Xtreme South Africa ExperienceBook Now
What you experience now will change your life in the future. This trip with its massive highs, adrenaline shocks, and humbling insights into real issues will grow you as an individual. This trip combines it all; it will be the best five weeks of your life join our groups and kick off an amazing South African adventure.
- Arrival into Cape Town transfer to backpackers
- Five-day Cape Town Adrenaline Week
- Cape Tour
- World’s Highest Abseil
- Free Weekend With Beach Time
Xtreme Hero Week
- Choose either Xtreme marine conservation hero great white shark project option or
- Xtreme Kite Surf Qualification or
- Or the Xtreme community superhero option in a township
Adrenaline Tour Garden Route Road Trip
- Cape Town / Gaans Bai to Cape Aguilas
- Cape Aguilas to Oudtshoorn
- Face Adrenaline
- Monkey / Elephant Park Night in Sedgefield
- Jeffreys Bay via Tsitsikamma
- Addo Game Drive – Jeffreys Bay
- Hang out in Jeffreys Bay With Surf Lesson
- Weekend in Port Elizabeth with city tour, Jazz club and Donkin Trail
Week Four & Five:
Big 5 Wildlife Conservation
- Wildlife conservation Game Park
- Transfer to Port Elizabeth
- Trip ends
- Make friends from all over the world, as you discover, learn party and chill in some incredible locations all throughout southern Africa.
- Experiencing the site sounds and colonial vibe of Africa’s most beautiful city: Cape Town
- Revelling in the epic landscape of where to oceans meet at the Horn of Africa: the Cape of Good Hope
- Pitting yourself against the world’s highest abseil of Table Mountain
- Insane views of Cape Town on the Table Mountain cable car
- Chilling on white sandy beaches with incredible views of Table Mountain with optional kite surf lessons
- Picking between two adventurous and worthwhile projects. Helping to report scientific research aiding in the conservation of the great white shark, or immersing yourself in a community project to give something back to the poorest and most vulnerable in South Africa
- Experiencing one of the most scenic coastal drives in the world en route to the shark conservation project
- An incredible garden route adrenaline tour, covering 1000 km of action and adventure!
- Testing your bravery. Facing the world’s highest bridge bungee: Bloukrans at 216 m (optional).
- Mount up and ride an ostrich Cango Ostrich Farm!
- Discover the true beauty of the garden route as you drive through the Hops Valley experiencing its mind blowing scenery
- Discover the gateway to the Otter Trail in South Africa’s third most popular National Park Tsitsikamma. A feast for your eyes as steep wilderness gives way to a beautiful stretch of coastline.
- Go on safari in Addo National Park and search for the big five.
- Chill on the golden sands and get proper beach time in Jeffreys Bay. Ultra cool beach-side surf hostel, with epic nightlife and chilled out vibes.
- Get hands-on on a wildlife conservation project for an entire week. Loads of interaction with nature, in a beautiful environment.
Cape Town Adrenaline Week One
Arrange your flights to land in to Cape Town International airport. We will pick you up from the airport and transfer you to our base in Cape Town. A stress free way of arriving into Africa. When you book with Xtreme gap year you get access to a Facebook group buddy list prior to arrival, so you can already start chatting to fellow Xtreme Gappers is who will be joining you on your trip.
Check in, kick back and relax. On Monday morning you will be given a full comprehensive introduction and then start your week-long adventures in and around Cape Town.
Your accommodation for the week is located in Table View its near the beach, and its a nice chilled out place to relax when dipping in and out of Cape Town. The views of table Mountain are spectacular as well.
For the first week Cape Town will be your playground. It’s an amazing destination with a distinctively European feel yet African flair. You have loads of activities arranged for you for the week, but also plenty of free time to explore and check out some of the site sounds and highlights of the mother city.
As some of the activities are weather dependent the days you complete the activities might change, but we will aim to complete the following:
Table Mountain National Park & Abseil Africa
Take a trip to the top of table Mountain and check out the stunning scenery surrounding you. Awarded natural wonder of the world status, it’s easy to see why from the top. On a clear day you have impressive views of not only Cape Town but the Cape of Good Hope and the stunning scenery surrounding the mother city.
