Getting Down in Cape Town

Trip Region: Sub-Saharan Africa
Country(ies): South Africa
Partners Trek? No
Trip Cost: $2487
Airfare Estimate: $1650
Nightlife: 7   •   Activity: 6

Stunning scenery. Unreal nightlife. Wine tours. ATV driving through the hills. Safaris. The best #views. Sooooo much food. Boats. Whale watching. Penguins. Lots more wine. Even more nightlife. All with a group of your soon-to-be-best friends. There is one trip – and one trip only – that checks off every box and then some. That’s right, we are breaking it down in Cape Town!

Well, technically, we’re breaking it down in Cape Town + a couple of other dope places nearby. We’ll bookend the trip with a few days in Cape Town (aka the most beautiful city ever), but we’ll also visit a game reserve to spot wildlife, check out the best wine South Africa has to offer (trust us, there will be lots of it), and hit the open water off of the stunning beach town of Hermanus. You don’t want to miss this trip.

FYI, trek cost includes all activities mentioned on the itinerary (except for shark diving), almost all meals, and lots of alcohol.

Travel Day — Saturday, Aug 18

Get ready for the best trip of your lives - today we depart for Cape Town! It is a long journey ahead but we promise it will all be worth it!

Day 1 — Sunday, Aug 19

Sawubona Cape Town! Upon arrival, meet the rest of the group at the hotel before heading to a welcome dinner at Gold Restaurant at 6pm local time. Naturally, the first thing you want to do after a 20-hour flight is to go to a 14 course meal with people you have never met. Bring on the icebreakers (aka booze)!

Day 2 — Monday, Aug 20

Rise and shine! After a balanced breakfast we set out for Table Mountain - cable car for those who are still jet lagged, or an optional hike for those overachievers, not Ian. Prepare yourself for some #views. After working up an appetite, we head to the Instagram-friendly (read: colorful houses) Bo Kaap neighborhood. Here, we will partake in a traditional cooking class and we have high hopes that Chase will learn to cook a dish other than eggs and peanut butter (for more disturbing info, please see Chase’s bio). Eat up! You’ll want a solid base before we hit the town.

Day 3 — Tuesday, Aug 21

Today is your chance to see the Big 5 - and no, we aren’t talking about your MBA 2 leaders, it’s just some internship weight, thank you very much. Prepare yourselves for one of the signature activities of our trip - a safari in a 4x4. We will start off the day by leaving Cape Town for an upscale safari lodge for some drinks and sunbathing, before spending the afternoon driving around the preserve and taking all the photos that will make your friends jealous back at home. Lindsay will only have eyes for leopards so keep your eyes peeled for the rest of the Big 5. We conclude the night with a delicious dinner at the lodge. The fresh air, twinkling stars and copious amounts of wine will ensure a good night’s sleep.

Day 4 — Wednesday, Aug 22

In contrast to the majority of the Ross population, many safari animals are more active in the early hours of the day. So wakey, wakey, because today we have another chance to spot the Big 5 with a morning game drive! Then, get ready to rev up your engines. After saying goodbye to our furry friends, we’ll hop on ATVs and drive around the beautiful wine country. Finally, we’ll arrive at the coastal paradise of Hermanus - also known as the “Riviera of the South” - where we’ll enjoy a traditional west coast braai dinner before boogie-ing all night long.

Day 5 — Thursday, Aug 23

More amazing morning wildlife today, as we’ll embark on a Marine Safari in search of sharks, dolphins and whales (oh my!) After braving the ocean to see as many animals as we can handle, we’ll have a free afternoon and evening in Hermanus to explore or just relax or fulfill Andy’s dreams of shark diving.

Day 6 — Friday, Aug 24

Hop in, we’re going driving! Today we make our way back to Cape Town via the Peninsula Route, South Africa’s Pacific Coast Highway equivalent. As such, we will be encouraging as many icebreakers, car games and group singalongs as possible as we drive down this picturesque roadway. (Depending on how last night went, we might all be sleeping off our hangovers instead.) With stops at stunning landmarks such as Cape Point, Chapmans Peak and Simons town, today is no ordinary transit day. We conclude our road trip with a stop at Boulder Beach to visit the penguins. Take inspiration from our well-dressed, dancing feathered friends! We hit the town and shake our own tailfeathers till the wee hours of the morning.

Day 7 — Saturday, Aug 25

“BLESS THIS DAY!” say Lindsay and Aleksa. It is vineyard day! Fully ready to be the most basic versions of themselves, your lady leaders look forward to frolicking through the vineyards and telling our tour guide, “If you ask me, the bouquet is a little too robust. But I’m partial to the softer California grape.” As if this day could be any more up their alley, the tour includes both a cheese and chocolate pairing. Cheers to that!

Day 8 — Sunday, Aug 26

We start the day by visiting Robben Island and learning more about the history of South Africa. In the afternoon, in the off chance you’re sick of your trek leaders (unlikely), you’ll have leisure time to explore Cape Town. Hop down to the V&A Waterfront, grab one of your many new Ross BFFs and rent some e-bikes, or go to the beach-beach-let’s-go-get-away. Today is your day!

