Kruger National Park, South Africa
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Africa Teen Trip

Epic Africa

Combining world-class safaris and adventure activities with meaningful community service, Bold Earth's Epic Africa trip has it all. Experience 21 days in South Africa, Swaziland & Mozambique.

Price:$6,188

Destination

South Africa, Swaziland & Mozambique

2019 Dates

June 29 - July 19
Available
July 21 - August 10
Available

Duration

21 days

Ages

15–17

Trip Highlights

  • World-Class Wildlife Safari
  • 10 Hours of Community Service
  • Visit the Apartheid Museum
  • Elephants, Lions, Giraffes & Zebras
  • Discover Kruger National Park
  • Soweto Township Bike Tour
  • Surf Lessons
  • Epic White Sand Beaches
  • Snorkel & Sea Kayak
  • Whitewater Raft & Hike

*The itineraries below are from summer 2018. The 2019 itinerary will be finalized in October 2018.

Price

$6,188

SOUTH AFRICA: ORPHANAGE & TEEN VOLUNTEER PROJECTS

Our three-week Africa teen trip begins with a focus on South African history and culture. On our first days in Johannesburg, we visit the Apartheid Museum and bike through Soweto Township, gaining a new perspective of South African history and contemporary culture. We visit Nelson Mandela's home and learn about the struggle against apartheid. In the heart of Zululand, we volunteer at a local orphanage to help build garden beds and plant seeds in the garden.

SWAZILAND: CULTURAL COMMUNITY SERVICE PROJECT

High up in the Lebombo Mountains we experience African culture by staying in a village, volunteering in a small Swazi village, and immersing ourselves in the warm culture of Swaziland. Mornings are devoted to working as we help at a local school and plant trees. In the evenings, we eat local delicacies and enjoy traditional village dances around the campfire. The combination of culture, service, wildlife, and adventure make Bold Earth's Epic Africa the best high school Africa program.

SAFARI: ELEPHANTS, RHINOS, HIPPOS, LIONS, GIRAFFES & ZEBRAS

Epic Africa includes three world-class safaris. We begin in Kruger National Park, one of Africa's most famous game parks and home to countless rhinos, elephants, zebras, lions, and giraffes. Kruger, South Africa's most famous National Park is an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime safari experience. Next, near the quaint town of St. Lucia, we visit iSimangaliso Wetland Park where we safari by boat, seeing hippos, crocodiles, incredible birds and maybe even some elephant. Next, we visit Hluhluwe Game Reserve - famous for its large population of white rhino. Hluhluwe is a mountainous safari and another great opportunity to see the elusive Big 5.

