Urban Greening Internship At Environmental NGO, Cape Town

Contribute to 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.

Urban greening intern Greenpop


“All these tasks improved my communication, data analysis and report writing skills. In general the internship gave me experience of how an NGO runs, how to work well with people and get work done both in the field and the office.”

Jessica, Biology Graduate, Sheffield University – UK


Quick Facts

  • Destination Cape Town, South Africa
  • Type of Organisation Environmental NGO
  • Work Focus Facilitation, Research, Reporting, Monitoring, Education, Tree planting
  • Length of Internship Minimum 8 weeks
  • Accommodation Choice of several types
  • Fee As from USD 1,536 for 8 weeks

Greenpop is a Cape Town based environmental NGO that plants trees through urban greening and reforestation, spreads environmental awareness and activate people through green festivals and workshops across Southern 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 100,000 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.

As an intern 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 their 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

The project

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.

Urban Greening Internship_Fynbos   Urban Greening Internship_Fynbos garden

What You’ll Be Doing 

At Greenpop, they are constantly engaging with communities and their sites for planting in their programmes. 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 Programmes.


  • 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

This organization also offers internships in Media and DesignFundraisingWritingSocial Media and Marketing, and Horticulture.

NB. Please note that the internship is based on a volunteer work placement, so you are not receiving any payment or stipend.

Check out the video about Fynbos for the Future

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


  • 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


urban greening NGO internship in cape town“The time I spent in Cape Town was phenomenal. There are few words that can accurately describe it to those who have not yet had the privilege to visit. Taking an international internship where you don’t know anybody is extremely difficult and nerve-wracking but the reward is beyond worth it.”

Robby, Colorado State University, United States




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.


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 1,536
12 weeks – USD 2,028
16 weeks – USD 2,521

What is included in the fee?

  • Accommodation based on a dorm room in shared apartment within walking distance of the office
  • Free WiFi
  • 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
  • Supervision during your internship
  • Check-in and feedback as well as a reference letter after your internship
  • 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.

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.

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