Project Description

conservation internship in cape town

Conservation Internships in South Africa

Participate in a conservation internship in South Africa 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, policy, fieldwork, and research opportunities.

A unique conservation internship experience

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, which is famous for its biodiversity.  The reserves extend along a 1,000 square kilometer coastline and mountain range, which will serve as the backdrop for your conservation internship in Cape Town.

Candidates for our marine and conservation internships in South Africa 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
  • Environmental Education Trusts
  • Marine Conservation Foundations
  • Marine Management Programs
  • Aquariums

Benifits of doing a 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 the city’s world-renowned natural beauty in an effort to preserve South Africa’s valuable natural heritage.

Explore Cape Town—See Cape Town from a different perspective as you explore Table Mountain National Park and the incredible diversity of marine life.

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.

“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 an 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

Get Started. Apply Now

Meet past participants:

Olivia Prodin, Michigan, USA (2021)

 Olivia is studying engineering and sustainability at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She joined the VACorps Program in June 2021 and participated in a sustainability internship at a local NGO.  "Coming to Cape [...]

Chase Magnano, Florida, USA (2021)

Chase, pictured on the right, joined the VACorps program in March 2021 as part of his gap year and participated in a sustainability internship at an Urban Farm in Cape Town. Chase will begin [...]

Benjamin Malin, San Francisco, USA (2021)

Ben (pictured far left) joined the VACorps program in February 2021 as part of his GAP year and will be studying at Washington University in the fall.  He participated in a sustainable development internship [...]

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