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Travel from the City of Gold (Johannesburg) into the Kingdom of eSwatini (formerly known as Swaziland) and finally into Cape Town on this three-week, adventure-filled road trip! Stay in various eco-friendly accommodations and get to know the real Africa!

Program Highlights
  • Explore South Africa and get a taste of Swaziland 
  • Meet with local village populations for a cultural exchange
  • Visit regional highlights such as Blyde River Canyon, Durban, Oribi Gorge swing, Bloukrans Bridge bungee jump and more
  • Safari in a private reserve, bush walk, Lobamba Village Tour, horse interaction and National Park entrance fees included
  • Partake in extra activities during free time, such as shark cage diving, skydiving, sand boarding, surf lessons and more*
  • Make friends with fellow travelers

Itinerary:

Arrival Day, Saturday: Arrive at O. R. Tambo International Airport (JNB). The hostel staff will be waiting to collect you. Settle into the hostel in Johannesburg and meet fellow participants.

Day 1, Sunday: Participants will depart Johannesburg early and traverse Long Tom Pass, Pilgrim’s Rest, God’s Window and Blyde River Canyon enroute to a safari lodge located in the bushveld of Mpumalanga.

Day 2, Monday: Participants will take part in Big Five safari game drives, bush walks and the observation of big and small wildlife.

Day 3, Tuesday: Following breakfast, travelers will travel through the Barberton Nature Reserve, Mountainsland Nature Reserve and pass through the Songimvelo Nature Reserve to reach Swaziland (now called eSwatini). Travelers will travel through the capital city of Mbabane, before arriving at a fully eco-run hostel on the slopes of the Ezulwini Valley.

Day 4, Wednesday: Participants will experience a Lobamba Village Tour, which includes learning about the local history, visiting the National Museum of the Kingdom and visiting the royal residence of the King of eSwatini. The rest of the day is free to explore independently.

Day 5, Thursday: Travelers will return to South Africa, and head into the Drakensberg Mountains where they’ll stay the night.

Day 6, Friday: Participants can enjoy an optional hike to Tugela falls (the tallest waterfall in all of Africa!) followed by an African braai dinner. 

Day 7, Saturday: Participants will head to Durban, along the Indian Ocean, and have the day free to explore the city, relax on the beach and more. 

Day 8, Sunday: Travelers will go for a short ride to the next destination, a jungle-like, seaside village called Umzumbe. Travelers have the day free again to enjoy the beach or the hotel amenities, such as the jacuzzi. The accommodations at this hostel are tree houses! 

Day 9, Monday: Participants can choose to tour the Oribi Gorge, home to one of the deepest gorge swings in the world. (Price of swinging not included.) Participants can also remain at the hostel, relax at the beach or join a water activity such as surfing or fishing.* The night ends with another African braai dinner.

Day 10, Tuesday: Today travelers will head to Coffee Bay. Here, they will explore, surf, relax and over the soft hills along the oceanside to spend time with the local Xhosa community.

Days 11-12, Wednesday and Thursday: These days offer an optional, three-hour, nine-kilometer Hole in the Wall Hike along the Indian Ocean to the Mpako River. Participants can also choose to relax at the beach or join a tour organized by the hostel, such as a visit to the Mpuzi cliffs and caves.* 

Day 13, Friday: Travelers will visit the Chintsa lagoon before settling into the weekend hostel, located in a tropical garden alongside a large stretch of white-sand beach.

Days 14-15, Saturday and Sunday: Participants have the weekend free to play volleyball at the hostel or join extra activities for an additional fee, such as game watching at a safari nearby, horseback riding or surfing at the beach, mountain biking in the neighborhood or just walking along the endless, white-sand beach.

Day 16, Monday: The next stop is surf mecca of South Africa – Jeffrey’s Bay. Travelers have the day free to explore the surf shops or enjoy the waves. 

Day 17, Tuesday: Participants will retreat to the lush Evergreen Forests and the Tsitsikamma National Park, to a hostel in Storms River Village. Travelers will visit the provincial border from the Eastern to the Western Cape at the highest bridge bungee jump in the world, Bloukrans Bridge.* Zip-lining tours, snorkeling, mountain biking, etc. can also be organized.* Travelers can also take part in optional, included, Storms River Mouth tour and a waterfall hike.

Day 18, Wednesday: Travelers will head into Tsitsikamma National Park and can hike sections of the Otter Trail, which stretches along the rocky coastline to a waterfall that drops into the Indian Ocean. The evening closes with an African braai.

Day 19, Thursday: Participants travel to Little Karoo, a semi-desert, and the town of Oudtshoorn. Travelers can visit the Cango caves, an ostrich farm or even visit the African Wildlife Ranch for the day!*

Day 20, Friday: Travelers will arrive at a mountain farm in Mossel Bay. This farm cares for Percheron heavy draft horses, which participants will get to see up-close.

Day 21, Saturday: Travelers will drive along the Outeniqua and Swartberg Mountains to Hermanus to spot whales (May-December only) and have the opportunity to see African penguins in Betty’s Bay! 

Day 22, Sunday: Departure day.

Please note: This schedule is subject to change. Our partner organization is flexible and can often assist in arranging optional activities if there is something prefer to do instead of the scheduled activity. The group can decide together to make changes to the schedule.

*These activities are at participants’ own expense.
 
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Location of the Project:  Various locations, South Africa and Swaziland
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Project length:  3 weeks
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Arrival Airport:  O. R. Tambo International Airport (JNB)
Age:  Minimum age of 18

What's Included

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Accommodations:  Shared rooms in various hostels
Food:  Two meals per day are included
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Airport Transfers:  Airport pickup is provided upon arrival
Orientation:  An overview of the road trip will be provided on Arrival Day.
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Support:  Comprehensive and professional pre-departure travel guidance, 24/7 GoEco emergency hotline, experienced local field team.

What's not Included

Flights, visas (if required), lunches, optional activities, travel health insurance, personal expenses.
Located at the southernmost tip of the epic African continent, South Africa offers a veritable plethora of fascinating destinations. Cape Town is a colorful, coastal city with some of the most impressive views anywhere. The history, cuisine and hiking opportunities in Cape Town make this a fabulous place to visit. The Kruger National Park area is an enticing spot, with some of the best wildlife viewing opportunities in the world. Plettenberg Bay is a seaside town along the famously beautiful Garden Route.

To the Northeast lies Swaziland (recently renamed Eswatini). Its diversity also means that anything from caving to water rafting and trekking is only a short drive away. High adrenaline activities that will be at your doorstep include zip-lining at the Mololotja Nature Reserve, white water rafting down the Usutu River (expect Grade III rapids which can rise to V), caving beneath the Msunduza and Kophola Mountains and walking along a 50 meter suspension bridge in the Sihlotswane Gorge as part of a canopy tour.
Internet
Internet:  WiFi is available at nearly all accommodations.
Laundry
Laundry:  Laundry services can be arranged for an additional fee.
Accommodations
Accommodations:  Volunteers will share rooms in various hostels. Bedrooms will generally have 4-6 beds. Same-gender rooms are subject to availability and cannot be guaranteed. Volunteers can upgrade to a twin room for an additional fee.
Food:  Breakfast and dinner are included each day.
Please take note of this road trip's minimum requirements:
  • Minimum age of 18
  • Basic level of English
  • Moderate level of physical fitness and general good health
During the trip there will be opportunities for participants to join optional activities at their own expense. These include: Shark cage diving, skydiving, sand boarding, surf lessons, bungy jumping, canyoning, abseiling, swimming with seals, wine tasting, scuba diving, tandem paragliding, horse riding trails, gourmet foodie walks and more!
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