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. Near the quaint town of St. Lucia, we raft, zip-line and participate in a conservation project. Next we visit Hluhluwe Game Reserve - famous for its large population of white rhino.
SWAZILAND: CULTURAL COMMUNITY SERVICE PROJECT
In the Lebombo Mountains we discover a genuinely African way of life by volunteering in a small Swazi village. Mornings are devoted to work 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.
MOZAMBIQUE: SURF, SNORKEL & KAYAK
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 huts on the beach, we spend our days surfing and snorkeling with whale sharks. This is the beachside experience of a lifetime!
SOUTH AFRICA: ORPHANAGE & VOLUNTEER PROJECTS
Our three-week Africa teen trip ends with a focus on South African history and culture. In the heart of Zululand we volunteer at a local orphanage, helping kids to plant a garden. On our final days in Johannesburg, we visit the Apartheid Museum and bike through Soweto Township, gaining a new perspective of South African history and contemporary culture.
- Kruger National Park Safari
- Swaziland: Orphanage Project
- Indian Ocean: Dhow Safari & Snorkel with Whale Sharks
- Mozambique: Surf, Sea Kayak & ATV
- Johannesburg: Apartheid & Cradle of Humankind Museum
- Soweto Township: Bike Tour
Buying Guide: The packing list above is mandatory for your trip; however, the linked items are just shopping recommendations. Backpacks, sleeping bags, and sleeping pads may also be purchased from an outdoor store that has tested gear for varied environments. More generic gear such as mess kits, duffel bags, etc. can be bought relatively inexpensive at Target, Walmart, etc. Feel free to find the gear that suits you and your budget best. The Bold Earth office welcomes and expects questions about packing and equipment!
Travel and Packing Tips: Don't worry about how your backpack is arranged right now. Once you arrive, your Trip Leaders will show you the most efficient way to pack your bag for a multi-day trip. If you have the space for it, a great idea for your airport and travel days is to pack your empty backpacking backpack into your duffel bag. This will reduce your checked bags from two to one.
Spending Money: Bring approximately $75 per week. For most campers this is more than enough. This is for personal expenses and gifts. Unless there is an emergency, Bold Earth will not advance money.
Identification: ID is required when checking in for flights. Bring along a picture ID, library card, school ID or state ID card. Your trip leader will be happy to hold any ID or important documents.
Helmets: Helmets are provided and required for rafting and ice climbing.
Laundry: We visit laundromats weekly. You will wash your own clothes, we provide the suds, coins and know-how. Many participants have identical jeans, socks, hiking boots, etc. A good practice is to put your name on items which are not unique to you.
Trip Journal: Bring along a notebook to record the challenges and successes of your adventure. Forest Service (“USFS”) and National Park Service (“NPS”): Bold Earth is required to notify all participants that, to the extent a court determines USFS and NPS restrictions on waivers of liability apply to Bold Earth as a matter of law, Bold Earth’s liability for negligence may not be waived while you are traveling on those affected lands.
Reading List: The people, places and activities you will encounter on your trip are diverse and incredible. These are a few books offering background information. We suggest you consider reading these books before, during or after your adventure. Also, you might like to read Outside Magazine, Backpacker Magazine, Climbing Magazine, Rock & Ice or Trilogy Magazine, available everywhere. For additional adventurous reading, check out Extreme Classics: The 100 Greatest Adventure Books of All Time
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 build 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.
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
• 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!
Elephants, Rhinos, Hippos, Lions, Giraffes, Zebras and Whale Sharks, YES, bring your camera!
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. Living in the village (in Bush Huts), campers get an authentic sense of life in rural Africa. The projects involve fencing an area in which 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 as the kids from the local village will teach us some 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!
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.
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.
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.
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 is a multiethnic 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
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!
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 camp fire; a true cultural immersion enjoyed by all. That is Swaziland – culture and heritage. This is a beautiful country!
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.
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!
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 highlight of your summer!
