Epic Africa

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Epic Africa

Destination

South Africa
Mozambique
Swaziland

Current Grades

9th-12th

length

21 Days

view dates and prices
Airports

Arrive: Johannesburg, South Africa (JNB)
Depart: Durban, South Africa (DUR)

It’s time to journey to the world’s second-largest continent, the land where majestic elephants, massive buffalo, and elusive big cats roam. In addition to getting relatively up close and personal with members of the Big Five, we’ll dedicate time to learning about South Africa’s history, giving back to communities in Lesotho, and exploring the beautiful beaches, waters, and nature reserves of these beautiful African countries. This is a three-week expedition you’ll never forget!

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Itinerary

Day 1-3: Tour Johannesburg and Elephant Experience

We’ll begin our trip in Johannesburg, the home to former president Nelson Mandela. We’ll explore the township and give back by working with local schools and community centers to help with whatever is most needed. Our next activity will lead us to Hazyview, where we’ll spend a morning introducing ourselves to African elephants. In this town’s sanctuary, you’ll be able to actually interact with and feed these gentle giants. You’ll tour the stables where they sleep and learn more about the largest mammal walking on Earth. 

Accommodation: Guesthouse

Day 4-5: Explore Kruger National Park

Ready to see some of South Africa’s famous wildlife? There’s no better place than in Kruger National Park, which houses more species of large mammals than any other African reserve. On the way, we’ll stop at Jane Goodall’s Chimp Eden, the only chimpanzee sanctuary in South Africa. Once in Kruger, we’ll set up camp near the Crocodile River, an area from which it’s not unusual to spot prides of lions, giraffes, and rhinos. The entire next day will be spent on a safari through the park, so keep your eyes peeled for all Big Five: lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant, and Cape buffalo. But that’s not all the wildlife that lives in Kruger. You may also see different species of antelope, the African wild dog, giraffes, hippos, and mongoose.

Accommodation: Chalets

Day 6: Whitewater raft the Sabie River and Bike Marloth Park

Our next activity will lead us to Marloth Park, another wildlife sanctuary home to dozens of animal species found only in South Africa! We will spend the morning biking and learning more about the land and animals that exist there. In the afternoon, we’ll kick it up a notch with a trip down class III rapids on the Sabie River!

Accommodation: Chalets

Day 7-8: Snorkeling in Kosi Bay

Our next adventure takes us south to Kosi Bay, where we’ll spend two days traversing the four interconnected lakes (Amanzimnyama, Nhlange, Mpungwini and Makhawulani) in iSimangaliso Wetland Park. The water (with its sparkling clarity and abundance of wildlife) is famous for the traditional Thonga fish traps, curved woven kraals used for more than 700 years by this community. We’ll spend some time fishing with these traps to catch that night’s dinner! The pristine waters are famous for bird habitats; Kosi Bay is home to more than 250 avian species, including the African fish eagle, flamingos, and the rare palm nut vulture. On its beaches, you’ll spot loggerhead and leatherback turtles. During an afternoon of snorkeling, we’ll hope to catch a glimpse of the nine-striped cardinalfish, emperor angelfish, or honeycomb eel.

Accommodation: Camping

Day 9-11: St. Lucia Ocean and Safari

We’ll spend the next few days in St. Lucia, our first real glimpse at the South African Ocean! While here we will explore Hluhluwe–Imfolozi Park, the oldest nature reserve in the country. Known for its wildlife protection efforts, it’s likely we’ll see more of the Big Five here, especially the white rhino. You may also pass by the jackal, common warthog, baboon, and kudu. On the second day, we’ll spend some time in the Emdoneni Cheetah Project, a rehabilitation center for cheetahs, serval cats, African wildcats and, caracal (lynx). Not only will we learn more about the conservation of big cats, but we’ll get up close and personal with a few of their residents! While in St. Lucia we will enjoy some time at the beach, and an evening sunset cruise along the river. 

Accommodation: Glamping

Day 12-13: Service and Ocean Sea'Faris!

Our next adventure takes us to Ballito where we will be working with a local organization to spread awareness about single use plastics and its effects on marine wildlife. This will include beach clean ups and other wildlife protection service. The following day, we will spend time enjoying the ocean we are working to protect! The Ballito coast, famous for its bottle-nose dolphins, will become our ocean safari playground as we head out to sea in search of marine wildlife spottings! Afterwards, we get our first taste of what it’s like to ride the waves with our first of several surf lessons.  

