For Parents

Sending your child off to foreign country can be unnerving. At Masambeni we take pride in assisting each intern with this transition – in each step of their journey, we’re there as a helping hand.

A Masambeni staff member will welcome your child upon arrival at the Cape Town International Airport, travel with them to their accommodation and ensure that they settle in well.

All participants participate in a comprehensive 3-day orientation within 2 days of arrival. We stagger our program participant arrival dates so that students get the opportunity to go through the orientation process with other new arrivals. This allows them to establish friendships shortly after arrival, and meet other like-minded adventurers with whom to explore the city and engage with socially.

Orientation includes:

  • A walking tour of Observatory, the neighbourhood in which almost all participants live.
  • An (optional) historical walking tour of the city.
  • A City sightseeing tour.
  • Public Transportation Orientation.
  • A general orientation presentation at the Masambeni offices, which cover topics such as: health and safety; how to explore the city during free time; networking with other Masambeni participants; a review of the Masambeni Program; tips on having a successful internship; tutorials on how to upload cell phone data & electricity; a general Q & A session; and an introduction to the Masambeni staff.

A Masambeni staff member will accompany your child to their internship site on their first day. They will be shown the best way of transport to get to their place of work, and will be introduced to their supervisors.

We have extensive health and safety tips and procedures that will be shared with your child, together with contact details of our 24/7 emergency hotline. We will be checking in with your child on a regular basis and will see them at least once or twice a week at the Masambeni culture series or weekly activities.

We will provide a local South African SIM card for your child, and hand it to them upon arrival. This way they will easily be able to stay in contact with us, their fellow interns, and their friends and family abroad. Cellphone network and internet/WIFI coverage in the Cape Town is on par with what you would expect in most first world cities. If you ever have trouble contacting your child, please phone our offices and speak to one of our staff members so that we can touch base with your child on the ground.

South Africa is a developing country with high levels of unemployment and inequality and the crime statistics can paint a negative image. As a country with a reputation of being unsafe, it is important to contextualist this perception and know that many safe areas exist within the country. It still is one of the top travel destinations in the world, and staying safe is a matter of being informed, vigilant and responsible.


To prepare yourself for an enjoyable internship in South Africa, we’ve gathered the most important health and safety tips for you. You can’t eliminate every risk, but you can be informed and prepare well, and by keeping these things in mind your internship in Cape Town will be stress-free!

One of the best methods to avoid sickness while travelling is to wash your hands.

High-quality tap water is available throughout Cape Town, but if you want to keep extra safe, buy bottled water.

When in public, don’t display money, big cameras or phones and don’t wear earphones while walking in the streets – be aware of your surroundings, especially of pick-pocketers.

Never leave your belongings unattended and don’t leave visible items in your car when you park on the street.

Avoid walking on your own late at night or early mornings – do research on the different neighbourhoods and ask your local colleagues for advice and tips.

Don’t go hiking or swimming on your own. And whatever adventure you’re on, don’t feed the baboons!

Download Uber as a safe taxi service or get a MyCiti card to use the local bus service in Cape Town.

Is it safe for women and LGBTIQ* interns in Cape Town?

Yes! Cape Town is a very liberal and inclusive society which accommodates people from all cultures, nationalities, religions and genders. If you’re unsure about anything, talk to us about any specific questions or safety tips that applies to your gender or sexual orientation.

Buy travel insurance that will cover medical care if needed. While the upfront cost might seem overwhelming, there’s no price too high for peace of mind.

Bring your own medical aid kit – plasters and painkillers, medicine for flue, nausea and diarrhea, antiseptic ointment, insect repellent, rehydration salts and any vitamins or supplements that you use. Remember sunscreen and contraceptives.

Keep your emergency contact numbers in more than one place and carry copies of your Passport with you.

If you suffer from any allergies or medical condition, you should wear a medical ID bracelet, which is called a MedicAlert bracelet, obtainable from MedicAlert.

Cape Town is a malaria-free city; however, if you travel up north to the Kruger National Park and surrounding areas, we recommend you to get anti-malaria pills.

If you have any specific questions regarding health & safety, feel free to get in touch with us!