South African History Explorer Tour

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South African History Explorer Tour

On this Educational Vacation, visit Cape Town, South Africa for the Educational Experience of a Lifetime!

This South African History Explorer Tour will take you back to the beginning of South African Tradition and leave you with a connection to the country’s history equivalent to a fifth generation Afrikaner.

Launch yourself into this South African History Explorer Tour to treat your mind and your eyes to some of the most fascinating and diverse history the continent has to offer on this once in a lifetime Study Abroad opportunity.

On your first full day in Cape Town, you’ll develop a greater connection to the city with a Walking Tour of City Center and an in-depth tour of the South African Museum (part of the Museum Mile of South Africa).

The first week of the South African History Explorer Tour is jam packed with Historical knowledge and stimulation: A visit to the Slave Lodge Museum offers up a look into an expansive, controversial, and formative time of South African History before tours to the District Six Museum, the Cape Castle of Good Hope, and Robben Island for experiences that are as scenic as they are enlightening.

Day Six offers a bit of a changeup from the history touring, as part of the South African History Explorer Tour is the Authentic Cape Malay Cooking Class. Receive cooking lessons, a recipe booklet, and a bag of Master Chef Zainie’s famous Masala Mix!

Week 2 starts off with the full day tour of Table Mountain to see the glorious Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and the Skeleton Gorge, including lunch overlooking the best views on the continent! This South African History Explorer Tour also includes a visit to Hout Bay where you can snorkel with Seals!

You’ll return to the history of Cape Town on day 10 with the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Heart of Cape Town Museum before a visit to the Stellenbosch Botanical Gardens and Village Museum the next day.

Round the trip out with 4 more days of irresistible fun! Indulge in a Full-Day Wine Tour followed by a Delicious South African Barbecue! And then… treat yourself to the West Coast Tour of South Africa, a 3 Day Journey to some of the most beautiful scenes the South Atlantic Ocean has to offer.

Whether you’re in it for the scenery, in it for the history, or in it for the fun, the 16 Day South African History Explorer Tour is sure to change your life!

  • Day 1: Arrival Day (Sunday)


    Arrival at Cape Town International Airport and transfer to hotel.

    Group Welcome Dinner (for those who have arrived early enough).

  • DAY 2: Orientation, City Walking Tour & South African Museum

    Breakfast at hotel.

    Walking Tour of city center.
    There is no better way to discover a city than by walking its streets, uncovering its history and mingling with the locals.  The guides are very knowledgeable, polite and politically correct – which makes for an authentic experience that will leave you feeling a greater connection to the Mother City.


    Visit the South African Museum situated in the Company’s Garden and part of the popular Museum Mile, the South African Museum is home to more than 1.5 million items of cultural and scientific significance.  Ranging from fossils and Stone Age tools to a dinosaur exhibit.  Make sure you visit the Whale Well, where among the giant whale bones and life-size casts of marine creatures, musical recitals are often held.

    Evening free.

  • DAY 3: Slave Lodge, Bo-Kaap & District Six Museums

    Breakfast at hotel.

    Visit Slave Lodge Museum + Bo-Kaap Museum.
    The history of Cape Town is a torrid one and the Slave Lodge – part of the Iziko Museums – offers a haunting reminder of a darker time.  It is not easy to stomach, but it is an important reminder of how the country was built on the backs of slaves and speaks to a global audience with many other countries sharing in the global slave trade.  The museum was once where the slaves stayed and as such is very much part of the exhibit, while a visit to the re-created slave ship is an emotional experience and very much worth seeing.  The Bo-Kaap – also known as the Cape Malay Quarter – is one of the city’s most popular destinations with its colorful houses a standout feature of the neighborhood.  But beyond the houses, the area has an incredibly fascinating history with many of the residents being descendants from slaves from Malaysia, Indonesia and various African countries who were forcibly brought to the city in the 16th and 17th centuries.  The Bo-Kaap Museum is the perfect place to discover the history of the area with the building dating back to the 1760s and the oldest in the neighborhood.  Among other things, the museum recreates the life of a typical Malay family.


