Urban Greening Internship at Environmental NGO in Cape Town


Contribute at Environmental Management and Eco Education in Cape Town

Do you have an interest in green spaces or urban greening? Are you looking for some valuable work experience? We have an exciting Urban Greening internship in Cape Town with Greenpop.

One of the ways this nonprofit organization has been trying to make a difference is to help increase access to ecosystem services in under-greened areas. They run tree planting and eco-education projects in Southern Africa and activate large groups of people to involve them in their green mission. This Urban Greening internship will provide ample opportunity for connecting with various communities, as well as practical experience in urban greening, fynbos ecology and urban ecology. With Cape Town being such a dynamic space, both socially and ecologically, this programme also provides prime opportunity for a plethora of research and dissertation topics.


Greenpop is a nonprofit organization that runs urban greening, reforestation, and eco-education projects. Based from Cape Town, South Africa, Greenpop plants trees and creates gardens at schools in underprivileged areas and works to regenerate indigenous forests throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. And as part of their mission to encourage a treevolution, the organization has a strong focus on activating people – both Africans and people from around the world – to participate in their projects.

Greenpop is motivated by the vision of a world in which people and nature thrive together. Since they kickstarted their programs in 2010, the team has planted over 190,000 trees and activated over 300,000 citizens to get active in protecting their environment.

Their programs:

  1. Urban greening: concentrate on planting fynbos gardens and trees in urban spaces and run school-based eco-education workshops in marginalized communities. It also aims to create biodiversity corridors across Cape Town.
  2. Forest restoration: plants trees, clears alien vegetation, and works with communities to protect indigenous forests, restore degraded forest areas, and increase biodiversity.
  3. Sustainable development and environmental art projects on an ad hoc basis: these give communities tools to improve their lives while effectively managing their natural resources and create public art and music which brings awareness to local environmental issues.
  4. Events: experiential and educational events. Think of interactive educational workshops on a variety of environmental, entrepreneurial and leadership topics for school groups, corporate teams and the general public. They aim to equip people with the skills they need to get active (not anxious) about the future of our planet.


Greenpop’s Urban Greening Programme revolved, almost exclusively around planting trees in the under-greened areas of Cape Town at f.e. schools, community gardens or churches. On the plant day, the beneficiaries and sponsors would come together at the site to plant the trees together. After the plant day, Greenpop goes back to the plant site very six months for a period of two years to monitor the progress of the trees as well as engage with the beneficiary on how to further care for the trees. And they regularly host beneficiary workshops to work with teachers and groundsmen from sites they have planted at.

But recently, the Urban Greening Programme has been expanded and deepened, to include indigenous vegetation, including fynbos (which is natural shrubland or heathland vegetation typical for the Western Cape and Eastern Cape provinces of South Africa). The Fynbos for the Future programme encompasses the installation of rainwater systems at schools, creation of phased fynbos gardens-cum-outdoor classrooms over a period of three years, as well as six workshops, around pertinent environmental topics such as active citizenry, citizen science, water-wise gardening, fynbos history and ecology etc, each accompanying a garden phase.


At Greenpop, they are constantly engaging with communities and their sites for planting in their programs. This involves relationship management, educational content development and project management within and outside of the office. And it also requires a refined and concise monitoring system that allows for deeply engaging and activating students, staff and groundsman for environmental stewardship. 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 and Fynbos for the Future Programs.

