South Africa 15 Day Conservation Expedition

South Africa 15 Day Conservation Expedition

Program Highlights

South Africa 15 Day Conservation Expedition

Dates: TBD   |   Tuition: Request A Quote Learn More

On this program...

Group Organizer/s: 

Your contact info here.

WTT Contact: 

Morrison Mast, Morrison@walkingtree.org, 202-793-8953

Deadlines: TBD

Request a Quote

SAMPLE PROGRAM PAGE: This is an example of what your private program webpage and itinerary might look like, as you decide to organize a program with us. Please begin by reviewing the suggested itinerary listed under the Pre-Enrollment tab, and then feel free to read through other sections to get a sense of the in-depth information and support we provide for all programs.

Click on the sections above to learn more

Sample Itinerary

DayLocationActivityLodging
1Ohio - JohannesburgThe group will depart Cincinnati, Ohio, for Johannesburg, South Africa.Overnight Flight
2Johannesburg - Cape TownAfter landing in Johannesburg and getting through customs and immigration you will catch a connecting flight to Cape Town. Once here, you will be transferred to your hotel for some much-needed rest. There also may be a possibility of organizing a direct flight to Cape Town.Ashanti
3Cape TownAfter breakfast, there will be a short orientation meeting followed by a day in Cape Town, where you can explore the city and take a cable car to the top of Table Mountain . We will have lunch in the Company Gardens , the original farm which stocked the ships travelling between the East and Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries. There will also be a chance to peruse through some local markets and shops to pick up a few trinkets and keepsakes.Ashanti
4Cape Town - KleinbaaiAfter breakfast a bus will take the group to Kleinbaai, some 2 hours outside of Cape Town, where you will meet the Dyer Island Conservation Trust team . After settling in to your accommodation you will receive an orientation and project overview. Spend the afternoon snorkelling where you can see some of the marine plants and animals growing in the cooler parts of the Indian Ocean. The group will get a chance to learn about rocky-shore ecology and possibly collect shark eggs for the research and rehabilitation projects. Dinner will be a beach braai (barbecue) under the stars.Aire del Mar
5KleinbaaiAfter breakfast, you will spend the morning at sea counting, identifying and photographing some marine mammals, birds and fish as part of the research teams. Here you will get a chance to see whales, seals and dolphins as well as many marine birds and fish. In the afternoon the group will undertake a beach clean-up where you will ensure that less litter enters the marine environment. A lively round of beach soccer will round off the day.Aire del Mar
6KleinbaaiToday we'll get an early start to try and find Great White Sharks . Don your wetsuits and hop inside your reinforced cage to witness the sheer size of these underwater marvels. After lunch and a little rest there will be presentations on shark tagging and tracking followed by a visit to the penguin sanctuary where you can come face to face with an endangered African Penguin.Aire del Mar
7KleinbaaiAfter breakfast, each person will construct a fishing-line bin to be placed along the coast for fishermen to discard old fishing line and equipment. These bins reduce old fishing line from being discarded into the ocean where they can impact on marine life. In the afternoon the group will plant an indigenous milkwood tree , in part to offset your flight but also to stabilise the dunes and create habitat to costal birds and animals.Aire del Mar
8KleinbaaiAfter some breakfast the group will go in search of pelagic birds and animals. Here you will s ee various albatross species, some migrating whales and other fantastic marine species . Bring your cameras along as some of the species you will see are extremely rare to find and are only found in or around the open oceans. The group will be back in time for a sunset supper on the beach .Aire del Mar
9Kleinbaai - CederbergAfter breakfast the bus will transport the group to the Cederberg to meet the team from the Cape Leopard Trust . That evening will include an orientation meeting and project overview.Driehoek Guest Farm
10CederbergToday the group will learn about tracks and tracking, helping you to identify the some of the bird and mammal species in the area . After your crash course in tracking, the group will explore some of the Cederberg Biosphere Reserve . Red mountains and stark landscapes, are interspersed with lush floodplains and freshwater streams. The group will explore some caves and overhangs which are home to ancient bushman paintings dated to be thousands of years old. Along the way you will get to put your newly acquired tracking skills to the test and check out what animals are in the area based on their tracks, scratch marks, scats and other signs. Tonight you will learn some night-time survival skills including how to use the stars for navigation and what to listen out for when in the bush.Driehoek Guest Farm
11CederbergToday we will hike through the mountains on a desnaring patrol . You will be on the hunt for illegal snares which some locals put down to catch bushmeat. During the patrol you will undertake a prey species survey where you will count the number of prey species you see while walking. These species could include small antelope, baboons, dassies (rock hyrax) and birds. In the evening you will hear about the constellations in the night sky of the southern Hemisphere.Driehoek Guest Farm
12CederbergAfter breakfast the group will be taught some key research methods including how to use transects to collect data as well as some digital technology. A mid-morning hike will get you out and about testing your newly acquired skills. Here you will gather data for the Cape Leopard Trust team including species counts and diversity along transects. You may even spot the track of an elusive Cape Leopard. In the evening the group will be taken on a scorpion safari where you are bound to find many different species of scorpions. These animals shine brightly under ultra violet light so they are quite easy to spot with the right equipment.Driehoek Guest Farm
13Cederberg - Cape TownAfter breakfast, the group will depart the Cederberg for the return trip by bus to Cape Town . The trip will take you through some very scenic valleys and towns – a chance to see more of South Africa’s diverse landscapes . We will grab lunch in one of the small towns where you can sample locally baked goods like koeksisters and melktert. The group will arrive in Cape Town in the late afternoon and have a chance to relax at the hotel.Ashanti
14Cape TownWe will take some time to explore local markets and other important sites in Cape Town before boarding our flight back to Johannesburg and back to the USA.Overnight Flight
15Johannesburg - OhioToday the group will make the long trek home.Your own bed, eventually!

