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Hospitality Internship in Knysna, South Africa



Learn about Hospitality in an up-market, boutique-style, 4 Star Guesthouse located in a beautiful location with stunning views and great facilities. The Manor is situated in the aptly named Paradise in Knysna. You’ll assist with a variety of duties including Front Desk and Reception, Check-ins, Bar, Kitchen, Cooking and possibly even Marketing and organising tours.

You'll receive training in all areas you work in.

This is a live-in internship on the famous Garden Route and one of South Africa’s most beautiful and popular tourist locations. On your days off, you can stay at the Volunteer House in Knysna if you'd like to, enabling you to socialise with other volunteers who are on the different projects we have in Knysna.


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Start Dates Available from September to April only, you choose your start date
Duration From 4 weeks to 6 months or longer, subject to visa requirements
Requirements No qualifications or previous experience required, just a strong interest in the Hospitality industry, Preferred minimum age is 18.  .
Price Full Price List
What's included Arranging your program,
Full pre-departure support and assistance,
Payment Protection insurance

Meeting you at the nearest airport
Transfer to your accommodation
Transport to and from your project
Local in-country team support and backup
24-hr emergency support.
Certificate of Completion
What's not included Flights, Insurance, Cost of Visas (if a visa is required), Return transfer to airport.
Who can do this Project? This project is open to all nationalities and all ages over 17.
Suitable for gap years or those taking a year out, grown-up gappers, career breakers, anyone interested in gaining overseas work experience or an internship for university credit or requirement.
Also suitable for anyone just wanting to study abroad and learn about the practice of Hospitality and Hotel and Catering overseas.


  • An exciting, never-to-be-forgotten adventure into Africa and the many diverse cultures in South Africa

  • New skills, more confidence, a greater understanding of a different culture, invaluable personal and professional development.

  • An entry on your CV or résumé that will put you head and shoulders above most others in the job market.

  • And best of all ... anan unforgettable experience!

Hospitality Internship in Knysna, South Africa

The Guesthouse where you will work is 4-star rated and part of a chain of guesthouses. Easy-going, friendly, relaxed and upmarket, this Guesthouse was established in 2003 in Knysna and can be described as an up-market boutique hotel. The hotel has been featured on numerous TV programmes and is a member of Knysna Tourism and Ambience Inn Africa. With 8 regular staff, the Guesthouse can take just 2 interns at one time, so book early, if you can, to avoid disappointment!

You'll gain experience in a variety of areas, including Reception, Bar and the Kitchen. You'll work as both part of a team and alone.

  • The Reception duties will include the Reception/Front Desk, answering phones and assisting customers when they check in.

  • Bar and Kitchen duties will include serving behind the bar, assisting at dinners and helping prepare and cook light dinner meals. You’ll assist in serving breakfast and help with any hosting.

Male interns will assist as porters (female interns will only need to do this very rarely if there are elderly guests and no men on duty).

If you have a keen interest in Marketing and the Guesthouse requires assistance in this area, this is an additional area that you may be able to assist in.This could include helping with the local tours, if needed. You will work in the areas in which you are most needed according to how busy the Guesthouse is.

Training will be instruction from the permanent staff and will be thorough and essential for all the areas you'll work in. On your arrival, or perhaps after you have recovered from your flight, you will be given an Induction which involves a walking tour of the premises and training in the areas where you will be working, whether it is Front House duties or helping prepare meals or working behind the bar.

The Guesthouse is open from 7am-11pm every day. You'll work 6 days on, 1 day off, then 5 days on, 2 days off. If the guesthouse is busy, your day off may be subject to change with another day. The rotas are based on a 7-working-day week and not a 5-working-day week, so you will be asked to work some weekends (with time off during the week instead).

Your typical working hours will follow a roster. Usual hours of work are a 9-hour day with a lunch break. The hours can be split up over the day according to the busier times, for example, between 8am and 10am it is busy as that is when the guests check out.

You don’t need any specific qualifications but it is very important that you have an interest in the hospitality industry, are friendly, presentable and neat and enjoy working with people. You should have a friendly disposition,  responsible, open minded and (very importantly) are flexible time-wise as your schedules and duties could change according to how busy the guesthouse is. You must also be able to take orders and follow instructions. A CRB check is required for this project because there may be vulnerable children among the guests.

Hospitality Internship in Knysna, South Africa

Hospitality Internship in Knysna, South Africa


You'll live on-site at your placement. There is a smaller five star guesthouse, on the same property; it is a little more upmarket and expensive and is just four rooms. Your accommodation will be here with the rest of the live-in staff. The intern’s accommodation comprises of a small modest bedroom with a single bed and desk and either an adjoining bathroom or one situated across the hall from the bedroom. Bedding will be provided and you will have access to the washing machines to wash them when needed.

