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A Guide to the Best Internships in Africa

Do something huge with 2023! Contribute to a meaningful cause, invest in your career, and see the world.

The holidays are approaching and 2022 is drawing to a close. Unless you want to start the new year with an empty calendar, it’s time you started making plans. So, what will you make of the year to come? Do you want to help establish a community radio station in Malawi? Coach children basketball in Ghana? Write grant applications for South African grassroots NGOs? Give yourself something to look forward to by planning an internship in Africa.

 

What is an internship in Africa?

An internship is a professional learning experience offering interns practical work and mentorship related to their field of study or chosen career path. What’s special about an internship in Africa, is the incredible opportunities to get involved with the nonprofit sector and support important causes. Furthermore, the continent contains some incredible destinations.

In truth, there are a million answers to this question. With different organisations to work with, academic focuses to specialise in, and destinations to pick from,  an internship in Africa could be a lot of things. Here, we’ve outlined just a few:

A chance to make a meaningful impact

NGO internships in Africa are an opportunity to go where your efforts are needed and your work makes a difference. You might combat poverty, improve education, fight for social justice or female empowerment, or work towards wildlife conservation and eco-sustainability. There are so many important causes that could benefit from your contribution – and that you can benefit through simultaneously, by enjoying a unique kind of work experience.

A chance for professional development

Crucially, internships in Africa are not voluntourism. An internship is designed with equal focus placed on your skill development and personal growth. This means you’ll receive training in employable skills, mentoring from industry professionals, and valuable work experience with practical tasks. There are a wealth of internship opportunities in Africa spanning a wide range of academic focuses. So, from an entirely self-serving perspective, you could improve your career prospects, whilst you help to make the world a better place.

A chance to travel

On top of all this, Africa has some of the most beautiful and unique travel destinations on the planet. Whether you’re after stunning savanna, thriving jungles, mountain ranges, beaches, or cities, Africa has it all. You can immerse yourself in a rich heritage and vibrant cultures, and be introduced to new ways of life. Plus, the continent is home to some of the world’s most iconic wildlife, and an internship could be a chance to get better acquainted with it.

How do internships in Africa work?

  • Browse through our programs.
  • Send in your application.
  • We’ll match you with the perfect placement.
  • Prepare for your trip!

To answer this question might have entailed reeling off lists of companies offering internships in Africa and a long, rambling explanation of who to contact, how to contact them, and with what frequency to do so. However, we’re here to do some of that legwork for you. So, our answer is quite simple.

Browse through all the internships in Africa we have available

Do you offer paid internships in Africa?

Unfortunately not. There are simply very few paid internships in Africa for international candidates.

All of our programs place interns with nonprofit organizations often with very limited funding. To take on an internship in Africa you’ll need to be able to fund your flights, visas, and accommodation independently. Fortunately, we can help you every step of the way, working hard to find you the most affordable options. 

Here are 10 great internships in Africa you can do in 2023

Now, you know the ins and outs of how an internship in Africa works, you can start thinking about where you want to go and what you want to do. Below we’ve compiled a list of ten top internships in Africa you can do in 2023.

1. NGO Storytelling Internship, South Africa

Location: Coffee Bay, South Africa

Length: 8-20 weeks

Prices: Starting from $1600

Who you’ll work with: Sustainable Coffee Bay — An education-focused nonprofit organization combating poverty and unemployment in rural communities.

What you’ll need: 

  • Strong writing and communication skills
  • Independent research skills and the ability to conduct interviews
  • Experience in photography or videography would be a bonus

Sustainable Coffee Bay works to improve the education and career prospects in remote villages neighbouring Coffee Bay. As an intern, you’ll gather stories from the community and use them to raise awareness of the work Sustainable Coffee Bay does. You’ll gain a solid understanding of digital marketing, and hands-on experience in community development, whilst you build a varied portfolio of writing. On top of all this, interns are based in Coffee Bay, a beautiful coastal village in the Transkei region of the Wild Coast. If you like beach life, untouched nature, and outdoor activities like hiking and surfing, this is somewhere you’ll want to visit.

Highlights:

  • Incredible location
  • Use your skill for writing to make a difference in the world

Learn more about our NGO Storytelling Internship

Apply for our NGO Storytelling Internship

2. Law Internship, South Africa

Location: Cape Town, South Africa

Length: 8-26 weeks

Prices: Starting from $2432

Who you’ll work with: Kwanelele — A start-up nonprofit organization working to help women who have been victims of gender-based violence and improve gender equality.