    Visit the District Six Museum.
    Few areas are as vivid an example of the Apartheid Regime as District Six.  A once racially diverse and vibrant community, the original residents were forcibly removed from the area when the National Party Government declared it a “white group area”.  The District Six Museum – formerly a Methodist Mission Church – serves as a reminder of what the community once was.  It contains a permanent multimedia exhibition called Digging Deeper, which includes narrated life histories of District Six residents.

    Evening Free.

  • DAY 4: Cape Castle of Good Hope & Chavonnes Battery Museum

    Breakfast at hotel.

    Visit Cape Castle of Good Hope.
    The oldest building in the country and a structure that has played an integral part in its history.  Completed in 1679, the Castle of Good Hope, once a fort, has been restored and now functions as a museum . Guided tours are offered Monday to Saturday with The Key Ceremony performed Monday to Friday, followed by the firing of the Signal Cannon at 12pm.  The William Fehr Collection, comprising paintings and decorative arts, is partly housed here, while the building itself has many a story to tell – including ghostly ones!

    Lunch at Castle (optional).

    Visit Chavonnes Battery Museum.
    The Chavonnes Battery Museum showcases the Archaeological Ruins of a Dutch East India Company Fort.  Built in 1724, using rock from Table Mountain and cement made of sea shells, guests can step below sea-level among the ribs of this old VOC Fort and touch the sand of the original shoreline at Cape of Good Hope.  The museum is also host to a robust schedule of international photographic exhibitions, rich in content, and relevant in terms of contemporary thinking and topics.

    Evening Free.

  • DAY 5: Robben Island Tour & Traditional African Dinner

    Breakfast at hotel.

    Robben Island Tour.
    Ferry departs from V&A Waterfont.  You will disembark at Murray’s Bay Harbour situated on the east coast of the Island and take a short walk to buses that will transport you to all the historical sites around the Island.  On the way to the buses, you will pass buildings and a high wall built by prisoners during the 1960s.  The buildings were used for family and lawyer visits to prisoners.  You will meet your Tour Guide when you have boarded the busses.  The prison tour will be conducted by a Robben Island Tour Guide.  This is part of our integrated tour model.  They are fully conversant and knowledgeable about the Island’s multi-layered 500-year-old history.  The tour route includes the graveyard of people who died from leprosy, the Lime Quarry, Robert Sobukwe’s house, the Bluestone Quarry, the army and navy bunkers and the Maximum Security Prison where thousands of South Africa’s freedom fighters were incarcerated for years.  The tour culminates with a viewing of Nelson Mandela’s cell.


    Afternoon Free.

    African Dinner & Drumming Session.
    Take part in a unique dining experience in the heart of Cape Town and participate in an interactive drumming session.  Taste a range of dishes from Africa with a 14 course set menu meal.

  • DAY 6: Authentic Cape Malay Cooking Class + Lunch

    Breakfast at hotel.

    Authentic Cape Malay Cooking Class + Lunch.
    The three-hour tours begin at 10.30am sharp, outside Rose Corner Café (71 Wale Street opposite the Bo-Kaap Museum), where you’ll be met by Zainie.  A walk through the cobblestoned streets of the Bo-Kaap follows, where you’ll be able to take in the sights and sounds of an area steeped in history.  While touring the colourful homes of the Bo-Kaap, Zainie will show you how to shop for spices before ending the 30-minute tour at her home.  Then the real fun begins, Zainie shows you how to mix your masala, make dhaljies (chilli bites), fold samoosas, create and fry rooties – and, finally, how to cook a heavenly and flavoursome Cape Malay Curry!  All of this culminates in a festive sit-down lunch while Zainie continues to entertain everyone with her stories of food, culture and life experiences.  Of course, Zainie wouldn’t want her students to leave empty-handed!  So, each person also receives a recipe booklet, as well as a bag of her special masala mix – so that you can continue to hone your culinary skills in the comfort of your own home.

    Afternoon and evening free (Time to experience the city’s nightlife!)

  • DAY 7: Table Mountain Full-Day Tour

    Breakfast at hotel

    Table Mountain Full-Day Tour
    Hike for a whole day from the splendid Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, up Skeleton Gorge, to the highest point on Table Mountain and finally glide down in the Cable Car. The views are simply unbeatable! Lunch at a restaurant located at the top of the mountain.

