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Surfing experience with disadvantaged children in South Africa


Price above is guide only. Choose start date for your price.



How do you learn to surf and make a difference too?

This project has the answer! Based at the beautiful white sandy beach of Muizenburg near Cape Town, you'll spend your time learning how to surf in the morning and then help underprivileged children do the same! These kids simply can't afford to try surfing without this project so your volunteering, whilst being fun for you, will also bring the kids enjoyment and hopefully a passion for a great sport too.

Muizenberg Beach is possibly one of the safest and best beaches to learn to surf at in South Africa - and during your time at the project you'lll also have plenty of free time to explore the stunning Cape Town area. You could dive with sharks, hike through the stunning Cape region, sky dive…the outdoor adventure options are endless!

Trip Highlights:

  • Learn how to surf or improve your skills catching your first wave at Muizenberg Beach
  • Ensuring the children are safe and following your instructions while you share your surf skills with them
  • Doing outdoor activities like beach soccer and hiking
  • Experiencing Cape Town and all it has to offer

Fast facts

Project duration: 
4-8 weeks
Location of project: 
Muizenberg Main Beach, near Cape Town
Arrival airport: 
Cape Town (airport code CPT) arriving no later than 4.15pm
Every morning starts with a surf session followed by lunch. On Monday & Tuesday afternoons volunteers contribute to the development of the projects through social networks (Facebook/Twitter) taking pictures, writing & posting articles on WordPress. Also help brainstorm new ways to improve the structure of the project (Marketing). Wednesday to Friday afternoons volunteers prepare for the afternoons activities (surfing, hiking, soccer) and then drive to Steenberg to pick up the kids. After taking part in the running of the session, you drop them back before home time.
Working hours: 
Monday to Friday, 10am-5.30pm approximately, weekends are free
Getting to the project: 
Around 30 mins, a short multi-person taxi ride and a train journey (budget approx US$20 per week)
Minimum age 18, Police check required (fees apply)

What's included

Shared dormitory room in volunteer house, same sex rooms
Self-catering (budget approximately US$50 per week)
Airport pickup: 
Included on arrival date - ask us for details if you’re arriving early
In-country orientation
Pre-departure helpdesk, local in-country team and 24 hour emergency support

What's not included

Flights, Insurance, Visas, Return Airport transfer, Local Transport, Food


Day 1 (Monday) – Arrive into Cape Town International (airport code CPT)

Welcome to Cape Town! You will need to arrive into Cape Town International Airport before 4.15pm on your arrival day. You will be met by an i to i Volunteering representative at the information counter at International Arrivals and driven to the volunteer hostel in Fish Hoek (about a 45 minute journey) ready for your orientation. Your orientation is a crucial part of settling in to life in South Africa and will take you through what it’s going to be like at your project, do’s and don’ts, how to stay safe and it’s your prime opportunity to ask any burning questions that you haven’t yet had answered. After this you’ll have some time to relax, meet your fellow travelers and enjoy a delicious, traditional South African meal. The rest of the evening is then yours to start to settle in.

If you can’t arrange to arrive before 4.15pm on the arrival day you will need to fly in a day early. We can arrange an early airport pick-up for you including one night’s accommodation, please give us a call for more information.

Day 2 to 5 (Tuesday to Friday) Surfs up!

On your first day you will be give a short orientation on the surfing academy including health and safety on the project. Once you have your bearings you'll get a surfing lesson by a fully qualified surf instructor. Aching arms are certain as you paddle through the surf and get to grips with how to look cool falling off your board!! But don't worry - almost everyone manages to stand and catch a wave within a couple of hours and Muizenberg is one of the best places around to learn this great sport. 

In the mornings (from 10am to 12pm) you'll then have access to surf boards and wetsuits to hone your skills before lunch. The kids come along to the beach from 3pm onwards and from 3pm to 5pm it will be all hands on deck to help them with their surfing. You might even find time for a quick kick around on the beach too!

Days 6 and 7 (Saturday and Sunday) The weekend is yours!

Your weekend is free to spend as you wish. You could go into Cape Town, climb Table Mountain, or for those that want a quieter weekend visit the local beautiful beaches of Misty Cliffs, Camps Bay or Clifton. Alternatively you could just chill and rest up after a tough week in the ocean!!!!

