The 5 Best Destinations for Internships in Africa in 2021
By Moira Callahan
Are you looking for an adventure? Are you tired of your town or city’s monotony? How about an abroad internship? These kinds of internships are successful in two ways: you are able to travel to a new, exciting place, and you are gaining valuable work experience while you do it. Africa is an amazing continent, full of opportunities for meaningful work. Secondary to helping communities that are in need, Africa stands out as an internship experience. While others might choose a major city for their internship, flying overseas will show employers that you are independent, self-reliant, and adaptable. Now that we have piqued your interest, where should you visit in Africa? Well strap in, ladies and gents, this is our list for The 5 Best Destinations for Internships in Africa in 2021.
1. South Africa
First on our list of best destinations for internships in Africa is South Africa. This is one of those countries that offers something for everybody. For nature lovers, we suggest a wildlife safari where you can spot The Big Five (a lion, a leopard, a rhinoceros, an elephant, and a buffalo). For city-goers, we suggest a visit to the vibrant Cape Town or Johannesburg, where you can visit museums, shop, eat, and drink. Whatever you love to do, South Africa has it at incredibly affordable prices! For Americans, one dollar is equal to around 15 South African Rand, while for Europeans, one euro is worth around 18 South African Rand.
Luckily, South Africa also holds the majority of our internships! Based in the lovely Cape Town, you’ll be working at an amazing nonprofit organization during the week and exploring on the weekends! As our internship hot spot, we offer opportunities in areas such as communications, nonprofit management, psychology, education, environmental management, photography, and much more. If you have a more specific area of focus, please reach out to us! We are more than happy to work with you to create the internship of your dreams!
Whatever your area of interest, you will be working with a smaller grassroots organization where you will be a key player in the operation. Unlike some internships where you take everyone’s coffee orders, we believe in a ‘hands-on’ approach. Like with most nonprofit work, you’ll likely be wearing “multiple hats.” This is an excellent opportunity to expand the skill section of your resume! While some other internships you might only be focusing on one aspect of your interest, you will likely be doing a little bit of everything with us! All of these reasons ultimately make South Africa our number one on our best destinations for internships in Africa list.
Did you know that Victoria Falls is 1,708 metres (5,604 ft) wide and 108 metres (354 ft) tall? This makes the Falls one and a half times wider than Niagara Falls and twice as high. Livingstone holds so many more wonders than the Falls alone. Looking for adventure? How about a hike through the rainforest or bungee jumping off a bridge or going on a safari? For the more chill traveler, there are excellent opportunities in the city for food, culture, museums, and more.
While your weekends will be undoubtedly full of adventure, your internship will be just as exciting! As an intern on the ground floor of a budding organization, you will be making a huge difference for whichever program you would like to help. For Zambia, we offer internships in marketing, fundraising, education, female empowerment, writing, communications, sustainability, animal welfare, and management. Whatever your interest, we’ll find something great for you.
Whatever your career path, international work experience will only boost your resume and cover letters. Unfortunately, jobs seem to be competitive everywhere with nearly everyone expecting practical work experience the moment you step out of college. But don’t fret! In addition to hard and soft skills, employers are also keen to get a sense of personality from a resume. Leaving home, going to a foreign country, and immersing yourself in a different culture says a lot about your character. In the age of globalization, employees who are comfortable engaging with people and places of different backgrounds are invaluable.
Very few people have actually visited Africa, so when we picture the continent we tend to generalize. We picture desert plains, safaris, exotic animals, perhaps a singing warthog and meerkat frolicing through the forest. (Lion King, anyone?) We hardly think of gorgeous beaches, swaying palm trees, with tepid turquoise waters. But it’s true, Malawi is a gorgeous tropical country with all of its charms. Think: scuba diving, paddle boarding, swimming, and ending the day with delicious cuisine and a beautiful sunset. Pack your suitcase with your best bathing suit!
Along with your swimming trips on the weekend, we offer internships in radio, media, community development, education, marketing, HIV support, communications, management, and permaculture. In this ideal setting, you are sure to find something you’re interested in. We also provide some Malawi internships during the summer! Read our blog here for the 5 reasons for doing summer internships.
While doing an internship during the school year would be ideal, this is not an option for all students. So, the summer allows for three precious months to get a great internship before you go back to school. Some students would rather spend it at the beach or by the pool, but a Malawi internship provides the perfect excuse for a vacation internship! You will work from 9-5 on weekdays, but otherwise you will be in paradise! Sounds like a pretty good deal.
Kenya has one of the most stunning landscapes of any country in Africa. With wildlife conservation practices and sustainability tourism, the wilds of Kenya remain well preserved for safely exploring with a guide. Pop quiz: what are the Big 5 of nature safaris? If you guessed, the lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant, and Cape buffalo, you would be correct! In your free time you can book a trip to see some of the world’s most exotic animals in their true habitat. But those plains are just one aspect to Kenya’s brilliant landscape. Kenya also offers excellent views of Mount Kilimanjaro from Tanzania, miles of white sand beaches, and dense and tropical rainforests. Whatever you wish to explore, Kenya’s landscapes are a must-see part of your trip.
On top of your trip, you will also be working with a great nonprofit organization. Icing on the cake! We offer internship opportunities in social work, psychology, nonprofit management, and education. You will be working with our Kenyan nonprofit partner that aims to “empower and inspire people to initiate the individual and societal transformation we want to see.” Our partner helps to run a local education center that provides education, food security, and healthcare for over 300 vulnerable & orphaned children from the community. Whichever internship you choose will be benefiting this center to continue its important work for the community. Whether you are studying education, nonprofit management, social work or psychology, we guarantee you will have an amazing experience to bring up in job interviews.
Another surprise location, Mozambique is just above Hawaii in terms of tropical paradises. Imagine: palm filled beaches, crystal clear oceans bustling with marine life, a gentle warm breeze whistling through your clothes. Idyllic, right? Now think, instead of the crowded, touristy Big Island of Hawaii, a much more intimate island full of welcoming natives. The island is full of culture; the cuisine is an interesting mix of cultures from India, China, and Portugal. The fertile soil of the area makes fruitful vegetation that will fill your plate. Along with this cultural hub, we are excited to offer internships in the best thing Mozambique has to offer: marine life.
At our research center off the coast of Vilankulos, we invite you to join us. Whether you choose our Marine Photography internship, Marine Research internship, or our Marine Conservation internship, we know you will love our organizations that strive to protect Mozambique’s ecosystems. With the beach as your backyard, we know you will achieve the perfect balance of fun and work.
6. Bonus Destination: Remote!
Through the pandemic, we are very fortunate to offer fully remote internships that have managed to be very successful. Now, you can make a difference from the comfort of your own home! Not to mention all the money you will be saving from travel, visas, shopping, etc. In addition, the opportunity to expand your resume remains the same. In fact, as an online intern you will most likely be expanding your digital knowledge. All over the world, employers are expecting interns to be comfortable with a variety of digital platforms. While jetting off to a far away country sounds more exciting, we acknowledge that not everybody is comfortable traveling just yet. But, with more and more people getting vaccinated, save our program in your bookmarks! Come back to us when life returns to normal.