    Evening Free

  • DAY 8: Hout Bay & Seal Snorkeling

    Breakfast at hotel

    Visit Hout Bay
    Relaxed Time on the beach and visit Hout Bay market in the morning Located at the edge of the sea overlooking Chapman’s Peak at the foot of the famous Hangberg Mountain; this once-abandoned factory is now the legendary Bay Harbour Market, home to over 100 entrepreneurial traders, who attract over 24,000 visitors a month locally and from across the globe.

    Lunch – Cape Town’s most famous and popular Fish’n’Chips and seafood spot

    Seal Snorkeling
    Duiker Island or ‘Seal Island’ is so-called for its large colony of cape fur seals and lies just off Hout Bay near Cape Town. On this tour, sail out to the island, admire the wild fur seals in their natural environment, and enjoy swimming and snorkeling in an area known for its seal colonies.

    Evening Free

  • DAY 9: Indigenous Township Tour + Language Lesson

    Breakfast at Hotel

    Township Tour
    On a typical walking tour, you’ll see four different housing and socio-economic areas, including worker hostels and informal settlements. You will get the chance to greet residents along the way in our language, called isiXhosa. We also try to incorporate cultural entertainment, including traditional music and gumboots dance – which is an after school program called Happy Feet Youth Project for local children in Langa Township.


    Local Language Lesson
    Very informal and fun local language lesson – You will learn some basic Xhosa and/or Afrikaans words and phrases.

    Evening Free

  • DAY 10: Museum of Contemporary Art, Heart of Cape Town Museum + Group Dinner

    Breakfast at hotel

    Visit Museum of Contemporary Art
    This state-of-the-art addition to Cape Town’s already prestigious V&A Waterfront is the largest museum of modern art on the continent. Under the leadership of renowned British architect Thomas Heatherwick, the area’s old grain silos are to be revamped and re-imagined as nine floors spanning 9,500sq m and featuring 80 separate gallery spaces, a rooftop sculpture garden, conservation vault, bookshop, a floor dedicated to art education, a restaurant, bar and café. And as Africa’s version of London’s Tate Gallery or New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), it goes without saying that the Zeitz features top installations by leading artists in the contemporary sphere.


    Visit Heart of Cape Town Museum
    The human heart transplant, one of the greatest moments in medical history, was made possible by an extraordinary interplay of scientific dedication; human courage and generosity and a timely chain of events. Today, The Heart of Cape Town Museum honours all those who played a major role in the surgical feat that pushed the boundaries of science, into the dawn of a new medical era, an era in which it became possible to transplant the symbol of the essence of life, our human heart.

    Dinner at the famous and popular Mama Africa Restaurant
    Mama was established in 1995 as a celebration of South Africa’s new democracy and of the vibrant diversity and hospitality of our continent. Since her opening Mama has served as an oasis for tourists and locals alike to meet, eat, drink and interact in a warm welcoming environment. Our kitchen offers hearty meals, our bar a friendly meeting spot and our band offers local sound which is sure to generate a true feeling of well-being and joy. We also have an amazing in-house art gallery exhibiting authentic African art. A definite must for any visitor!

  • DAY 11: Stellenbosch Botanical Gardens & Stellenbosch Village Museum

    Breakfast at hotel

    Visit Stellenbosch Botanical Gardens
    The Stellenbosch University Botanical Garden, located in the historical center of Stellenbosch, is the oldest university botanical garden in South Africa. This compact Garden houses an enormous diversity of plants, both indigenous to South Africa and exotic.


    Visit Stellenbosch Village Museum
    The Stellenbosch Village Museum currently comprises of four houses of historical interest and their gardens. Each of these beautiful homes represents a different period in the architectural development of Stellenbosch. The houses, their interiors and their gardens have been wonderfully restored, furnished, planted and decorated to illustrate the particular style and taste of the time. Below is some information on each of the houses in the museum complex.