Philosophy Of Travel

Our mission is to inspire the next generation to become global leaders by taking an active interest in the world around them. With a dedication to learning, along with an enduring passion for exploring the world, Walking Tree Travel designs transformative and meaningful travel programs that uncover the authentic culture of each destination and inspire students to take action in their local and global community.

Walking Tree Travel stands for a more open, curious, and compassionate approach to travel. We partner with select schools around the world to provide memorable small-group experiences, and invest in cultivating and maintaining longterm relationships with our partner communities. If you are interested in our organization and philosophy of travel, click here to learn more about us.

Accommodations

In order to provide a safe and memorable experience for our students, teachers, and staff, Program Leaders and Country Directors follow strict guidelines when deciding on lodging, making reservations, and assigning program participants to rooms.

Students will always be grouped in rooms and/or sleeping areas by gender, and will never share rooms with people who are not associated with Walking Tree. Group Organizers and Program Leaders will be roomed separately from each other and from other students. Walking Tree partners with locally-operated, three star or equivalent hotels that are centrally located, clean, safe and wifi-enabled.
Below are a few examples of our partner hotels. Although these are our preferred providers, they are subject to change based on availability. Your final itinerary will provide complete information on your accommodations in the cities you will be visiting.

Cape Town: http://ashanti.co.za/accommodation/guesthouses/

Gansbaai: http://www.airedelmar.co.za/

Gansbaai: https://www.gansbaybackpackers.com/

Driehoek Guest Farm: https://www.cederberg-accommodation.co.za/

Johannesburg: https://www.cederberg-accommodation.co.za/

Pilanesberg Reserve: www.manyaneresort-pilanesberg.com/rooms/

Tuition & Fundraising

Program Tuition Includes

more tuition information

Program Tuition Excludes: Baggages fees, airline minor fees, personal shopping, passport or visa fees, and activities not listed in the itinerary.*

*NOTE: If you are traveling on a program that is completed before September 1, 2018 your basic travel insurance is included. If you are traveling on a program that departs after September 1, 2018 you must purchase travel insurance if you want to have any supplemental coverage beyond what your family’s package may provide. This change is due to new federal regulations.

Estimated Airfare*

International Airfare: In order to give our travelers the best possible price, we break out airfare from the Program Tuition. We will still handle all booking and ticketing via our flight partner who has access to special fares not available to the general public. We will provide full transparency in cost so that families pay what the flight costs and nothing more. You will be invoiced for the flight once we are able to secure the group’s airline contract.

Standards of Behavior

WTT provides fun, safe, and meaningful programs for our travelers. In order to achieve this goal, it is important that we create an environment of trust, security and respect. All individuals participating in our programs are required to take responsibility for their actions and adhere to a high standard of behavioral conduct. Any of the following are grounds for early dismissal or in-country consequences at our discretion.

ABSOLUTE DISMISSAL

  1. Possessing, consuming or distributing alcohol or illegal drugs
  2. Associating with participants while they are in possession of or are consuming or distributing alcohol or illegal drugs
  3. Behaving in a way that consistently damages the group dynamic or jeopardizes personal or group safety. This includes consistently displaying a negative attitude, intimidating or excluding other participants, sneaking out, disobeying group leaders, and any other behavior that is not conducive to an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect.