When you’re at the top, we are going to take full advantage of the altitude, because you are going to abseil of the world’s highest abseil from the top. Over 100 m in distance, and the thousand metres above sea level you will learn the true benefits of adrenaline travel with Xtreme. If you do not have a head for heights or want to back out you will not be forced to participate in this activity, but you will miss out on one of the best experiences of your life.
Please note the cable car ticket is not included in the trip price and you must purchase this locally (or this can be done online the night before) allow approximately £25 per person for the return journey.
Xtreme Cape Peninsula Tour
We will take you off to check out the Horn of Africa, on a mission to see the Cape of Good Hope. Along the way we will show you a thing or two about the history of Cape Town and show you things that most tourists miss. Check out the penguins at boulders Beach, have lunch with the locals in Kalk Bay and of course taste some of the local wine which is spectacular. We will take you through Clifton, camps Bay and then the stunning coastal road to Hout baai. It’s a scenic drive and then some with the final destination being the Cape of Good Hope. Prior to reaching the Cape there is a 40 minute hike, surrounded by baboons, seabirds and all forms of exotic wildlife. This is an entire day out, and will take around eight hours.
During the first week we will hit the beach and do a three-hour surf session!
When we look at table Mountain, we just want to jump off it . So as part of the Cape Town adrenaline week we will take you tandem paragliding. The views are insane from up there!
Please note this activity is wind and weather dependent so there is some flexibility as to when this happens. If we are unfortunate with the local conditions we will substitute this activity with something more appropriate.
For the first two weeks breakfasts and dinners are included in the price of the programme (unless you are on the shark conservation option, in which case breakfasts and dinners will be included for the first week in Cape Town).
Week 2: Hero Week Pick An Option
- Xtreme marine conservation hero great white shark project option or
- Xtreme Kite Surf Qualification or
- Or the Xtreme community superhero option in a township
On your second week you have two different projects you can choose. Please note both projects are located in different locations. If you choose the community hero option, you will be located in table view in Cape Town. The shark conservation project takes place in Gansbaai approximately two hours from Cape Town. The group will be split depending on which activities you have picked and be reunited on the road trip one week later.
Great White Shark Option
Every day (weather permitting) boats go out to monitor great white shark numbers in one of the world’s top great white shark hotspots.
Your role as an Xtreme reporter will be to get in the water with the sharks (in a cage) and observe the sharks in their natural environment. There are various research projects and data collection needs that you will get involved with, and you will be briefed on arrival as to what research tasks need to be completed.
Important scientific data collection work… That just happens to be bloody exciting.
You will also fulfill the role of an Xtreme reporter, by contributing to the Xtreme marine shark conservation blog with the aim of raising awareness of issues surrounding threats to the great white shark. The database and bloggers running conjunction with white shark projects, one of the world’s leading white shark conservation projects, and the work you do will be accessible to marine biologists throughout the world.
Now this is important work, because you will be located in the worlds number one hotspots the great white sharks. Very little is known about them, so the data that you collect is very important. Scientists from all over the world can use the data collected in Gansbaai to further their understanding of great white sharks, and help assist in the conservation of these magnificent animals. Sharks are under threat, this is common knowledge now is your opportunity to help do something about it.
We will aim to get you in the water as much as possible, but please note the activity is weather dependent, so there may be some non-sea days. During these days your focus will be on writing up the article that you are working on, or nonacademic activities like visiting some of the incredible hotspots in the area.
During the week you will be accommodated in a volunteer house, located in Klein Baai, a stones throw from the launch site of the shark conservation projects boats. After one week you will have gained an incredible insight into the issues surrounding great white sharks, and we hope got to know them a little bit better! Not only that you will come face-to-face on multiple occasions with a top apex predator and probably crapped your pants in the process!
Please note breakfast is included during this week and lunches and dinners you have to pay for locally however there are cooking facilities at the volunteer house, and volunteers usually take turns to cook together.
