South Africa is a meeting point of the first and third world, it boasts a first world economy with educational institutions, communication networks, medical facilities and a road infrastructure to rival the best in the west! Yet with access to extensive wilderness, wildlife, authentic traditional culture and outdoor adventure resources on its doorstep South Africa can rival any other destination on the planet.
The difference between first and third world difference is most apparent on the social level, where at one end of the spectrum many live the jet-set lifestyle of the top 10% in the world; yet on the opposite end of the spectrum there are many tribal communities who live as they have for the last 100 years - without electricity or running water.
A selection of potentially life-changing wildlife, authentic traditional culture and outdoor adventure experiences can be pieced together in a “seamless” South African journey of discovery on many levels.
Our range of programmes offer the flexibility of tailor making a uniquely South African life experience that matches the group's aims and objectives.
African Insight takes safety very seriously and holds a British Standards Institute accreditation for “adventurous activities outside the United Kingdom” (BS8848).
Adventure travel is supposed to be challenging. But regardless of age, destination or
chosen activity, your safety should be of paramount importance. BS 8848 sets standards
to minimize the risks of adventure travel. Knowledge of the standard is important
to anyone organizing, or taking part in, an overseas venture. Click Here for more information.
There is no better way of actually getting to know a community than living with and working alongside them. This is what this life changing experience achieves. It is not a sanitised commercial tourist experience – it is the real deal. By day you work alongside the community on a project that you and the community have jointly had input into selecting. By night, participants are ‘billeted’ out in small groups of 2-4 to host families. This structured programme ensures a meaningful involved authentic cultural experience and a real opportunity to make a difference.
The community pledges ‘sweat equity’ while you vow to fundraise for the project, together the project is undertaken and completed. The goal is for projects to be completed during your stay and if applicable are self-sustainable going forward. There is scope for projects that can be integrated into an annual visitation regime.
Mornings are set aside for work on a predetermined project that is discussed with the community based on their needs and after lunch, you are accompanied by community chaperones to explore and engage with the community as it goes about its daily life. The afternoon social/cultural programme is not contrived in any way and is an opportunity for you to engage, through your chaperones, with the community. Although chaperones have had basic training in hosting, they are intentionally not professional guides so that you have to use your communication and social skills to get the most out of it according to your interests. This may be expressing interest in meeting village elders, working in a vegetable garden, learning a traditional handcraft, kicking a ball with the village kids, herding cows, collecting firewood or water, etc.
In addition to the cost of this programme, participants are required to raise funds, which will be used to buy the materials for the volunteer project.
It is a valuable opportunity for those interested in (and respectful of) indigenous cultures to learn about local traditions. You are welcome to express interest in spending time with a traditional herbalist (Nyanga) or a spiritual healer (Sangoma) or even attend a traditional ceremony if one is happening during your stay.
In addition to a unique insight to one of Africa’s most enigmatic tribes there is a more pressing objective of the programme, which aims to encourage participants to:
- Appreciate all people irrespective of race, wealth and status.
- Respect culture as something that enriches our lives and the planet.
- Reflect on life - where you are at this point and where is the path you are on taking you?
- Not matter where or who you are, you can make a real difference to the lives of others.
- There is no correlation between wealth and happiness and respect
- Use your communication and social skills to get the most out of this valuable opportunity
Conservation is defined as the wise use of natural resources and as a result, may include harvesting of the resource. Therefore we will include a live demonstration of an animal dissection/necropsy with a special focus on wilderness survival and animal appreciation.
Junior Rhino Trail
Somkhanda has black and white rhino, buffalo, leopard, wild dog, giraffe, elephant and good populations of common game. This is not an adrenaline pumping experience! The aim is getting into close contact with wilderness and nature.
Trail camps are carefully selected for their exclusivity, scenic beauty and diverse plant and animal life and although comfortable are managed according to low impact protocols. The Rhino Trail includes the first and last nights at a base camp supplied with tents, toilets and hot water showers and two nights of your choice of either Free Camping or Supported Trek.
Science on Safari
Incorporating the adventure of a wildlife safari, hands-on learning of bush skills as well as identification of mammals, reptiles, birds and insects in one experience is what this Science on Safari educational adventure is all about.
Our team of wildlife and safari professionals have pulled out all the stops to ensure that this adventure is more than anything the most well “game reserved” teenager will ever have experienced.
Located in prime Zululand wildlife country the 12000ha Somkhanda Game Reserve is where this adventure takes place.
Participants must arrive by 15h00 on the first day to be transported to base camp enjoying a game drive en-route and arriving in the late afternoon. After settling in you enjoy an evening around the campfire soaking up the night sounds and southern skies.
We at African Insight are committed to the ideals of responsible tourism, with our main focus being in youth development and educational field trips. For 15 years, we have been involved with international colleges and universities facilitating volunteer programs, academic field trips and youth development programs.