Following weeks

After a week of settling in you will really be starting to get to grips with this project now. Not only will you be improving your own surfing but you'll be seeing the improvements each day of the kids that come along too.

This project aims to help the kids in learning to surf but also to have a more positive attitude where they realise things are possible outside their immediate environments. While at the project you'll get the chance to visit their communities to understand their backgrounds and the challenges surrounding disadvantaged kids in the Cape Town area. In addition to surfing tuition you'll also get involved in teaching them about the ocean, the environment and general life skills.

You'll be looking good and feeling good by the time you have to go home!

Your Last Day (Monday)

Having said goodbye to all your new friends and packed your bag full of souveniers you’ll travel back to the airport. The return transfer from Fish Hoek to Cape Town International is not covered within your project fee but our regular transfer company will be able to sort the journey back for you, the costs will be around US$35 / R250 and this is easily arranged in country.


What the project says:

'Our mission is to identify and train children from disadvantaged coastal communities. We aim to provide an outlet to crime, an opportunity for self-development, a transparent, accessible and representative surfing culture in South Africa and give back to our communities. We also promote respect of the ocean and its power plus caring for the environment that surrounds it'

What does the project do?

This project was founded by a local surfer who runs his school through a passion to help disadvantage kids in South Africa. Surfing is an expensive sport and very few children from poor backgrounds can afford to have a go at it.

The Beach Club gives surfing lessons to tourists in order to fund their equipment and the work they do with underprivileged children. Their aim is to keep on growing so that more and more kids can be involved. Besides surfing they want to teach the kids to grow; including learning about the ocean and the environment. They are not just coming for a good time or a handout; they are coming to build their own futures through positive experience too.

While you're on this project you also have the opportunity to visit the areas that the kids come from to understand the issues they face and then get involved in actively helping them to achieve more. This is an active project where you will be surfing, swimming, snorkeling, playing football and hiking for a large part of the day; with you practicing in the morning and then helping the kids in the afternoons - be prepared to get wet, tired and sandy!

Muizenberg is the ultimate place to surf in Cape Town so you will be surrounded by some of the best surfers in South Africa. It has a friendly and laid back atmosphere where you will be able to relax when you've had enough of the waves. There are plenty of beachfront cafes, some with internet if all the outdoor air gets too much. Muizenberg is walking distance from the train station where you'll arrive from the volunteer house.

Why does the project need volunteers?

You can never have too many pairs of hands when you’re looking after a bunch of excited children on the beach and in the sea! The project needs you to help make sure everything is prepared for the afternoons surf lessons and to help clear up afterwards. You’ll also be assisting the surfing instructors in the water, keeping an eye on your own small group of learners. The presence of international volunteers also exposes the kids who come here to ideas and attitudes outside their community and country; you'll be surprised how few of them have travelled outside the region let alone overseas!

Activities and schedule

This project operates from Monday to Friday and you will be helping out the permanent staff on the project. In the mornings (from 10 am to 12pm) you will have access to surf boards and wetsuits so that you can practice your own surfing skills. Then you will be giving a helping hand to ensure that all the equipment is fine and polishing or fixing any boards that may need it. There are fully qualified surf instructors as part of the permanent team so you'll be sure to get some good pointers on what to try next.

After wearing yourself out with your own skills you will have a chilled lunch and break until around 2pm when the local kids start arriving. You can buy lunch at the cafes in the area but you might also want to bring food with you as you will definitely build up an appetite.

You'll need to help the team out with the preparation of equipment and activities before surfing lessons start between 3pm to 5pm. When all the kids have gone home you'll need to help the team to pack up before you take the train back home.


Tell me more?

You’ll be staying in our large volunteer house in Fish Hoek throughout your trip. The house is reserved solely for i-to-i volunteers and you will have use of all facilities. The house accommodates up to 20 people in dormitory-style rooms with bunk beds which are based on same sex. There are three bathrooms and a maximum of 6 people in a room. There’s also a lounge area, balcony, garden, barbeque facilities and swimming pool. The project is situated in various schools within and surrounding the city of Cape Town. Each project is around a fifteen minute taxi ride away from your project. This cost is not included and you should budget around US$15 per week.

