Project Description

Conservation Internships in Cape Town

Participate in a conservation internship and join the battle to preserve Cape Town’s delicate ecosystem and its legendary natural beauty. There is a strong tradition of environmental advocacy in South Africa and we will help you find an internship that aligns with your passions in the field of conservation. Internships include advocacy, fieldwork, and research opportunities.

Cape Town is widely considered to be the world’s most beautiful city because its urban areas are enveloped by the majestic Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) and its marine protected areas. TMNP is famous for incredible biodiversity and its reserves extend along a 1,000 square kilometer coastline and mountain range. This beauty will serve as the backdrop for your conservation internship in Cape Town, during which you will study conservation practices in South Africa.

Candidates for our marine and conservation internships are expected to have a strong theoretical understanding of biology, research experience, and are comfortable working in the outdoors and/or out on the water. We have placed program participants at internship sites in the following marine and conservation settings:

  • Table Mountain National Park
  • Marine Conservation Foundations
  • Marine Management Programs
  • Aquariums

The benefits of a doing your conservation internship in South Africa:

Complement your theoretical understanding of conservation—Work alongside South African professionals while studying and preserving the diversity of both Cape Town’s mountain ranges and marine-rich coastal waters.

Create an Impact— Help to protect this renowned mountain range and its coastline in an effort to preserve South Africa’s natural heritage.

Explore Cape Town—have the unique opportunity to explore unscathed areas of Table Mountain, and witness the incredible diversity of marine life in False Bay and Cape of Good Hope. Even join in our scuba diving courses to get up close and personal with this marine life in Cape Town’s unique waters.

International Networking— Acquire international experience with a conservation internship and develop your professional resume/CV.

Conservation internship highlights from VACorps alumni:

“Being thrown into a fairly large and top notch conservation organization was a bit nerve-wracking, but being involved in all the projects and being introduced to so many people made me more confident in my skills and knowledge. It was a great opportunity to explore a more multi-disciplinary field of conservation, from the more practical and hands-on skills to the behind-the-scenes operations involved with management. This city is truly a model when it comes to conservation and learning about their projects and policies will be very useful for me to take back home and integrate into future jobs.” — Rose Caplan.

If you are considering this internship, we would also suggest that you read the following internship spotlights, featuring an intern who joined the fight to preserve Leopards in the Western Cape province and an intern who worked at the Cape Town aquarium.

” My internship gave me so much as a person, a scientist, and as a traveler. While in Cape Town, I was given the opportunity to intern at the Two Oceans Aquarium. There I was given responsibility and was accepted as a trusted part of the team. Any given day would start out with cleaning tanks, while babysitting the penguins, then the afternoon feeds and making sure the turtle was properly sight trained. I looked forward to going in every morning and usually had to be told to go home at the end of the day. My internship taught me to trust my knowledge and skill set and to truly take pride in my work.” —  Emma Forbes (Read her alumni interview here)

Contact us today to learn how you can apply for a similar internship.

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Meet past participants:

  • Tom Wilkinson

Tom Wilkinson – Leeds, U.K. (2018)

Tom, pictured at center, participated in an environmental consulting internship with VACorps in 2018. "Interning in Cape Town has been one of the most interesting and eye-opening experiences I have had in my life. Cape [...]

  • Engineering Internship in Cape Town - Viriginia Detrick

Virginia Detrick— North Carolina, USA (2018)

I chose to intern abroad in Cape Town because I was looking to experience living abroad in a place completely unique from what I was used to in the United States. I had previously participated [...]

  • Rachel Cranmer VACorps testimonial

Rachel Cranmner — Lebanon, Ohio USA (2017)

I volunteered in South Africa in college and it was the first place I thought of when considering a conservation internship. As an aspiring conservationist, Cape Town is a great place to intern due to [...]

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