The Khaya Beach House, South Africa - your home away from home!

When you volunteer abroad, an important part of your experience is where you stay. Some volunteers like to stay in an authentic environment and live with local host families. 

Others prefer a comfortable home shared with other volunteers and interns. Khaya means “home” in the local isiXhosa language. We have been offering accommodation to international interns and volunteers for 12 years now. Our volunteer house is conveniently located in the sought-after beachfront area of Humewood in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

Back in the early days, we started with renting out rooms and having students live here, sharing a communal house with shared facilities. Originally we included meals, transport and the service of a full-time volunteer coordinator to our visitors. We now have a cook (Auntie Mel) who creates those lovely homecooked smells in the house that make you want to keep hanging around! We also have a designated team of staff looking after your needs while you stay with us. Xolani is our driver with a smile, and Janet is our lady in charge of keeping a clean house.

Volunteers at the dining room table

There are so many different people staying from a week to a few months at the Khaya Beach House. The house needs some tender loving care sometimes! We started the big upgrade from student house conditions to a more upgraded and improved Volunteer house. Now we can offer world-class volunteer accommodation to our guests from all over the world.

The house needs to be able to accommodate a range of volunteers. We host families with teenage kids, students, couples, minors, and older volunteers needing some more privacy. We also accommodate school groups that need their own side of the house to focus on their service learning programs.

Room 3

We are very fortunate to be able to offer the accommodation we provide. The beach, surf school, bars, restaurants, supermarket, pharmacy, doctors’ practice and most other facilities you might need are within walking distance. To go for a run early in the morning along the boulevard and watch dolphins playing in the surf is bliss. What a great start to your day! At the end of the day, you can relax and unwind by walking to the beach and enjoying the sun, or relaxing by the pool. After a day teaching youth about hygiene skills, sports development or community upliftment, you deserve the break.

dolphins port elizabeth volunteer

The Khaya Beach House has been renovated and upgraded over the last weeks. We now boast freshly painted rooms, new wall decorations, a table fussball, dartboard, and new bedding. We have also improved small details like electrical plugs at every bed, and reading lamps for each bed. Next to the big pool in the backyard, we have added plants and outside furniture, and some hammocks and wall decorations. This part of the house is now even more appealing and comfortable for volunteers and interns to relax and have fun!

volunteer accommodation pool seats

Our Khaya office is separate to the Beach House. We are open to anyone to come and have a chat, print some documents needed for volunteer activities, use the laminator, or ask questions about your travel plans for the weekends. We will also answer anything you need to know about township life in South Africa, so you will better understand the people and communities you meet.

The main house has 5 bedrooms, sleeping 17 people in our communal dorms and twin/double bedrooms. There is a large lounge to relax and enjoy the dinners cooked by Auntie Mel. There are 3 bathrooms to share. The house has incredible views over Algoa Bay, and Kings Beach is only a couple of hundred meters away.

At the back you will find outside tables, a dart board and plenty of space to lounge around the massive swimming pool. Our pool is fed by borehole water, so no need to skimp on water during this awful ongoing drought in South Africa.

swimming pool

The smaller house is attached to the main house and can be separated from the main house when we host university or school groups. It has a large lounge with a fussball table to play some table soccer games, another fully-equipped kitchen, 3 more bedrooms sleeping 6 people in total, and everything needed to enjoy a comfortable stay.

That’s not all, as we also offer options to stay in our “downstairs” house which we refer to as Marshall Downstairs. It’s a freestanding house right next to our main house providing even more diversity for our volunteers to stay with us comfortably. The Downstairs House has another 4 bedrooms, spacious open plan lounge, large balcony facing the beach side, a fully kitted kitchen and comfortable space for 10 people maximum.

Usually, this house accommodates our long-term volunteers and older guests as it provides an extra level of privacy away from the main house. The meals are still enjoyed at the main house upstairs, but to be able to retreat to a quiet lounge and read a book is a must, with so many people living together!

All of this is provided with all services included, from pickup at the airport to free WiFi internet at the house, weekly free social activities - weekend outings and tours to various great destinations in the area – as well as buffet breakfasts, home-cooked South African dinners, and a team of dedicated staff ready to assist where possible.

shark rock pier

Khaya Volunteers believes that our visitors need to sleep well and eat well. This ensures a successful volunteer or intern experience. We take those very seriously and provide the best we can for our guests. We can’t promise 5-star accommodation but we strive for “all-star” accommodation while you are here. And of course you get to volunteer and assist some of the most amazing projects we know of, anywhere in the world!

We are very sure that your home away from home, the Khaya Beach House, will provide our volunteers and students the best accommodation possible while staying in Port Elizabeth. We are confident our volunteers enjoy their stay in South Africa with us so much more because of our accommodation and overall services. Make it a priority to come and visit us soon!

See you in Africa


Founder of Khaya



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