Day 1 :
Embark on your Conservation Trip to South Africa
- Departure from home:
Relax and enjoy your scheduled flight from North America.
Day 2 :
Arrive in Cape Town
- Upon arrival:
Your 24-hour Tour Director will meet you at the airport and remain with your group until your final airport departure. You’ll have a private coach and driver while touring for the next eight days.
- Program overview:
With over 2,500 hours of sunshine each year, South Africa is perfectly positioned to be a world leader in renewable energy. In fact, the South African government recently agreed to take on a host of new renewable energy infrastructure developments as the country becomes less reliant on coal. Also, many private companies are placing sustainability at the forefront of their endeavors, directly influencing many facets of the South African urban environment—from architecture to sourcing alternative water supplies. This program has been designed to engage participants with the themes of science, technology, the environment, and mathematics in beautiful Cape Town. You’ll have the opportunity to visit some exciting initiatives that display solar power’s effectiveness, the largest optical telescope in the Southern Hemisphere, and the only nuclear power station in Africa.
- Cape Town:
Cape Town is a port city situated on a peninsula beneath the imposing Table Mountain along South Africa's southwest coast. The city features slowly rotating cable cars that climb to the mountain's flat top, from which you’ll find sweeping views, the busy harbor and boats heading for Robben Island, and the notorious prison that once held Nelson Mandela, which is now a living museum.
- Cape Town Lodge Hotel:
Your base for the next five nights will be in Cape Town, where three meals will be provided daily.
- Daily reflection and group discussion:
"We do not learn from experience, we learn from reflecting on experience." - John Dewey
Every evening of the program, we’ll set time aside to update your Reflection Journal and share thoughts and impressions that have come up during the day.
Day 3 :
Lynedoch Eco-Village Tour and Workshop
Visit the Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies (CRSES) at Stellenbosch University, which facilitates and stimulates research and capacity development activities relating to a vibrant, viable renewable and sustainable energy sector in the Southern African region.
- The Sustainability Institute:
The Sustainability Institute (SI) was established in Lynedoch Ecovillage in 1999 as a space for people to explore creating a more equitable society. The core of the SI's work has been finding ways of living that sustain rather than destroy the eco-system within which all society is embedded. While here, you’ll participate in a workshop.
Day 4 :
Palmiet Hydroelectric Power Station
- Palmiet Hydro:
Learn about the Palmiet Pumped Storage Scheme, part of a local water transfer scheme to generate electricity.
- Spier Wine Farm:
Visit Spier Wine Farm, a pioneer in sustainable, eco-friendly practices. While here, you’ll participate in a sustainability tour and grape-juice tasting.
Day 5 :
Aquila Game Reserve
- Continue on your conservation journey:
Today, your group will travel to the Aquila Private Game Reserve. Your base for the night will be the Aquila Safari Lodge, where breakfast and dinner will be provided.
- Aquila Game Reserve:
Set in the pristine Southern Karoo Highlands against a backdrop of dramatic mountains, the Aquila Private Game Reserve offers an exciting taste of Africa just two hours from Cape Town. Aquila is home to an enormous variety of game, including the Big Five—elephants, rhinoceroses, lions, buffalo, and leopards.
- Carbon reduction practices at the Reserve:
Aquila has embarked on an exciting exercise to reduce its carbon footprint. This program consists of several co-existing eco-synergy systems, including a waste management program of worm farms and biogas plants that produces community vegetable and herb gardens and an aquaponics system. Aquila has also built two concentrator photovoltaic solar plants (CPV) to supply much-needed power to the Western Cape grid.
- Evening game drive:
Before or after dinner, you’ll experience a game drive.
Day 6 :
Exploring Table Mountain
- Morning game drive:
Before departing the Reserve, your group will take one final game drive.
Return to your lodging in Cape Town, which will be your base for the next five nights. While here, three meals will be provided daily.
- Table Mountain:
A trip to Table Mountain is a must for all those visiting Cape Town. Take a cable car up the mountain for spectacular and magnificent views. Depending on the time of day, you can watch the sunset from the top or observe Cape Town by night before making the descent.
Day 7 :
Hotel Verde Site Visit and Cooking Class
- Hotel Verde:
The carbon-neutral Hotel Verde is Africa's greenest hotel. The concept of 'thrivability' is integrated into the hotel’s design, construction, refurbishment, and operations to showcase social, environmental, and economical best practices.
- Workshop or lab work:
Participate in a workshop or lab, or hear from a guest speaker on renewable energy and sustainability.
- Cape Malay cooking experience:
Jasmina, a Cape Malayan woman residing in Bo-Kaap, will invite you into her kitchen! She’ll teach your group step by step how to make traditional Cape Malay dishes beloved by the community locals. You can try your hand at mixing the right amount of spices as well as folding a samosa. Afterward, you’ll sit down and enjoy a three-course home-cooked meal you helped prepare.
Day 8 :
Nuclear Power Station and Wind Farm
- Koeberg Nuclear Power Station:
Nuclear energy provides approximately 11% of the world's electricity. Koeberg Nuclear Power Station near Cape Town is the only nuclear plant in Africa, supplies 4.4% of South Africa's electricity, and powers most of the western region. You’ll discover how the power station works and what measures are taken to protect the environment.
- Darling Wind Farm:
The town of Darling is situated in South Africa’s Western Cape, approximately 70 kilometers north of Cape Town. The consistent, strong winds over the hills of the Swartland landscape provide an ideal environment for the wind farm to generate electricity. The Darling Wind Farm is being developed as a national demonstration project and was among the first three wind farms in South Africa.
- Darling Brew:
Darling Brew, a craft brewery based in Darling, has been officially declared as Africa's first carbon-neutral brewery. Your group will stop by for a behind-the-scenes tour.
Day 9 :
Oranjezicht City Farm
Explore Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, which was established in 1913 as the world's first botanic garden to be devoted to a country's indigenous flora. There are more than 7,000 cultivated species here, including many rare and threatened varieties. Kirstenbosch lies in the heart of the Cape Floristic Region (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), against the eastern slopes of Cape Town's Table Mountain.
- Oranjezicht City Farm:
Visit the Oranjezicht City Farm (OZCF), a non-profit urban farm project celebrating local food, culture, and community in Cape Town.
- Company’s Garden:
The Company’s Garden is a treed haven in the middle of Cape Town, surrounded by museums and fascinating buildings such as St. George’s Cathedral, the Iziko Slave Lodge, the Iziko South African National Gallery, and the South African Jewish Museum.
- Farewell dinner:
Tonight, your group will enjoy a special dinner at GOLD Restaurant. A typical evening at GOLD Restaurant starts with the drumbeat of the djembe drum. An interactive drum circle provides the opportunity to join in and learn how to play the djembe to African rhythms and sounds. After pounding the drums, you may soothe your hands during a traditional hand washing ceremony before being led to the table for an African culinary adventure.
- Final reflection and discussion session:
This evening, you’ll make the final entries in your Reflection Journal and share some of the most significant observations and perspectives that have taken shape throughout your Conservation Tour to South Africa. We’ll also discuss how these experiences may be most relevant for us all as we return home.
Day 10 :
Departure from Cape Town
- Goodbye, beautiful Cape Town:
Your rewarding and enjoyable Renewable Energy and Sustainability program comes to an end as your Tour Director accompanies your group to the airport on your final day.
Day 11 :