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When can I start my Cape Town adventure?

6 min read
· Posted on
November 20, 2020
by Lucie Hett

What date will my Bridging Gaps internship or volunteer placement begin in Cape Town?

We do not have set start dates for any of our internship or volunteer placements here in Cape Town.  It is 100% up to you when you would like to arrive in South Africa, and subsequently when you would like to begin your placement.  We usually arrange for the first day of your placement at your local host organisation to be about 3 days after you first arrive in Cape Town.  However, if you would like a week or two to settle into your accommodation and get to know your way around this vibrant city before beginning your placement, that is absolutely fine!

Although the dates of our Bridging Gaps programmes are completely flexible, it is important to note that most organisations in Cape Town close down for at least a month over the Christmas period.  From the 15th of December to the 15th of January a lot of businesses are closed and this means that there are very few internship and volunteer opportunities over that time.   This means that if you are still in Cape Town completing your placement over that period, you will have 3 or 4 weeks of holiday time to enjoy the height of summer and explore as much as you can!  Summer closures also mean that if you are looking to come to Cape Town in January, it is likely that you will not be able to begin your placement until around the 15th of the month.

How long can I do my internship or volunteer placement for?

As all our programmes are customized to suit your needs, the duration of our placements is very flexible.  It is up to you how long you want to stay in Cape Town for, and how long you want to be an intern or volunteer at your host organisation.   In saying this, it is important to be aware that most local organisations like a minimum commitment from a volunteer of intern, of at least 4 weeks.  This is because it takes some time for you to settle in to your new role, receive training and be given responsibilities.

There is no maximum length of time you can do a placement for here in Cape Town because we feel that the longer you stay, the more you will gain from the experience!  In committing yourself to a local organisation for 2 months or more you will gain invaluable experience, learn practical and transferral skills and form relationships with people that could benefit you for the rest of your career.

Also, there are an incredible amount of things to see and do in Cape Town and on the Garden route so, we encourage all our interns and volunteers to dedicate some of their travelling time to exploring as much of this magical country as possible!  The only factor which affects the length of time you stay in Cape Town, are the visa regulations in South Africa.  If you want to do a placement for longer than 3 months you will need to obtain a volunteer visa from your local South African consulate.  We will assist you with this as part of your pre-trip preparations.

It is also important to be aware that placement opportunities within certain fields such as film, photography and tourism, are affected by the time of year.  These industries are seasonal which means that there are a greater number of opportunities during the summer months from November – April.  This also applies to the field of education and teaching where during the school holidays there are limited placement opportunities.

Bridging Gaps Photography

When is the best time of year to visit Cape Town?

All year round Cape Town has an incredibly beautiful climate.   The summer months are from December to April when the weather is hot and dry and temperatures are on average between 25 and 30.  There is a low level of humidity in Cape Town and often a cool breeze, which makes the rare summer days which reach over 40°c, bearable!

Winter, locally known as the green season, runs from June to September and the weather is cooler and sometimes wet.  Temperatures during this time are usually between 16°c – 22°c but you can regularly experience clear sunny days which are warm enough for a mid-winters swim at the beach.  Spring and autumn in Cape Town only last a few weeks but the weather conditions are often the most pleasant with clear sunny days, no wind and lovely moderate temperatures.

People often ask what the best time of year to visit Cape Town is.  Well, because of the all year round Mediterranean climate, there really is no best time to plan your Cape Town adventure. The amazing cultural events, music concerts, festivals and sporting contests which are held in Cape Town, continue all year round.  Also, the range of exciting outdoor activities the Western Cape is famous for, are very rarely affected by winter weather.  However, in saying this, there are certain months of the year which are better to plan a visit if you have a specific purpose for your trip, such as whale watching.

Time of the year

Weather conditions

Purpose of visit

Dec -April Hot and dry Ave temperatures:
25 – 30°c Relaxing beach days, visiting nature reserves,
outdoor festivals, enjoying a variety of cultural

April - July Cold, crisp and sometimes wet Ave
temperatures: 15 – 20°c Seeking adventure and thrilling outdoor
activities, hiking, discovering wildlife.

July - Oct Pleasant, mild and dry Ave
temperatures: 20 – 25°c Whale watching, outdoor activities,
enjoying the stunning wildflowers.

Bridging Gaps Photography

What should you do next?

Easy - there's only one thing for it - download this free 37-page PDF guide we wrote just for you. It'll give you an overview of everything you need to know and do to have a rewarding and unforgettable learning experience abroad.

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