Day 1: Cape Town
Arrive Cape Town, where you will be met upon arrival and transferred to your hotel. If your arrival schedule allows, enjoy an afternoon tour of Table Mountain.
Day 2 : Cape Town
Full-day tour of Cape Peninsula including visits to Hout Bay, Chapman’s Peak Drive, Cape Point, Cape of Good Hope, Boulders Beach Penguin colony, and Muizenberg.
Optional PM stop at one of the Constantia vineyards for a wine tasting.
Day 3: Cape Town
AM visit to Robben Island including a tour of the island and guided tour of the prison with an ex-political prisoner.
PM Tour with Uthando to a number of local community projects, including children's music & dance, arts/theatre, food gardens, etc. Projects visited will depend on what is happening on that particular day.
Day 4: Cape Town
Begin the community element of your trip. If this is in Cape Town, you will remain at your hotel, otherwise you will be transferred to the destination and new hotel. Please see detailed descriptions of community options.
Days 5 & 6: Full Days of Community Engagement
Day 7: Madikwe Game Reserve
AM Flight from Cape Town to Johannesburg, then transfer onto scheduled flight into Madikwe Game Reserve.
You will be met at the airstrip and enjoy a game drive to your lodge in the heart of the reserve. Settle in and have lunch.
Head out on an afternoon game drive, returning to the lodge for dinner and overnight at Tuningi Safari Lodge.
Days 8 & 9: Madikwe Game Reserve
Full day on safari in Madikwe Game Reserve. Overnight Tuningi Safari Lodge.
Day 10: Madikwe Game Reserve
AM Game drive followed by brunch.
PM Check out and drive to airstrip for scheduled flight back to Johannesburg. Transfer to main terminal to connect with onward flight.
Community Option A: Marine and Coastal Conservation
The Dyer Island Conservation Trust (DICT) is based on the coast in Walker Bay, approximately two hours from Cape Town. The Trust was established for the conservation, rehabilitation, and protection of the natural marine environment, as well as relevant conservation research. The principle aims of the trust are to protect the largest surviving colonies of the endangered African penguin, the globally important breeding and calving grounds of the Southern right whale, and the world’s densest population of vulnerable great white sharks.
The Trust also runs an education program for local schools, teaching local children about the importance and relevance of marine and coastal conservation.
Platbos Indigenous Forest is Africa’s southernmost forest – an ancient indigenous forest, which is threatened by the invasive spread of alien tree species. Draped in "old man´s beard," the trees have gnarled, twisted trunks and branches. The pure forest air nurtures a myriad of lichens that mottle the tree bark in patterns of orange, pink and white. During the wet, winter months, the mosses and epiphytic ferns that make their home on the trees come to life in brilliant shades of green.
Traveler Engagement with DICT
You will have the opportunity to learn about local marine conservation and the species DICT works with: whales, penguins, seals, dolphins and sharks. You will engage with local community members on a ‘beach clean-up’ and experience some of the best land- or boat-based whale watching in the world. Your program will be led by an experienced marine biologist and local volunteers.
Traveler Engagement with Platbos
Your engagement with the forest will be to help clear alien vegetation and create a “fire-break” to protect the forest. At the right time of year, you can plant indigenous trees that have been seeded from ancient seed stock in the nursery. While here, you will learn about trees, forest conservation, and why it is necessary to conserve.
Schedule for Marine and Coastal Conservation Option:
AM Transfer from Cape Town to Farm 215 (approx two hours). Check in and tour of the lodge and its impressive eco-credentials. After lunch, head to Platbos Forest to see wondrous, ancient, indigenous trees and learn about the miracle of this forest. Lend a hand to some of the conservations efforts here – from clearing alien plant species to planting new trees in the forest.
Return to Farm 215 for dinner.
AM Transfer to the great white house – headquarters of the Dyer Island Conservation Trust.
Introduction to the marine environment, Dyer Island Conservation Trust, and the animals and environments that they work with
Learn about great white sharks, conservation, tagging, and threats
Boat trip to experience the marine environment and contextualise what you have learned (whale watching by boat from July to December)
Optional trip on shark-diving boat to cage-dive with Great White Sharks
Visit the coast at De Kelders to witness the migration of Southern Right Whales. October is generally when the calves are most active, so good opportunity to spot whale activity such as breaching, lob-tailing and spy-hopping.
Beach clean-up operation at Danger Point. Seeing the effects of litter, discarded fishing lines, etc. Sorting litter for recycling.
Learning how to make fishing-line disposal bins, and then making a number of these bins to leave behind as your contribution.
Final reflection on what you have learned.
Community Option B: Food Security & Social Entrepreneurship
Abalimi Bezekhaya is an urban agriculture and environmental action association operating in the socio-economically neglected townships of Khayelitsha, Nyanga and surrounding areas on the Cape Flats near Cape Town. Abalimi means: "the Planters" in Xhosa, the predominant language among the target community. Abalimi assists individuals, groups and community based organisations to initiate and maintain permanent organic food growing and nature conservation projects as the basis for sustainable lifestyles, self-help job creation, poverty alleviation and environmental renewal.
The organization provides training and support to hundreds of small community cooperatives in this area. Starting with survival planting, the training moves to sustainable food production for family units and eventually onto producing a surplus, and thereby income generation. They have initiated a program called Harvest of Hope, by which the surplus produce is gathered, boxed and sold to families all over Cape Town who receive a box of fresh organic vegetables on a weekly basis. The profits from this scheme make their way directly back to the farmers.
Traveler Engagement with Abalimi
This project will open your eyes to the reality of life in the socio-economically neglected townships of the Cape Flats near Cape Town. The specific focus will be food security and how people living within this area, struggling with high unemployment, huge land pressure and poor quality soil are able to provide for their families.
You will learn about the background to these projects, why it is necessary and what the vision iou will visit several of the community gardens, meeting local people and interacting with them. You may get to spend a day at one of the community gardens working alongside community members in the garden. You will learn about permaculture and organic food production in a relatively hostile environment; you will talk, share, laugh, eat and work with the local farmers. A second day may be spent volunteering in the Packing Shed – where surplus produce is gathered before being boxed and shipped out.
The aim of this project is to teach about food security through sustainable micro farming methods, and social enterprise and the empowerment effect this has on local people. It also provides an environment for fun & dynamic interaction with another culture. You will very likely learn and take away much more than you can give in these two days…
AM Meet with guide for orientation and tour of the Cape Flats – visiting a number of the garden projects and the Packing Shed.
PM Return to Cape Town. Some leisure time.
Day spent working alongside the community members in one of the gardens. Learn about cultivation methods, permaculture, organic farming. Spend time with the community members and learn about their background, culture and families.
Day spent volunteering in the packing shed alongside community members. You will be assisting with sorting the vegetables for the Harvest of Hope boxes and the logistics of packing them up and shipping them out.