Students ‘Highly Recommend’ Winter in South Africa

Words and Photos By
Kendall K. ’19 and Sammy S. ’17

While in South Africa, we were able to experience wildlife, culture, and compare our daily routine to that of South Africans. When we arrived, our exchange hosts were on winter break so we spent the first week visiting tourist areas in Cape Town such as hiking Table Mountain, taking a boat to Robben Island, visiting the waterfront and aquarium, and going to a rugby game.

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We spent a week at school, then embarked on the Garden Route Tour. The Garden Route Tour is a five-day trip with all the exchange students from Herschel and Bishops (from countries such as Spain, Germany, Australia, the UK and India). We got a chance to make friends from all around the world. The first day of the tour we visited an ostrich farm in Oudtshoorn. On Day 2 we went to a cheetah wildlife ranch and had the opportunity to interact with cheetahs and lemurs. Afterward, we went on a journey through the Cango Caves, where we had to crawl and pull ourselves up to get through. We ended the day by visiting the beach and taking some pretty cool panoramas. On Day 3 we visited an elephant sanctuary, where we had the opportunity to walk and feed elephants. Next, we enjoyed a little adrenaline at the world’s highest bungee bridge. We zip-lined and returned to our hotel. Our hotel lobby itself was inhabited by warthogs and a meerkat. The last day we went four wheeling through a game park and saw some giraffe, zebras, and antelope.

After the Garden Route Tour we continued going to school and spent our weekends doing things such as surfing and getting a taste of South African culture. We both had the opportunity to visit game reserves and see tons of wildlife. I was able to visit the beautiful area called Bo-Kaap, an area with colorful houses painted every year for the month of Ramadan. At school, we participated in a Master Chef competition where we won Best Spirit for our super complex traditional American dish of peanut butter and jelly! As our trip came to a close we had to say goodbye to all the friends we made and our host sisters. There were many tears shed. Cape Town is a beautiful city and we both highly recommend this beautiful trip.