Departure Day — Monday, Aug 27

Today is the last day of our trip - you have the day at leisure until your flight departs. We check out of the hotel at 11am. This is where the trek ends, but rest assured that you’ll arrive back in AA with a new group of best friends to kick off two of the best years of your life!

Chase “The Fab” Zheng

Don’t let the angelic photo of Chase fool you – in reality, he is seriously one of the craziest people that any of us have met. He’ll greet you with a double cheek kiss and a few too many hugs before immediately making fun of you for something that doesn’t even make sense. He is an experimental “chef” in the kitchen, where one of his favorite dishes is peanut butter egg sandwiches – so we arranged the Bo Kaap cooking class on this trip just for him. Chase dances so aggressively at Skeeps that everyone wishes he had his own dancing stage. When asked to describe himself, Chase responded with a  “unicorn in the real world”, which confused everyone around him. Chase likes to think of himself as glamorous, which is why he used to work for Christian Dior and spends most of his spare time working out and posing shirtless in an attempt to become Instafamous. In fact, he loves Instagram so much that he will spend his summer at a startup in Israel doing data-driven digital marketing for fashion brands.

Aleksa “Seksi Leksi” Miskinis

As a consummate “yellow” in the Michigan Model of Leadership (don’t worry, this will be drilled into you during orientation over and over….and over again), Aleksa is very generous with her likes and loves of people’s iMessages. Aleksa’s hobbies include playing tennis, finding new puppies to follow on Instagram and re-watching old episodes of Friends. After a few tequila-soda-limes, Aleksa can often be found Irish exiting from bars so for those who are still fun but love to hit the hay early, Aleksa is your gal. This tendency might explain why she has somehow only been hungover only once in her life – a tradition that will surely end on this trip. If she is ever out late, she can usually be spotted at HopCat eating nachos and crack fries.

Before returning to her Midwestern roots at Ross, Aleksa worked in investor services at a private equity firm. Aleksa began her first-year at Ross bright-eyed and bushy-tailed with a focus on social impact, so naturally, this summer will be helping the world by consulting with Deloitte’s Human Capital practice in NYC.  

Lindsay “Howie” Howard

Lindsay hails from the best city in the world: Chicago. Lindsay is a die hard Chicago sports fan and she showcases that same passion for sports on football Saturdays at The Bus and The Big House. She is essentially the Lindsay Lohan of Ross: A dash of mean girl, a bit of a teenage drama queen and she likes to get Freaky on Fridays. Best known at Ross for being smart (enough to get to Skeeps early), sweet (on all the bad boys), kind (of a mess) and fashionable (not fashionably late). She’s been known to have a stellar wardrobe, never wears sweats to class and is a leopard print enthusiast, per the additional facts on her resume, and hopes to spot one in the wild on our game drive! From slap cup to flip cup to shotgunning, Lindsay is our token frat boy, but we will still be referring to her as our “Trip Mom” since she will keep us NOT on Michigan time and will have all the local bars and restaurants already scoped out. Before Ross Lindsay was a Project Manager in Advertising in Chicago. This upcoming summer, Lindsay will be returning to the Windy City working in Strategy for United Airlines, which means she gets to continue her love for travel all summer!

Andy “Candy Man” Youn

Do not let the disguise fool you, this man is a far cry from “prim and proper.”  A thrill-seeker by day and a whiskey drinker by night, Andy will most likely be the first to dive in with the sharks of South Africa and the last degenerate out on the streets of Cape Town.  If you are fancy and you want an old-fashioned or a gold rush cocktail during our pregames, feel free to ask him. Andy will be our most obnoxious leader with his plethora of lame jokes, so you’ll want to join the rest of the MTrek leaders in filtering him out.  After surviving the hell that is consulting recruiting, Andy has aspired to be the Prez of Asians-made-in-America and the Ross Improv group. If anyone cares to know, he is from the City of Angels and a USC Trojan at heart.

Ian “Stackhouse-Kaelble”

While most of us are going to 8 am classes, Ian is going to 8 am bars. A man of mystery and many last names, Ian will help keep the multitude of personalities on this trip on track as the “Trip Dad”…at least until his drunken alter ego, “Jan”, emerges. By day, Ian is even-keeled and laid back (some would say lazy), but by night – or on Bus days, which you’ll learn about soon enough – Jan emerges to consume all of the whiskey and beer in sight and subsequently ruin Ian’s morning by causing one of his legendary hangovers. The Ross social scene forced Ian to invest in the hangover pills that were conveniently advertised to him on Instagram, which haven’t really helped him much. Ian is a big Indiana sports fan (go Hoosiers!), a foodie who will eat just about anything, the reason why everyone in this group has to deal with green texts (he needs to get with the 21st century and buy an iPhone), and is generally open to doing anything that doesn’t involve strenuous exercise. Ian will be spending the summer in San Francisco trying to make the world a better place by working with social enterprises…oh wait, he actually just wants to check out more bars and burrito joints.