A 10 minute walk away there is a supermarket, serviced laundry and an internet café and there’s also a shopping mall a little further on. You can also head down to the beach area for bars and restaurants, about a 10 minute drive away.

Your time in Cape Town is on a self-catering basis. You’ll have access to the kitchen complete with cookers, loads of fridge space, microwave, toaster and kitchen utensils so you can cook up tasty morsels. There’s a dining area in the lounge or a table and chairs on the balcony if you prefer the outdoor experience! If you are feeling lazy you can even order a takeaway! While in the house you will be responsible for keeping the place clean so please tidy up after yourself, especially in the kitchen.

Your project is about 30 minutes away, it's a short multi person taxi ride and a train journey. Please budget approximately US$20 per week for this journey.

Please note that there is a 1000R deposit that will need to be paid to the in country team on arrival so please make sure that you have budgeted for this. Your deposit will be returned when you leave the accommodation at the end of your project as long everything is left as you found it.


What you get

Next steps

Flights & insurance

Country information

I've done this trip. Write review >
Alisha Romain gives this project
Here is what Alisha had to say:
What were the highlights of your trip?
working with the kids surfing everyday travelling around South Africa
Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?
Pack warm clothes for May Bring a rain coat
Give Us Up To 10 Words That Sum Up Your Experience:
Best experience of my life
Patrick Foley gives this project
Here is what Patrick had to say:
What were the highlights of your trip?
meeting the kids, surfing,
Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?
research things to do be sociable with everyone have fun
Give Us Up To 10 Words That Sum Up Your Experience:
An amazing adventure
Pria Lattar gives this project
Here is what Pria had to say:
What were the highlights of your trip?
my project the kids
Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?
do everything / don't be scared Shark cage diving - wine tour - abseil table mountain
Give Us Up To 10 Words That Sum Up Your Experience:
I cant even describe my experience, it was that amazing
Ailsa Mealings gives this project
Here is what Ailsa had to say:
What were the highlights of your trip?
the children, learning to surf, the lanscape.
Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?
Bring twice as much money as you think you need Talk to everyone - be outgoing. Relax and make the most of every day
Give Us Up To 10 Words That Sum Up Your Experience:
Eye opening, challenging, exciting, memorable.
Will Sanders gives this project
Here is what Will had to say:
What were the highlights of your trip?
surfing, new experience, sight seeing (table mountain, cape point).
Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?
Over pack find out things to do before arriving don't go out late by yourself
Give Us Up To 10 Words That Sum Up Your Experience:
A new and exciting, enjoyable experience
Robert Miller gives this project
Here is what Robert had to say:
What were the highlights of your trip?
The pjoject
Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?
make the most of your weekends
Give Us Up To 10 Words That Sum Up Your Experience:
great experience with great people,brilliant taste of SA
Ellen Dyvik gives this project
Here is what Ellen had to say:
What were the highlights of your trip?
Surfing and the kids
Hannah Martin gives this project
Here is what Hannah had to say:
What were the highlights of your trip?
The kids i worked with surfing plus the people i met and got to know
Daniel Gruenig gives this project
Here is what Daniel had to say:
What were the highlights of your trip?
meeting the children and see how happy they are while surfing meeting all the nice volunteers
Give Us Up To 10 Words That Sum Up Your Experience:
an unforgetable trip
Sarah Holland gives this project
Here is what Sarah had to say:
What were the highlights of your trip?
Getting to know the kids and women at the creche. Meeting people from around the world! Adventure trips
Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?
Bring slippers with Check the local weather from where you will be staying. Plan on spending way more money then you think you will.
Give Us Up To 10 Words That Sum Up Your Experience:
Eye opening-heartwarming and discouraging at the same time.

We work in partnership with hundreds of established projects that are run by local communities. The information on our website comes directly from the projects and we work with them to ensure this information is as accurate as possible. However, due to the very nature of the projects themselves the exact details of what happens on a daily basis can change with little or no notice. If you have travelled with us and have any updates to this information, please let us know.