Kite Surf Option
The third very exciting option in your second week is our learn to Kite Surf option. You will be located a short stroll from one of the best kite surf beaches in the world. Cape Town is well known for its perfect kite surf conditions, warm temperate waters reliable steady wind and some of the top kite surfers in the world choosing this is the number one destination.
If you pick this option we will enroll you on an IKO beginner kite surfing course. As this option is wind and weather dependent, you have a week to complete your course, which should provide ample time to complete the necessary hours and modules.
What you will learn:
The kite surfing course will take you through the theory of kite surf, everything from wind conditions to the equipment and safety checks. You will learn how to fly the kite on land prior to getting in the water to start body dragging. (Controlling the kite in the water without the board). Finally you will get onto water start where you are up on the board under power from the kite. How far you progress is really up to how quickly you pick it up.
During the week you will be accommodated in the same backpackers hostel as in week 1.
All meals are included during this week and you get a total of 12 hours of instruction split throughout the week.
Breakfast and dinner included with this option
Township Community Work. The community superhero project option.
For those not doing the white shark conservation project, you have an amazing opportunity to help some of Africa’s most vulnerable communities. Partnering with the save foundation, you are able to get involved in a series of different project to help benefit local impoverished communities. You will be visiting some of the most unfortunate and impoverished people in South Africa. There are significant social problems which need addressing with the help of overseas volunteers. Helping volunteer your time in community creches, playing with the children and being involved in construction projects like building classrooms can make a real difference to the local community.
Some of the work is heartbreaking, and some of it incredibly rewarding. You will be under the stewardship of very capable coordinators, who have been successfully running community projects in South Africa for many years. Nikki the project leader, comes from an NGO background whose drive and enthusiasm is infectious. Under her guidance hopefully you can give something back and contribute to the well-being of some of Africa’s most needy.
During the week he will stay in a shared volunteer house, located a couple of minutes from the beach in dormitory accommodation. The house is in one of the most picturesque parts of Cape Town, table view and each day you will be transported to the projects and set tasks.
Breakfast and dinner included with this option
Week Three Adrenaline Tour Garden Route Road Trip.
The third week involves an epic 1 ½ thousand kilometre road trip along one of the most beautiful drives in the world: the Garden Route. This is a fully guided adventure stopping off in some of the best places in South Africa.
This will be a non-stop quest for adventure with some seriously awesome activities in the itinerary:
What you can expect
- Opportunity to go shark cage diving (if you are on the community township option)
- Safari and game drive in the legendary Addo Elephant Park
- Two night stay in Jeffreys Bay with surf lessons
- Optional bungee jump at the legendary Bloukrans (Or cheer on your mates from the clifftop bar!)
- Tsitiskamma National Park the gateway to the otter Trail
- Ostrich riding and cango caves
- Cango Wildlife Park to see rare breeds and leaping crocodiles
- Option to do some crocodile cage diving
- Epic scenery of mountains, coastal roads and two amazing oceans
- Chilling out on the golden sands of Jeffreys Bay
- A breathtaking view from the top of Knysna Heads
Adrenaline Tour Garden Route Road Trip
Day 1 ǀ Cape Town to Struisbaai:
One of the most scenic coastal drives in the world optional shark cage dive, ending at the bottom of continental Africa.
It’s an early start from Cape Town at 8.30. It’s going to be a hell of the road trip. Today we head East, as we leave behind table Mountain and the glorious Cape Town, we had along the N2 to the coast. We will be joining the famous Whale route which is one of the most scenic coastal drives in the world. Mountains descend into the Indian Ocean, which is loaded with whales and sharks.
If you did not pick the great white shark option in the second week you have the opportunity to go shark cage diving today. This will mean you leave even earlier than the main group to get out on the boat to see the sharks. You will then meet up with the main group directly after your shot cage dive.
Make sure your camera is fully charged because you’re going to be snapping away like a lunatic, we can have a stop in a craft beer brewery to quench your thirst before heading to Cape Agulhas National Park.
