Indian Ocean breakers, pounding rocky shores beneath 180m high cliffs, evergreen forests and fynbos (proteas and heath) rolling down to the sea in a lush carpet where ancient rivers have carved their path to the ocean through rocky ravines.


We’ll explore the marine reserve with its unique combination of dramatic coastal and forest landscapes. We recommend taking a walk along forest trails to a suspension bridge and to find a quiet spot from where to absorb the spectacular scenery.


We’ll spend the evening at a backpacker hostel in Storms River.


Meals included: Breakfast


Day 25 (Wednesday) Bungee Jumping & Canoeing on Wilderness Lagoon


Sedgefield is our next destination, although we’ve got a host of activities planned for the day.


First and foremost is the Bloukrans Bungee Jump. Face your fear and jump from the world’s highest bungee jump. The cost for the jump is £55. For those who are happy to sit this one out, just seeing the screams and anxious faces is entertainment in itself!


After an exhilarating morning we’ll stop at Knysna for lunch. Knysna is a popular holiday town with a lively buzz lies between forested mountains and the sea, curving around a big lagoon.


We’ll then make our way to Wilderness National Park where we will go canoeing along the Wilderness lagoon and watch the bird life while we glide over the water in our pure nature encounter.


We expect to reach Sedgefield that evening. Overnight stay at a hostel.


Meals included: Breakfast


Day 26 (Thursday) Travelling to Cape Agulhas & Climbing Lighthouses


In the morning we’ll travel to Cape Agulhas. This is the official meeting place of the Indian and Atlantic oceans. It’s a wild, treacherous coastline that’s said to be the graveyard of ships. Here you can climb to the top of an old lighthouse, walk to a shipwreck and take the necessary photos as proof of your visit to this special point.


Overnight stay at a hostel in Cape Agulhas


Meals included: Breakfast


Day 27 (Friday) Sharks, Penguins & UNESCO World Heritage Sites


A fun-filled day ahead as we make our way back to Cape Town.


First stop, Gansbaai where you can go cage diving with the Great White sharks (£100 per person) or spend the morning wandering along the cliff paths and shops in Hermanus. We then head over to Betty’s Bay where we get close to about 5000 African penguins!


Kogelberg Biosphere is our next stop. This UNESCO World Heritage Site has more plant species than many countries and is one of the best natural showrooms for the diversity of the Cape Floral Kingdom.


As we drive back to Cape Town the coastal road winds between the ocean and mountains, passing seaside villages of wild beauty and rugged mountain scenery.


We’ll check into our hostel in Cape Town that evening.


Meals included: Breakfast


Day 28 (Saturday) All Good Things Come To An End


That’s it folks. This is the end of the PMGY Real South Africa Experience and what a journey it has been.


We’ll drop you back at Cape Town International Airport from the hostel. Spend the time before your flight at your own leisure, buying any last-minute presents or soaking up the atmosphere for one last time.


It’s been a pleasure. See you next year?


Meals included: Breakfast


* This itinerary is subject to change as a result of unforeseen circumstances.


What are the programme start dates?

The programme start dates are as follows –


24th June 2018
22nd July 2018
23rd June 2019
21st July 2019

What are the requirements to join?

In order to join the programme you need to be at least 18 on the programme start date.


We welcome volunteers of all backgrounds, nationalities and religions. You must be able to provide us with a clean criminal background check prior to your programme start date. We are unable to accept anyone who has any previous criminal convictions.


Although you do not need to speak English as your first language, we do require all participants to have a good level of English in order to join the programme.


You should also be physically fit, as volunteering overseas can be quite strenuous. If you have any medical/mental health conditions that may affect your participation overseas then these must be declared to us during your online application.

What date should I arrive and leave?

You should arrive into Cape Town International Airport (airport code CPT) on the selected Sunday start date. You will be met at the airport by one of our local staff or an appointed driver who will be holding a named sign. They will take you to your accommodation where you will spend the rest of your day at leisure.


