Adventure - Art - Culture - Juniors Abroad at George Fox

South Africa

Faculty: Mary Schmitt, Gina Miller
Class Meeting: Tuesday, 6:30 - 9:00


This course will explore political and theological questions in South Africa, reflecting on social, political, and economic issues and institutions, biblical mandates, and ethical responses to contemporary issues around race, justice, and reconciliation. Students will visit the site of Nelson Mandela’s birth and imprisonment, as well as other important South African locations such as the site of the Soweto uprising and places where the Truth and Reconciliation Council met. In addition, students will have the opportunity to explore the wonder and beauty of southern Africa with trips to a penguin colony and research facility, the Addo Elephant National Park, and the beautiful Victoria Falls, the largest waterfall in the world (Victoria Falls is located in northwestern Zimbabwe on the border of Zambia along the Zambezi River). During the trip, students will have the opportunity to take a walk on the wild-side with a lion walk, a game drive, and the option of diving with sharks or just to walk through the beautiful Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and to hike across the Eastern Cape.  As a part of the cultural experience, students will talk with an ex-political prisoner who knew Nelson Mandela at Robben Island, visit a South African family and learn to cook a traditional South African meal in Cape Malay, and attend several local South African churches.

Additional immunizations will be required.

Tentative Itinerary

Day 1: Cape Town
Arrive in Cape Town; get settled at Team House

Day 2: Cape Town
Tour the city; visit the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR)

Day 3: Robben Island
Visit Robben Island (the location of Mandela’s imprisonment); visit with an ex-political prisoner who knew Mandela; optional shark diving

Day 4: Cape Malay
Visit with a local family; learn to cook a traditional South African meal and eat with family

Day 5: Cape Point
Visit the most southern point on the continent; tour Penguin Colony and learn about penguin research

Day 6: Cape Town
Visit local church Masiphumelele; walking tour of Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden

Day 7: Stellenbosch
Travel to Stellenbosch; tour the University of Stellenbosch; meet with a local professor

Day 8: Port Elizabeth
Visit Addo Elephant Park; tour the wildlife sanctuary (including elephants, lions, buffalo, black rhino, spotted hyena, leopard, antelopes, zebra, etc.)

Day 9: Eastern Cape
Stay at Mthatha Backpacker hostel; hike through national park; visit Nelson Mandela museum and his place of birth

Day 10: Johannesburg
Travel to Johannesburg

Day 11: Pretoria
Visit the Voortrekker Monument and the Union Buildings (government headquarters of South Africa)

Day 12: Soweto
Visit site of famous Soweto Uprising; visit Apartheid Museum

Day 13: Johannesburg
Visit local church Rhema Bible Church; visit Liliesleaf Farm (place of refuge for leaders of the apartheid resistance movement)

Day 14: Johannesburg
Rest day; visit the city; go shopping; taste local cuisine

Day 15: Victoria Falls
Fly to Victoria Falls

Day 16: Victoria Falls
Visit the Falls; optional activities around the falls

Day 17: Victoria Falls
Optional activities: lion walk, white water rafting, elephant safari

Day 18: Victoria Falls
Game drive (see large game animals in a wildlife refuge); sunset cruise of the falls

Day 19: Victoria Falls
Free day; local celebration dinner

Day 20: Johannesburg
Return flight to Johannesburg

Day 21: Depart for home
Return flight to Portland