MOZAMBIQUE: SURF, SNORKEL & KAYAK

Traveling to Ponta du Ouro, Mozambique, we experience a new culture and the most beautiful beaches. On the stunning white sand beaches of the Indian Ocean, we adventure in one of Mozambique’s most picturesque beach towns, Ponta do Ouro. While living in just steps from the beach, we spend our days surfing and snorkeling with dolphins. This is the beachside experience of a lifetime!
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Day 1
Welcome to South Africa!
Welcome to Bold Earth! Campers will be met upon arrival at the Johannesburg Airport by your experienced Bold Earth trip leaders. Campers will immediately call home to confirm their safe arrival. Once the group has arrived, we load up our private van and head off to our hotel in Johannesburg. After the excitement of your arrival, you can sit back and the fun begins. Your first day will begin with a basic orientation. We will spend the first day learning about the itinerary and preparing for the whole group's arrival. Once everyone has arrived we celebrate with a traditional South African Braai or BBQ.
Day 2
Soweto Bike Tour & Apartheid Museum
We rise early and head for Soweto, a township outside of Johannesburg steeped in history and culture. Traveling by bike, we explore the township guided by local residents to gain an appreciation for the vast differences between various ways of life in Johannesburg. We visit the homes of Nelson Mandela and Desmund Tutu while learning about the long struggle against Apartheid and the current living conditions for Soweto's residents. After a traditional lunch of pap (the most traditional South African staple) and stew, we move to the Apartheid Museum to learn about the struggle of black and colored South Africans to gain their freedoms. This museum visit informs the rest of our travels as we learn about the politics, culture and natural beauty of South Africa.
Day 3
Primate Sanctuary & Cradle of Humankind
After breakfast, we enjoy a Tour of the Primate Sanctuary – where you will get up close and personal with many different types of exotic primates as we learn about their habits and what threatens them in today’s time. Our afternoon will comprise of a visit to the Cradle of Humankind, one of the World Heritage sites in South Africa. The Cradle of Humankind was declared a World Heritage Site in 1999 because of the area’s exceptional contribution to our understanding of humankind’s history and development, over more than 3-million years. Altogether, there are 15 major fossil sites in the Cradle of Humankind, of which the Sterkfontein Caves is the most famous. The fossils “Mrs. Ples” and “Little Foot” were both discovered here, as well as thousands of more fossils of hominids, which are human ancestors, as well those of plants and animals. Our tour will include exploring the Sterkfontein caves where excavation is still taking place today.
Day 4-5
Kruger National Park - Safari!
Today we depart the Johannesburg area and travel north into the heart of Safari country and to Kruger National Park. Upon arrival, we set up camp and begin our days of wildlife viewing. The next morning begins with an early rise as we make our way to the World Famous Kruger National Park. One of the largest game reserves in Africa covering an area of 7580 square miles extending 220 miles from north to south and 40 miles from East to West. Kruger National park became South Africa’s first National park in 1926. Boasting all of the Big 5 – Lion, Rhino, Elephant, Buffalo and the elusive Leopard, this popular Tourist destination is sure to be a highlight for all.
Day 6
Sgigule Community Service
Today we give back to the local community of Sgigule! Our day will be spent participating in a community service project and involves working at a local village. We may be involved with working at the crèche (The African word for orphanage or day-care) and meet some of the children from the nursery school as we do maintenance work in a classroom, plant a vegetable garden, and paint a mural.
Day 7
Hazyview, Greater Kruger Area
Today after packing up camp we head South to a small town called Hazyview, where we will have a Day of Wildlife and Adventure. Our first activity - whitewater rafting down the Sabie River! Rafting through rapids, jumping into the water, passing through narrow canyons and surrounded by spectacular scenery, this is an amazing experience! After lunch, we experience Africa’s Gentle Giants – the Elephant! As we learn a bit more about their history and what threatens them in today's time, we interact with these majestic creatures - the opportunity of a lifetime! After the day’s activities, we board our vehicle and head to base camp for the evening. We check-in to our hotel and enjoy a game of pool and some well-deserved relaxation. Our evening will be spent enjoying a traditional Shangaan cultural evening of song and dance.
