“A world in one country”
Possessing dramatic landscapes, fantastic wildlife, rich culture, extraordinary history, and fascinating people, South Africa has long held the distinction of being one of the most diverse and interesting countries on our planet. From Johannesburg to Kruger National Park, from Swaziland to Hluhluwe, from Durban to Port Elizabeth, around the horn to Knysna, Franschhoek, and Cape Town, we will do as much as we can, and we will learn as much as we can about the people, the animals, the land, and the natural wonders of this incomparable destination.
What you'll experience
We will begin our journey in Johannesburg, one of Africa’s biggest and most vibrant cities, with a tour of the Soweto Township to learn about the historic struggle for freedom during the Apartheid era. Stops will include the Hector Pieterson Museum, the Mandela Family Museum, and Vilakazi Street.
Then we are off for two nights in Kapama Private Game Reserve for a wildlife safari along Kruger National Park’s western border. In addition to the game drives, we’ll enjoy an educational visit to the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre. We’ll move on to an overnight in Hazyview, where we will visit the Three Rondavels Lookout, Lisbon Falls, Bourke’s Luck Potholes, God’s Window, and Blyde River Canyon and enjoy an evening of culture at Shangaan River Club.
Next on our itinerary is the landlocked nation of Swaziland, where we’ll visit Matsamo Cultural Village to experience the traditional life of the Swazi people. Nearby is the renowned Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve, where we’ll enjoy another two days on a wildlife safari and a visit to the fascinating Cheetah Project for wild cat rehabilitation.
Heading south, we’ll take a boat cruise on beautiful Lake St Lucia in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. We’ll hug the KwaZulu-Natal coastline on our way to Durban, following South Africa’s remote Wild Coast to Mthatha, Nelson Mandela’s homeland.
We will next be found relaxing in lovely Crawfords Beach before continuing down the coast to Port Elizabeth on our way to the coastal town of Knysna. Once on the southern coast we visit Tsitsikamma National Park, Storms River Mouth, and the world’s largest aviary at Birds of Eden. We’ll have a fantastic hands-on interaction with African elephants at the Crags Elephant Sanctuary and a whale-watching excursion with Ocean Blue Adventures. No kidding!
Hermanus is considered one of the best whale-watching destinations in the world, so we’re going there, too. In addition to the opportunity to see more whales, we will visit the Bartolomeu Dias Museum and begin the wine-tasting portion of our journey; which brings us to Franschhoek, situated in the heart of wine country. You’ll not only enjoy unforgettable wines, you’ll have the choice between a whale-watching cruise with Southern Right Charters or, get this: a great white shark tour with White Shark Projects! That’s right.You don’t have to get in the water, of course, but you can cage dive with great white sharks if you want to!
This incredible journey ends in Cape Town, widely considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world. We will visit Table Mountain, multiple wine estates, the rugged Cape Peninsula to see Hout Bay harbor, Seal Island, Cape Point, and Boulders Beach, where you can walk with the penguins. On top of all of that, you’ll have an entire free day in Cape Town to do as you please.
This is a big trip, and it is going to be absolutely fantastic. It’s a long journey that is full of educational opportunities. There is no point in going this far without doing a proper visit, so please join us as we traverse the beautiful landscapes, enjoy safaris on land and sea, dance to traditional music, relax on beautiful beaches, taste exquisite wines, visit excellent museums, tend the elephants, walk among the penguins, and learn about the extraordinary human history of this unique and complex nation.
Oct 31 — Flight to South Africa from Chicago
Nov 1-2 — Johannesburg
- In one of Africa’s most vibrant cities, we visit Regina Mundi Church, Soweto Township, the Hector Pieterson Museum, and the Mandela Family Museum.
Nov 3-4 — Kapama Private Game Reserve
- Via Dullstroom and Lydenburg we travel to this renowned private game reserve along Kruger National Park’s western border for two days of safari, with a visit to the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre.
Nov 5 — Hazyview
- A day of extraordinary landscapes including Three Rondavels, Lisbon Falls, Bourke’s Luck Potholes, and God’s Window concludes with a cultural feast of dance and music at Shangaan River Club.
