Trip Region: Sub-Saharan Africa
Country(ies): South Africa
Partners Trek? No
Airfare Estimate: $1650
Structure: • Lodging: • Nightlife: 7 • Activity: 6
Lions, and wine, and hiking, OH my! Is there anything better than potentially being chased down by a rhino, taking in gorgeous ocean views after a steep ascent up a mountain, and listening to the head writer of Follies make bad jokes for 9 days straight? We think not. Crank up the J Biebs because we’re not too late to Safari. Consider this your formal invitation to join the krew and kick-off your MBA experience by getting weird with us on this South African journey.
Our journey kicks-off in Johannesburg, where from day 1 we’ll get your legs moving with a bike ride around the colorful and cultural Soweto, but don’t worry, you can #bikeforyourbeers. From here we make our way to mothership of safari kingdoms, Kruger National Park. Brush up on your best Ace Ventura moves since we’ll be heading into the wild on daily game drives. While on safari, you all may or may not (read: definitely) will be responsible for hunting and cooking your meals as your Trek leaders look on…you can just think of it as action-based learning.
Next, pack up your binoculars (for animal watching only…you know who you are) and safari hats and put on your party pants, we’re doing a 180 where the gauntlet will be thrown as the final leg of our trek will be spent in beautiful Cape Town. This city has incredible beaches, booze, and braai so get ready for authentic south african food, vineyard tours, hikes, and penguins (we’ve asked, you can’t keep one but if we all put our heads together we might just be able to make some magic happen). Join us on this adventure and we’ll make sure to provide you with enough FOMO-inducing photo ops for your friends back at home and an experience you South AfriCAN’T miss.
Day 1 — Saturday, Aug 18
After a summer of getting your livers in peak form for two years of b-school, and your fearless trek leaders wrapping up internships after burning the midnight oil all summer, your Ross journey officially begins as we fly to Johannesburg (apparently the lokes call it Jo-Burg… pretty clever). The flight is...well, long. So, be sure to pack things to keep yourself entertained while you eat mediocre airplane food and your muscles start to atrophy.
Day 2 — Sunday, Aug 19
Howzit! Heita! We know it's been a long flight but there are no South AfriCAN'Ts only South AfriCANs from here on out. Our South African adventure begins in Johannesburg, where we’ll check into our hotel, engage in some serious group bonding (read: eat and drink everything in sight), and rest up for the big day ahead. Your trek leaders will tell you all about last year’s MTrek debauchery in Norway, Bali, and Croatia, and we’ll brainstorm ways to top it on this trip.
Day 3 — Monday, Aug 20
After a little jet lag recovery, we’ll meet our tour guide and tour around the colorful Soweto on bikes where we’ll visit sites like the Hector Pieterson Memorial and the famous Vilakazi street where Nelson Mandela lived. After we #EarnOurBeers on the bike tour, we’ll visit the SAB World of Beer for an interactive tour (read: samples aka primary research) about the history of beer in South Africa. We’ll wrap up the with a welcome dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 4 — Tuesday, Aug 21
Today's the day, Jo-burg was swell and all that but it's time to pack a snack, dust off your camera, slap on some bug spray, and strike your best Ace Venture pose cause we're going on a Safari. Our journey starts early as we head to Kruger National Park for the next few days to see some Giraffes, Tigers, and Elephants. No major activities are planned since it’s a travel day, but don't worry, there will be plenty of opportunities for you to crack out the Valencia filter and take some 'grams on route. We'll spend the night getting settled into the hotel and sharing our deepest, darkest secrets to bind our friendships permanently. Just kidding, but your Trek leaders do have a few ideas in store to keep things interesting...
Day 5 — Wednesday, Aug 22
Break out your best Wild Thornberry's gear (shout out late 90s Nickelodeon) today and crack out your favorite camera lens, as we’ll be doing a couple of game drives in the morning and afternoon. What’s a game drive, you ask? Exactly what you think - driving through the African landscape to get up close and personal with some of the Big 5, maybe give em a snuggle, get em all riled up, reenact every scene from every episode of Bear Grylls Man vs. Wild...who knows what'll happen!
Day 6 — Thursday, Aug 23
Another full day of game drives today. Because why spend only one day kicking it with elephants and lions when you can do it all over again? Not ones to let the dust settle, we'll really crank things up a notch by letting Abbie narrate the game drive with her best David Attenborough impression. When we're done with embracing our inner basicness out on the game drive (group jumping shot anyone?), we'll head back to the hotel for a chill afternoon. We need to save our energy because tomorrow we head to Cape Town, or as we like to call it...Cape Town.
Day 7 — Friday, Aug 24
After getting the last few verses of Hakuna Matata out of our system, we’ll bid farewell to the animal kingdom and jump on a flight to Cape Town today. Cape Town is home to some pretttttty sweet stuff, including Table Mountain hikes, penguin beaches (Andrew is that squealing noise you're hearing), and plenty of wineries for those who are thirsty. Once we check in to our hotel, we’ll grab dinner and have a free night to explore.
Day 8 — Saturday, Aug 25
Grab your fanny packs, we’re getting our tourist double dip on today, exploring both Table Mountain and Robben Island. Table Mountain is a big ol’ slab of rock that emerged out of the ocean 250 million years ago - and it’s Cape Town’s most prominent landmark. And we're going to hike up it. But seriously, grab your sneaks because we're going to break a sweat. We'll take the cable car down and after some much deserved lunch, we’ll check out the iconic Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela spent 18 years in confinement before the fall of apartheid. After a long day of being tourists, we're going to follow Dave's lead, take a nap, and then wake up ready to put our raging pants on (shorts are fine too) because we're spending the night out on Long Street.
Day 9 — Sunday, Aug 26
Any Happy Feet fans out there? Hope so. Today we’ll check out Boulder Beach, home of the famous Jackass Penguins. Andrew's not crying, you're crying! We know they say two wrongs don't make a right, but be sure to pack your speedos because we’ll also be taking a dip at False Bay. Following lunch, we’re gonna get our Anthony Bourdain on and partake in a cooking class in Cape Town’s colorful Bokaap neighborhood. After cooking up some delicious eats, we’ll enjoy a group dinner. The night ends (or perhaps, just begins!) as we head out for a night on the town. Bring your best dance moves be
Day 10 — Monday, Aug 27
Leave your dignity at the hotel today because we’re spending a full day at the wineries in Franschhoek. What better way to prepare for a 22+ hour flight home than by earning yourself a vicious wine hangover? Whether you’re a wine snob or a Two Buck Chuck buff, this day will be a blast for everyone involved and will be capped off with a glorious farewell dinner feast. Just remember, white + red does not = rose
Day 11 — Tuesday, Aug 28
After a final morning in Cape Town, we’ll board our flights back to Ann Arbor today. No reason to be sad, though! Even though you'll be just a few days away from "real life", you'll have the memories of safaris, winery days, and what we can only assume will be embarrassing nights out on the dance floor with your new family to see you through. See you all back at Skeeps...we mean Ross!