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.
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.
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!
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 programing 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. To receive a list of references call us in Colorado at 303-526-0806 email email@example.com. Please mention the trip you are interested and where you live.
My trip to Africa with Bold Earth this summer was definitely a life changing experience and I would do it over again if I could. Meeting people from all over the country and world was awesome and opened up my eyes, as was traveling around to the different countries. Working with the children and seeing their culture taught me so much I had never knew before.
PARENTS, Barbara & Edward: Maggie had a wonderful time. Loved the Epic Africa all the way around. We felt at ease with her being part of Bold Earth and felt that you kept us so well-updated and had a handle on everything. Your follow up was amazing. We would love for Maggie to be part of Bold Earth again. Your organization is super. THANK YOU SO MUCH. Please know that if a parent ever needs to talk to someone about your programs, we would be happy to do so
GREAT COMBINATION OF ACTIVITIES!
PARENTS, Karen & Will: We are very thankful for the experience that Arthur had on Epic Africa. Arthur particularly enjoyed Tyson's style of leadership, and a true mark of Bold Earth's trip and curriculum is that Arthur said he would most definitely like to go on another Bold Earth excursion! For us, the combination of adventure, culture exposure and community service is a great package.
This summer on Epic Africa was awesome! It was a great experience for me: I practiced my english, met new international friends, and had so much fun doing all activities on the trip. So, what else can I add. I think that's it, because this summer was the best summer ever!
Thanks Bold Earth!
BEST SUMMER EVER!
Bold Earth Epic Africa was a life changing experience. It exceeded my expectations and really helped me shape my view and opinion of the world. It changed me as a person, and I will always remember the summer that I spent in Africa. Thank you for this experience!
PARENTS, Shannon & David: We were very impressed by the positive and timely communication from Bold Earth in every situation and we were particularly pleased with the calm and thoughtful assistance we received when we encountered problems at the airport. We felt that Kelsey was in good hands during this once-in-a-lifetime trip and we felt well-informed throughout the entire process. We plan to send our younger daughter on a trip of her choice in a few years. Thank you for an incredible, unforgettable experience for our daughter!
The most successful part of my BOLD EARTH Africa experience was being able to be independent and breaking my comfort barrier. I was able to forget about things back home and let everything go and focus on the present.
PARENTS, Juliette & Bill: The excitement in Alec's voice was one I had never heard before when he had the first call home. Alec had one of the most memorable and enriching summers with Bold earth and he was so sad to have to say goodbye. He was so enthralled with all that they had done , what they saw, the people they interacted with....it was amazing for him. He came home fulfilled and appreciative of everything he has and grateful for having had an experience which most only dream about. The group was well balanced, fun, spirited and team-oriented. He loved his counselors and all that they offered.
PARENTS, Maya & Wesley: Bold Earth is a great company that handles parents fears and children's interests well. The leaders were great. They seemed to handle the group well. My daughter loved Epic Africa and everything about it.
The three weeks I spent in Africa weren't just the highlight of my summer, but probably the highlight of my life. I am so blessed and thankful that I had the privilege of exploring part of such a beautiful continent. I am out of words to even express how I feel about the trip. I have never felt complete contentment ever in my life until this trip. It is an eye-opening experience and it's just so great to contemplate the situations we were in and the things we have done. The people, culture, food and music... It was all just beyond anything I've ever done.
Our trip leaders were two amazing people who just made everything a thousand times better than it already was. Also, they were very welcoming and frankly it wasn't something I was expecting since I was the only Arab on the trip, let alone from Saudi Arabia. But I've learned so much about other cultures and likewise.
I'm also EXTREMELY happy with the lodges/places we stayed at. I think they were MORE than GREAT choices! They had the best atmosphere and an extremely relaxing vibe. Overall, I had the best summer of my life thanks to Bold Earth, I came back home with a completely different attitude and outlook on life. I'm so blessed!!!
