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Snorkel on cage dives with great white sharks. Witness lions hunt their prey as the sun sets on the African plain. Study the world's most revered predators in the frontiers of South Africa.

Start your adventure by traveling to Swaziland where you'll stay in traditional beehive huts, learn about Nguni culture, go horseback riding, explore the African plain on game drives and get to know the group around a bonfire. Then travel to the Makalali Game Reserve, home to a renowned wildlife reserve and research station. Want to spot the 'Big 5'? Venture into the bush and see lions, the endangered black rhino, cape buffalos, African elephants and elusive leopards. As we encounter game animals, we'll collect data for ongoing conservation research and experience firsthand how a game reserve functions. Take wildlife surveys. Watch a lion stalk from the bush. Work alongside scientists, researchers and conservationists as they strive to protect and provide sanctuary for Africa's endangered wildlife.

The adventure continues in Cape Town, a city rich with history, picturesque waterfront walks and penguin colony populations that number in the thousands. Kayak the waters of Cape Point, the most south-westerly corner of the continent. Take a quick hike up Table Mountain for an overlook of the stunning city and its surrounding boulder beaches. Dive right into your studies of one of the most respected and revered predators on the planet, the great white shark. Climb into a cage and snorkel in the shark-filled waters, coming face-to-face with this majestic, and often misunderstood, creature.This is one of the only places in the world you can see breaching great whites, so it's the perfect place for gathering data to assist in their conservation efforts. Travel to Hermanus where you continue your underwater predator studies. Learn about the important role they play in the ocean's ecosystems, and crucial conservation efforts while studying them up close and personal. Gather data on shark egg cases and help determine population sizes of various types of sharks and visit the great white house to witness a dissection. Take breaks to go whale watching and to reflect on your amazing African adventure before heading home.

Earn & Learn
South Africa Ultimate Predators Earn & Learn

Earn & Learn

Broadreach combines your thirst for fun and adventure with tangible skill development, real-world educational opportunities and a genuine commitment to service. While on program, you’ll earn documented community service hours and even college credits. It’s what we call “Earn & Learn,” and it’s what you’ll take home as evidence of your many accomplishments.

South Africa Ultimate Predators offers 3 natural science college credits through Lesley University. Additionally, students earn 35 hours of documented community service.


Course Description

This course explores the realms of the world’s ultimate predators, both on land and below the ocean’s surface. It highlights some of the challenges faced by predators in their daily struggle to find food and the challenges faced with their conservation. In Swaziland, students will learn to collect data on shorter game drives and experience Nguni culture by donning traditional Swazi party wraps, learning Swazi words and grinding maize. They will also go horseback riding and hiking through the bush and live in traditional beehive huts. Students then travel to a large wildlife sanctuary near Kruger National Park to live at a research station. While living at a wildlife sanctuary, we work and learn alongside conservationists, researchers and veterinarians as they strive to rescue, rehabilitate and provide sanctuary for Africa’s endangered creatures including giraffes, zebras, rhinos and elephants. The program ends when we come face to face with the sleek form of the great white shark, perhaps Earth’s most successful predator, and observing some of the largest predators, the whales in Hermanus, who have come to the area to find a mate.

Course Objectives
  • Learn research methods used by biologists to understand animal behavior, ecology and conservation
  • Explore the biology, behavior, natural history and ecology of South African wildlife
  • Learn about the conservation threats to predators as a whole and strategies for mitigating those threats
  • Be able to relate the conservation threats facing predators in South Africa to those faced by different animals in ecosystems throughout the world


Through service, gain a more meaningful connection to the cultures and communities you explore while taking an active role to address important global issues at the local level. While in South Africa, work with a game reserve and other local organizations on environmental and conservation projects. The projects give you the opportunity to use the methods learned in class to make real life scientific contributions.

  • Collect data during research and field work
  • Complete wild life population surveys
  • Reintroduce animals into the wild
  • Help with fence boundaries and habitat maintenance

35 Service Hours

3 College Credits

South Africa Ultimate Predators Itinerary



Arrive in Johannesburg, the largest city in South Africa, and head right into the adventure by driving to the Swaziland game reserve. Go on sunrise game drives, stay in traditional beehive huts, visit a nearby village and meet the chief. Keep your eye out for the myriad of wildlife – hippos, zebras, wildebeests, impalas, the elusive leopards and so much more. Spend the first few days getting to know your group and soaking in all the natural wonders that Africa has to offer.

summer programs in south africa

Journey into the wild as you travel northeast and meet up with your guides from the Makalali Reserve. Volunteer with a research center in the reserve during a six-day safari, assisting various conservation efforts and completing your first round of academic lessons from the comfort of the African bush. Walk through the reserve, track behavior and live alongside the ‘Big Five’: lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard and rhinoceros. Participate in hands-on monitoring of Africa’s endangered species, including the southern ground hornbill. Study basic survival skills and practice navigating your way through the bush. Understand the importance of sustainable research facilities and have a hand in the essential work required to maintain natural habitats for South Africa’s diverse wildlife.