    Evening Free

  • DAY 12: Full-Day Wine Tour + South African BBQ

    Breakfast at hotel

    Full-day Wine Tour
    Our first stop is Villiera wine estate, famous for its award winning Cap Classique wines (Champaign). Our guide takes you into the vineyard, walking you through the history of wine and the process of vine growing, you will then get taken “behind the scenes” for a cellar tour, learning the art of wine making. We then head back for an informative wine tasting experience, with your Wine Lord taking you through the steps of how to REALY appreciate wine. Other stunning wines will also be sampled along with Biltong (local dried cured meat) pairing.
    Our next estate is the iconic Mitre’s Edge estate, famous for its award winning wines. We sit down with Lola the Winemaker/Owner, each wine paired with a selected cheese.
    For our third estate, we do a guided drive through Stellenbosch (second oldest town in SA) to a family run farm called Middelvlei. Surrounded by vineyards, here we enjoy a typical South African braai (barbeque) lunch and a taste of their unique wines. After lunch you would get the chance to sample some “wine in the making” straight from the barrel/tanks.
    From Middelvlei we head onto the unique Lovane estate with its basement cellar and exceptional wines. This is quite a favourite amongst our guests and totally of the beaten tourist track. We pair amazing wines with locally made chocolate.
    Our last stop takes us to Vergenoegd estate, from their old vintage wines, beautiful old cape Dutch style manor house and the duck parade, another favorite among locals!

    After having seen amazing landscapes, tasting plenty of wines, and most of all experienced the real culture of SA wine!, you will be dropped off at your accommodation between 17h00 and 18h00 by your Wine Lord.

    Evening Free

  • DAY 13: West Coast Tour, Day 1

    Start or 3 day West Coast Tour

  • DAY 14: West Coast Tour, Day 2

    West Coast Tour Continues

  • DAY 15: West Coast Tour, Day 3 + Graduation Celebration

    Last Day of West Coast Tour

    Graduation and Farewell Dinner at Hotel

  • DAY 16: Departure Day

    Breakfast at Hotel

    Rest of day free to pack before being transferred back to the airport for your departure flight.


West Coast Tour Itinerary:

DAY 1: Cape Town to Tankwa Karoo: Boarding the bus at 7am on Friday morning we head north, stopping in Paarl for a croc farm tour and optional croc cage dive. Then it’s on to Ceres, home to the fast and fantastic Zipslide tour, and onwards to the Tankwa Karoo, an area that’s as wild and as west as it gets! Lunching at Tankwa Padstal we finish the day at our place of stay, where a swim or cycle can be had. Dinner under the stars, and then to the bar, or bed for those who have worn themselves out!

DAY 2: Tankwa Karoo to Lamberts Bay: Enjoy a sunrise bike ride out to the permanent art installations around the accommodations, before turning back for breakfast. Travelling south east, we head to ‘absolutely nowhere’ in search of the hidden village of Wupperthal, a Morvian mission station that’s home to handmade shoes and organic rooibos products. After an fun and informative tour, we lunch at the Leipolt Monument, then head on to the stunning town of Lamberts Bay for a quick swim or walk on the beach before getting ready for dinner. Our meal is under the stars once again.

DAY 3: Lamberts Bay to Cape Town: After a morning visit to Bird Island, weather permitting, we head off towards Langebaan along the coastal road for an optional horse ride or powerboat tour. Heading further south, we stop at Yzerfontein where a guided tour can be taken with a traditional Khwa ttu San custodian. A short drive will see us arrive back in the Cape, in time to enjoy a lazy late Sunday afternoon.

Like all of our exciting Educational Tour options, this tour offers participants a carefully crafted balance of learning elements (lessons, lectures, seminars, field study, etc), planned activities and excursions (cultural activities, mini-tours, sightseeing, etc) and free time for you to explore in your own way or to simply relax. This is what makes Worldaway Learning Tours so unique!

Here’s what you can expect on this tour*:

Free Time

*Breakdown provided for informational purposes only. Individual experiences may differ. 

Our ‘Start Dates’ represent the day that you should arrive into the country. This is officially the first day of the tour and is the day that the local guide has set aside to meet and collect the tour participants. To allow this to be a smooth process, we ask that you do your best to arrive in the morning of the official start day. If you’re having troubles finding a suitable flight, or if you are worried about your flight arrival time, let us know so that we can assist.