The programme ends on the Saturday of your final week and you should depart the accommodation on this day.

When is the best time of year to volunteer?

Volunteer feedback tends to suggest that joining us outside the European summer months is the best time to get the most out the experience from a project involvement and cultural integration perspective. The summer months tend to be our busiest times in-country where we have peak numbers across the projects and with accommodation.

Are there any age restrictions?

In order to join the programme you need to be at least 18 on the programme start date.


Generally the average age range of volunteers is 18-22 but this is by no means definitive.


There is no upper age limit. However, we encourage anyone who is slightly older to contact us in the first instance and we can advise if there is a more appropriate programme/destination for you.

When should I apply for the programme?

For the majority of our programmes you can apply at any time. However, we advise that you apply as soon as possible to ensure we have availability on the programme – particularly if you’re looking to travel between June and August, as spaces can fill up very quickly during this period.

It is best that you apply sooner rather than later as some of our programmes only have a limited capacity and spaces get filled very quickly. However, you should always make sure you’re 100% committed to the programme before applying.

It is also possible to change your start dates once you have already applied and had your space confirmed. However, please note this does carry an administration charge of £39 and is subject to availability.

You need to apply online by locating the “Apply Now” button on the individual programme; this will guide you through our Online Application process.

Can I volunteer if I live outside of the UK?

We accept volunteers from all over the world. The majority of our participants are from the UK, US, Canada & Australia. However we have hosted volunteers from countries such as Nigeria, Bermuda & Peru in the past.

Can I go with my friend/parent/boyfriend/girlfriend?

You’re more than welcome to travel and volunteer with friends, family members or with a boyfriend/girlfriend. If required, we can make sure that you stay in the same accommodation and volunteer at the same project (please note the majority of our volunteer accommodation is on a single-sex basis).
Please outline in the ‘Special Requirements’ box of your online application if you’d like to make sure you’re placed alongside another applicant/s.

Is it safe to travel to PMGY destinations?

Although our volunteers work in the developing world, we always ensure our host locations are safe. Each programme has been extensively researched and has passed our strict vetting process. Our UK team undergo an extensive routine when establishing our in-country infrastructures and we continue to monitor our safety procedures on a regular basis. Furthermore, we monitor the stability of our volunteer destinations on a daily basis. Through our constant contact with consulates and embassies and our reports from our overseas teams, we are able to ensure that our volunteers are never placed in unstable regions.


The PMGY team have visited and participated in every programme we offer and verified them based on our own independent criteria. We carefully inspect every little detail of our set-up. From inspecting the living conditions, checking out the neighbourhoods you’ll be staying in, to tasting the food you’ll be eating – each and every programme we establish has gone through a lengthy and rigorous vetting process. Risk assessments have been written for all areas in which PMGY operate and our experienced local coordinators are always on-hand to manage any emergencies that may occur. Our UK team are always on the road reviewing our risk management procedures in the field and monitoring local conditions.


In emergency situations we have the necessary protocols and equipment in place and we are able to evacuate our volunteers from potential dangers. Our local coordinators are trained to deal with emergency circumstances.


When you join PMGY we will send you a Volunteer Handbook. This document addresses a range of issues such as health, safety, visa issues etc. Furthermore, our UK team are only ever a phone call away should you wish to discuss any aspect of your upcoming programme. When you arrive in-country, you’ll be given a comprehensive safety briefing during your orientation course by our local coordinators. We will go through everything from emergency procedures, how to use local transport and cultural differences. You’ll also be given the opportunity to purchase a local SIM card, something we strongly suggest, so you’re contactable at all times. We will provide you with a full list of the important contact numbers that you’ll need to know.


All our local teams are experienced development professionals who have years of experience in hosting international volunteers. They are our representatives on the ground and will assist you 24/7 throughout your stay. Whether you need to call home, travel at the weekend or require urgent assistance – they are there to support you.


