Horticulture Internship in South Africa

Get valuable hands-on permaculture experience at a fast-growing environmental NGO

Do you like getting your hands dirty, have an interest in practical urban greening techniques and a love for plants and trees? We have an exciting Horticulture Internship with Greenpop; a dynamic environmental organisation based in Cape Town. A young but fast-growing social enterprise, Greenpop runs tree planting and eco-education projects in Southern Africa, and activates large groups people to get involved in their green mission. Greenpop is looking for interns to join their team to assist in the nursery. You’ll be involved in research, develop and maintain our nursery, tree care, composting, learn about permaculture and urban greening techniques and you’ll be part of a high-energy team reconnecting people to the planet.

Quick Facts

  • Destination Cape Town, South Africa
  • Type of Organisation Environmental NGO
  • Work Focus Nursery
  • Length of Internship Minimum 8 weeks
  • Accommodation Choice of several types
  • Fee As from USD 1,390 for 8 weeks

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A Little Bit About Greenpop 

Greenpop is a Cape Town based environmental NGO that runs urban greening, reforestation, and eco-education projects in Southern and East Africa. And they do it with a difference; they make it fun, accessible, and valuable for everyone involved. While planting trees is an important and very beneficial activity, Greenpop believes that unless communities are actively involved in and incentivised by the process, no lasting environmental change is possible. To date, Greenpop has planted over 66,000 trees – and activated thousands of people in the process.

Greenpop also represents a way of life. The energy and passion cultivated through Greenpop spreads far and wide with each new treevolutionary that joins the team. While the team works hard and focus on tasks at hand, they also know how to have fun, and create a quirky working environment. Greenpop’s aim is to create an ethical and green standard that resonates with all involved and helps create a fun and enjoyable working environment.

The Greenpop teams loves having a team of interns contribute their different skill sets. It’s partly because of interns and volunteers that the organisation has managed to grow as quickly as it has, and the team is appreciative for everyone’s time and input. Greenpop generally has between five and ten interns in our office, adding a multinational and multicultural element to its team.

During a nursery internship at Greenpop, you’ll be sure to get your hands dirty. Regardless of your area of focus, you’ll take part in occasional planting projects and days at our nursery and eco-education hub, so that you’ll get a full experience of what Greenpop all about.

A few things to know about interning with Greenpop:

  • You do not receive a salary or stipend for these work placements.
  • There’s a minimum length of two months.
  • Internships are full-time, mainly during office hours. Greenpop regularly organizes and/or attends events that will take place in the weekend or evenings. As a member of the Greenpop team you are expected to be willing to assist on these events as well.

Cape Town planting 2 copy

What You’ll Be Doing 

Greenpop is constantly engaging with communities and sites for planting in their Urban Greening Programme (UGP). The Greenpop Nursery is at the heart of their activities at which their trees are stored, workshops are run and models for urban greening are practiced and implemented. The Planting & Sustainability Department is therefore always supported by several nursery & office interns who perform focused tasks that integrate into the success of their Urban Greening Programme. On average you will spend approximately 60% of your time outside the office and 40% in the office. Your responsibilities during this Horticulture Internship:

  • Assist Nursery Manager with day to day activities at the nursery: daily communication with UGP manager & communications team, planting, watering, upkeep, compost & worm farm management, supporting adjacent school, resource procurement, stake making, packing mulch & compost , cutting grass, managing container.
  • Work together with other interns of the Planting & Sustainability Department for updates on necessary research & implementation projects.
  • Work together with Nursery Manager & Security Manager for weekly reports on nursery activities.

Secondary tasks

  • Spend time (alternating with other Planting & Sustainability Department interns) being the Office Plant & Seedling Hero.
  • Compile internal eco-topic information weekly for staff development
  • Work independently curate & inspire internal team with environmental education content
  • Providing office support, such as running errands, answering the phone, opening the door and preparing for events
  • Assisting on tree planting projects at beneficiary locations (mainly schools in underprivileged areas of Cape Town)

Skills or abilities you will learn while doing your internship with Greenpop

  • Urban Greening Research & Urban Greening Landscape of South Africa
  • Implementing Urban Greening projects
  • Practical abilities (composting,planting, building etc.)
  • Facilitation
  • Reporting
  • Indigenous plant knowledge

Nursery internship Greenpop 2 - photo credits Sarah Isaacs


Where You’ll Stay 

We’re excited to be able to offer you a shared apartment.