Nov 6 — Swaziland
- Cross the border into the Kingdom of Swaziland through the capital of Mbabane for a fascinating visit to the Mantenga Cultural Village to learn of the Swazi way of life.
Nov 7-8 — Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve
- Travel through the endless vistas of Zululand to Emdoneni Lodge for two days of game safaris and a visit to their amazing Cheetah Project.
Nov 9 — Durban
- An early morning cruise among the hippos and crocodiles of the St Lucia Estuary in iSimangaliso Wetland Park precedes our drive along the lush KwaZulu-Natal coastline to Durban, the region’s tourist hub.
Nov 10 — Mthatha
- A beautiful drive along the Wild Coast takes us to the Nelson Mandela Museum, which documents his life, his vision, and his role in the abolishment of Apartheid.
Nov 11 — Crawfords Beach Lodge
- After a visit to Qunu, Mandela’s birthplace, we travel through traditional villages to the unspoiled Eastern Cape coast for a night on the beach.
Nov 12 — Port Elizabeth
- Enjoy a leisurely day in this friendly and relaxed coastal city.
Nov 13-14 — Knysna
- In Knysna, nestled between the Indian Ocean and the Outeniqua Mountains, we visit Tsitsikamma National Park, Storms River Mouth, and Bloukrans Bungee Jump (you can jump if you want!) and enjoy a sunset cruise. On day two we go to Birds of Eden aviary, the Elephant Sanctuary to groom the elephants, Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness Centre, and an optional whale tour.
Nov 15 — Hermanus
- Whales, wine, and the Bartolomeu Dias Museum highlight our activities in this lovely seaside town.
Nov 16 — Franschhoek
- Situated in the Cape Winelands, Franschhoek will make you happy. On our way there we visit Walker Bay Nature Reserve for some of the best land-based whale watching on earth, and you will have the choice of joining a whale-watching boat tour or a great white shark tour!
Nov 17-19 — Cape Town
- You will visit Table Mountain, Fairview Wine Estate, Blaauwklippen Winery, the Huguenot Memorial, Paarl wine region, Hout Bay, Seal Island, Cape Point, and Boulders Beach, and you have a full day free to enjoy as you wish.
Nov 20 — Fly to USA
General Information: Everyone is welcome to join us, and we assure you an exceptional educational experience. You will enjoy comfortable private transportation, beautiful hotels, outstanding historical, natural, and cultural sites, lovely landscapes, extraordinary wildlife, and friendly people throughout your journey with us. South Africa is a large country with a good infrastructure, but please note that this is a long trip and, as you can see by our lodging list, we will be moving from place to place often. This is an incredible opportunity to visit a wonderful country, and we are happy to answer any questions that will help you evaluate your ability to enjoy your journey with us. Thank you very much.
Price: The price of this trip is $7,999 based upon double occupancy. This price includes your international round-trip airfare to South Africa and all services and transportation within South Africa. It includes all of your lodging, all entry fees, all listed activities, boat tickets, local guides, all cultural visits, and all university staff services. It also includes a daily breakfast, three lunches, and 10 dinners.
Visas, mandatory travel insurance, optional tours on your free day in Cape Town, and a few of your meals are not included in this price.
Single supplement is $1,087.
Johannesburg (1 night): Protea Hotel O.R. Tambo International
Kapama Game Reserve (2 nights): Kapama River Lodge
Hazyview (1 night): Hippo Hollow Country Estate
Swaziland (1 night): Mantenga Lodge
Hluhluwe-Imfolozi (2 nights): Emdoneni Lodge
Durban (1 night): Protea Hotel Umhlanga Ridge
The Wild Coast (1 night): Garden Court Mthatha
Eastern Cape (1 night): Crawfords Beach Lodge
Port Elizabeth (1 night): Paxton Hotel
Knysna (2 nights): Knysna Hollow Country Estate
Hermanus (1 night): Harbour Square Hotel
Franschhoek (1 night): Protea Hotel Franschhoek
Cape Town (3 nights): Protea Hotel Breakwater Lodge
Registration: To register, complete the registration form and mail it to:
Educational Travel Program
21 N Park St., 7th Floor
Madison, WI 53715