Despite most people believe the Cape of Good Hope holds this title, it is actually Cape Agulhas that is the most southern geographical point of Africa.
After a visit to the lookout point we make our way to the harbour where there is an option to embark on an exciting ski-boat cruise to search for dolphin and whales (June to November).
After our cruise we take a walk back to our accommodation along “Die Plaat”, the longest beach in the Southern Hemisphere. This day is designed to be a relaxing one for you to get to know your fellow travellers, to get used to travelling in our vehicle and to settle into the comfortable routine of life on tour.
- Meals: Dinner
- Accommodation: Backpacker dorm -Cape Agulhas Backpackers
- Facilities Shared ablutions, bar, internet, swimming pool
- Route: Cape Town to Struisbaai ±260 km
- Travel time: ±4 hrs
- Included Highlight: Land Based Whale Watching in Hermanus / Shopping
Beer/wine tasting at Birkenhead Brewery
- Optional Activities: Shark cage diving
Day 2 ǀ Cape Agulhas to Sedgefield: Canoeing & Hike
Goodbye whale route hello garden route. Day two brings beach time, kayaking and waterfalls.
Not such an early start this morning, enjoy your breakfast After a relaxing breakfast we start driving inland again, this time towards the famed Garden Route!
After a scenic drive we begin a beautiful canoe trip down one of the many tranquil rivers in the area, followed by a short hike to a stunning waterfall.
We finish off the day with some beach time down at Myoli Beach.
- Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
- Accommodation: Cape to Addo Backpacker dorm: Sedgefield
- Facilities: Shared ablutions, internet, pool, entertainment areas
- Route: Struisbaai to Sedgefield ± 340 km
- Travel time: ±4 hrs
- Included Highlight: Canoe trip & hike to waterfall
Day 3 ǀ Oudtshoorn:
Driving through the desert Little Karoo. Exploring underground caves. Riding ostriches and swimming with crocodiles!
We begin the day with a drive over the picturesque Outeniqua mountain range into the semi desert region of the Klein Karoo and Oudtshoorn. Today you’re going to see more ostriches than you will probably ever see for the rest of your life. Originally not native to Oudtshoorn, settlers discovered that the ostrich thrives here. So you’re going learn a lot about them. If you’re up for it you can ride one one as well (don’t worry it doesn’t hurt the ostrich and it is really very silly).
Prior to that we are going to explore the amazing Cango Caves. Think massive caverns and a wonderland of stalactite and stalagmite formations, millions of years old. Cango Caves is a world heritage site and one of the great wonders of the natural world.
If you enjoy spelunking (yes that’s a real word we didn’t make that up) and don’t mind trying to squeeze through some smaller gaps then you are also welcome to take the 1.5 hour adventure tour!
Finally you can go see endangered wildlife act can go wildlife Ranch. This is the only place in the world we can go crocodile cage diving! They also have a big cat Sanctuary, where you can interact with cheetah as well.
- Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
- Accommodation: Cape to Addo Backpacker dorm in Sedgefield
- Facilities: Shared ablutions, internet, pool, free shuttle service to PiliPili Beach bar
- Route: Sedgefield to Oudtshoorn day trip ±190 km
- Travel time: ±3 hrs
- Included Highlight: Standard or adventure guided tour of Cango Caves
- Tour of a working Ostrich farm + riding (weight restriction apply to riders)
- Cango Endangered Wildlife ranch
Day 4 ǀ Sedgefield – Jeffrey’s Bay:
Learn all about monkeys and Elephants. Throw yourselves down canyons and take on the mighty bloukrans Bungee. Hike through a national Park. Finish in one of the worlds top surf spots. Not a bad afternoon.
This morning we drive through Knysna on our way to the Crags where you have a number of options to choose from. This is an action packed itinerary today so you will not get to pick every single option, so pick the one that you would most like to do.
- Elephant Sanctuary where you learn about, and interact with orphaned elephants.
- Monkey Sanctuary where rescued monkeys roam free in a large jungle area.
- Kloofing trip through a spectacular gorge with jumps, abseils and swimming.