Day 8-9
Swaziland Village Stay
The journey continues as we cross our first border to Swaziland. We travel north towards the Lebombo Mountains. Here we have the opportunity to truly immerse ourselves in African culture during our two days in Simunye Village. We are oriented to local culture and led on a village walk where we interact with the local Swazi People. We volunteer for a morning in the village's community center, helping with different community initiatives before playing an epic Bold Earth vs. Locals soccer game in the afternoon. We eat local delicacies and enjoy traditional African dancing around the campfire - a culturally immersive experience enjoyed by all!
Day 10
Swaziland Safari
Sadly, we say goodbye to our friends in Simunye and travel to Swaziland's most famous wildlife reserve, Hlane National Park. Today we go on a safari, tracking down giraffe, lion, rhino, hippo, cheetah and maybe even a leopard! In the evening, we drive in safari vehicles to watch the sunset over Swaziland - Sunset is the best time to see wildlife!
Day 11-13
Snorkeling & Beach Time
Today we bid Swaziland farewell, as we cross borders back into South Africa, and make our way to the quaint coastal town of Kosi Bay. Upon arrival, we set up camp and depart for the beach to soak up some sun and enjoy afternoon beach activities such as volleyball and snorkeling, before returning to camp to freshen up for dinner. The next day, after a filling breakfast, we head to the beach and are met by local guides who will take us to the Fish Traps, designed by the Local Thonga Community many years ago! These age-old spearfishing practices have been passed down through generations to ensure the health and longevity of their communities. Our guides demonstrate proper technique and allow us the opportunity to try our hand at spearfishing! All the fish we catch will be cooked up this evening for a fish braai (BBQ). We wake up the next morning for a day of community service, at an elementary school near our campsite. We participate in projects that may range from refurbishing the school or clinic, starting a vegetable garden, or painting a building! Our hard work is balanced with plenty of time to play games and opportunities to get to know the local children!
Day 14-16
Mozambique: Surfing & Kayaking!
Our day begins with a hearty breakfast before packing up camp and heading to the Mozambique border, to cross over to a coastal village called Ponta do Ouro – which translates to "Tip of Gold" in English. Here, we will base ourselves for the next three nights as we explore this beautiful village and its exquisite beaches. We will enjoy swimming with dolphins, snorkeling & plenty of relaxing on the beautiful beaches of Ponta. We will also enjoy tasty local cuisine – a sure highlight of our Africa adventure!
Day 17-18
Hluhluwe Game Reserve
Over the next two days, our travels take us to Hluhluwe-Imfolozi, the oldest game reserve in Africa - famous for the endangered black rhino. Seated in a game drive vehicle, we enjoy exciting wildlife viewings of elephants, giraffes, rhinos and more! The adventure continues as we partake in community service projects and a cultural exchange in Zululand, to continue showing our appreciation for the beautiful land and kind people of Africa. Through gift giving, community involvement and hard work, our group are able to uniquely bond with the locals.
Day 19
St. Lucia Wetlands Park
We get an early start and head further along the coast to St. Lucia, a recognized world heritage park. We take a boat cruise and explore the five different ecosystems that Lake St. Lucia has to offer. After countless sightings of hippopotamus family pods and observing the Nile crocodile in their natural habitat, we travel to Durban. Upon arrival, we settle into our hotel and head out in the afternoon to enjoy a beautiful day at the beach! In the evening, we have a traditional Braai (BBQ) on the rooftop of our hotel, overlooking Durban and the Indian Ocean.
Day 20
Durban
We start the day with an early morning wake up call and a surfing lesson at Durban Beach. Our surf instructors will have you up and riding the waves in record time! After our surfing lesson, we share a big lunch before moving onto our next activity for the day – sea kayaking. We paddle in the bay as we pass the beautiful Durban skyline, an unforgettable adventure in the calm waters of the Indian Ocean. After returning to land, we enjoy a dinner out and reminisce about the weeks gone by and the places we visited - and ultimately, the friends we made!
Day 21
Departure - Durban
Today is the last day of Bold Earth's Epic Africa trip. We head for the airport in Durban, where we bid you a tearful goodbye! "Alamsiki Mori", ("Farewell Friends" in Swahili).