While we cannot guarantee your volunteer experience to be 100% trouble free we have taken all the necessary precautions to make sure each programme is as safe as possible.

When do I pay? Can I pay in instalments?

In order to confirm your place on a PMGY programme you need to pay the Registration Fee (£149). The remaining Programme Fee is then due no less than 60 days prior to your programme start date.

You’re only required to pay your £149 Registration Fee once we can guarantee you a place on the programme, unless you’re applying within 60 days of your programme start date in which case you’ll need to pay the full amount to confirm your place. We will notify you by email that you have been successful in your application.

Any remaining payments must be made no less than 60 days prior to your start date. This payment can be made in one lump sum or in several instalments. If you chose to take our insurance or book a flight with PMGY then these must be paid for (in full) at the time of booking.

Payments can be made directly through our website using all major debit and credit cards. We also accept BACS transfers from UK participants. We will outline instructions to make payment in our email communication with you. Please note credit card payments are subject to a 3% additional fee to cover the bank charges that PMGY incur.

Can I use PMGY’s programmes as part of a university or college placement?

It is certainly possible to use one of PMGY’s programmes as part of your university or college placement. Project staff can sign off any paperwork required by your course tutors. PMGY regularly receives medical, childcare, psychology and nursing placement students at our projects around the world and we have ties with some of the leading universities.

If you’re a course tutor and would like further information about how one of PMGY’s programmes could meet the placement requirements for your degree course then please contact us directly on [email protected] to schedule a meeting.


Do you offer an online TEFL course?

For PMGY volunteers joining our teaching programmes the only real ‘qualifications’ you need are bags of energy, commitment and enthusiasm. If however you’d like a chance to do some preparation work before you hit the classroom, we’ve got the perfect introductory course to teaching english abroad.


At only 60 hours and completed online, this course is hugely convenient because it can be done in your own time, at your own pace and you don’t even need to leave the house! You’ve got a whopping 75 days to complete the course, so there is no rush and you can fit it in when you can. An hour here and there certainly adds up over the course of the couple of months you have to complete it, so there really is no pressure.


Once completed you’ll not only have acquired some key skills for teaching English abroad but you’ll also gain an internationally accredited certificate. If you find that teaching really is your calling, this course can be built upon with more modules leading to a paid teaching position in the future.


As well as a core module in the ‘Principles of Teaching English’ which covers ‘Understanding language’, ‘Key English grammar points’ and ‘How to teach grammar in the classroom’ you will have a choice of one of three specialist modules. The ‘Survival teaching’ module is perfect for volunteers covering ‘Teaching large classes’, ‘Teaching with limited resources’, ‘Learner-based training’ and ‘Cultural awareness’.


The cost of the course is £99. If you’ve already signed up to one of our programmes and would like to enroll on the online TEFL course then please call us or email us.

Can I fundraise for my trip?

With PMGY the money our volunteers pay goes towards the structure you receive for your time with us overseas. The fundamentals of this structure include food, accommodation, airport pickups, around the clock support from our UK and in-country team, pre-departure training as well as the implementation and monitoring of the projects.


We do our best to keep our programme costs as low and affordable as possible, without sacrificing on quality and safety. However with flights, travel insurance and spending money to factor into your overall budget, you may find you need a little bit of help with the finances. Therefore a large number of PMGY volunteers decide to fundraise for their trip.


We recommend setting up an online fundraising page to allow friends and families to learn more about your trip and make donations. PMGY have partnered with the online crowd funding website GoGetFunding.


This professional online fundraising service creates a personalised fundraising page for your PMGY trip, allowing you to set financial goals and get the message across about what you’re doing. You can also share your PMGY fundraising page across various social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to spread the word.

Can I raise money for the projects?

The PMGY Foundation is a UK registered charity (1169415) that has been set up to help provide financial aid and assistance to the projects and countries we work with on an ongoing basis.