  • Proposal writing
  • Data capture, photography, report writing and processing of information
  • Curriculum writing: assist with developing and coordinating educational content for beneficiary workshops & pop up workshops at the Eco-Education
  • Hub and respective sites.
  • Assisting with (preparations for) plant days: helping with landscaping before the plant day, liaising with suppliers and sites, accompany on site visits
  • Assist with planning and managing of Eco Hub Open Days and liaising with volunteers (be it learners, students, or any other person wanting to help out)
  • Accompanying manager on (and possibly doing) talks at school and on meetings with teachers and heads
  • Opportunity for doing research / landscape planning

Skills and abilities you will learn during your internship with Greenpop:

  • Lesson Planning & Workshop Development
  • Reporting & Facilitation Program
  • Coordination
  • Managing an NGO database
  • Communication
  • Indigenous plant knowledge
  • Urban Greening Landscape of South Africa


  • You have a background in Horticulture, Landscape Architecture, Botany, Social sciences, Education Ecology (restoration/fynbos/urban)
  • You are able to do qualitative data analysis from the plant day questionnaires
  • You are someone who can write and story-tell on the outcomes of the project at each school
  • You like writing and photography for school profiles
  • You have experience with ecological connectivity mapping
  • Work well in a team but also capable of working independently
  • Bring your own laptop


You’ll be staying at The Lenox, a comfortable guesthouse in the heart of Cape Town. Built in the old Cape Dutch style, The Lenox is characterful and historic. It has multiple balconies, a large dining room, and many other communal spaces. Shared bedrooms include 2 twin beds, and there are plenty of single rooms available as well (at an extra fee). You’ll be walking distance from many shops, cafes, restaurants, and some of the touristy highlights Cape Town has to offer as well.

Safety & Support

Safety & Support

Be sure to prioritize hydration in the summer to avoid heatstroke. South Africa does have high crime rates, so it’s important to be aware and use common sense to stay safe. Some safety guidelines are to always walk in groups, take a taxi/Uber in the evenings, know safe/dangerous areas, secure your belongings, don’t walk around with large sums of cash (you can pay everything with a card), minimize wearing flashy accessories, and be cautious of overly friendly strangers.



The accommodation offers free Wi-Fi to keep family and friends up to date via WhatsApp, Zoom, etc. Cafes/restaurants also offer free Wi-Fi. You can also consider getting a local SIM card if your phone is unlocked, or setting your phone’s status to roaming, depending on your provider’s rates.



A simple breakfast, lunch and a delicious cooked dinner (vegetarian & vegan options available) from Monday to Friday are included in your fee. Indulge in local dishes, like bobotie and South African Braai! For desserts, don’t miss out on milk tarts and malva pudding. There is a diverse food scene in Cape Town, so no matter your cuisine preference or dietary restrictions you’ll have plenty of options. Let us know in advance if you have any allergies/dietary needs.

Location details

Location details

Discover Cape Town’s attractions: Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch Gardens, city tours, historical sites, and the Cape Point Peninsula. There are also opportunities to surf, kayak, paraglide, cage dive with sharks, and more! Cape Town has a mediterranean climate with cool winters and hot summers so be sure to check what the temperature will be like during your stay.


Fee Breakdown

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.

What you’ll pay (fees 2023)

2 MONTHS USD 1,814

3 MONTHS USD 2,382

4 MONTHS USD 2,949

5 MONTHS USD 3,517

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.


  • Transfer from Cape Town International airport to your accommodation and back on arrival and departure day
  • Accommodation based on a dorm room (4-8 pax). If you prefer a single room, please contact us for availability and prices
  • Two meals (breakfast and dinner) a day from Monday to Friday
  • Assistance with your visa arrangement & other preparations
  • On the ground support during your stay
  • Free WiFi
  • Assistance with finding the perfect work placement
  • Supervision during your internship
  • Check-in and feedback as well as a reference letter after your internship
  • Your own account on a career development platform that offers content and courses focused on exploring different career opportunities
  • Reference letter at the end of your internship
  • A discount on weekend activities, exclusive to Roots interns


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


Some of our most commonly asked questions for programs in South Africa.

What can I expect from a NGO internship in South Africa?

During your internship in South Africa you can expect to meet people from around the world, as well as indulging yourself into the culture of this beautiful country! If you want to know more about what to expect, make sure to check out our top 7 reasons for an internship in Cape Town.

Will I have time to explore South Africa during my internship?

