Plastic Pollution Project Photos  |   Download Plastic Pollution Volunteer Guide

As humans, we use a staggering amount of single-use plastic, with millions of tons of plastic waste making its way into our oceans each year. From micro-plastics to plastic bags, this waste has a devastating effect on many marine species. Sea birds and marine mammals consume plastic and an increasing number starve when their stomachs are full of plastic waste. Studies reveal that an alarming 52% of sea turtles worldwide have ingested plastic debris.

Join us for one week or more and assist the Yacht Boaz team for five days each week, helping with educational sailing trips for children, sailing along Cape Town's spectacular coastline, helping to collect research samples, assisting with beach clean-ups and much more. While we are sailing, we will be on the lookout for whales, dolphins, seals, penguins, sunfish, albatross, sea skua, gannets and many other marine species.

For your free days and evenings, there are hundreds of activities, tours and places of interest to keep you busy around Cape Town. There is a lot to do here!

Previous sailing experience is not required as we will cover boat safety during your orientation and 'show you the ropes' during our sailing trips.

To join this project, you will need to be in good physical condition and aged 18 years or older by the time you arrive. Good social skills are an advantage and a willingness to help where needed is vital as you will be part of a small crew of staff and volunteers. Personal characteristics like commitment and flexibility will also be key. To ensure effective communication between all crew members, a good understanding of the English language is also required.

Arrival AirportCape Town (CPT)
Arrival DayFriday recommended - you can arrive earlier or over the weekend
Join Project OnMonday
Minimum DurationYou can volunteer with this project for 1 week or longer
Main ActivitiesSailing, educating children, beach clean-ups, data collection and raising awareness
Volunteering HoursVariable - 5 days per week
Fly Home OnFriday – you can fly home that evening, or any day after
Minimum AgeYou must be aged 18 years or older when you arrive
AvailabilityAvailable dates for each duration are shown on the top-right of this page with the option to select from several currencies.
Pre-arrival SupportOur experienced team is on hand to ensure you are fully prepared for your trip to South Africa
Airport WelcomeOne of our team will be at the airport to welcome you and escort you to Ashanti Lodge
AccommodationYou will stay at Ashanti Lodge in central Cape Town with a pool, restaurant, bar and wonderful views of Table Mountain
FoodBasic breakfasts are included at Ashanti Lodge. Lunches are provided on volunteering days. All other meals are self-catering
Wi-FiFree Wi-Fi at Ashanti Lodge and onboard Yacht Boaz
Vodacom Sim CardA free, pre-registered Sim card for your phone
OrientationOn your first day of volunteering you will have a full orientation onboard the yacht
TransportTransfers between the yacht and other activity locations (e.g. beach clean-ups)
EquipmentBasic sailing gear (gloves, waterproof jacket, safety harness & lifejacket)
In-Country SupportOur volunteer coordinators are available 24/7 for emergencies, and are on hand to help you make the most of your stay
CertificateOn completion of your placement we will send you a special thank you certificate to accompany your CV or resume.
VisaCitizens from most countries can arrive in South Africa and stay for up to 90 days without a Visa. Please refer to our FAQ section for more details if you are unsure
FlightsPlease refer to our FAQ section for recommendations about keeping your flight costs to a minimum
InsuranceWe have partnered with World Nomads Insurance to give you access to great value insurance for volunteers. Please check out our Insurance page under the FAQ tab for more details
Some TransfersYou will need to budget about R500 each week for Uber trips between Ashanti Lodge & Yacht Boaz (approx ₤27, €30, US$33, CAD$45, or AUD$50).
Transfer back to Cape Town AirportUber works really well in Cape Town and is the best value option for this.

Plastic Pollution Project Photos  |   Download Plastic Pollution Volunteer Guide

Yacht Boaz, a 52 foot (about 16 meters), 40-ton steel yacht, is normally berthed alongside the Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town's iconic V&A Waterfront complex, an approximate 10-minute drive from your accommodation at Ashanti Lodge.

The yacht has good headroom in all interior spaces, a walk-in engine room, a large saloon, an enclosed pilot house, good engines and high freeboard. With a ketch rig well suited to the hull, she gets along easily at 7 knots in the right conditions.

On your first Monday morning, one of the Via Volunteer's team will collect you from Ashanti Lodge after breakfast and take you to the yacht for an introduction to the friendly crew. They will help you settle in with a warm welcome and orientation session.

For your trip back to Ashanti Lodge later that afternoon, and the remainder of your transfers between Ashanti Lodge and the yacht, we recommend using the Uber app on your phone. Uber works very well in and around Cape Town and is more reliable and much better value than using normal metered taxis. You will need to budget about R500 each week for these trips (approx ₤27, €30, US$33, CAD$45, or AUD$50).