The objective of the PMGY Foundation is the prevention or relief of poverty of people living in the communities we support by providing or assisting in the provision of education, training, healthcare projects and all the necessary support designed to enable individuals to generate a sustainable income and be self-sufficient.


The ultimate aim of the PMGY Foundation is to enable donations to be directed towards specific hand-picked projects in countries most in need. The project donations are determined by the charities trustees during our annual overseas visits.


If you are looking to help raise money directly for the PMGY Foundation you can do so via our BT MyDonate fundraising page.


100% of all money raised will be donated directly to the projects we support around the world. Please note that participants are unable to raise money through the PMGY Foundation to help finance the cost of their trip overseas.

How do I register for your online webinars?

On selected Tuesdays at 1pm (GMT) we hold our Pre-Departure Webinars. They are well worth attending, take only 45 minutes and will provide you with some really invaluable advice on your upcoming trip.


There are two to choose from and it is well worth attending both:


Travel Essentials Pre-Departure Webinar – covers all the basics.
Programme Preparation Webinar – covers specifically childcare and teaching programmes.


You will receive an email invitation to join these sessions once you have confirmed your place the programme.


The first webinar is designed to cover all of the essential pre-departure information you need to know and things you need to do before you go and the second webinar is more programme specific with advice and information for whilst you’re on your placement.


The webinars are hosted by a member of our UK team, who all have extensive knowledge of our projects around the world. You can attend (and even ask questions) from anywhere in the world simply by logging in through your own computer. All you need is a computer, good internet connection and a pair of headphones.


If any family or friends would like to attend the session as well then they are more than welcome to do so. Please note that you need to sign up for the webinar a few days in advance.

What about vaccinations and malaria tablets?

As we are not medical experts we cannot, unfortunately, tell you exactly what vaccinations you’ll need to obtain so it is vital you consult your local GP or travel clinic a few months before you intend to travel. Your local doctor/nurse will advise you as to what vaccinations and malaria prevention is needed for entry into your volunteer destination.

Additional information can be found on the NHS Fit For Travel website.

How do I arrange my flights?

You can choose to book your flights independently or we can help you in arranging them. Through our close partnerships within the travel industry we are able to offer flights at very competitive rates. PMGY has a wealth of experience in travelling to and from our host countries; we know the most affordable ways to travel and the best airlines to use.

For peace of mind, PMGY holds an ATOL License (11262) that allows us to offer flight-based packages that are financially protected by the Civil Aviation Authority in the unlikely event of our insolvency.

If you’d like to receive a flight quote from PMGY, you can submit an online enquiry by visiting the specific web-page of the programme you’re interested in joining, or by calling our office or dropping us an email.

When you apply for a PMGY programme we cannot guarantee your acceptance immediately. On receiving an application we have to liaise with our local team to ensure there is space available on the programme and to assess your suitability for the specific project.

Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do not make any flight and/or travel arrangements until your programme has been confirmed by us in writing. Once your programme has been confirmed you’re then free to book your flights either with PMGY or a through third party travel agent.

Do you offer travel insurance?

It is mandatory that all PMGY volunteers hold travel insurance during the entirety of their time on our programme; this includes your travel to and from the host country. Although PMGY do everything to ensure your trip is safe, inevitably things can go wrong so you must adequately protect yourself.

PMGY have teamed up with the insurance company Endsleigh to create an affordable and comprehensive travel insurance policy for our volunteers. The policy is specifically designed to insure PMGY volunteers for all their travel essentials. The policy is available to anyone up to the age of 75 and covers you throughout any PMGY destination and any onward travel you may arrange (excluding the US and Canada). You can purchase PMGY Travel Insurance during your online application or you can contact us directly to arrange it.

Please note that PMGY Travel Insurance is purchased in week-long blocks. Therefore, you should carefully identify how many days you’ll be away for, including the date you depart and return to your home country, to ensure you select the correct duration of travel insurance. For example if you’re travelling for 29 days in total, you’ll need a 5-week policy, not a 4-week policy.