GROUNDS FOR DISMISSAL OR IN-COUNTRY CONSEQUENCE

  1. Getting a piercing or tattoo
  2. Stealing, or deliberately damaging or defacing any personal property, buildings or materials
  3. Threatening with or using weapons such as firearms, knives, explosives, etc.
  4. Riding mopeds, motorcycles, or any other type of unauthorized vehicle
  5. Being out of designated area or accommodations after curfew
  6. Breaking group rules

These standards of behavior are essential for the successful completion of a travel program. Please take the time to review these rules as a family and make sure everyone understands and agrees to them before choosing to travel with WTT.

Continue to the next section

Passport & Visa Check

Passport & Visa Check

US CITIZENS
Passport must be valid for six months after the final day of your travel program, including one open visa page.
No Visa Requirements for US Citizens traveling to South Africa.

NON US CITIZENS OR THOSE TRAVELING FROM A COUNTRY OTHER THAN THE USA
Non US citizens should check with their country’s embassy abroad to verify vaccination and visa requirements.
US citizens traveling from a country other than the United States should check the State Department website (www.travel.state.gov) for more information regarding additional visa or vaccine requirements.

Please contact SSA for further information regarding vaccination and visa requirements.

Health and Safety

We strongly recommend visiting the CDC South Africa website to get the most updated information on health and vaccination considerations in your destination country. In addition, we encourage you to consult with your personal family physician so you can be as informed as possible when making important decisions about vaccinations and other necessary health-related preparations before travel.

Our in-country staff prepare meticulously for all programs. SSA will register our programs and travelers with the U.S. Department of State Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) in case of emergency. In country staff also verify the safety records of our partner organizations, vendors, and transportation providers, thoroughly vet homestay families via in depth interviews and home visits, and keep up on important current events in the region.

Program Leaders are seasoned travelers who are CPR and First Aid certified, undergo thorough training in crisis management, and participate in a multi-day leadership training retreat. We do our best to prepare for any eventuality and have detailed emergency protocols for our leaders, in-country staff and U.S.-based staff.

We receive medical disclosures from all participants to ensure we are able to meet every students’ needs during the program. Please inform us immediately of any additional health issues that you did not list during your initial registration process. Program Leaders will also hold an online information session before your departure, as well as an arrival orientation in-country, in order to give participants important instructions on food safety, hygiene and preventing injury and illness. Leaders and in-country staff always respond immediately to any mental, physical or emotional health issues and follow comprehensive emergency protocols.

 

In the event your program includes shark-cage diving, please consider the following risk mitigation measures before embarking on your adventure. The following will be reiterated in a more in-depth orientation before your dive.

Safety Guidelines for Shark-Cage Diving:

Sea sickness – Take motion sickness medication one day before diving and again two hours before your trip. Eat a good meal before your boat ride.

Slipping on the boat – All boats on our tours have non-slip surfaces, but it’s a good idea to wear closed-toed shoes or water shoes with proper grip while traveling.

Falling overboard – This can be avoided when participants hold on to the boat railings during travel. It is also recommended that participants refrain from leaning over the edge of the boat for any reason.

Shark cage – The bars of the cage are not wide enough for any shark to enter. However, participants must keep their hands and feet inside the cage at all times. Feeding of sharks or marine life is also prohibited.

Travel Insurance

 

While we work hard to ensure the safest experience possible for our travelers while on program, experience has taught us that travel is never without risk. For this reason, we suggest you consider purchasing travel insurance which would cover you in the event your student needs to withdraw before travel due to a covered reason, loses baggage in route or encounters an emergency while traveling, among other unforeseen circumstances. Please see a summary of a plan below and follow the link for a more detailed explanation or to purchase the plan for your traveler.

Premier*
Trip Cancellation Up to 100% of Trip Cost
Reimburses your prepaid, non-refundable expenses if you must cancel your trip due to a covered reason.
Maximum coverage: $100,000.

Trip Interruption Up to 150% of Trip Cost
Reimburses for the unused, non-refundable portion of your trip and for the increased transportation costs it takes for you to return home or to continue your trip due to a covered reason. Maximum coverage: $150,000.

Missed Connection $1,600
Reimburses for covered expenses resulting from a covered delay that causes you to miss your scheduled flight or cruise.

Travel Delay $1,600
Receive up to $200 per day per person to cover additional accommodation/travel expenses and lost prepaid expenses due to a departure delay of six or more hours.

