Welcome to South Africa
- Begin your trip at Johannesburg Airport (JNB) at 4:00 PM.
- Your Trip Leader will meet you at the airport, and you will take included transportation to your hotel located in Johannesburg.
- Settle into your accommodations as your Trip Leader shares the plan for the next nine days, then head out with our new friends into the city.
- On your drive to the restaurant, your Trip Leader will point out some of Johannesburg’s attractions, including the Nelson Mandela Bridge.
- Enjoy your first meal together in a local restaurant that offers a glimpse into South Africa’s street food cuisine.
Introduction to South African Village Life
- Wake up to your first morning in South Africa and enjoy a hearty breakfast before you begin your journey to the northeast region of the country. (~6.5-hour drive)
- Stop for lunch in the mining boom town of Lydenburg. Stretch your legs, breathe in some fresh air, and fill up on some grub in a local cafe. (~lunch not included)
- Continue driving and taking in the landscapes of the Steenkampsbeerg and Mauchsberg mountain ranges as you make your way to Mashishimale village.
- Arrive at Mashishimale village, your home for the next two nights, and be welcomed by your local village guide and the host community.
- Meet your host mothers, who will welcome you into your family homes. You will be given a homestay kit which includes clean linen, a roll of toilet paper, hand sanitizer, mosquito repellent, tea, coffee, a cup, sugar, and milk.
- Tonight’s dinner will be a traditional home--cooked South African meal with your host family.
- Settle into your homestay, swap stories with your host families, and take in these unique experiences.
Mashishimale Village Experience
- Rise and shine to the sounds of village life and take a short walk to meet up with the others for breakfast.
- After breakfast, go for a walk through the village with your village guide. No two days are the same, but you can expect to be involved in some traditional village activities like floor making, beading, cooking, and even some dancing.
- Join together for another traditional meal cooked by your host mothers. You may even have the opportunity to taste some local Marula beer.
- Take part in more village activities throughout the day, like learning how to crack Marula nuts or helping with meal prep for dinner. Continue exploring and learning about traditional village life, and then return to your host family’s house to freshen up before dinner.
- Gather together for another home-cooked meal organized by your host mothers.
- Listen to stories from the villagers, play games, and simply appreciate this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Pridelands Safari Game Drive
- Wake up again to the sounds of local village life and make your way to breakfast. Once again, one of the host mothers will prepare this meal, giving you one more chance to enjoy a home-cooked South African meal.
- After breakfast, say goodbye to your host families, your village guide, and the community members. Then begin your journey to the greater Kruger area. (~2-hour drive)
- Arrive at your safari lodge around midday, and after settling in, head to the dining area for lunch. (lunch is included)
- Venture out to a private reserve that is home to the Big Five, cheetahs, and wild dogs. Explore one of the largest areas of biodiversity in Africa on a 4x4 Game Drive. (a 3-hour activity)
- Return to the lodge, freshen up, and then join the group for dinner.
- Tonight’s included dinner will be a bush-style setup. Expect fresh meat, stew, traditional South African sides, salads, and dessert, with a campfire burning nearby.
- Relax under the stars while listening to the sounds of nature and get to know more about your newfound friends.
Kruger National Park
- Rise early (approximately 5:00 AM) and get ready for a full-day 4x4 Game Drive through Kruger National Park!
- A packed breakfast will be provided for you on this day, which you will enjoy at one of the park’s picnic spots.
- Spend the morning navigating the incredible landscape of one of the world’s most amazing national parks.
- Stop off at one of the rest camp restaurants for lunch. Options will range from burgers, wraps, toasted sandwiches, and salads. (lunch is not included)
- Similar to this morning, this afternoon will consist of game viewing, bird watching, and stopping off at the various watering holes.
- Return to the lodge after a full day of exploring and observing the wildlife in their natural habitats.
- Freshen up, relax, unwind, and enjoy another included dinner at the lodge.
Hello Cape Town
- Rise early again and make the most out of your time by joining a local guide on a bush walk on the surrounding reserve. Learn about the native flora and fauna and potentially spot some wildlife.
- Return to the lodge for breakfast and then check out of your hotel because. today you will be flying to Cape Town!
- Take an included domestic flight to the magical city of Cape Town, located on South Africa’s southwest coast.
- Transfer in private vans from the airport to your hotel. After checking in and getting settled, join your Trip Leader for a quick orientation walk around the neighborhood.
- The rest of the afternoon and evening is free for your leisure.
- Select from a few optional activities, including sunset cruises, walking along the ocean front promenade, or checking out some street art in Woodstock.
- Dinner tonight is on your own, though your Trip Leader will share some local recommendations for the best restaurants to eat at or neighborhoods to explore.
- For a change of scenery after spending the first part of your trip in South Africa’s rural areas, head out to explore some city nightlife. Long Street is a popular area full of bars, restaurants, and clubs.
Explore the Cape Peninsula
- Have breakfast at your hotel and then get ready for a day of adventure.
- Drive along Champman’s Peak over to Simon’s Town, a picturesque coastal village on the waters of False Bay.
- Meet your local guides, who will share instructions on how to paddleboard. This morning you will paddle for approximately 2 hours. While paddling, you may have the opportunity to see African penguins swimming in the bay and perhaps even spot a few seals.
- You will also have the opportunity to walk the boardwalks of Boulder’s Beach to view the penguins as well.
- Head out for lunch (not included) in Simon’s Town. We recommend trying the Fish n’ Chips, famous in this area. Then make your way to the Cape Point Nature Reserve.
- Drive the Cape Peninsula route, passing through Fish Hoek and making your way to Cape Point. Stand at the top of the point and gaze out to see where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet.
- Go for a moderate hike along the Lighthouse Trail to take in the views of the surrounding area.
- Return to your accommodations and enjoy a free evening on leisure. (dinner not included)
Food and Wine Tour
- Wake up to your first morning in Cape Town and eat a hearty breakfast right at the hotel.
- Today, you will head out for a full-day tour of the Winelands area, known for producing some of the world’s finest wines.
- Visit hand-selected wine estates led by a Wine Lord who will guide you and explain the different styles of wines and how to best pair them with delicious snacks and treats.
- A full lunch is not included as part of your Winelands tour, but your will be snacking on treats at each wine tasting session.
- In the afternoon, you will continue to visit vineyards and explore more of South Africa’s wine culture.
- Return to your accommodation by mid-afternoon to freshen up or take a power nap.
- After a short rest get ready for your final dinner together.
- Enjoy one more South African meal, including local Cape Malay dishes, at a local restaurant and take part in an interactive Djembe drumming session.
Relaxation & Departure
- Wake up to one last South African sunrise, enjoy breakfast, and reflect on your experiences over the past week.
- Say goodbye to your new friends and depart at any time of the day with instructions from your Trip Leader on how to take transportation to the airport.
- Ask your Trip Leader for suggestions if you are planning to spend more time in South Africa.
- Welcome to the Under30Experiences Community!