Frequently Asked Questions


Why is the company called Heavy Chef?

Our name comes from the saying ‘never trust a skinny chef’. We believe in walking the talk, rolling up our sleeves and eating our own food. We’re a community of action-based entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs and graduates. In a world of talkers, we believe it’s the doers that are going to change it.  

Why should I intern in Cape Town?

Cape Town is Africa’s Silicon Valley. It is one of the most vibrant startup cities in the world, with over 1000 startups operating in the CBD, and a host of accelerators, incubators and over 60% of SA’s startups based in the Mother City. Heavy Chef is the heart of the community here, hosting events featuring some of the most iconic business leaders in Africa.  

Do I need a visa to come to South Africa?

Some countries are exempt from needing a visa for their citizens to enter South Africa. See the full list of visa exempt countries HERE

The visa process is on a case-by-case basis and handled by our associates at Visa Immigration SA.

Is Cape Town safe?

Cape Town is just like any other big city in the world when you are a visitor. It has its golden rules, which will be introduced to you during your welcome meeting. Accommodation was carefully chosen with your comfort and safety in mind.  All our accommodation sights have a 24-hour emergency line and of course, Heavy Chef staff members are always there to support you when needed. However, we ask you to take responsibility for your own safety by taking precautions and being vigilant at all times, as you would when visiting any other big city.  

Do I need travel medical insurance?

A travel medical insurance is compulsory to start the internship and a proof of having a medical cover during your stay in South Africa should be sent to Heavy Chef.  

Do I need any vaccinations?

No vaccinations are required if you will be staying in Cape Town, which is the most developed and Europe-like city in South Africa.  You will not need any vaccinations for your Garden Route Trip either at the end of your stay.  Cape Town and the Western and Eastern Cape of South Africa (which you will be visiting) are NOT affected by malaria. However, if you wish to explore more of South Africa in the remaining time of your visa permit, please read about the vaccination requirements HERE.


Daily Life

What is the accommodation like?

Heavy Chef partners with upmarket accommodation providers at safe and trendy locations. Our priority is your safety and to make sure you have access to all the local amenities, have an Internet connection and a comfortable, trendy room (with a view if possible). The earlier you book, more rooming options are available to you.  

Are meals included?

Most of our accommodation options include a pick and choose breakfast box, which means that your previously selected ingredients or meal is delivered to your doorstep every morning. All of our accommodation options include either a kitchen or a kitchenette.  

Do I need to use public transportation?

Cape Town implemented a world-class bus line in 2010, called My City Bus. Your MyCity Bus card is included in your welcome pack upon arrival, with a R50 on it, ready to use. You will most probably need to top it up at a local supermarket when you use it regularly. Our accommodation has the bus stop right in front of the building. Another option for you is to use the Uber or the Taxify phone app during your stay. It is the most convenient and the safest way to get around Cape Town at any hour of the day.  

What activities are included if I choose the Professional Programme?

You will participate in a Welcome Mother City Tour on your very first Sunday led by our awesome Activities Director. You will also meet the rest of the team that day. After your busy 8-week schedule, you will depart to a 7-day adventure-packed Guided Tour in South Africa’s most stunning Garden Route.  

What other activities are available in Cape Town?

Cape Town has some of the most beautiful hikes in the world. Our majestic Table Mountain has many routes to offer for the nature-lovers. Lion’s Head and Signal Hill are literally in the middle of the city and offer breathtaking views. Our popular beaches, Camps Bay and the four beaches of Clifton are about 15 minutes from your accommodation. Weekend trips and activities, such as shark-cage diving, surf lessons, seal snorkeling, paragliding, parachuting and helicopter rides are all available at an extra cost. Capetonians are extremely health-orinted. You can join numerous yoga studios or world-class gyms during your stay. But a 5-kilometre long promenade is right in from of your accommodation, if you feel like a run or a walk. Cape Town has something to offer for everyone.



What is a personalized matching process?

During your application process, we will work closely with you to find you the best placement that suits your skill set. When both you and the company are happy with the placement, we call it a successful match.

How do I secure my spot?

You secure your spot by paying 50% deposit upon successful matching. 

Which companies can I choose from? 

Through the Heavy Chef network, we have a plethora of social ventures to choose from. Cape Town is home to some of the most exciting startups on the African continent, with companies such as Zoona, Luno, Sweepsouth, Jumo, Mama Money, Artisans In Africa and more all operating from the Mother City.

What will I be doing during my work placement?

These are fast growing startups. There are a host of different roles that require filling. Bear in mind that many of the startups in our network have an international focus, so there is huge value in you being placed in their organisation.

What if I don’t like placement?

Communication is key. You need to let us know as soon as possible when you are unhappy with your placement. As entrepreneurs, we want to overcome the challenges as opposed to quit. We will work with you to find a solution.


What’s the weather like in Cape Town?

In a nutshell: Cape Town is a windy city, especially in summer so always have a jacket or sweater with you. It can get quite warm but you can always cool down in the Atlantic Ocean as its water temperature is always cold. We recommend a wetsuit when you go into the water. Cape Town has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, with white sand and surrounded by amazing rocks. Even in winter, Cape Town has tremendous amount of sunshine, however, it does not mean that you can walk around in your shorts the whole year. At the moment, we are experiencing the worst drought in one hundred years. We have level 5 water-restrictions, which means that individuals are not allowed to use more than 87 litres of water per day otherwise they will be fined heavily. Please adhere to the rules implemented by the City of Cape Town and always keep in mind that water is scarce during your stay.  

For the more Wikipedia-type of people:

Cape Town has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate with mild, moderately wet winters and dry, warm summers. Winter, which lasts from the beginning of June to the end of August, may see large cold fronts entering for limited periods from the Atlantic Ocean with significant precipitation and strong north-westerly winds. Winter months in the city average a maximum of 18.0 °C (64 °F) and minimum of 8.5 °C (47 °F) [29] Total annual rainfall in the city averages 515 millimetres (20.3 in). Summer, which lasts from early December to March, is warm and dry with an average maximum of 26.0 °C (79 °F) and minimum of 16.0 °C (61 °F). The region can get uncomfortably hot when the Berg Wind, meaning "mountain wind", blows from the Karoo interior for a couple of weeks in February or early March. Late spring and early summer generally feature a strong wind from the south-east, known locally as the south-easter or the Cape Doctor, so called because it blows air pollution away. This wind is caused by a high-pressure system which sits in the South Atlantic to the west of Cape Town, known as the South Atlantic High. Cape Town receives 3,100 hours of sunshine per year.[30] Water temperatures range greatly, between 10 °C (50 °F) on the Atlantic Seaboard, to over 22 °C (72 °F) in False Bay. Average annual Ocean temperatures are between 13 °C (55 °F) on the Atlantic Seaboard (similar to Californian waters, such as San Francisco or Big Sur), and 17 °C (63 °F) in False Bay (similar to Northern Mediterranean temperatures, such as Nice or Monte Carlo). From 2015 Cape Town started experiencing the worst drought in one hundred years.     




Anything we've missed? Email Zsofia (here) and we'll respond asap. 

"What makes up the life of an entrepreneur? Hard work. Fun. More hard work. Pain. Harder work. Fun. Pain. Fun. Pain. Hard work. -
And maybe, just, maybe, some financial reward at the end of it." 

Contact Zsofia Ivony at +27 72 532 1111 during South African office hours or email us at