Medical Protection: 
Emergency Medical and Dental $50,000
-This primary coverage provides reimbursement for expenses incurred during your trip due to covered medical and dental emergencies. No deductible.
-$750 maximum for emergency dental care.

Baggage Protection
Baggage Loss/Damage $2,000
Covers loss, damage or theft of baggage and personal effects.

Baggage Delay $600
Covers the reasonable additional purchase of essential items during your trip if your baggage is delayed or misdirected by a common carrier for 24 hours or more. Receipts for emergency purchases are required.

Assistance Services
Emergency Medical Transportation $1,000,000
Provides medically necessary transportation to the nearest appropriate facility following a covered injury or illness. Also covers the cost of your transportation back home following a covered injury or illness.

24-Hour Hotline Help Included
Help is just a phone call away with Allianz Global Assistance. Our staff of multilingual problem solvers is available to help you with a medical, legal or travel-related emergency.

*Terms, conditions, and exclusions apply. Insurance benefits underwritten by BCS Insurance Company (OH, Administrative Office: Oakbrook Terrace, IL), rated “A­” (Excellent) by A.M. Best Co., under BCS Form No. 52.201 series or 52.401 series, or Jefferson Insurance Company (NY, Administrative Office: Richmond, VA), rated “A+” (Superior) by A.M. Best Co., under Jefferson Form No. 101­C series or 101­P series, depending on your state of residence. Plan(s) may not be available in all jurisdictions. Allianz Global Assistance and Allianz Travel Insurance are marks of AGA Service Company or its affiliates. AGA Service Company is the licensed producer and administrator of this plan and an affiliate of Jefferson Insurance Company. The insured shall not receive any special benefit or advantage due to the affiliation between AGA Service Company and Jefferson InsuranceCompany. Non­Insurance benefits/products are provided and serviced by AGA Service Company. Consumer may be responsible for charges incurred from outside vendors for assistance or concierge services. Contact AGA Service Company at 800­284­8300 or 9950 Mayland Drive, Richmond, VA 23233 or customerservice@allianzassistance.com.

Global Leadership Curriculum

WTT has developed a curriculum that helps each of our travelers mature as global leaders before, during, and after their travel program. These simple, engaging tools are meant to spark discussion, frame the experience, and prepare participants to travel ethically and effectively both on our programs and in the future.

For more information about student learning objectives and the format of the curriculum, click on the ‘learn more’ button below.

Learn More About the GLC

To view and complete the Pre-Program Activities, visit our online portal at the button below.

Pre-Program Activity Portal

Language Resources

DUOLINGO

Want to learn a new language and be better prepared for your travel program? Duolingo is the easiest, most entertaining way to start learning and using a new language right away! The more you practice, the more you’ll be able to communicate with locals in your host country and help your fellow travelers navigate a foreign environment.

Tap the Duolingo owl to get started, or download the app to your mobile phone.

duolingo owl logo

Continue to the next section

Travel Day Details

Travel Day Details

Program participants will meet the group organizer at the below airline check-in counter three hours before the departure flight. If you have trouble locating the group, please notify your group organizer or contact WTT.

DEPARTURE FROM USA
Airline:
Flight:
Date:
Departs:
Arrives:

RETURN TO USA
Airline:

Flight:
Date:
Departs:
Arrives:

A NOTE ON FLIGHTS
Air travel is unpredictable. Although we can ensure that our groups arrive to the airport with ample time and follow all airline instructions, there may still be instances when a flight is delayed or cancelled due to weather, mechanical problems, labor strikes, etc. Please note that in such an event WTT is not financially responsible for unexpected costs incurred by travelers. Our programs officially begin and end in our host countries. That being said, our travelers’ well-being and safety is our number one priority, so please know that should flight delays/cancellations occur we will do everything we can to get travelers home in a timely manner and will do our best to keep family members updated on developments.

WTT is not responsible for fees associated with checked baggage. Please also make sure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond the final day in country.

UN-ACCOMPANIED MINORS
Please confirm with your air travel provider as some airlines may require that travelers under a certain age have completed an unaccompanied minor parental consent form. Please consult the airline website to confirm if this is required on your flight.

Program Staff

WTT will send a minimum of one experienced Program Leader on every program. In addition to this Program Leader, we also have a support staff in our host countries that are available to the group for additional help when necessary. Below you’ll find a list of the Walking Tree staff involved in the planning, organizing, and leadership of your program. Meet your support team!

