Highlights

Learn about the history of South Africa and the life of Nelson Mandela. Visit Robben island, where he was imprisoned before leading South Africa to freedom as its first black president.

Drive up the beautiful Garden Route to explore the astonishing Cango Caves and learn about ostrich farming in Oudtshoorn.

Learn first-hand about children who literally grew up on the streets, and help them find new lives.

Go with us on our very own safari as we search for the "Big Five:" lion, elephant, Cape buffalo, leopard, and the white/black rhinoceros.

South Africa Summer 2018

July 6, 2018
to
July 27, 2018
21
 Days
60+
 Service Hours
20
 Max in group
16
 Minimum Age
Price to be determined.

Come explore Africa with us!  Our journey begins in Cape Town, where we learn about the fascinating history of this country and study the amazing leadership of Nelson Mandela. We visit Robben Island, and hang out at The Waterfront. We travel to Cape Point to see where the Atlantic and Indian oceans meet and to study conservation of the local animals, including baboons.

A bus ride along  the scenic Garden Route up the east coast takes us to the extraordinary Cango caves, and we learn about ostrich farming in nearby Oudtshoorn. Durban, with its famous beaches is our next destination. 

Finally, we stay in a game reserve and go on our very own safari. Because we are visiting during the South African winter, we will be able to see lions, giraffes, elephants and many other forms of wildlife in their natural habitat during the day. We stay in huts and enjoy typical South African “braais” (barbecues) at night.

Enroll Now

Coming soon.

Departure

We will travel to South Africa by air from San Francisco

Air package 

$1,995:  Inclusive of international roundtrip San Francisco to Cape Town.  All internal flights, airport transfers and ground transportation are included in the airfare package.

Coming soon.

TRAVEL QUESTIONS
How do the international flights work?
Each trip has a departure city.  It is your responsibility to get to the departure city at least 4 hours before the scheduled departure time.   We will set a rendezvous location.  Each trip will have a flight chaperone, and we will all wear Service Explorers t-shirts so we can identify each other.
Will we be flying with our trip leaders?
Yes, almost always.  It is our goal to have one of the trip leaders meet you at the departure airport and stay with you until you safely arrive at the end of the trip.  On occasion, if the trip leader is already in the trip country, we will assign a Service Explorers’ flight chaperone.
What means of travel will we use in the trip country?
To save time, we prefer air travel within the trip countries.  At times we will include high-speed trains or busses when there is no other option.  Within cities, we use local metro systems and travel like locals.  As a general rule, we try to avoid long road trips.
Can I purchase my own international flights?
It is possible, if there is a compelling reason to do so.  (E.g. if you live outside the US or if you will be far away from the departure city at the time the trip starts).   Call us to discuss and arrange it.  Please note that the travel package includes more than the international airfare.
Can I meet the program in the trip country?
It is possible, if there is a compelling reason to do so.  Call us to discuss and arrange it.
Can my family visit me during the trip?
Sure, we’d love to meet them!  We only ask that you are mindful that your visit does not disrupt the group’s trip experience.
DOCUMENT & PREPARATION QUESTIONS
Do I need a passport to travel?
Yes.  It must be valid for six additional months from the date you commence travel.  No exceptions will be made by the immigration authorities in trip countries.  They are unyieldingly precise.
Do I need a visa to travel?
In some countries, yes.  Please check at the time you enroll, and we can provide you additional details.
Will we be flying with our trip leaders?
Yes, almost always.  It is our goal to have one of the trip leaders meet you at the departure airport and stay with you until you safely arrive at the end of the trip.  On occasion, if the trip leader is already in the trip country, we will assign a Service Explorers’ flight chaperone.
Do I need a “Consent to Travel” form to travel without my parent/guardian?
We recommend all participants have this form, so there are no problems in travelling.
Do I need additional permission forms to participate in trip activities?
Maybe, depending on the trip you select and if you wish to participate in all of the activities (e.g. SCUBA instead of snorkeling).  When you enroll, we will review this with you.
Do I need proof of inoculations before my trip?
You do not need proof.  However, you should consult http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list/ about vaccines recommended by the CDC for your trip country.  Note:  many vaccines must be given WEEKS in advance of travel, and it can take time to set up doctors’ appointments, so please don’t leave this one until the last minute.
Do I need any inoculations before my trip?
You should consult http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list/ about vaccines recommended by the CDC for your trip country.  Note:  many vaccines must be given WEEKS in advance of travel and it can take time to set up doctors’ appointments, so please don’t leave this one until the last minute.
Do I need to complete medical forms before I am enrolled?
Depending on the trip you select, this may be necessary, depending on the activities involved.
Do you have a packing list?
Yes, one is posted on each trip page.  Just click on the Packing List tab above. Once you enroll we will give you a more detailed list, tailored to your trip, with links to examples of the items we suggest you pack.
Will we do laundry?
Yes, please don’t over pack.  We will arrange for laundry on the trip – the number of times we will do laundry will depend on the length of the trip you select.   It’s always a good idea to bring a very small bottle of cold wash laundry soap so you can selectively hand wash as desired.
PAYMENT QUESTIONS
Are all travel costs included in the trip fees?
No.  Each trip has trip fees and a travel package as well – together those are the total costs.
What forms of payment do you accept?
Wire transfers, checks, Paypal, and credit cards.
Can I pay in installments?
Please call, and we can likely accommodate this request, so long as there is a substantial initial payment made at/about the time of enrollment.
How much spending money should I bring?
This is up to you, but we recommend $300 - $400.  However, for most countries, it is easiest to bring an ATM card and credit card.  Not all countries take VISA and MasterCard (such as China).  We suggest you check with your bank about international fees and you tell them about your dates of travel – otherwise you risk having your bank cut you off while you are on the trip.
Will my ATM and credit card work in the program country?
It depends on the country.  Many merchants in China do not accept the standard American credit cards.  ATMs can work in select places.  When you enroll, we can help you with this.  We suggest you check with your bank about international fees and you tell them about your dates of travel – otherwise you risk having your bank cut you off while you are on the trip.
What happens if I have to cancel my trip?
We will offer trip insurance for you, to address this potential problem.
Are volunteer forms and waivers required?
Yes.  With travel and adventure comes risk.  You will need to sign waivers.  Forms for getting service credit are not required by Service Explorers.  However, if your school requires you to obtain signatures, you should bring the forms.
Will my medical insurance work in the trip country?
Check with your provider, but we strongly urge you to enroll in travel medical coverage (especially given the cost of it is included in your trip price.)  You may elect to purchase additional insurance.
Do I need additional medical insurance during the trip?
It is strongly recommended, and your trip price covers it.  You can elect to have more coverage.  For safety, we would like for all participants and leaders to have the same medical coverage (company), so that if we need it, we know exactly what to do, and can do it quickly!
Are Service Explorers staff First Aid and CPR certified?
Absolutely.  Depending on the needs and risks of the trip, our trip leaders may have additional certifications including EMT, Lifeguard, or Wilderness First responder, WFR.