• South Africa

Overview

Because of its natural beauty and unique terrains, South Africa is an obvious destination for athletes of all sorts. On this tour, you will get a chance to learn more about kinesiology and health research happening in South Africa as well as experience some of the natural athletic outlets in the country, like hiking, kayaking, etc.  There are also opportunities to relax at tastings in South Africa’s wine country and decompress at one of the popular water parks. 

Highlights

  • University of Cape Town – Shadow university students and sit in on classes to get a feel for South African college life and curricula.
  • Table Mountain – One of the most iconic features of the Cape Town skyline, Table Mountain is a popular destination for tourists and athletes alike.
  • Sea Kayak with Penguins – Kayak off the coast of Boulders Beach, home to one of the famous African penguin colonies.
  • Sports Science Institute - The Institute began as a hub for athletic research and practical applications to enhance athletes’ health and performance. It is now a center for health and wellness for all South Africans.
  • Awol Masiphumelele Bicycle Tour - An international, award-winning, and sustainable tour of South African townships by bike. Includes local cuisine for lunch.

Sample Itinerary

Day 1: Cape Town

Arrive in Cape Town, known internationally as one of the most beautiful cities. Visitors flock to Cape Town for its relaxed lifestyle, unique history, diverse culture, and natural splendor. Check in to the B.I.G. Backpackers before enjoying a group lunch and program orientation. Then, kick off your adventure with dinner and entertainment at the Gold Restaurant. Sample food from across the continent and you can even join in on the drum circle

Day 2: Cape Town

After breakfast, it’s time to discover Cape Town. On your city tour, you’ll stop by the Oranjezicht City Farm, a nonprofit group that uses urban farming to promote local food, culture, and community. Among some of the other highlights are a visit to the Company Gardens, shopping at Greenmarket Square, panoramic views from Signal Hill, and a stop in the colorful suburb of Bo Kaap. While in Bo Kaap, learn how to cook a classic Cape Malay dish with the help of a Cape Malay local chef.  You can even enjoy the fruits of your labor after cooking is complete!

Day 3: Cape Town

Grab breakfast and hop on the MyCiti bus in to town. From here, you will continue on the Jammie Shuttle to University of Capetown where you will shadow some of the university students and even sit in on a class. After lunch under your own arrangements, you will continue your shadow tour of UCT. This evening, return to your accommodations for your overnight.

Day 4: Cape Town

After breakfast, head to Table Mountain for a morning of hiking. You can choose to take the cable car to the top for walking trails and vistas, or the more adventurous may try one of the trails up to the summit. Be sure to tell someone your route. Along your hike, stop to enjoy a packed lunch. Once down from the summit, you can relax and mosey at the V&A Waterfront, a popular tourist destination packed with dining, entertainment, and shopping. 

Day 5: Cape Town

Following breakfast, you will pay a visit to Robben Island. Located in Table Bay, this notorious prison is where many of South Africa’s political prisoners were held during Apartheid, including Nelson Mandela for 18 of his 27 year term. Lunch is under own arrangements before you set out for an afternoon kayak trip. As you paddle through False Bay, you’ll stop by Boulders Beach, home to an African penguin colony. Depending on the season, you may even cross paths with some whales on your trip.

Day 6: Cape Town

Today is another opportunity to get a feel for South African college life at University of Cape Town. You will shadow a university student and sit in on lectures through the afternoon until your return to Greenpoint.

Day 7: Cape Town

Another day at UCT for shadowing and classes.

Day 8: Cape Town

Another day at UCT for shadowing and classes.

Day 9: Cape Town

After breakfast, get oriented with the community service project that you will be volunteering with today. After learning more about the project and your roles, dive in to your community service. Feeling rewarded, this evening you’ll get to enjoy a Sea Point Sunset Hour Cycle, pedalling your way to beautiful scenery and photo ops.

