View volunteer testimonials here.



Age 21
Nationality UK
Resident UK
Project African Penguin & Seabird Conservation
Samantha Wong

It's impossible to put into words the tale of my South African experience. I spent a beautiful 6 weeks working with the African penguins at SANCCOB, exploring Cape Town and all its treasures, and getting to know the friendly locals. My trip was everything I had hoped for and much much more.

Working at Sanccob I was thrown straight in to the deep end due to the large number of oiled birds, quickly learning how to catch, feed, fluid and medicate. The work is hard and I developed some fantastic arm muscles as a result of it. Don't be fooled into thinking that this work is glamorous...I found myself picking up guano covered mats, scrubbing and cleaning the pens and pools on a daily basis, stinking of fish in my sexy oil skins. I had pretty much everything sprayed in my face - fish blood, cat food, Darrows, and of course, penguin poo. But don't get me wrong, I loved every minute of it. The staff and volunteers at the centre are so incredibly friendly, helpful and supportive, I have most certainly made a few friends for life. One of the best things about this project is that I spent most of my time with locals and felt completely immersed in the South African way of life. And of course, the penguins - what can I say? You just have to see them to truly understand how loveable and comical they are.

I could not have asked for a better project to join and AVIVA made the whole process so easy. The personal attention that each volunteer receives is priceless, and I would whole heartedly recommend AVIVA as the company of choice for anyone who wishes to volunteer in South Africa.

I left having fallen in love with the country, its culture, the penguins... but most of all with the people. I made some great friends out there and have come home with countless photos, souvenirs, but most of all, beautiful memories. Thank you AVIVA for everything!

So, all that is left to say is - what are you waiting for?!?! Volunteer! It'll be one of the best things you ever do, but I warn you... 6 weeks is most definitely not long enough and as soon as you fly home you'll be planning your next trip out. It's true what they say about South Africa - it definitely gets under your skin!

All the best,

Sam xxx

Kim van Basten
Age: 24
Leiden, The Netherlands
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Kim van Basten
Anushka PatchavaAnushka Patchava
Age: 19
London, England
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