Urban Farming, Eco-education and 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 Urban Farming, Eco-Education and Horticulture Internship with Greenpop; a dynamic environmental organisation based in Cape Town. This young but fast-growing social enterprise runs tree planting and eco-education projects in Southern Africa. They also activate large groups people to get involved in their green mission. Greenpop looks for interns to join their team to assist in the nursery. You do research, develop and maintain the nursery, assist with educational workshops, tree care, composting. And at the same time you will learn all about permaculture and urban greening techniques.

Horticulture intern“We held a workshop with children and teachers at the Greenpop nursery. One of the main focuses was to show teachers how to implement environmental teachings into the curriculum. Learning doesn’t have to be this rigid pencil to paper thing. You can actually implement this program in schools as a relevant source of material, because the knowledge is practical and easy for students to transfer into their own communities.” – Tracy, South Africa

Quick Facts

  • Destination Cape Town, South Africa
  • Type of Organisation Environmental NGO
  • Work Focus Research, Eco Education, Permaculture, Tree care
  • Length of Internship Minimum 8 weeks
  • Accommodation Choice of several types
  • Fee As from USD 1,446 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

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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. Greenpop has great plans with the nursery to develop it into an eco education hub. The Planting & Sustainability Department is therefore always supported by several interns who perform focused tasks that integrate into the success of the Urban Greening and Eco education Programme. Your responsibilities during this Horticulture, Urban Farming and Eco-education Internship:

  • Assist Nursery Manager with day to day activities at the nursery: planting, watering, upkeep, compost & worm farm management, supporting adjacent school, resource procurement, stake making, packing mulch & compost, cutting grass, managing container, food gardening, growing and planting seedlings, tree care, etc.
  • Assist with workshops at the nursery (when they take place)
  • Assist with plant days, nursery days or other Greenpop events
  • Do research & implement projects (examples of what interns have done in the past: build an insect hotel, reorganize composting system, medicinal herb garden, improvements on the systems for water usage, etc.)
  • Document your research and project results so it can be used for educational workshops at the nursery or schools
  • Work together with Nursery Manager & Security Manager for weekly reports on nursery activities.
  • NB. Depending on your interests and skills you will focus on one of these four areas: tree care/horticulture, permaculture/vegetable garden, nursery management (reports/stock/procurement), eco education (teaching/educational experience required)

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

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

Nursery internship Greenpop 2 - photo credits Sarah Isaacs


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Where You’ll Stay 

Your accommodation is included in the internship fee, and we’ll arrange it all for you! We’re excited to offer a variety of options, ranging from dorm rooms to twin and single rooms. The options available depend on your internship period, but we’ll always make sure you’re in a comfortable, central, and safe place. Please get in touch to find out what options are available during your preferred period.

Cape Town Loft 2 Cape Town Loft

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For this Horticulture, Urban Farming and Eco-education Internship, Greenpop is looking for people with the following skills and experience:

  • Background in Horticulture, Environmental / Geographical Sciences or similar experience
  • Interested in Practical Urban Greening Techniques, permaculture/growing your own food, gardening or tree care
  • Ability to care for / learn to care for plant life
  • Enjoy collaborating and working in a team but also the ability to work independently
  • Hands-on mentality and love getting your hands dirty and working outdoors.
  • Bring your own laptop in order to do your research, administration and reporting tasks (WiFi is available at the nursery)

NB. You will mostly be based at the Greenpop nursery which is located in Woodstock (corner of Mountain Rd. and Balfour Rd.), so please be prepared to arrange your own (public) transport to get there. And there might also be days you have to come to the office in Bo-Kaap.

How to apply?
If you’re keen on 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 with 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!

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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.


At Roots, we do everything we can to make your internship 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 matchmakers!), 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.

Your exact fee depends on the accommodation you choose, but start at the following level:

  • 8 weeks – USD 1,502 (2018)
  • 12 weeks – USD 1,978 (2018)
  • 16 weeks – USD 2,454 (2018)

What is included in the fee?

  • Full accommodation rental fees
  • Transfer from Cape Town International airport to your accommodation and back on arrival and departure day
  • Assistance with finding the perfect work placement
  • Assistance with your visa arrangement & other preparations
  • On the ground support during your stay
  • A discount on weekend activities, exclusive to Roots interns

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

Optional extra

Academic Guidance Apart from the logistical support we offer, and regular check-ins, we also offer additional academic guidance during your internship. At an additional fee of USD 75 a month, you’ll receive monthly sessions with a local lecturer, who will support you in placing your work experience in the context of your academic course, and assist you with any report writing and/or research you’re required to do.

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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