Our staff are experienced and passionate in sharing their knowledge and experiences in nature conservation and adventure experiences with young people with the aim of leading and encouraging them to become the best global citizens they can be.
Lakes, Dunes & Sea
Kosi Bay, although in a remote part of northern KwaZulu-Natal, is well worth a visit for the beauty of its isolated white beaches, palm-fringed reed channels, lakes, and waterways. Known for its traditional system of fish-trapping in woven baskets, this little-known area is one of Zululand's loveliest holiday destinations.
The Drakensberg is the highest and most extensive mountain range in Southern Africa and stretches from Sehlabathebe National Park in the south to the Sentinel in the north, a distance of circa. 200 km (125 miles). The summit is a plateau characterised by domes, ridges and valleys sloping gradually to the west and buttresses, cutbacks, gullies, free-standing peaks and sheer cliffs to the east. The Thaba Ntlenyana at 3,482 m (11,452 ft) is the highest point and Sani Pass at 2,865 m (9,400 ft) the lowest, with the average altitude being 3000 m above sea level.
Have you ever driven across the Jozini Dam wall en route to Ponta Do Ouro or Ponta Malongane in Mozambique or perhaps to Ndumo Game Reserve or Tembe Elephant Park? It is a pretty awesome experience to actually drive on the 90m high wall with the dam on one side and a sheer drop down to the Pongola River on the other. In fact, many people stop at the lay-by on the far side of the wall to get a better look at the river as it flows off into the Makhathini Flats wondering what it would be like to paddle this stretch of the river. Well wonder no longer here is a brief description of the first 15 km of Pongola River from directly below the Jozini dam wall to the Pongola River Camp.
Experiential Adventure Travel
This Journey offers a unique opportunity to learn a variety of skills from experienced rangers that will enhance your knowledge and appreciation of wildlife, conservation and the African bush. The course incorporates unique opportunities for participants to engage in practical hands-on activities whilst being immersed in the African bush.
Day 1- Arrive at OR Tambo International Airport JHB
An African Insight representative will meet you on arrival at OR Tambo Airport, Johannesburg and transfer you to Sunrock Guesthouse where dinner will be served in the Boma.
Day 2 - Student Camp
After breakfast, you will depart on your trip to Somkhanda Game Reserve, approx 6 hours.
Upon arrival at Somkhanda, we settle into camp and have a brief introduction to the programme as well as an overview of the itinerary for the next few days. The group will then be split up into three groups for team building activities.
At 15:30 we will depart on an afternoon/sunset game drive before our campfire braai. This evening we will enjoy a braai after which the groups will continue with fun nighttime team activities.
Day 3 - Student Camp
- Comfort/growth/ panic zone awareness + hidden numbers + Scorpion activity.
- Observation and conservation + Crime scene activity
- Full Value Contract + team ID and song + activity
Orienteering activity in 3 groups to 6 positions on roads around main camp. The team completes tasks and collects points that they will use later to “buy” food etc. for the potjie competition.
Some activities at each position include: All Aboard, Change a Tyre, Get up High, Impala and Wild dogs crossing…
- Potjie competition
- Conflict awareness: Animal cards and Dramas
- Full review activity.
Days 4 – 6 – Bush Camp Rotations
Participants will spend each day journeying through the bush in their separate groups as they make their way to their overnight camps on a rotation basis. Along the way, an overall understanding of some basic bush skills, tracking, wildlife conservation and hunting (understanding the value of both hunting and conservation and issues around concepts) Navigation & Bush awareness, understanding important skills for moving through the bush and bush environment.
Activities covered on the 3 day Bush Camp Rotations:
- Tracking, signs and spoor identification
- Snares & Poaching education
- Fire making and lunch over fires
- Rope making
- First Aid
- Water finding
- Hunting vs Conservation debate
- Sleep out – under the stars
- Navigation using natural features
- Navigation using map & compass
- Navigation using GPS
- Tracks identification and making a mould
- Tree identification
- Droppings identification
- Scavenger hunt for other bush items
- Build a simple hide and sit in it over sunset time (reflection/journal time)
We ensure that all participants operate safely in the bush and in the care of trained field rangers.
The bush environment, unlike the city, has no artificial light, making star gazing a popular activity when enjoying an evening braai or a sleep out. Dinner will be prepared by yourselves and will be enjoyed around a camp fire.
Clear nights offer the perfect opportunity for star gazing.
Day 7 - Wrap up and evaluation
After breakfast, the various groups will have a race back to Main Camp where they will test observation and other skills learnt.
afternoon/sunset game drive and then return back to camp for dinner.
We will then have a full debriefing and group discussion sharing highlights of our week and providing entertainment to our peers in the form of skits.
Day 8 - Depart for Johannesburg
After breakfast, we will pack up camp and depart Johannesburg. We will stop on route for lunch (own account) Last evening will be spent at Sunrock Guesthouse.
Day 9 – Group Departure
Transfer to OR Tambo Airport after breakfast in time for your flight to Luanda International Airport.