This is my photography blog with some of the photos I took on the trip. They're mostly portraits of the local kids but I did get some snaps of my friends interacting with them as well! (( knvx.tumblr.com )) Enjoy! :) Thank you so much! I hope to join you again on another Bold Earth trip next year!
PARENTS, Louloua & Ibrahim: My daughter returned glowing after her trip. The best experience she has ever had in her life. The leaders were brave to take on the responsibility of escorting 20 or so teenagers on a three-week hike across three countries in Southern Africa. You did a great job.
PARENTS, Teresa Garcia & Juan Juan: Epic Africa has been a very good experience. As difficult as it is to contract these kinds of cross-country adventures, Bold Earth has made it easy. The leaders were attentive and on time with communication. We felt very comfortable and at ease while Celia was in the trip. Celia has told us that her experience has been incredible and she would love to repeat
Bold Earth gave me the opportunity to explore another part of the world while surrounded by amazing and friendly people. Overall Epic Africa was a huge success. I plan on coming back next year and many more years to come!
PARENTS, Julie: Nick loved his trip to Africa. He came back a changed person, more adventurous and into exploring than ever before!
I never wanted Epic Africa to end.
PARENTS, Mary Lou & Ed: We would highly recommend Bold Earth and Epic Africa. Josephine raved about the leaders. She has made friends with many other campers from around the world. They are already planning next year's trip. She has a new perspective on life. She will be telling her grandchildren about this trip!
Bold Earth was absolutely incredible and was 100% successful. I will recommend Epic Africa to any teen who is interested in world travel. Everyone in the group was amazing as well as the trip leaders. They introduced such fun things to do and became so involved and attached to the campers. This truly made my Bold Earth experience amazing.
PARENTS, Karen & Chris: Brandon loved his trip, the people, his trip leaders and the experiences. He came home with a bit of a change in direction in life as a result of this trip. We are so proud of his new lease on life. A spark for adventure seems to have been ignited in him while in Africa. He looks forward to the next time he'll be able to broaden his horizons. Thank you Bold Earth!
PERFECT GROUP SIZE!
PARENTS, Fran & Jos: I believe what made Michelle's Epic Africa trip even more memorable was the size of the group. It was so small that everyone of them really knew each other at the end of the trip. You rely on each one to make every day/night a wonderful experience and because there are fewer members, you need to be able to count more on each other. You at Bold earth have given Michelle great new tools how to make new friends and how important it is to be good and understanding to other people. Letting her experience a very different part of the world opened her eyes to the fact there is more out there in the world than iPhones computers and luxury articles. THANK YOU SO MUCH for giving Michelle a beautiful memory and at the same time a great education in life!
I would do Epic Africa again in a heartbeat.
PARENTS, Dottie & Mike: Mary-Cate had a truly wonderful experience. She said it was a trip she will never forget. She truly loved helping with the children in the orphanages and seeing how they live. She also had a blast exploring south Africa. It is obvious from her pictures how happy she was there...always a smile from ear to ear! It warms my heart to know what a wonderful experience it was for her!
PARENTS, Nicolas & Anne: Everything on Epic Africa was perfect. The Bold Earth experience is exactly what I was looking for Claire. Thank you very much to your whole team.
Epic Africa was exceptionally great. I have been on several of these types of trips, but none had such a cohesive and intriguing group of campers. I think its success was due to its easygoing, stress-less atmosphere, the terrific leaders, and the amount of activity and the beauty of the locations.
PARENTS, Kim & Andrew: He said it was best trip yet! The group mix was as energizing as it was compatible and Alilson's leadership was terrific! Above all, Bold Earth as an organization was as personable as it was professional. Bravo!
It was as EPIC as promised! Africa was probably the best experience of my life and I will totally recommend it to everyone and anyone who has any interest in it.
Travel Made Easy!
- 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.
- 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.
- Combine 2 Trips: Many Bold Earth participants combine Bold Earth trips. Call or e-mail our office for more information.