  • Gregg Brill
    Gregg Brill South Africa Country Director

    Rhodes University – Bsc in Environmental Science and Icthyology
    Stellenbosch University – MSc in Environmental Science
    University of Cape Town – PhD in Environmental Science

    Gregg Brill was born in the Eastern Cape, South Africa and spent much of his childhood brought up on a dairy farm. It was here that a keen interest in nature was foundered. Gregg has undertaken numerous environmental and social projects around the world, including turtle conservation in Madagascar, coral reef rehabilitation in the Seychelles, revegetation initiatives in Thailand and South Africa, as well as wildlife management and conservation in South Africa and Australia. Gregg has travelled to over 50 countries across six continents, and has lived in four of them.

    Group Roster

    Please have all travelers check below to ensure their name is spelled exactly how it appears on your passport. For edits, email lacey@walkingtree.org

    Community & Project Details

    This is where your host community information will appear, along with your community project, if applicable to your program.

    Communication & Blog

    Travelers will be able to keep in touch with family and friends at home by using Wifi (when available at hotels and restaurants) via Whatsapp, Skype, and Wechat for free.

    During the program we keep families and friends updated on the group’s adventures as frequently as possible with text and photo blogs. If parents would like updates regarding the group beyond these blog posts and email updates, please direct all general inquiries to info@WalkingTree.org. We are always checking this email inbox and will respond promptly to inquiries. You can also reach us by dialing 303-242-8541 from the U.S. In case of an emergency, please dial 303-997-0310.

    Your blog link is – coming soon –

    Photos which appear in the blog will become available after the program ends. We will send out a link to the photo gallery, where you will have access to view and download as many of the photos as you like!

    Packing List

    What follows is a guideline, but you know yourself better than we do so please modify as you see fit. We recommend you bring a larger piece of luggage like a backpack, roller or duffel bag and a smaller backpack that you can bring on hikes, weekend excursions and shorter activities.

    Please note that seasons in Southern Africa are opposite ours in the United States so we will be traveling during South Africa’s winter. Layering is the best way to prepare for variable conditions, as it will be chilly (55-70 degrees fahrenheit) during the early morning and nighttime, and hot (up to mid-nineties fahrenheit).

    South Africa Packing List

    Clothes:
    10 pairs of underwear
    10 pairs of socks (a mixture of good athletic socks and casual socks)
    4-7 t-shirts (some quick dry)
    2-3 long sleeve/button up shirts
    1-2 sweater/sweatshirts
    1 warmer jacket
    1 warmer hat
    1 rain jacket
    1-3 pairs of shorts
    4-5 pairs of comfortable pants/jeans (plan to re-wear jeans more than one day)
    1 nice shirt/top to be worn to more formal dinners (girls might want a skirt or something a little nicer for such occasions)
    1 pair/s of durable athletic/walking shoes, appropriate for lots of walking
    1 pair nicer shoes (optional, though Cape Town is a pretty fashionable city)
    1 hat with good sun protection

    Toiletries: Bring the BASIC toiletries you need plus:
    Sunscreen
    Band Aids and Neosporin, basic first aid
    Hand Sanitizer
    Medication in properly marked original container (better to pack this in your carry on luggage)

    Miscellaneous:
    Journal and pen (required)
    Small Alarm Clock separate from phone (required)
    Durable water bottle (required)
    Watch (required)
    Flashlight/headlamp (required)
    Sunglasses
    Small binoculars
    Book/s
    Camera (digital, disposable, waterproof)
    Electrical Adapter/Converter. South Africa uses a 3-prong Type M plug. Transformer necessary if electronic device doesn’t have one built in.
    Debit card/US Dollars (we recommend about $50-150 in newer bills, depending on amount of desired souvenirs, extra items etc.)
    1 quick-dry towel
    Batteries
    Deck of cards or other portable games
    Student ID

    Tuition Details

    Program tuition includes: All accommodations, 3 meals per day, drinking water, ground transportation, group activity and entry fees, full-time leadership team,  taxes, tips and estimated airfare*.

    Program tuition excludes: Baggages fees, airline minor fees, personal shopping, passport or visa fees, and activities not listed in the itinerary.

    *Estimated Airfare: In order to give our travelers the best possible price, we break out airfare from the Program Tuition. We will still handle all booking and ticketing via our flight partner who has access to special fares not available to the general public. We will provide full transparency in cost so that families pay what the flight costs and nothing more. You will be invoiced for the flight once we are able to secure the group’s airline contract.

    Insurance:  If you are traveling on a program that is completed before September 1, 2018 your basic travel insurance is included. If you are traveling on a program that departs after September 1, 2018 you must purchase travel insurance if you want to have any supplemental coverage beyond what your family’s package may provide. This change is due to new federal regulations.

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