A Cradle of Life

South Africa

Duration 10 days
Suggested group size 12 - 20 students / 2 Envoys Field Staff
Suggested ages 14 - 18
Experience The Rainbow Nation
Ecology Focus & A Cradle of Life


A Cradle of Life

South Africa II

South Africa's flag symbolizes its diverse nation. Transitioning from apartheid to democracy, the program explores human struggles for equality and resources. It also highlights the country's role as a cradle of life, emphasizing the need to create a better future for both humans and wildlife.

“From the vibrant streets of Soweto to the untamed plains of Kruger, South Africa's landscapes echo the harmonious rhythm of unity amidst diversity.“


“Lion roars, Table's majesty, continent's kaleidoscope unfolds.“


Impact Statement Everywhere we go, we carry a promise – to engage with respect, act with purpose, and leave a positive imprint. As envoys of our journey is more than travel; Our footprint is light, but our impact is profound, creating bridges of cooperation and mutual growth across the globe.

Day 1

Upon arrival, students are greeted by their Envoys educators and receive a safety briefing and activity that builds the group dynamic. From there, we head out to explore the surrounding area and have a welcome dinner together, sampling South African cuisine.

Day 2

Students explore the Western Cape, visiting Bartholomew Diaz's 1488 point, delving into regional geography and ecology. They enjoy renowned fish and chips at Kalky’s, explore Kirstenbosch Gardens with its diverse flora, and engage in a sunset discussion on Signal Hill. Then, dinner on Bree Street.

Day 3

A face-to-face encounter with cape fur seals at Duiker Seal Colony. Options include swimming with the seals or observing from the boat. Then, lunch at Hout Bay Market followed by a bus ride to the World of Birds and Monkey Park, where a biologist guides them through the sanctuary's diverse species.

Day 4

Students ferry to Robben Island, delving into its apartheid history and the struggle for democracy, led by figures like Nelson Mandela. Later, they explore the V&A Waterfront and visit Kirstenbosch, appreciating unique flora. Downtime precedes dinner at Eastern Food Bazaar.

Day 5

Midway through the program, we reflect on our travel growth. After a stop at Table Mountain to bid farewell to Cape Town, we head to the airport, check-in, have lunch, and fly to Johannesburg. There, we check in, have dinner, and conclude the day with group games.

Day 6

In Johannesburg, students explore historic sites like the Apartheid Museum. A Soweto bike tour and lunch precede a visit to the vibrant Maboneng neighborhood with its art and culture scene. The day concludes with dinner, reflections, and an Envoys-led activity.

Day 7

The group starts at the Cradle of Humankind to explore early human origins. After lunch, they head to Pilanesberg National Park for a wildlife experience with park rangers, where they’ll learn about efforts on conservation. The day concludes with a sunset game drive and dinner in the park.

Day 8

The group begins with an early morning private game drive in Pilanesberg reserve, followed by a visit to Pretoria's Union Buildings and a diamond mine tour, where they’ll learn about the role precious minerals played in past exploitation and present natural wealth.

Day 9

Visits to the Apartheid Museum and Constitution Hill, engaging with South Africa's challenging history. The day ends with a comprehensive debrief and reflection workshop for students to process experiences, recognize contributions, and prepare to share learnings and growth with their community.

Day 10

We wake up and pack our bags. After eating breakfast and completing our program evaluations, we board our bus to the Johannesburg airport for our return flights home.

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Lenses of Inquiry


The Rainbow Nation

Almost thirty years since it emerged from apartheid, South Africa has stumbled in its early stages as a democracy. However, South Africans see both the opportunity and complexity of creating a country in the Rainbow Nation vision shared by Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela. Through this lens, students will learn about the challenges facing the South African people as they strive to unite a diverse population while attempting to right the injustices of the past.


David Attenborough Ecology Focus

David Attenborough, like the modern day South African safari, has helped to introduce humans to some of the most spectacular wildlife on our planet. South Africa is one of the most vibrant countries when it comes to its animal life. Students will have a chance to observe, inquire, and build understanding around the wide scope of geographies of the country and the different species that inhabit these regions.


A Cradle of Life

South Africa's rich biodiversity and unique landscapes, including the "Cradle of Humankind," provide a window into both rare wildlife and human origins. Students explore this intricate connection, gaining insights into the natural world and our evolutionary history.


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