What you’ll need: 

  • You’ll need to be a law student, a graduate, or have relevant experience
  • Strong research skills and confident communication
  • A passion for working to improve women’s rights

Kwanele are an incredible nonprofit organization dedicated to finding ways to help and support victims of gender-based violence in South Africa. Through their innovative app, they already provide women across the country with a means of reporting and prosecuting gender-based violence crimes. Interns carry out research to inform educational pamphlets and offer legal support to victims of abuse. As well as this, you can help devise workshops and educational resources, and run awareness campaigns too. You’ll be using your expertise as a law student to help on the frontline of a life-saving cause and make a positive impact in women’s lives.

Highlights:

  • Make an impact in young women’s lives
  • Gain a wealth of experience within a nonprofit context

Learn more about our Law Internship

Apply for our Law Internship

3. Radio and Community Media Internship, Malawi

Location: Nkhata Bay, Malawi

Length: 8-24 weeks

Prices: Starting from $1757

Who you’ll work with: A nonprofit initiative developing a local radio station to celebrate regional culture and disseminate important information.

What you’ll need: 

  • A passion for storytelling and broadcasting
  • Impeccable communication skills
  • Ideally, some experience working in media

On this internship, you’ll play an important role in getting a local radio station live! You’ll work alongside local broadcasters, preparing stories to go on air, and also behind the scenes, on the day-to-day running of a nonprofit organization. You’ll get to see all it takes to run a radio station in rural Malawi. Interns can complete this program from the stunning location, Nkhata Bay! Or, for a more affordable option, this program (along with many others) can be done entirely remotely. So whether you prefer the beaches of Lake Malawi or the sofa in your living room, we’ve got you covered.

Highlights:

  • Gain valuable experience in communications, fundraising, and broadcasting
  • Learn and explore Malawian culture
  • Complete this internship in person or remotely

Learn more about our Radio and Community Media Internship

Apply for our Radio and Community Media Internship

4. Marine Conservation Project, Mozambique

Location: Nkhata Bay, Malawi

Length: 2-8 weeks

Prices: Starting from $1650

Who you’ll work with: A nonprofit organization carrying out marine conservation research in the Bazaruto Archipelago 

What you’ll need: 

  • Pragmatism and adaptability
  • A passion for marine conservation
  • Ideally diving experience

This internship is exactly as exciting as it sounds. You’ll be based on Benguerra Island of the Bazaruto Archipelago (which can aptly be described as paradise on earth), work from Africa’s first permanent marine observatory, go on dives to tag and observe marine life, and gain practical marine conservation experience in both the lab and field. You’ll be living and working elbow-to-elbow with all kinds of marine life such as whales, sharks, and sea turtles. If you’re interested in internships in Africa with animals, this one’s worth a look.

Highlights:

  • Option to gain PADI qualification as part of the internship
  • Work alongside scientists to find solutions for conservation issues

Learn more about our Marine Conservation Project

Apply for our Marine Conservation Project

5. Event management Internship, Ghana

Location: Accra, Ghana

Length: 8-20 weeks

Prices: Starting from $2453

Who you’ll work with: The Impact Youth Organization — A nonprofit organization offering sports coaching and mentoring to at-risk youth.

What you’ll need: 

  • Strong organizational skills
  • Great communication skills
  • Experience in sports coaching or event coordination would be ideal

The ideal intern for this program has a passion for sports and a desire to inspire young people. The Impact Youth Foundation provides sports programs to at-risk youth, equipping children with valuable life skills, boosting their confidence, and nurturing their ambition. You’ll be providing children with a safe space to play, learn, and grow with their friends. The organization is based in a village outside of Accra, but interns can work across the Accra and Kumasi regions. You’ll also have the option of attending a homestay with a local family for the duration of your internship. So, you’ll have ample opportunity to get to know Ghanaian culture.

Highlights

  • Make an impact in children’s lives
  • Option to stay with a local family 

Learn more about our Event Management Internship

Apply for our Event Management Internship

6. Female Empowerment and Gender Equality Internship, Zambia

Location: Livingstone, Zambia

Length: 4-12 weeks

Price: Starting from $1795 

Who you’ll work with:

What you’ll need:

  • The emotional strength and maturity to support vulnerable children with traumatic topics
  • A passion for female empowerment around the world
  • Minimum age of 21 (due to visa reasons)

This grassroots organization runs female empowerment workshops to support teenage girls and promote gender equality. On this program, you’ll work as part of a small dedicated team facilitating educational workshops, conducting support groups for young women,  and assisting with fundraising and donor relationships. This is a chance to play a role in improving gender equality around the world, whilst supporting young women’s development, and gaining valuable insight into the running of a social development organization.

