2019 North Catholic South Africa Wildlife Conservation Expedition

Dear Families – Welcome to the homepage for the 2019 North Catholic South Africa Wildlife Conservation Expedition. Walking Tree is thrilled to be partnering with Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic High School! Please read through the details about your program below and peruse our Resource Center, which contains lots of helpful information about our organization, tuition, safety, insurance, and more. We hope you will join us on the adventure of a lifetime in South Africa!
Travel Dates: June 10, 2019 - June 25, 2019
Dates are Tentative
Group Organizer(s):
WTT/SSA Contact:
Program Tuition: $5,490 USD
Airfare not included in program tuition
Estimated Airfare: $1,400
Deadline(s): Submit a deposit and complete an Enroll Now form to secure your spot on the adventure!

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Program Tuition: $5,490

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South Africa

The Republic of South Africa is the historically important link between the Indian and Pacific Oceans at the Cape of Good Hope. Prehistoric cave paintings and fossil remains suggest that humanity itself may have sprung from the verdant forests, titanic mountains, and gently rolling plains of South Africa; but if you don’t buy those theories, the unrivaled hospitality of the Afrikaners itself will leave you with a feeling like you’ve come back home.

Despite Africa’s more recent history of segregation during the infamous apartheid, a certain kind of peace permeates through this culturally and naturally diverse country. Cape Town, watched over by the majestic Table Mountain, hums with life and glitters with a genuine South African melange of European and African cultures that can be tasted in world-class cuisine and seen in resplendent architecture. Of course, no visit to the African continent would be complete without couple of unforgettable wildlife encounters. South Africa is one of the best places in the world to view unique plants and animals, and one of the easiest places in the continent to see “The Big Five:” Elephant, Lion, Leopard, Rhino, and Cape Buffalo.

Conservation Expeditions

Conservation Expeditions

Conservation Expeditions invite students to participate in scientific research projects, learn about diverse ecosystems, and lend a hand in community-based biodiversity conservation efforts.

The Itinerary

We work hard to create engaging, educational, and truly immersive itineraries for our travelers. However, we also know that travel can be unpredictable, so we always design our experiences to be flexible enough to allow for adjustments based on group interests, unexpected opportunities, and any weather or safety concerns that may arise during your program. Should changes to the itinerary occur, we will notify travelers and families as quickly as possible. 

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!


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

Travelers will always be grouped in rooms and/or sleeping areas by gender, and will never share rooms with people who are not associated with their Walking Tree group. 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.

Ashanti Backpackers Lodge Gardens is centrally located near all of the major venues in Capetown. This hostel holds 2-3 students per room and has a separate guest house for larger groups. In addition, there is free wifi on the property.


Aire del Mar

Aire del Mar is located near trendy Kloof Street and Long Street. This hostel offers offer luxury rooms, studios or a guest house that is linked to the main hostel. This establishment supports  2-3 students to a room and provides free wifi.

Driehoek Guest Farm

Driehoek Guest Farm allows guests to escape the busy city and natures beauty. The farm is located in-between Cederberg Wilderness Area, Matjiesrivier Nature Reserve and Cederberg Mountain Catchment Area. This farm houses 2-12 students per room. Huts come with bathrooms or shared bathrooms for larger groups. 

Safety and Support


This was our daughter’s 2nd trip with Walking Tree. In 2016, she took her school’s first trip with Walking Tree to Ecuador, and absolutely loved it. Once again, the Walking Tree representative was excellent. My daughter said Ben really made the trip, and worked hard to keep the group happy. Other positives: communication before the trip, website outline, daily blogs and trip photos. Very professional organization. We feel very secure sending our student out into the world with Walking Tree.

Parent of Olivia, traveler on California Cultural Journey

Your Adventure Includes

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.

Program Tuition Excludes: Travel insurance, baggage fees, airline minor fees, passport/visa fees, laundry, souvenirs, and activities not listed on itinerary.


Need to Raise Money? We have you covered.

Our travelers are provided with funding opportunities that are easy to implement and fun to take part in. Our flagship fundraiser involves selling fair trade, organic, shade-grown, carbon-neutral coffee from a women’s collective in Peru. There is no limit to the amount you can earn, so get started now by clicking the link below!


WTT coffee
Resource center

Resource Center

Why should high school students travel abroad? What happens if a participant gets sick? How quickly do we need to enroll? We’re sure you have plenty of questions and we’ve got you covered! Visit our Resource Center to discover the answers to your most pressing questions and contact us anytime with additional questions.

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