You will get 3 meals a day, breakfast is either cereals or an English breakfast and juice, lunch is different everyday and can be chicken and rice, pie or chips, toasted sandwich and chips etc. For dinner you can help yourself to certain items in the kitchen and prepare yourself something to eat.

You have the option of spending some of your free time or weekends at our volunteer house in Knysna, if you'd like to do that. (See descripton of living in the Volunteer House below.) This would enable you to spend time socialising with the other volunteers in Knysna, as this accommodation is where all the other Travellers volunteers stay and often lively with BBQ’s, trips, etc., take place.

At the volunteer house you may either have your own room or you'll more likely share a room in a dorm with one or more other Travellers volunteers. It will depend on how many people are there at the same time that you are. This is a comfortable house with good facilities and a beautiful view of Knysna Lagoon within walking distance to the town.

While at the volunteer house, your food and social activities spending will be to your own account.  You can, however, buy groceries and cook and prepare your own meals at the house.

There are several good, inexpensive steak houses and lots of good Chinese, Italian and other ethnic restaurants all over South Africa. Seafood, of course, is often fresh and plentiful.

On Arrival, your Introduction to the Country:
When you arrive you will be welcomed by a member of our South African staff, who will give you a warm welcome to South Africa and give you an informal induction on the country and its culture, as well as other useful information, like how to use the transport system, banks, safety issues, tipping, and lots more.

They will take you to your placement, and introduce you to the management at the Manor who, over the next few days, will give you training and instruction on the day-to-day running of the Manor and your duties.

The volunteer house in Knysna is within walking distance of the town, yet set against a natural green belt. The bird life is prolific and often the local Vervet monkey troop comes to visit to entertain the volunteers with their antics. The sunset views from the top balcony of the volunteer house of the Knysna lagoon are beautiful and great way to relax after a day working at your placement or to catch up on your tan in the summer. See photo on right-hand side.

The house is large and spacious and also has a self-contained flat  downstairs for couples and families. The bedding in the two same sex dorms and the towels in their ensuite bathrooms are changed regularly every Friday by our much loved cleaner, Pretty, and there is plenty of cupboard space to store your clothing.

Facilities include a kitchen kitted out for cooking, dining area, a few bathrooms, TV, DVD player, free Wi-Fi, garden and several wooden verandahs.

There is an outside courtyard and garden in the secure grounds where you can have a typical South African barbeque known there as a ‘braai’. Make sure you try the local spicy sausage known as ‘boerewors’ and the Karoo lamb chops are to die for on a ‘braai’, but if fish is more to your taste then a fish ‘braai’ with South African ‘snoek’ is a must.


The kitchen has all the cooking amenities that you might need to take advantage of preparing meals with some of the great seafood, meat, fresh fruit and vegetables South Africa has to offer.

There are supermarkets and local shops where you'll do your food shopping.

There are plenty of excellent restaurants within walking distance that offer the most incredible local and international cuisine which our volunteers rave about. Knysna is also famous for its oysters and even has an annual Oyster Festival where everyone eats and drinks far too much!

The waterfront and marine is beautiful and full of restaurants and cafes with cuisine that ranges from breakfast, coffees, cakes and snacks, through to sumptuous meals and various different nationality menus.

Volunteer house in Knysna

Volunteer house in Knysna

View from the house overlooking the lagoon

View at the Project, overlooking the Lagoon

Got any questions? Please email us: info@travelersworldwide.org

The Manor is very comfortable and offers visitors the ideal setting from which to discover the many wonders of the famous ‘Garden Route’. The guesthouse has 7 rooms and a spacious honeymoon suite with a deluxe spa bath and private balcony. All rooms are en-suite with TV, fans, heaters, bar, fridge and a safe.

A full English & continental breakfast is served, either in the dining room or on the terrace overlooking the lagoon. A light meals menu is available throughout the day and in the evenings.

Transfers to the airport, tours and activities boat cruises, horse riding, abseiling, hiking, forest walks, animal sanctuaries, private tours and a whole lot more can be organized from the hotel tour desk. There is also a selection of the best golf courses in South Africa nearby.

Other guest facilities include e-mail and fax, laundry service, satellite TV, tourism info desk and an exquisite pool with sunloungers and surround decking, overlooking the Estuary. Professionalism and personalised service are the goal of this guesthouse with the aim of being prompt and efficient. The Manor’s rooms have been refurbished to a high and modern standard. 