Day 10: Cape Town

Like yesterday, you will begin your day with breakfast and an orientation to today’s community service project. After giving back to the community, this afternoon you will embark of the Awol Masiphumelele Bicycle Tour, an award-winning, socially responsible take on township tours. Along your route, your guide will point out places of interests and explain local customs. You’ll also get a chance to engage with the local community and eat local cuisine for lunch. 

Day 11: Cape Town - Stellenbosch

Eat a big breakfast, before you head off to Stellenbosch; you’ll need it as you kick off the day with wine tours and tastings. The Stellenbosch region is well renowned for its many wineries, and beautiful scenery with vineyard-lined mountains.  Your tour will include stops at the Spier Wine Farm and Middlevlei Wine Estate, where you will enjoy lunch. Afterwards, take some time to enjoy the university town of Stellenbosch before dinner at a wine estate. 

Day 12: Stellenbosch

Start with breakfast before your group departs for the Jonkershoek Nature Reserve for a Panorama Circuit Hike. The nature reserve is beloved by hikers; within the Jonkershoek Mountains are the origin points for the Eerste, Berg, Lourens, and Riviersonderend Rivers, making for splendid scenery. Your climb will take you 17km for panoramic views just below the Banhoek peaks. If you choose to detour to Guardian Peak, you’ll be able to see from Table Mountain to Cape Point, including False Bay, Cape Hangkilp, and Robben Island. There will also be a chance to stop for a swim.  Along the way, enjoy a packed lunch. Once down from the hike, stop by Root44 Market, a great one stop shop for entertainment, crafts, food, and drinks. Take some time to shop and explore before heading to dinner at the Devonale Golf and Wine Estate.

Day 13: Cape Town

Today, you will head back to the University of Capetown for a morning and afternoon of classroom lectures and shadowing. 

Day 14: Cape Town

Another day at UCT for shadowing and classes.

Day 15: Cape Town

After breakfast, head to the V&A Waterfront for a visit to the Springbok Experience, a museum dedicated to the history of rugby in South Africa followed by a tour of a rugby stadium.  Break for some lunch before continuing on to the Sports Science Institute. The Institute began as a hub for athletic research and practical applications to enhance athletes’ health and performance. It is now a center for health and wellness for all South Africans. 

Day 16: Cape Town

Following breakfast, embark on a bike ride along the Cape Fitness Cycle Trail. The remainder of the afternoon and evening is at your leisure.

Day 17: Cape Town - Johannesburg - Pilanesberg

This morning, transfer to the airport for your morning flight to Johannesburg. Upon arrival, your first stop will be at the Lesedi Cultural Village, located in the Cradle of Humankind. Here, you can experience the culture and customs of the people of Africa, as well as visit 5 traditional types of homesteads, including that of the Xhosa, Pedi, Basotho, Zulu, and Ndebele. At lunch this afternoon, you’ll be treated to a dance show while you eat. Before checking in to your accommodations, watch a Ketti shooting contest. Then, head to Bakgatia Resort for dinner and your overnight. Bakgatia Resort sits at the foot of the Garamoga Hills and conveniently located near Pilanesberg Game Reserve. Keep your eyes peeled for the Big 5 or one of the 360 bird species.

Day 18: Pilanesberg

Set out for a morning game drive in Pilanesberg National Park this morning. Return for breakfast and the remainder of your afternoon at leisure. Then, head back out for a sunset game drive to watch as the wildlife settle into their evening routines. Dinner will be back at camp. 

Day 19: Pilanesberg

Following breakfast,  you will depart for the Valley of the Waves, the central attraction at the Lost City of the Sun. Valley of the Waves is one of the most advanced water parks in the world, one of its main features being a 7,560-square yard wave pool with a palm-fringed beach. Every 90 seconds, its hydraulic machinery can produce a 6’8” wave. Return to Pilanesburg for an evening game drive followed by a boma dinner in the bush.

Day 20: Pilanesberg - USA

Start early this morning with a game drive before breakfast. Check out of the resort and en route to the airport, stop at the Chameleon Village Craft Center for some last-minute souvenir shopping. Transfer to the airport for your return flight home.