Our next stop is the World’s highest commercial bridge Bungee Jump at 216 meters. It is really bloody scary. If you cannot face the jump, you can face a pint, from the clifftop bar where you can watch the jumpers on a live video feed.
For those that have successfully completed the jump they are going to need a serious wind down. There is no better place to do this than the Tsitsikamma National Park. It’s like something out of the lost world, with an ancient rainforest descending down beautiful cliffs into the sea. We will go for a hike over the suspension bridges to check out the scenery and stop for lunch in an amazing beach-side lodge. Make sure you try the stake it is to die for.
If we have time we will head to Storms river swing bridges before we reach the world-famous surfing Mecca Jeffreys Bay. We will be staying right by the beach in an awesome Surf Lodge. The Surf Lodge will be your home for the next couple of days, although we will be doing road trips up to the Addo national elephant Park.
- Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
- Accommodation Backpacker dorm; Island Vibe Backpackers, Jbay
- Facilities: Shared ablutions, bar, restaurant, internet
- Route: Sedgefield to Storms River/Jbay
- Travel time: ±2-3 hrs
- Included Highlight: Tsitsikamma Forest
- Optional Activities: Elephant Sanctuary, Monkeyland, Bloukrans bungee jump (216m), Bloukrans Bridge walking tour
Day 5 ǀ Jeffrey’s Bay – Addo National Park – Sedgefield: Game Drive (Addo), Surfing, shopping time (Jeffrey’s bay)
Wake up early and head to Addo Elephant National park where we go on a morning game drive to view the multitudes of wild animals. Addo is home to the Big 5 and it also has the highest concentration of African Elephants in the world!
Addo Game Drive
The Addo elephant Park is immense. It’s also one of the top elephant game reserves in South Africa. Miles and miles of endless African bush, will have surprises around every corner. We will go for a 3 to 5 hour game drive in the elephant Park so have your camera charged in your memory card is empty!
Jeffreys Bay With Optional Surf Lesson
In the afternoon we had back to Jeffreys Bay, where you will set up for the next couple of days, learning to surf and getting some much-needed beach and chill time.
This is your opportunity to relax, take in the white sandy beaches and hang out with other backpackers. The week after we are heading into the African bush, so it’s nice to spend some time by the ocean.
No meals are included in Jeffreys bay so please budget and additional £30 to cover these expenses for the next couple of days
Weekend in Port Elizabeth
P.E for the weekend. You will be based in a hostel near the center and have serveral activities planned. An interesting city tour (Donkin trail ) combined with township tour finally dinner at a Jazz Club in the township (New Brighton Township).
When we depart from the Jazz club after dinner we stop at the beer shack for beer tasting (beers own cost).
This section is guided from Jbay all the way through PE until the wold life section of the trip. You will have free time at the weekend. You can shop, explore or if you thirst for some more adventure: Rent a bike from the hostel and do a few kilometres cycle to a SAMREC penguin rehabilitation centre and or you can do a 9 km hiking trail of the Cape Nature Recife/light house.
Week Four & Five Wildlife Conservation & Safari
Week four and Five are all about the animals of Africa. Staying in the big five wildlife reserve near Port Elizabeth. Guided by expert game rangers you will have access every day to Africa’s wildlife. Early in the mornings and in the afternoons you will head out in modified land cruisers, looking for wildlife and getting involved in conservation activities.
It is spectacular as it is adventurous, but more than that you will gain a deeper understanding of the issues African wildlife is facing. For example the exploitation of the rhino, or combating poaching from elephant ivory poachers. There are so many different projects and tasks that need your assistance you can really contribute something back. But it’s not all hard work out on the reserves, its incredible experiences as well. Face-to-face with raw African wildlife, you will track lions, buffaloes leopards and more.
During these weeks you will stay on the reserves, in a shared volunteer house, all food is provided for you, although there is the opportunity to purchase extra snacks and soft drinks. With days full of wildlife interaction, your nights around the campfire will be filled with incredible story swapping as you relive the moments of the day.
