A relentless learning adventure from day one
The thrills begin before you've even had a chance to catch your breath after arriving in Cape Town. A hike up Table Mountain, which overlooks this stunning city, is the perfect start to the adventure. Jump right into daily lectures, cover the history of South Africa as well as the biology, behavior, natural history and ecology of South African wildlife. Head to Simon's Town to kayak along the cape and observe a large African penguin colony. Then it's time to study the ultimate predator of them all. Put on your snorkel gear, climb into a shark cage and prepare to come face to face with one of the world’s most revered hunters — the great white. Not long after we descend into shark-infested waters, we quickly discover that these creatures are not mindless killers, but beautiful animals worth studying and observing. The cage dives continue in Hermanus, where you'll also keep an eye out for some of the world’s largest predators: the whales of Hermanus. Look for southern right whales, Brydes whales or even humpbacks. We even get the chance to watch a shark dissection and help with conservation efforts by doing egg sac collection, which helps estimate location and size of different shark populations.
Observe the Great Sardine Run up close
After a short flight to Durban, we'll drive down the southern coast to Port St. Johns, our home for the next five days as we hunt for the mass of billions of sardines, sharks and other predators in the Indian Ocean during the epic great sardine run. Snorkel with dolphins, humpback whales, dusky sharks and maybe even a few black tip sharks! After full days of endless experiential adventure, we use what little energy we have left to explore the local area known as ‘The Wild Coast’.
Spot the 'Big 5'
Next up, Makalali, home to a wildlife reserve and research station. People from all over the world flock to South Africa in search of the Big 5 — lions, black rhinos, cape buffalo, African elephants and elusive leopards. Hint, they’re all hanging out near Kruger National Park, located within the Greater Makalali Private Game Reserve. We dive right into hands-on encounters with game animals, collect data for ongoing conservation research and experience firsthand how a game reserve functions. Go on daily game drives. Take wildlife surveys. Reintroduce animals into the world. Make a difference in animal conservation before returning to Johannesburg to fly home after this ultimate experience.