AFRICA: Big Picture?

Together with a group of teens and AMAZING trip leaders, explore the villages of Swaziland, the beaches of Mozambique and the extraordinary wildlife of South Africa. A  3-country, 3-week adventure full of community service, adventure, safaris, and culture!

South Africa, Mozambique & Swaziland are wonderful world-class travel destinations. Bold Earth has carefully built a sophisticated trip to experience the real Africa. Bold Earth families expect Epic Africa to be safe, authentic, meaningful and impactful. Campers travel 24/7 with a local South African trip leader plus two Bold Earth leaders. Bold Earth customers expect us to exceed their expectations – PERIOD.

Bold Earth is the expert in teen travel. We have carefully scouted our Epic Africa trip to ensure safety, fun, and culture! Our goal was to create the perfect combination of Adventure + Culture + Service for teens.

Trip highlights?

21 Days of NON-STOP adventure, culture & Africa!

Some AWESOME Highlights:
• World-Class Wildlife Sanctuaries
• 40 Hours of Community Service
• Elephants, Lions, Springbok, Giraffes & Zebras
• Snorkel & Sea Kayak in Mozambique
• 4 Surf Lessons
• Hippos
• Soweto Township Bike Tour
• Visit the Apartheid Museum

From the wildebeest, dung-beetle, and cheetah of Kruger National Park, the beaches of Mozambique to the culture of Swaziland’s villages, Epic Africa is truly the best Southern Africa has to offer!

Can I speak to references?

To receive a list of Epic Africa references call us in Colorado at 303-526-0806 or email info@boldearth.com. Please mention the trip you are interested and where you live.

Since 1976 over 16,000 students from all 50 US states and 55 countries have joined Bold Earth! We encourage you to contact our alumni directly to find out about the quality of our leaders, depth of programming and what a summer with Bold Earth is really like.

We want careful and selective families to choose Bold Earth. Our offerings are only as good as the families who choose Bold Earth Adventures. Our target student is responsible, informed and enthusiastic.

Will we safari?

Absolutely!

Animal Highlights: Elephants, Rhinos, Hippos, Lions, Giraffes, Zebras and Whale Sharks, YES, bring your camera!

Where do we stay?

Bold Earth spends countless hours securing incredible, safe and amazing accommodations for Epic Africa. Bold Earth does it best. YES, you will be comfortable!

Breakdown:
• Camping: 9 Nights
• Lodges: 9 Nights
• Bush Huts: 2 Nights

Camping: The tents are luxury-safari style tents which will make you almost not miss your bed at home! Campsites in Africa are beautiful, clean and offer campers a glimpse into the beauty of Africa. All campgrounds have bathrooms and most have showers. We also find camping to create FANTASTIC group bonding. Bold Earth provides tents and you will share with 1 or 2 other campers of your same gender.

Lodges: Bold Earth carefully selects high-quality adventure lodges throughout the Epic Africa trip. We always stay in private rooms with western-style accommodations. Staying in lodges allows the group to see a different side of Africa!

Bush Huts: Bush huts are a classic type of lodging in Africa. A glimpse into village life, campers find bush huts to be authentic and comfortable. We wake up early because the roosters are clucking and we have to help locals to cook! These 2 days are a highlight of the trip! Wow!

Where we stay adds to the richness and authenticity of Africa. Epic Africa is a carefully crafted trip. Where, how and why we pick each night’s lodging is why you select and put your trust in Bold Earth and we honor that trust.

What's the Community Service?

Community Service is a Bold Earth core value. Bold Earth carefully chooses hands-on community service projects that are active, engaging and . . . LIFE CHANGING! All Bold Earth participants will receive a certificate to document their service hours.

Service Credit: 40 Hours

Campers earn 40 hours of community service on Bold Earth’s Epic Africa program. Designed to be educational, worthwhile and fun, the projects connect campers with the communities and natural environments of the places we visit. Many students write their college essay on their Bold Earth community service projects and the impact they had on themselves and the people we met.

3 AMAZING Projects:

1. Zululand: Campers spend 2 days working at a community center. Campers work side-by-side with local villagers on various projects, including painting, fencing, planting trees and general maintenance. In between our hard work, we will have the opportunity to play with the local school children – SO FUN! Our first service project experience culminates with a cultural evening of Zulu dances and songs and a traditional meal prepared by the women in the village.

