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5 reasons you need to visit South Africa on your gap year

Written by Zoë Faulkner on 05 / 11 / 2019

Gap Year Advice

So you’re gap year planning but haven’t nailed the details yet? Let me throw a bonus ball in to the mix – South Africa. Not the usual typical gap year destination, this stunning destination deserves some love. It’s a wildlife haven, has so much to do and will amaze you as you explore the sights. We’ve also launched our brand new marine conservation program out there and it’s having its moment…come on in…

1. Help save the planet on our new program

Our new South Africa program based on the stunning Sodwana Bay is all about helping marine life and the reef. Sodwana Bay is a small village nestled amongst the sand dunes of the east coast and the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Sodwana overlooks a vibrant coral reef system which runs parallel to the coastline and stretches up towards Mozambique. The aim? To get you scuba qualified and out helping the research collect data in the ocean to maintain a healthy reef and eco system. Underwater cameras at the ready, this is incredible.

2. It is a great place to stop over

Jetting off and not sure how to plan your way across the globe? Use our South Africa program as the most exotic stop over. Spend time exploring Sodwana Bay on our 4-6 week program in reef conservation. On ‘dry days’ spend your time with researching on our marine reef conservation workshops to help you understand more about the data you collect. Oh, and we couldn’t let you go all that way and not experience a wildlife safari, could we? Explore Mkuze Game Reserve and prepare to be amazed. Then hop on over to Namibia or Madagascar as you continue your travels.

3. A unique place to explore on your gap year

South Africa is really having its moment, for far too long it has been overlooked as a gap year destination. From the quirky architecture in Cape Town, to the stunning beaches and of course Table Mountain this has to be discovered. Rich in history and culture, step away from the norm and discover the beautiful sights of South Africa. With its famous Garden Route you can make a real road trip of it. This route stretches 300km along the South East Coast and gets its name from the ecologically diverse vegetation you experience en route.

4. The wildlife

One of the richest places for wildlife you will not believe your eyes. Think springboks, elephants, rhinos, lions, wildebeests, meerkats the list goes on. Having spent 8 weeks in Africa last summer I still can’t believe the wildlife sightings, I felt like I was in The Lion King. If you are a nature lover or just want to step away from the typical gap year destinations, then I highly recommend South Africa. The game drives are some of the best memories I will cherish forever.

5. Learn a new skill

Part of your gap year is all about learning skills and experiencing opportunities you wouldn’t normally get the chance to explore. On our South Africa program, you train to become PADI qualified in one of the ultimate scuba diving hot spots. Fun fact - with an incredible 1200 fish species… that’s 2/3 of the number found on the Great Barrier Reef in an area that’s 1/10 of the size. Our guides get you PADI ready so that you can help with the marine research and contribute to a healthier ocean. There really is nowhere like Sodwana Bay.

So if that’s got you interested in visiting South Africa on your gap year, my advice - go for it. It was somewhere I had never considered for my gap year until I researched it properly and can honestly say it was the best decision. It was the perfect fit; the most amazing adventure and I urge anyone to go and explore. There is something about Africa that captures your heart. You won’t look back.

Explore our new program here.

Interested in South Africa​?

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