You also have the option to contribute to our wildlife conservation database, and write reports on your findings, a great way to show future employers or university tutors what you got up to with your time off.
At the end of the weeks you will be dropped off in Port Elizabeth (Monday 11 am) where you can catch your flight home. If you wish to travel further on through South Africa, we can also help organise Baz bus tickets, a hop on hop off bus network so let us know all about your travel plans.
Which reserve will you stay at?
We use several different reserves depending on the groups sizes and availability at the game reserves. All reserves are highly rated (5 star game reserves). Sometimes it is necessary to split the group, but we endeavour to keep the group together. The game reserve selected will be confirmed to you at the time of booking and we do reserve the right to change game reserves at any time depending on what is best suited to group size. All game reserves are located in the Port Elizabeth Malaria free zone.
On this trip you stay multiple locations. Accommodation is mainly in dorms or twin to triple share single sex rooms.
Trip Frequently Asked Questions
What are the group sizes
Group sizes do vary but expect up to 12 people per group. We keep it nice and intimate because this ensures the road trip section is truly unforgettable. You will make good friends with other Xtreme Gappers and have some incredible experiences along the way.
What spending money should I take
South Africa is very cheap, the exchange rate is very favourable so if you are on a tight budget you should only need around £80 per week. Most of your food is included in the second and fourth weeks, and there are cooking facilities available as well.
What are the average ages?
The majority of people on this trip are between 18 and 30, but it is popular with people of all ages.
As a first-time traveller as the suitable for me?
Yes absolutely. The majority of people on this trip book on their own, and you are well looked after throughout. It’s a great introduction to travelling, and you will be with other people in a similar position. You also get access to our online Facebook buddy lists prior to travel so you can make friends with other people on the same trip prior to leaving.
Is South Africa safe?
Yes it is. Throughout the trip you have assistance from our guides and coordinators, you will be well looked after.
Advise about vaccination
No need to really worry about a rabies vac – highly unlikely that you will need it. Most hospitals have this in stock and they could definitely get this within 24 hours (they don’t keep stock but can get in very quickly). Our pharmacist in Kenton also said that they can order the rabies vac should someone wants to get vaccinated once here. Most good pharmacies should be able to do this. We always suggest to our volunteers to get a tetanus jab before coming out – if possible but also not to stress if they haven’t (in case you stand in a rusty nail, hurt yourself with a machete whilst chopping out alien plants on the last 2 weeks.
Great White Shark option
Our great white shark project is closed for volunteers from the 15 Dec- 15th Jan but our kite surfing and community volunteering will still be running then.[/toggle]
Cape Town Section, Week 1:
- Pickup from Cape Town International airport
- All accommodation at an awesome hostel close to the beach
- Fully guided in country support and predeparture support
- Walking tour of Cape Town or Hop on hop off bus tour of Cape Town (with optional Signal Hill sunset)
- 3 hour surf lesson
- Breakfast and Dinner
- Table Mountain abseil
- Cape Peninsula tour or Wine tasting
- Paragliding in Capetown or Lions Head Trek (weather dependent)
The Xtreme Hero Week 2 :
- Meals (dinner is excluded in shark option)
- Breakfast and Dinner (on the Kite Surf and Hero Options)
- Transfers to the projects
- Xtreme Gap Year coordinators
- Guidance on the various activities
Road Trip Section, Week 3:
- All transport
- All accommodation
- Xtreme Gap Year guide
- Entrance to Addo Elephant Park and game drive
- Entrance to Tsitikamma National Park
- Cango Caves
- Cango Wildlife Ranch & Ostrich Ranch
- Jeffreys Bay Surf lesson
Wildlife Reserve Section Week 4&5:
- Transfers to and from the reserve
- Accommodation in a secure gated compound
- All meals
- Game Ranger supervisors
- Game drive vehicle for 2 weeks
- Drop off to Port Elizabeth
- Travel insurance
- Some meals unless stated and all meals during the road trip Jbay section
- Snacks & Drinks
- Cape town cable car
- Activities listed as optional on the road trip
Sep 2018 Sun: 23 Sep 2018 Book Now
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