2. Swaziland: Our third day of service takes place in northern Swaziland. Experiencing village life and staying in Bush Huts, campers get an authentic sense of life in rural Africa. The projects include fencing in an area to release small wildlife, refurbishing a nearby school, planting vegetables on the school property and much more. During our stay in Swaziland, we will also participate in a cultural exchange with the kids from a local village who will teach us Swazi dances and songs. This will be a great opportunity to interact with the local people of Swaziland.

3. Kruger National Park: Our final day of community service work takes place in South Africa’s Kruger National Park. Campers participate in conservation work in world-renowned Kruger National Park. Campers work alongside Park Rangers, to track animals, remove invasive plant species and learn about conservation efforts. This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity is perfect for animal lovers!

Group size & Trip Leaders?

Small group size = SUCCESS!

• Maximum of 13 incredible and enthusiastic campers
• 2 American adult trip leaders (1 male and 1 female)
• 2 professional South African guides

Group size MATTERS! Small groups enhance camper experience and cultivate better relationships. Knowledgeable and experienced guides make Bold Earth trips safer while giving Bold Earth programs powerful authenticity.

Leadership and taking charge is a planned part of every day. You will get a chance to be a Leader of the Day (LOD), which will give you the opportunity to step into a leadership role. Our goal is for students to return home with a dozen new lifelong friends, feeling more confident, more of a leader, and more self-aware with a better appreciation of the world around them.

Yes, a male and female leader will be with the group 24/7.

How do we travel?

Campers travel exclusively by private vehicles on Epic Africa. Bold Earth’s “Safari-style” bus seats up to 25 people and has tables to play cards – we call it our Mad Max vehicle!

Bold Earth is committed to safe and fun travel. Our bus is driven by an experienced professional local driver.

What's the food like?

Bold Earth food is awesome! YES, the food will be healthy, delicious, local, and fun. Bold Earth emphasizes eating locally – this means learning to cook local cuisine and visiting supermarkets – WOW!

Campers will learn to cook new meals and local dishes. Bold Earth employs a local cook who will help prepare meals for us on our journey – this keeps the experience authentic and fun. The diet of many South Africans is similar to the USA or Europe. Lots of potatoes, rice, veggies, and meat. Campers find the food to be DELICIOUS and diverse!

There will always be plenty of delicious and nutritious food options – the quality of food and the experience of cooking is often a highlight of a Bold Earth trip!

YES, Bold Earth welcomes vegetarians and can accommodate most special allergies, kosher, diets, and food preferences.

More about Africa?

Africa is BIG! From the Sahara and the Serengeti to the beaches of the Indian Ocean, Africa has it all!

Home to 15% of the world’s population – about 1 billion people, there are 54 fully recognized countries. Southern Africa, specifically South Africa, Mozambique, and Swaziland, are among the most stable, safe and successfully developed African countries.

South Africa:
South Africa is a multi-ethnic democracy with a myriad of languages, cultures, and religions. Home to incredible natural diversity, South Africa is famous for its wildlife, beaches and abundant adventure opportunities.

A world pariah until 1994, South Africa’s apartheid regime enforced racial segregation and oppressed the majority of the country’s citizens. In 1994, a free South Africa elected Nelson Mandela, the first black President, to lead the transition to racial equality.

Today, South Africa is a top travel destination. With a sophisticated tourist infrastructure, good governance and abundant attractions – South Africa is a wonderful place to visit! Campers will have the opportunity to learn more about South Africa’s fascinating history at Johannesburg’s Apartheid Museum and in discussions with local guides

Mozambique
About the size of Turkey, Mozambique is a Portuguese speaking country famous for its beaches and culture. Since independence in 1975, Mozambique experienced a protracted civil war. In 1994, Mozambique held its first multi-party elections and has remained a stable, democratic country. With its capital, Maputo, full of colonial architecture, most travelers visit the white sand beaches of Mozambique’s Indian Ocean coastline. Mozambique is safe, large and beautiful!