How do I obtain a background check?

To join any of our programmes you’ll need to provide us with a clean CRB or Police Check before you travel. We have a commitment to the projects we support to ensure the volunteers we send are trustworthy and of sound moral character. We are unable to accept participants who have had any previous criminal convictions.

If you hold a current CRB or Police Check then we can accept this providing it is issued no more than 18 months prior to your programme start date. Please scan and email us a copy of this document. If you do not have a CRB or Police Check then we will outline how to obtain this in your Volunteer Handbook. The CRB or Police Check must be submitted to us no less than 21 days prior to your programme start date.

If you don’t have a valid CRB check (also known as DBS or Police Check), then you will need to apply for one. UK volunteers need to apply for a “Basic Disclosure” through Disclosure Scotland (which serves all people in the UK). 

This costs £25 and takes around 15 working days to process. Full information on how to obtain a CRB check through Disclosure Scotland is outlined in the volunteer handbook you receive once you are signed up to the programme.

When will I receive my Volunteer Handbook?

All volunteers will receive a PMGY Volunteer Handbook once they have paid their deposit and confirmed their place on the programme. We will send you an email entitled ‘Welcome to PMGY’ which will include a link where you can download the Volunteer Handbook. Please note that we DO NOT send a hardcopy of the PMGY Volunteer Handbook.

This Handbook contains literally everything you need to know – from what to pack, to how to obtain a visa, to local language guides. It is really important that you read through the Volunteer Handbook carefully once you’ve downloaded it. If you require any further information not covered in the Volunteer Handbook then our team are always on-hand to assist you. You can contact us via email, telephone, Skype, Facebook, online chat…whatever works best for you!


Can I arrange a private room?

All of our accommodation options involve sharing a room with other participants (usually same-sex). Unfortunately we are unable to arrange private room options for our participants.

Can you cater for my dietary requirements?

Our team will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements but there may be instances where you may need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense.

Are there any public holidays that effect project availability?

We aim to communicate as clearly and accurately as possible all holidays that effect project availability and project closures in the Volunteer Handbook. However, due to the nature of developing countries holidays can often be sporadic or prone to change that directly effects project availability and we ask our volunteers to be flexible and appreciative of this. This usually represents a unique experience for volunteers to enjoy in the festivities and holidays themselves and/or our local teams will always do their best to find alternative project work if applicable.

What is the dress code at the projects?

Dress code varies from country to country. We ask that our volunteers adopt a smart and responsible image during their time in the communities. We will outline the specific dress code requirements in your Volunteer Handbook so you know exactly what to pack.

The general rule of thumb for girls is to cover your shoulders and thighs and for men to not take their shirts off. Whilst we do not wish to impose strict regulations on our volunteers, we do ask that you respect the local culture during your travels. Dressing appropriately will earn you the respect of the people you’ll be working with.

It’s a good idea to take some nicer clothes for the weekends and special occasions but please avoid tight and very short clothing. You should also avoid clothing that may have potentially offensive slogans on it. Tattoos and piercings should be covered where possible whilst you’re at your placement, particularly if you’re working with children.

How much spending money will I need?

The amount of extra spending money you should take depends on where you travel to and how many travel activities you plan to undertake during your free time. If you plan to go for a safari in Tanzania, scuba-diving course in Thailand or trekking in South Africa, then you should budget accordingly. However, for general expenses and some independent travel, you should find £50-£100 per week a suitable amount.

Will I be able to travel whilst on the programme?

You’ll have plenty of opportunity to travel during your time with PMGY. In fact, we encourage you to travel during your free time. All of our programmes have been designed so that you have weekends off. This gives you the opportunity to explore the local area or even travel further afield within your host country. Our local coordinators will provide you with all the travel tips you need to help you plan any independent adventures.