Yes! We partner with various activity organizers that can offer discounts exclusive to Roots Interns, for example, a road trip through the Garden Route and bungee jumping off the world’s largest natural bungee. You may also explore the country on your own and we are happy to give recommendations.

Am I able to do an internship while on a study program in Cape Town?

Yes! You are able to do a part-time internship with certain organizations so that you can continue your studies, while also gaining valuable work experience.

Will I receive a stipend of any kind during my internship with Roots?

Unfortunately, no. When working with a nonprofit organization, your internship will be unpaid, but there are many ways to fund your internship. Your experience will bring a wealth of knowledge and opportunities for both professional and personal growth that are invaluable!


LOCATION: Cape Town, South Africa
PROGRAM FOCUS: Environmental NGO
TASK FOCUS: Facilitation, Research, Reporting, Monitoring, Education, Tree planting
LENGTH: 8-26 Weeks
COST: From USD 1,814


“This internship helped me understand there's are good people making a practical difference to help our world. I learnt that I would LOVE, absolutely LOVE to work for Greenpop or a similar company in the future. I was trusted with a variety of tasks and projects that I thought would be above my experience. I was thankful for the trust that was put upon me and how I was treated as a member of the team and not just and intern. We are all treated with equals and everyone is kind and speaks clearly to get the job done. I also learnt a lot about plants and fynbos which was my intention and I am grateful for that. I want to incorporate fynbos into my agricultural future one day and this has definitely helped me stay on path towards my end goals.”

Brandon, South AfricaUrban Greening Internship, Cape Town


  • Help to re-green under-greened spaces, promote ecological connectivity, and inspire environmental stewardship through the installation of biodiversity gardens at schools
  • Gain experience in facilitation, research, reporting, monitoring, and education
  • Increase your knowledge of the indigenous fynbos vegetation and urban greening landscape
  • Live and work in Cape Town, arguably one of the most stunning cities in the world.
  • Enjoy exploring South Africa’s many highlights during your time off


If you’re ready to apply for this internship, here’s what to do:


Fill in the application form (it will show in a new screen) which includes sharing your CV to us


We’ll set up a call with you to go through your application.


If we feel it’s a good match, we’ll set up a call between you and the supervisor for this internship.


If everyone’s happy, we’ll provisionally confirm your placement! We’ll then send you the invoice for the deposit, getting started with the booking process and all the info you need.


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 fill in the contact form below. We’ll be happy to assist!


Girl walking in field with a tree

Open for applications

Environmental Education Internship

  • 4-26 weeks
  • Santarém, Portugal
  • Education, Facilitation, Curriculum Development, Monitoring
Help spread awareness of animal mistreatment and environmental issues to inspire change.
Find out more
aerial picture of cirenas

Open for applications

Conservation Research Internship

  • Min. 2 months
  • Manzanillo, Costa Rica
  • Data Capture, Permaculture, Conservation, Education, Monitoring, Research 
Specialize in Marine or Land Ecology, or get a taste of both with this versatile Conservation Internship.
Find out more


a person illustrating on an iPad pro with apple pencilMedia and Design
December 6, 2023

Why Do A Design Internship With A Nonprofit?

The Advantages of Working for a Nonprofit as a Design Intern Media design is already an exciting career path for you to explore. One thing that can make it even…
Porto, PortugalPortugalNonprofit Internships
December 1, 2023

8 Reasons to Do an Internship in Portugal

Nestled along the sun-kissed shores of the Iberian Peninsula, Portugal emerges as an undiscovered gem waiting to captivate the hearts of adventurous travelers. From the pristine beaches of the Algarve…
intern posing for a group photo with localsNonprofit InternshipsFinding your internship
November 23, 2023

How To Pick The Best Place For A Nonprofit Internship

A nonprofit internship in the right destination can boost your career, broaden your mind, introduce you to new ways of life, and connect you with lifelong friends. How do you…