Accommodation: Camping

Day 14-15: Valley of 1,000 Hills

For the next few days we get fully immersed in a traditional Zulu community. We will travel onto sacred Zulu land and stay in a local village to get an up close view of what a day in the life of these ancient people looks like. We will enjoy a spectacular view of the valley with a sunrise hike, after which we will join a local school for a cultural exchange of singing, dancing, playing traditional games, and helping in the school. 

Accommodation: Camping

Day 16-18: Visit the Drakensberg Mountains in Lesotho

For the next few days, we have a range of adventure in and around Lesotho, a neighboring country to South Africa. We will soar through the mountains on a zip-lining adventure, hike to the world famous Bushman painting sites, and take in the breath taking views of the mountains as we climb through a new country to enjoy the views! 

Accommodation: Camping

Day 19-21: Durban Surfing and SUP Boarding

Our last full days in this beautiful country will be spent surfing and SUP Boarding in Durban. This sleepy coastal village is South Africa’s best-kept secret for surfing, great for beginners and experts alike. We’ll embark on a tour of the bay by Stand Up Paddle Boarding. We’ll glide through the calm waters of the Indian Ocean, above dolphins, exotic fish, and limestone reefs.

Accommodation: Camping

 

*Listed above is Bold Earth’s intended itinerary for this trip. All itineraries are subject to change in order to provide the best possible program quality.

 

 

 

 

Dates and Prices

Departure 1
  • Departure Day
    06/29/23
  • Return Day
    07/19/23
  • Grade
    9–12
  • Price
    $6,888
  • Availability
    Open
Departure Day Return Day Grade Price Availability
06/29/23
07/19/23
9–12
$6,888
open

Accommodations & Service

Community Service: Approximately 10 Hours
  • Various Projects Include: Teaching English to students, repainting a local school, visiting an orphanage, and other environmental projects.
Accommodations:
  • 6 nights of lodge-style accommodations. We stay in small, comfortable, and authentic places.
  • 11 nights of camping. We are staying in comfortable safari-style standing-room tents.
  • 3 nights of glamping. We are staying in large safari-style standing-room tents with beds.

Activities

Community service: 10 hours

Kayaking

Safaris

Sightseeing

Snorkeling

Surfing

Whitewater rafting

Wildlife

Reviews

Noa, student from Scarsdale, NY

My favorite part about my Epic Africa adventure was the opportunity to see the countries in such a complete way from so many different viewpoints and activities. I got to have amazing, once-in-a-lifetime experiences with people that I had met a short time ago and bonded us in a unique way.

Melissa C, parent from Cincinnati, OH

Mattie has done two People to People trips, as well as a school-sponsored trip. Bold Earth was the best. She definitely grew as a person and is more prepared to go off to college. The trip leaders were AMAZING! All of my interactions were very positive. 

Amy P, parent from Woodinville, WA

I could not be happier with the experience both as a parent and for my child. It’s hard to send a teenager on a long trip blindly, not knowing a soul. But I was blown away with the strong friendships my child developed and the excitement in my child’s voice as he told us stories of the activities and the chance to do some good for others in the world. I also feel that it opened my child’s eyes to the world and allowed a safe way to leave his comfort zone. I could not be more impressed/pleased/happy with the experience.

Jamie D, parent from Scarsdale, NY

My experience with Bold Earth has been nothing but positive, from my interactions with Josh and Hayley before the trip, to the communication that we received from Izzy and Samson during the trip. The values that are exemplified in the activities and itineraries that Bold Earth creates offer an opportunity for kids to get out of their comfort zone and learn and grow. I am a huge Bold Earth fan!

Ethan, student from Monroe Township, NJ

I loved everything, especially the safaris, surfing, sandboarding, and the people. Out of my five Bold Earth trips, this Africa trip was my favorite!

Marissa L, parent from Bedford Hills, NY

The communication between the trip leaders during our trip when we were in contact was great. It was very clear that Hayley and Nick created a bond between all of the kids as well as
between themselves and the group.

Marissa, student from Orange, OH

My favorite part about the trip was every single day! I loved all of the community service we did, the safaris, camping, and experiencing Africa in all of its entirety. Going on Bold Earth trips has changed my life and my perspective on the
world. I have made so many new friends from around the world and have done so many amazing things that I think everyone should experience.

Maddie, student from Bar Harbor, ME

My favorite part about the trip was probably being able to create friendships and family-like bonds with all of the people in my group, while getting to experience so many incredible aspects of the culture in the places we were
exploring. I also loved being able to play with the kids at the schools and playgrounds; it was amazing to see how excited and energetic they
were! I would recommend Bold Earth to anyone because it gives you an opportunity to make connections with people from all over the world, see and explore new places, immerse yourself in new cultures, lend a helping hand to those in need, and make amazing memories!