U30X South Africa: First Trip Highlights
Let's recap & celebrate highlights from our first trip to South Africa. It's a wrap! South Africa is one of the world’s finest Big Five safari destinations and is also known for amazing food and adrenaline-pumping adventure activities. What more can you ask for when crossing a country off your bucket list?
Let's check out our debut trip from a traveler's POV! Psst, don't forget to view our South Africa Instagram story highlight if you want a closer inside peek. You can also poke around on our trip page and learn more about this epic itinerary! Visit our South Africa overview here.
Mashishimale Village Homestay
-The group arrived in the Mashishimale village with a drumming and dance session by the community. Talk about a warm welcome! They spent 2 days in this incredible village.
-After being split up into groups by host families, they enjoyed locally sourced, authentic meals. This is a good experience if you have an open mind and really want to experience their culture! (Hint: chicken feet are involved).
-Travelers learned how the community does beadwork & other cultural activities, and even got to help! If you enjoy a truly authentic cultural experience, this is right up your alley.
-Slow village life was embraced with the host Mothers.
“This trip will take you farther outside of your comfort zone than you anticipate. Yet, it will be one of the most beautiful experiences of your life, guaranteed. Worth it in every way!” -Meghan K
Kruger National Park Safari
U30X travelers stayed at a lodge located in the greater Kruger National Park area! The group saw giraffes, zebras, and other game animals right on the property. There is a viewing platform and on the final morning, the local staff took the group on a bush walk.
-The group saw 4 of the Big Five - unfortunately missing the rhino (darn!). We learned that rhino's are the most difficult to see because the guides cannot share location sightings with other guides, and the park does not publish rhino sightings due to increased illegal poaching of these animals.
-In addition to the "Big 4", they saw plenty of birds, a cheetah, hippos, impalas, zebras, waterbucks, & hyenas!
-The group even got to see baby hyena cubs playing outside of their den.
Gotta be honest, this makes us daydream about the Lion King... anyone else?! Check out these rad photos, taken by a traveler in the group:
"Highlights from the game drives were seeing herds of elephants, watching 2 lions stalk prey, seeing leopards on multiple occasions, and being up close to the African buffalo!" - Tim G
After leaving Kruger National Park, the group took an included flight to Cape Town, South Africa’s oldest city, which has been voted one of the best cities in the world! This is a city known for its beautiful beaches, stunning biodiversity, and award-winning food and wine.
-The group went on a wine tour which was amazing! They visited 4 different wineries and got to check out the town of Stellenbosch - South Africa's second oldest town. Not only was the wine tasty, but the scenery was picture-esque. While tasting wines, they sampled cheese, gourmet cupcakes, tapas, and chocolates.
-Stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) was on a windy day, but everyone in the group was able to stand up! A few falls were included, but who doesn't love a refreshing swim - right?
-African Penguins were on the shores of Boulders Beach with a few swimming in the water! Note: travelers cannot go on the beach or paddle near, as we need to respect the conservation efforts going on to protect the penguin's nesting areas.
-They toured the Cape Town Peninsula to visit an old lighthouse. You can count on amazing views of the coastline here.
A few travelers woke up early on the last day to hike Lion's Head to catch the sunrise! Others took a cable car to the top of Table Mountain. These are two good activities to add on for those flying out later on the final day.
-Lots of laughter and group bonding (well, it is U30X... we'd expect nothing less from our travelers!)
-There are a few long drives which allowed some to sleep, and others to chat and bond!
-They made sure to enjoy South Africa's inexpensive wines (for those with an acquired taste). On that note, going out at night is best in Cape Town, if you fancy that!
-The hotel in Cape Town was located across from a coastline promenade - providing nice areas to walk and take in views.