Highlights

  • Make an impact in young women’s lives
  • Due to its length this is one of our great summer internships in Africa

Learn more about our Female Empowerment and Gender Equality Internship

Apply our Female Empowerment and Gender Equality Internship

7. Wildlife Photography Internship, South Africa

Location: Great Kruger, South Africa

Length: 8-12 weeks

Prices: Starting from $5995

Who you’ll work with: A social development company that provides conservation charities with access to their free-to-use photographic database

What you’ll need:

  • A keen eye for photography
  • Creative instincts
  • Working knowledge of editing software: Lightroom and Photoshop

On this internship, you’ll live the life of a wildlife photographer. You’ll study the ecosystems of the South African savannah, discover which animals can be found in which habitats, and then use your knowledge to find the perfect picture. Expect early starts and long days spent looking down the lens. You’ll learn how to take the best picture, and how to take it responsibly, and then see how that image can be used to make an impact for important causes. Interns stay in a traditional bush lodge in a Big 5 reserve in Great Kruger and spend their days getting up close and personal with the wildlife. This is a one-of-a-kind experience that can only be found on internships in Africa.

Highlights:

  • Incredible wildlife photography experience
  • One of our great internships in Africa with animals

Learn more about our Wildlife Photography Internship 

Apply for our Wildlife Photography Internship 

8. Community Development Internship, Malawi

Location: Nkhata Bay, Malawi

Length: 8-26 weeks

Price: Starting from $1320

Who you’ll work with: Not listed – A social impact program supporting a number of social and environmental development projects in the surrounding areas

What you’ll need:

  • Strong communication and networking skills
  • A passion for social impact work
  • A solid grasp of digital media

This program is unique among development internships in Africa in that it gives you a chance to work with a number of organizations. You’ll work as part of an eco-lodge that serves as a hub for a network of social impact initiatives in Malawi. This means there’s a huge scope for variety in your work. Your main focus will be helping to establish a stronger, wider-reaching network between nonprofit organizations in the area. This could be organizing events, coordinating projects, or developing communications strategies. Working as part of the eco-lodge and taking advantage of its extensive network of connections, interns have the chance to really get to know the area and gain expansive insight into the nonprofit sector.

Highlights:

  • Make strong links with the community
  • Great scope for variety in work

Learn more about our Community Development internship

Apply for our Community Development Internship

9. Writing and Communications Internship, Zambia

Location: Livingstone, Zambia

Length: 8-26 weeks

Price: Starting from $1630

Who you’ll work with: Baobuyu Learning Center — A community center providing educational programs to the local community.

What you’ll need: 

  • Strong writing skills and clear communication
  • Ideally some experience with social media management
  • Minimum age of 21 (due to visa requirements)

The Baobuyu Learning Centre is a community centre in Mwandi, a rural community on the outskirts of Livingstone. It provides children of preschool age with quality education, and teens and young adults with vocational training. As an intern, you’ll spread the word about the Baobuyu Learning Center’s good work, helping the organization raise funds and awareness. You’ll gain experience in copywriting and communication through a variety of assignments and come away with a packed portfolio. Also, the centre is only a short distance from a natural wonder of the world, Victoria Falls. Those so inclined can spend their downtime, rafting down the Zambezi river, bungee jumping, or perhaps going on safari.

Highlights:

  • Great scope for a variety of work
  • Writing experience in an array of capacities

Learn more about our Writing and Communications Internship

Apply for our Writing and Communications Internship

10. NGO Event Management Internship, South Africa

Location: Cape Town, South Africa

Length: 8-26 weeks

Price: Starting from $1950

Who you’ll work with: Ubuntu Project — A social development organization providing children with daycare, educational programs and healthy meals from their own Ubuntu Centre

What you’ll need:

  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Strong organizational skills and the ability to multitask
  • Preferably some experience or knowledge of events or fundraising

Of all the development internships in Africa, this is one of our favorites. Project Ubuntu runs a daycare center and community hub, the Ubuntu Center, in the Masiphumelele township in Cape Town. There are so many projects that interns can contribute to: a community garden, educational programs, after school sports clubs. On top of this, interns have the chance to get involved with event management, project coordination or fundraising efforts for the organization. Perhaps the best thing about this internship is the close connection interns can build with the communities of Masiphumelele. If you’d like to know more, you can read about one of our past interns’ experiences in our blog.

Highlights:

  • Make an impact in children’s lives
  • Thanks to its length this is one of our great summer internships in Africa

Learn more about our NGO Event Management Internship

Apply for our NGO Event Management Internship

Find an internship in Africa you can do in 2023!

As you can see, there are so many things you could do with internships in Africa, and planning yours might be the best decision you make all year. We hope you’ve found something that excites you in these 10 great internship opportunities in Africa. If so, take the leap and fill in an application form now

But if not, we have barely scratched the surface with this list. There are more locations, more causes, academic focuses, and more adventures for you to pick from. 

So don’t let 2023 pass you by. Give yourself a once in a lifetime experience with an internship in Africa

Browse through all the courses we have available here

– By Tom Rusbridge