No. Flights are not included in the listed tour price. We have participants joining our tours from all around the world, and as such we believe that individuals can find the best deals on their own. Need some help finding flights? We can guide you to some great resources, so just ask.

*We strongly recommend that you only purchase flights once your tour has been confirmed.

Yes. It is important that you are covered in the event of something terrible (or just terribly annoying) happening. Whether it’s a last-minute flight change, losing your luggage, or falling ill while abroad, if you have proper travel insurance cover, you can sit back and enjoy the experience worry-free.

We believe that World Nomads is the best insurance provider for adventure travelers. Policies through World Nomads cover trip cancellation, medical emergencies, emergency evacuation, as well as lost, stolen or damaged personal belongings. Their policies are extremely competitive so get your free no obligation quote here!

It is each traveler’s responsibility to ensure they have the correct tourist entry visa/s and any necessary vaccinations. Both of these items depend on your own background – i.e. What passport are you travelling on? What vaccinations you have had previously? We can certainly help guide you through the process and have lots of great advice to give, so again, just ask.

Yes! While we welcome groups, families, couples and friends, our Learning Tours are also designed with individual travelers in mind. You’ll be part of a larger group which is made up of other intrepid travelers from all over the world. This is a great way to meet like-minded people and we’re sure you will make a few long-lasting friendships.

On most tours the minimum number of participants is 2 and maximum is 12. Group sizes vary at different times of the year, but generally speaking we will do our best to ensure there is at least 4 participants on each tour where possible.

In most cases, yes! There are some instances where tour participants will travel by foot, like walking a short distance between your accommodation and a learning or activity center for example, but for everything else, the transport is all arranged for you!

As mentioned above, flights, visas, insurance and vaccinations are not included – so these costs are additional to the listed tour price. In addition, you should consider the following:

  • Airport taxes and entry/departure fees (if not included in your flight ticket)
  • Additional food, drinks and snacks
  • Money for optional activities /excursions (where available)
  • Personal spending money (think souvenirs!)

The amount of additional money you may need is impossible for us to judge, and really does depend on your own spending habits, but if you have any questions about this, or want some help working out your budget, just let us know.

In most cases, no. Breakfast is often included at your accommodation, but lunches and dinners will be subject to the tour itinerary. As such, some are included, some are not, but this does of course provide a wonderful opportunity to try out the local cuisine for yourself.

Yes. It has become fairly common for tour participants to request special dietary provisions, so in most cases this can easily be catered for. If you have concerns about this though, let us know and we can discuss it with complete confidentiality.

Yes, absolutely! Free time is an important part of every tour. There is nothing more frustrating than having to follow a strict and unforgiving itinerary. Where possible, you will have free time to explore, partake in some of the local attractions and activities, or simply relax – it’s up to you!

Great! Simply follow the prompts on the ‘Book Now’ tab to secure your spot on this truly unique adventure. As soon as we receive your booking, we’ll get to work making sure everything is organized for you. It’s that easy!

Once you have completed the booking form you can secure your spot by paying a deposit of US$500. This is part of the total tour price and will be deducted from your final invoice. The balance needs to be paid 6 weeks prior to your tour start date. Don’t worry – we will send you a reminder when that time comes and an invoice which you can simply click and pay.

*If you wish to join a tour that is starting in less than 30 days, you will be prompted to pay the entire tour fee at the time of booking.

We know you are going to have a great time and learn a lot on this tour – but don’t take our word for it! Here is just a sample of the feedback we have received from recent participants:

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The South African History Explorer Tour (16 Days)

An in-depth look into South Africa's turbulent yet fascinating past!
US$ 3750
  • Quality Hotel/Lodge w/Daily Breakfast
  • Double or Twin-Share w/Bathroom (Single Supplement: +US$600)
  • 8 Museum Visits, Robben Island Tour + Indigenous Town Tour
  • Cultural Activities, City Walking Tour + Table Mountain Hike!
  • Additional Full Day South African Wine Tour!
  • 2 x Airport Transfers
  • 3-Day West Coast Tour
  • including:
  • Accommodation w/Meals, Bilingual Guide, Daily Transportation and Excursions
  • Certificate of Completion

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