Furthermore, you’re going to meet so many new people during your time with PMGY that you’ll definitely meet some travel buddies along the way!

Before booking your flights we recommend that you look into travel opportunities within the relevant country either side of your volunteering placement. It is always great to spend some time travelling and seeing more of the country you wish to volunteer in. If you do plan to travel extensively please factor this into your flight itinerary, as we only encourage travel during weekends while you’re volunteering as you have made a commitment to the project.


Throughout your time on the PMGY Real South Africa Experience you will stay in backpacker hostel accommodation. The group will stay together in private dorm rooms with bunk beds – up to 8 per room.


Every hostel has shared bathrooms with western toilets and hot showers. Internet facilities should usually be available. If they are not there will always be an Internet Café nearby where you can get online for around £1 or £1.50 per hour.


Each hostel has English-speaking support staff who are there to assist you. They are all secure and carefully selected. Staying in a hostel is a really fun and social experience. The hostels are generally quite basic but comfortable and will have all the facilities you will need.


Its advised to bring a sleeping bag or buy an additional blanket from the local store in Cape Town as it gets pretty cold during this time of year and not all of the hostels have central heating.


On the real experience, the hostel where you’ll stay during your first two weeks in Cape Town will be located in a central point close to restaurants, bars and essential facilities such as banks and supermarkets etc. Long Street, Cape Town’s premier nightlife destination is only a short drive away. You’ll be living with other volunteers from around the world, so you’ll make plenty of friends along the way.


The accommodation is basic but comfortable with Wi-Fi (there will be a small charge). Each room has bunk beds with up to 8 people per room in mixed-sex rooms. Bathrooms are shared, have a shower and western style toilet.


The house has a communal area for volunteers to hang out with sofa’s, flat screen TV and DVD player. Each volunteer has their own locker to store valuables so you should bring a padlock with you to store away your items. There will also be fridge space available for volunteers to store any items they need to keep chilled.


Please note that rooms are mixed gender and we cannot accommodate single-sex or private rooms in the Volunteer House.


During our busiest months (June to September) you may be placed at alternative accommodation. This could be a nearby guesthouse or one of our summer Volunteer Houses.


In the itinerary section we have outlined what meals you will receive during your time with us. Breakfasts will be standard continental breakfasts i.e. toast, eggs, fruit, cereal etc. The dinners provided during your first two weeks (Mon to Fri) will be a variety of local and western meals either served at the hostel or a local restaurant.


All meals not specified in the itinerary, you will need to purchase yourself. The food on offer in Cape Town and the places we will visit over the trip is extremely varied which represents the city’s multicultural identity. During your time with PMGY South Africa you will experience a range of different cuisines. You will be able to find all the meals you have at home as well as some local gems you may never have heard of before. Our local team will give you the heads up on the best places to go including during the travelling part of the itinerary.


Here is an example of the meals you can expect during the volunteering part of the programme:

* Our team will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements but there may be instances where you may need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense.






4 weeks

* These fees apply to each individual application.



In order to confirm your place on a PMGY programme you need to pay the Registration Fee (£149). The remaining Programme Fee is then due no less than 60 days prior to your programme start date.


You’re only required to pay your £149 Registration Fee once we can guarantee you a place on the programme, unless you’re applying within 60 days of your programme start date in which case you’ll need to pay the full amount to confirm your place. We will notify you by email that you have been successful in your application.


Any remaining payments must be made no less than 60 days prior to your start date. This payment can be made in one lump sum or in several instalments. If you chose to take our insurance or book a flight with PMGY then these must be paid for (in full) at the time of booking.


Payments can be made directly through our website using all major debit and credit cards. We will outline instructions to make payment in our email communication with you. Please note credit card payments are subject to a 3% additional fee to cover the bank charges that PMGY incur.







  • FLIGHTS TO CAPE TOWN (£450-£800)NO
  • VISA (£0)NO





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