Swaziland
The Kingdom of Swaziland is a small landlocked country bordered by South Africa and Mozambique. Swaziland is very small but has made a huge impact on Bold Earth. It is here that campers have the opportunity to truly immerse themselves in African culture. We eat local delicacies and enjoy traditional African dancing around the campfire; a true cultural immersion enjoyed by all. That is Swaziland – culture, and heritage. This is a beautiful country!

Is it safe?

Safety is priority #1, #2 and #3.

We understand “Africa” has a bad reputation. Our 15+ years of experience is very different. Bold Earth carefully scouts trip locations with safety in mind. All of the places we visit are extremely welcoming and relaxed. Parents, we understand your concerns and would not consider a trip to a place where the well being, safety and health was questionable. We visit places with our local partners which have a proven safety record of hundreds of Bold Earth students.

What's the weather like?

WEATHER – WONDERFUL!

South Africa, Mozambique & Swaziland are located SOUTH of the equator, making it “winter”. However, even though it is winter during this time, it never gets too cold. The temperature will range between 60’s – 80’s.

Winter is the dry season – no rain, no mosquitos. Just pleasant weather!

Do campers come alone?

Yes, approximately 85% of campers join Bold Earth on their own. Many love to get away from it all and experience a brand new summer with new friends and new adventures.

Some students want to share this experience with their best friend and that is absolutely fine, but Bold Earth will not accept more than 3 students who know each other in one group. The bonds and friendships that you take away from Bold Earth will absolutely be the highlight of your summer!

Are Immunizations required?

Bold Earth carefully researches possible health risks as part of our trip planning for the exact destinations we visit in Africa. Bold Earth visits established tourist locations. We will also be traveling during Southern Africa’s winter – the healthiest season to travel! For most campers, standard vaccinations are sufficient for travel in Africa.

For more information, please consult your family physician or local travel clinic. The day to day Epic Africa Itinerary on the website can be printed to show to your travel clinic or family physician.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a South Africa specific website which we find to be very broad covering all areas, seasons and types of travel.

What to pack?

Over the last 20 years, Bold Earth has carefully crafted the Epic Africa Packing List to include everything a participant needs to be comfortable on the trip. Click to view: Epic Africa Packing List for a detailed description of exactly what to bring. Anything not included on the list is provided by Bold Earth.

Checking Bags? On Airport Day, campers will check the large duffle bag. We recommend using the small daypack as a carry-on. Most airlines do not charge a checked bag fee for international travel. We recommend asking the airline for their specific policy – campers are responsible for checked bag fees.

Give Bold Earth a call at 303-526-0806 if you have any questions. The Bold Earth Trip Advisor Team is always available to help answer packing questions or provide gear recommendations.

Passport & Visa requirements?

For all travelers, a valid passport is required to enter South Africa, Mozambique, and Swaziland. If you are NOT from the EU or USA you must check on entry and Visa requirements for your home country.

Mozambique: An entry visa is required for all visitors to Mozambique. For US and EU citizens, a tourist visa will be purchased at the border upon arrival. The cost is $90 and must be paid in cash by the participant. Bold Earth will provide more details for enrolled participants.

Two trips?

Yes, Epic Africa and all Bold Earth trips are designed to be combined to create an epic Bold Earth summer adventure. If you are interested contact our Colorado office for more information!

Epic Africa

Travel Made Easy!

  1. Fly Together: Our goal is to fly together as a group. All students are met upon arrival and families are called immediately from the airport.
  2. We recommend participants book flights three months before departure. Booking around April 1st allows the Bold Earth team to guarantee low fares and maximum coordinated group flights.
  3. Combine 2 Trips: Many Bold Earth participants combine Bold Earth trips. Call or e-mail our office for more information.

Every trip has a story.

We have 40+ years of amazing travel tales to share, but our favorites are always best told by our adventurers themselves.
View Trip Blog
Soweto, South Africa
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"The three weeks I spent in Africa weren't just the highlight of my summer, but probably the highlight of my life."

- Rachel T.

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