  • This chic, new shared apartment has a majestic view of Table Mountain and is perfectly positioned in a bustling area during the day but quiet at night so you can sleep easy! The Cape Town Company Gardens, busy Long Street and Kloof Street with world class restaurants are an easy 10 min walk from the Loft
  • Cape Town Loft has 1 private room and 2 shared dorm rooms and guests have access to 2 bathrooms, a fully equipped kitchen, a comfortable lounge, balcony and free WiFi.
  • You will share a dorm room with 3-5 other people. Bed linen is provided, towels are NOT included.
  • It’s a self catering accommodation with a fully equipped kitchen. Meals are NOT included.

If you are interested in a single room or other kind of accommodation, please let us know as we have several other options available as well.

Cape Town Loft 2 Cape Town Loft

For this Horticulture Internship, Greenpop is looking for people with he following skills and experience:

  • Enjoy collaborating
  • Innovative
  • Interested in Practical Urban Greening Techniques
  • Ability to care for / learn to care for plant life
  • Ability to work independently
  • Environmental / Geographical Sciences
  • Hands-on mentality and love getting your hands dirty
  • Ideally bring your own laptop for your days in the office

NB. The Greenpop nursery is located in Woodstock (corner of Mountain Rd. and Balfour Rd.), so please be prepared to arrange your own (public) transport to get there.

How to apply?
If you’re keen for this work placement and feel that you could make an impact with Greenpop, we’d love to hear from you! Here’s what to do:

  1. Fill in the (it will show in a slider pop-up!) and send us your CV.
  2. If we might have a placement available for you, we’ll chat to you on the phone or Skype to go through your application and make sure it’s a good match.
  3. We’ll set up a call between you and the person who would be your supervisor during the work placement.
  4. If everyone’s happy, we’ll provisionally confirm your placement! We’ll then send you the invoice for the deposit, get started with a detailed booking form, and we’ll give you all the information you need to prepare for your upcoming adventure.
  5. Only once we receive payment of the deposit your placement will be confirmed.

Or if you’d just like to ask us some questions about this internship first, just shoot us an email, or fill in the enquiry form. We’ll be happy to assist!

When can you start making an impact?
You can start your internship with Greenpop every first and third Tuesday of the month. Please keep in mind Greenpop is closed for two weeks of summer holiday at the end of the year.

Fees for 2017
At Roots we do everything we can to make your work placement experience smooth and hassle-free. We offer an all-inclusive service, which means we will help you find the right internship (we believe we are great match makers!), help you with visa arrangements, book accommodation for you in Cape Town, give you all the pre-departure information you need before arriving, pick you up from the airport and check in with you while on your work placement to ensure you feel supported. These fees are based on a shared dorm room in a beautiful central Cape Town apartment. If you are interested in another kind of accommodation or a single room, please let us know. You can come for any length of time (min 8 weeks) – the prices below are a guide but we can send you an exact quote depending on the duration of your internship.
8 weeks   – USD 1,390
12 weeks – USD 1,810
16 weeks – USD 2,230

What is included in the fee?

  • Full accommodation rental fees based on a shared dorm room.
  • Transfer from Cape Town International airport to your accommodation and back on arrival and departure day.
  • Placement fee (USD 550) for finding you the right internship, assistance with your visa,  organizing accommodation and transport, preparations and support to you and host organisation before, during and after your placement. *Each year several internship spaces are reserved for South African citizens where placement fee will be waived.

What is not included in the fee?

  • Flights to Cape Town
  • Visa, medical and travel insurance costs for the duration of your placement – must include cover for repatriation
  • Meals, drinks, snacks and items of personal nature (f.e. curios, gifts, clothing).
  • Costs for additional excursions or activities


We'd love to hear from you! Leave a message, and we'll get back to you shortly to help find you a valuable work placement where you can make an impact.

info@rootsinterns.com | +27(0)21 461 9265