You’ll travel to South Africa and Zimbabwe and see amazing natural wonders and wildlife, like Table Mountain and the ‘big five’ on safari (think lions, elephants…). But you’ll also have the opportunity to make a real difference to some of the places you visit, volunteering with disadvantaged children and endangered animals. This is a truly meaningful gap year experience.
As with all StudentUniverse gap year adventures, this itinerary is totally flexible, so if you’d like to add/subtract/change anything at all, just let your consultant know!
The Eco Wanderer package kicks off with the flight from London to Cape Town. This takes around 11 and a half hours direct, giving you plenty of time to relax before you touch down in South Africa.
If you choose to arrive in Cape Town a few days before your first organised experience on the trip, you can spend some time finding your feet and exploring everything this amazing city has to offer. You might hang out on the beach, climb iconic Table Mountain for stunning views of the whole area, or explore the country’s history and culture at numerous museums and galleries.
Your first organised experience of the package lets you volunteer at a township educare centre or sanctuary for disadvantaged children. You’ll work closely with the children on education, arts and crafts, sports and more to help them develop their full potential. In your spare time, you’re free to explore the city and beyond.
If you’re more interested in wildlife, you can choose to volunteer with great white sharks instead. South Africa is one of the best places in the world to see these astounding predators, but sadly they are now critically endangered. The Great White Shark Project works tirelessly to preserve these beautiful creatures, and you can help – you’ll even get to go cage diving as part of the work!
Next it’s time to make the quick flight north-east to Johannesburg, the biggest city in South Africa, for the next leg of your experience.
Arrive with some free time before the next organised experience of your trip so you can explore the numerous sights Johannesburg has to offer. The city, known by many as Jo’burg, is packed with cool neighbourhoods, bars, cafes and more, as well as important historical sites such as Constitution Hill, the Apartheid Museum, and the 54-storey cylindrical skyscraper Ponte City.
South Africa is famous for its rare and wonderful wildlife, and Johannesburg’s central position means it provides numerous opportunities for you to work with animals and make a real difference to ongoing rescue and conservation efforts. Depending on your interests, you have several options for your next volunteer experience: you can help with a cheetah conservation and research project, work on important elephant research, or volunteer with an anti-rhino poaching awareness group. Wildlife in South Africa faces many threats, and each of these projects is doing vital work to protect it.
When you have finished volunteering, it’s time to fly to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe for the final leg of your trip. The flight takes less than two hours, so you will not lose much time in the air.
This organised tour offers a fully immersive and authentic experience of the natural and cultural wonders of South Africa and Zimbabwe. You will search for the Big Five on safari in Kruger National Park, track rhinos on foot in Matobo National Park, camp in the wilderness, and witness the unique traditional dances of the local people. This is a tour experience you will never forget.
The tour ends in Johannesburg.
Sadly, The Eco Wanderer experience is now finished. All that’s left is to fly back to London with a head (and camera) full of memories that will last a lifetime.