Planning Your Life Changing Volunteer Trip

Looking for more Information?

Planning a trip is fun and exciting but sometimes a bit overwhelming. We understand the hesitation and worry when traveling to Africa; luckily, we are also experts in the field. From working with thousands of volunteers over the years we can help with any of your preparation and make sure you feel 100% confident and comfortable before you board your plane. If there are any additional questions please reach out to us at

Booking Your Flights

Each program has a specific airport that volunteers must arrive at

Once volunteers are accepted to their chosen volunteer program, they can start looking for flights. Volunteers are responsible for their own flights and can book flights through their own travel agent or check Sky Scanner to find low prices.

Please note that each program has a specific airport that volunteers must arrive at; therefore, we ask that volunteers wait to book flights until after they have received a confirmation email and pre departure guide. It is important that volunteers do not book flights until your placement dates are confirmed.

Once your flights are booked be sure to send the details to us at so we can prepare for your arrival.

Volunteer Resources

We take care of everything.

Insurance Coverance

Ensure that you are covered

Ensure that you are covered for your volunteer adventure in South Africa!

It is essential that you have suitable travel insurance and Volunteer Southern Africa offers volunteers travel insurance at a special rate.

To arrange travel insurance please contact us at

Travel Insurance Rate And Details

VSA’s volunteers are offered a special rate

VSA’s volunteers are offered a special rate of $3 USD per day. This also applies to any travel before or after your time at the project.

This Schedule of Benefits forms part of the insurance contract and must be read in conjunction with the Policy Wording Document where the full terms and conditions are stated.

Download the above Information – VSA Insurance Policy Details

VISA Requirements

Are you aware of your Visa requirements

Ensure you are aware of your Visa requirements prior to your arrival.

Please inquire through the South African embassy in your country or go to the South African Home Affairs for more information regarding Visa requirements.

Please note, we are not responsible for your traveling documentation.

Important Notice:

At time of travel all passengers under 18 years of age are required to travel with an unabridged birth certificate, in addition to a valid passport, with effect from 01 June 2015. It is the responsibility of travellers to familiarize themselves with the new Immigration Act detailing the regulations of minors departing from, transiting and returning to South Africa.

Frequently Asked Questions

Looking for more Information?

We understand that traveling to South Africa can be intimidating. Our team is committed to making sure that you feel 100% comfortable and confident when traveling with us. If you have any additional questions that are not answered below please reach out to us at

South African immigration authorities have noted that there is an unacceptably high volume of child trafficking over the country’s borders. The new laws aim to curb child trafficking but will result in considerable paperwork and advanced planning when traveling to and from South Africa with children.

Anyone wanting to travel from or to South Africa with a child under the age of 18 years, parents who are traveling with their child but not their spouse and those who wish to send their child on a trip accompanied by someone other than a parent or unaccompanied. It does not affect those traveling within South Africa (i.e. you only need these documents if you cross South Africa’s borders by land, sea or air.

All children under the age of 18 leaving and entering South Africa will be required to have an unabridged birth certificate to accompany their passport – along with the relevant visa if required. Various additional documents are required in various instances as outlined below. Note that all documents must be dated within four months of the date of departure or entry. All documents must be original or certified as a copy of an original by a commissioner of oaths or equivalent authority.

It’s a birth certificate that reflects the particulars of both parents of the child. All children born in South Africa after 14 March 2013 were issued with a valid unabridged birth certificate automatically and free of charge. Everyone born before that, and those from countries who do not automatically issue unabridged certificates, must apply for the document well before their travel date.

No, but it will be required at all border controls by land, sea and air.

Should the birth certificate be in any language other than English, it must be translated into English in a sworn document by an authority in the country of origin. All supporting documents need to be original and duplicates must be certified.

In the case of countries that do not issue unabridged birth certificates, a letter to this effect issued by the competent authority of the foreign country should be produced.

The parents of adopted children should produce proof of adoption by means of an adoption certificate.

If the child is traveling with only one of their parents, the traveler parent will be required to provide a passport and unabridged birth certificate (with particulars of the parents), as well as an affidavit from the non-traveling parent giving express permission for the child to travel with the other parent. Legally separated parents should provide a court order when the other parent does not give consent.

If the child’s unabridged birth certificate only reflects the name of one parent, parental consent from the absent parent is not required. If the parent’s name does appear, the other parent must consent in an affidavit. If the absent parent cannot be traced, a letter of special circumstances must be applied for.

Should one of the parents be deceased, a death certificate must be produced.

Yes, same sex parents are recognized as per the names on the unabridged birth certificate. Passports and visas (if necessary) will still be required.

If a child is traveling with someone other than a parent, additional documents to be presented will include an affidavit from the parents or legal guardian to state that the child is allowed to travel with that person, the contact details of the parents or legal guardian and copies of the identity documents and passports of the parents or legal guardian. Where both the parents of the child are deceased and the child is traveling with a relative, the Director-General must approve such a person to enter into or depart from South Africa with that child. This affidavit may not be older than 3 months, dating from the date of travel.

An unaccompanied child requires a passport, unabridged birth certificate and visa if needed. They will also need a parental consent affidavit or court order signed by both parents or a legal guardian stating that the child has their permission to travel. The affidavit must also feature the parent’s contact details. In addition, you will need a letter from the person the child will be staying with, featuring contact numbers and the physical address of the place where the child will stay. Documentation should also include the name and contact details as well as certified copies of the identity document or passport, visa or permanent residence permit of the person, as well as the contact details of the parents or legal guardian of the minor.

A child who is in alternative care should produce a certified copy of an authorization letter from the Provincial Head of the Department of Social Development where the child resides on departing South Africa.

Parents are advised to apply for an unabridged birth certificate well in advance as the process may take months (the indicated time is between 3 and 8 weeks). Apply at any branch of Home Affairs bringing: – R 75 in cash – Both parents’ ID books as well as the child’s ID number You will be given forms to fill in. For more information Contact South African Home Affairs for more: To speak to someone call +27 11 461 9252 (overseas callers), 0800 60 11 90 (within SA), or