You will have five days of activities planned each week with variable volunteering hours. If you are staying for longer than a week, one or two of your volunteering days could be on the weekend. We can't guarantee specific activities ahead of time as much depends on yacht commitments, the weather and local sea conditions. Your coordinators will brief you on plans for each week, and will update you if anything changes.

To maximize your chances of experiencing as much as possible, we recommend joining us for at least two weeks. Here is a selection of the main activities that you could be helping the team with during your stay:

  • Sailing in Table Bay & False Bay to collect and document various types of plastic pollutants
  • Sailing with children on board to introduce them to the impact of plastic in the ocean
  • Sailing around the famous Cape of Good Hope
  • Assisting with beach clean-ups
  • Assisting with research activities
  • Visiting local schools
  • Assisting with sharing the plastic pollution message at exhibitions
  • Creating videos and assisting with social media

Every week is different, and may include changes at short notice, participation in marine festivals, boat shows, working with film crews and other activities related to raising awareness about plastic pollution.

Inspiration for your free time

Cape Town is an amazing place to stay, with a dizzying array of activities, tours, and places of interest to keep you busy. If you want to make the most of your free time, check out the 'Best Things to do in Cape Town' section of our free app and start creating your own bucket list before you travel.

Download the Via Volunteers App for Android & iPhone

If you would like to book any activities or tours for your first weekend, we recommend letting us know about a week before you arrive. Our team is also ready to help you with arranging any activities during your stay.

Plastic Pollution Project Photos  |   Download Plastic Pollution Volunteer Guide

Voted in 2019 as Cape Town’s best backpacker accommodation, Ashanti Lodge has excellent facilities and is perfectly positioned in central Cape Town as an ideal base for volunteers. This will be your home while you're here and is a great place to relax when you aren’t out exploring everything Cape Town has to offer.

Uber works very well in Cape Town, and Ashanti is just a couple of minutes away from the excellent MyCiti bus route which provides cheap, safe and reliable transport to Table Mountain, the V&A Waterfront, Camps Bay, Hout Bay and much more. Close by you will also find an incredible variety of restaurants and bars, plenty of great hangouts in Long Street, a well-equipped shopping mall, supermarkets, health shops, cafes…the list goes on.

While you’re at Ashanti you can enjoy all of the facilities below. Whether you’re having a dip in the pool or watching Table Mountain while you have breakfast, you will find that Ashanti have thought of everything:

  • Dormitory accommodation with all bedding and linen provided.
  • Free Wi-Fi from anywhere on the premises
  • A fully equipped shared kitchen with fridge/freezers for storing your groceries
  • A basic breakfast is included in the kitchen, with tea, coffee, juice, cereals, yoghurt, toast, peanut butter and jam
  • All bedding including linen, duvet and pillows (linen is changed every four days)
  • Laundry service – R70 per 0-5kg load including powder, wash, dry & fold. Drop it off at reception and it will be ready for you about 12 hours later
  • Lots of showers and toilets
  • A lovely pool area with sun beds and a BBQ
  • A restaurant bar with a pool table, and a balcony overlooking the pool with impressive views of Table Mountain. If you're extra hungry, an all you can eat breakfast buffet is available for only R70, with great value meals available through to 10pm
  • A personal safe for every volunteer and coded access to your room
  • Lockable under bed storage for your suitcase/clothing (bring your own padlock for this)
  • CCTV Security, controlled access and a night guard
  • A night manager
  • The lodge is cleaned daily and rooms are also serviced daily.

Plastic Pollution Project Photos  |   Download Plastic Pollution Volunteer Guide

Your arrival airport is Cape Town (CPT)

  • We have arrival dates for this project on most Fridays throughout the year.
  • You can also arrive earlier or over the weekend if you prefer. We can easily add extra nights to your stay, before and/or after your placement.
  • You can book your arrival flight to land at Cape Town International Airport at any time of day.
  • One of our team will be at the airport to give you a warm welcome. We will also escort you to Ashanti Lodge and help you get settled in.
  • You will have the rest of the weekend to explore Cape Town before joining Yacht Boaz for your first day of volunteering on Monday.

Durations & Pricing

Change your currency
1 week - £ 540
2 weeks - £ 960
3 weeks - £ 1380
4 weeks - £ 1800
5 weeks - £ 2220
6 weeks - £ 2640
7 weeks - £ 3060
You do not pay anything when you book. We will provide you with a detailed itinerary and quote for you to check. When you are happy with the details, you will be able to confirm your placement with a deposit of £30.

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