Once you have applied for a placement, we'll contact you and send you our Welcome Pack. You'll also receive Log-on details and password for our Volunteer Extranet where you'll have access to all the documentation and information which we've put together to facilitate preparations for your adventure! Your Project Co-ordinator for your country will liaise with you throughout the arrangements process, as well as while you're on your placement and on your return home.

The documents you'll have access to also include a Country Factfile, Safety Guide and any manuals that may assist you on your particular program (e.g. Teaching Guide, Sports Manuals, Enrichment Suggestions for Animal Care, etc.). We do all we can to make your stay one that you'll never forget. This is a truly awesome, elegant and beautiful country.

As with all our destinations, the culture and heritage is different to what you're used to ... which, although one of the most exciting aspects of travelling, should be borne in mind.    Self-reliance and independence are highly appreciated in all our destinations and will help you to make the most of this wonderful opportunity! 


On Arrival, your Introduction to the Country: WhWhen you arrive you will be welcomed by a member of our South African staff who will take you to your accommodation and introduce you to everyone. During your first few days you'll be given an induction so that you can learn about the country and its culture, as well as other useful information, like how to use the transport system, banks, safety issues, tipping, and lots more.

"The area is beautiful and travelling is easy. The house we stay in is lovely and the Travellers workers are such kind, loving people which really makes it feel like a home away from home. What with all the other volunteers and the Travellers staff, it really does feel like our own little family ... well, our own very big family, I suppose!!" Luke Brennan


Feedback on Coaching Sports Projects in South Africa with Travellers Worldwide

Photo Galleries
Knysna Diary
Wildlife Rehabilitation Diary
Wildlife Expedition News!


While on your placements, you can also book some Optional Add-Ons to make the most of your Travel Experience. The most popular choices are the safari trips from Cape Town and many volunteers use these as their means of travel to arrive at their project in Knysna..

Wildlife Safaris & Adventure Tour Combos
4-Day Surf Safari and Wildlife Adventure
1-Day Adventure Activities in Cape Town
1-Week Wildlife Rehabilitation

1-Week Whales Sharks Dolphins
Cage Dive with Sharks

This project can also be combined with any of our other projects in South Africa, or you could even do a second project in a different region of the country, thus doubling your adventure and enjoyment!

Volunteering in South Africa, and having fun!


The best advice you'll get from us is to try to see some of the country while you're in South Africa. It's big (huge!) and each different region is exciting and very, very beautiful. Cape Town is probably the most beautiful city in the world (I can say that, I grew up there :-)  KwaZulu-Natal comes a very close second, albeit very different. Knysna is where South Africans go on vacation, which gives you some idea of how lovely the region is. When you lie on the beach and watch dolphins jumping the waves, you'll think you're in Paradise.


Knysna is approximately 500km from the beautiful capital city of Cape Town  and voted South Africa’s favourite town 4 years in a row! Its mountainous backdrop, impressively sized estuary and indigenous forests really give the town a natural feel to it. Although it still has that ‘small-town’ feel, Knysna is growing rapidly, and has all the amenities you could ask for such as banks, hotels, internet café’s, cinemas and shopping malls.

About 20-30 minutes' drive away from Knysna you'll find Plettenberg Bay (better known simply as Plett), which is a bit smaller than Knysna, but equally stunning.  Its' pure white beaches stretch as far as the eye can see and there is a lot to do, from whale and dolphin watching, to hiking trails and awesome nightlife.

The Garden Route is famous for all sorts of activities from adrenalin sports such as bungee jumping, skydiving and shark cage diving to more relaxed pursuits such as hiking, quad biking in the forest or visiting one of the many animal sanctuaries in the area. Your local Travellers liaison will be happy to assist you in finding interesting things to do and places to see so make the most of it!

Knysna nestles on the banks of a beautiful lagoon in the heart of the ‘Garden Route’ of South Africa. It is surrounded by a natural paradise of lush indigenous forests, tranquil lakes and golden beaches, making it a real natural wonderland.

Knysna is a vibrant town, buzzing with creativity and energy, and the pulse of good music. It's a place where the you can enjoy the mellow atmosphere of street cafes, watching the world go by. The main street is very leafy with trees along the pavements and it has a wonderful vacation atmosphere with sun umbrellas everywhere.

Most cafes have outdoors seating areas overlooking the street or on the pavements, with colourful sun umbrellas - a perfect place to sit with the sun on your face, watching passers-by ambling along, sipping a steamy cappucino or staving off the heat with a cold drink.

Read more about Knysna and its attractions

To read about Travel arrangements and what happens when you arrive in your new country, please click here.

Support & Backup: To read about the excellent Support & Backup we provide before you leave and during your program, please click here.