summer travel opportunities for college students

Journey to the southwestern tip of the continent to Cape Town, where you’ll pause to take your midterm exam before riding the tram up Table Mountain for a spectacular view of the city. Follow a guide past the rainbow buildings of Cape Town’s Malay community, learning about its ethnic identity, history and culture, before taking a course in traditional Malay cooking. Kayak around Cape Point, continue your class lessons, and start working on your final project, but not before you have the experience of a lifetime. Climb into a cage and in and prepare to come face to face with one of the world’s most respected hunters: the great white shark. Not long after we descend into shark-infested waters, we quickly discover that these creatures are not mindless killers, but beautiful animals worth studying and observing. Come back onto land to visit a penguin colony at nearby Boulders and Foxy Beaches in Simon’s Town.

south african summer abroad program

Watch whales in neighboring Hermanus before taking your final exams and presenting your research project to the rest of your group. Visit a hub of information on shark conservation, the Great White House, where you observe a dissection and assist in conservation through data collection, counting egg sacs to help determine population size and location of precious sharks. Jump back in the water for one more shark dive in Gansbaai. Before embarking on your final flight home, visit a developing township with the non-profit Uthando and get an authentic urban South African experience that is both eye opening and inspiring. Finally, pack up your pictures, coursework and souvenirs before saying goodbye to your Broadreach family and returning home with memories of great white sharks, survival skills in the bush, and the daily life of urban South Africa.

  • Trip Highlights

  • Snorkel on cage dives with great white sharks
  • Spot the Big Five on sunrise and sunset game drives
  • Study rehabilitating animals at a sustainable sanctuary
  • Work with researchers on wildlife conservation efforts
  • Experience the vibrancy of South African culture
South Africa Ultimate Predators Reviews & Testimonials

Reviews & Testimonials

Samantha Mayo from Corpus Christi, TX

This was such an incredible trip. Anyone with any kind of love or appreciation for wild life would love this trip. I think the best way to explain this trip is basically to say that this trip is all about genuine experiences and encounters with great people, cities and wild life. I loved every minute of it.

Rachel Crum from Purcellville, VA

Meeting inspiring people from all over the world was a really eye opening experience. Coming so close to wildlife was also such an amazing experience. I learned how to track lions and elephants and came inches from a shark! I even got to cage dive alone which was the most surreal thing I have ever done.

Maleia Gist from Russellville, AL

This experience was great. It really teaches us to appreciate our resources. The trip really pushes your comfort zone which has a great impact on your life. This also teaches you the importance of conservation. We learned not to take things for granted. It makes you look at the bigger picture which is very beneficial.

Rosemary Colten from Frankfort, KY

Absolutely everything was wonderful. Everywhere we went felt like the most beautiful place and it kept getting better. It felt like one big family vacation. Everything was so diverse and there was not one second I was bored. I’ve never felt more at home. There is not one thing I would change.

South Africa Ultimate Predators FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

What is included in the tuition cost and what additional expenses should I expect?

Tuition is all inclusive for instruction, food, accommodations, and activities from the time you arrive in country. However, you are responsible for your airfare, spending money (we suggest about $150-200 depending on the program), any required textbooks, and student expenses such as medical fees. Some trips require scuba gear which can be rented, purchased or in some cases borrowed from Broadreach. Finally, for our high school trips that offer college credit, you can elect to receive an official Lesley University credit transcript for approximately $180 per credit hour. For more information about expenses that might apply to your program, click here.

How does travel work?

For most programs, we have a few recommended flights and an arrival time range, and we usually give you the option to book flights on your own or through our travel agency partner. A few programs have required group flights, which we set up in advance. Students travel independently, but often meet up along the way, and we collect student itinerary details. Broadreach instructors will be waiting in the arrivals hall of the destination airport to greet each student, and they’ll be wearing special shirts and holding a Broadreach sign. We also mail students Broadreach shirts to wear while traveling which makes it easy for them to identify each other. Typically, making travel arrangements and the actual travel days go very smoothly.

How does Broadreach address safety?

Safety is our top priority, and it is something we evaluate from every angle throughout the year. We’re very proud of our safety record over the past 26 years of running international programs for students. There are so many ways to address how we handle safety, including the extensive experience and training of our instructors, the specific locations we choose to visit, the relationships we have established with our local partners, and the 24/7 support we provide our groups. We have extensive program-specific risk management plans and safety standards that we adhere to. We’d be happy to talk about safety in more detail for the program you’re considering if you’d like to call our office.

Do I need to purchase travel insurance?

We require that students have at least $100,000 of emergency evacuation coverage and some kind of international medical coverage, as well as coverage for scuba diving for programs that include diving. We offer two different policy options, or if you already have a policy that meets this criteria, we would just collect those policy details after enrollment.

Our Tuition Protection policy covers cancellations for medical reasons up to 100% and for any other reason up to 75% (except for residents of NY state). It’s also a great comprehensive travel insurance policy, including medical coverage, emergency evacuation, travel delay, baggage (loss or delay), etc. The cost of the policy ranges from $319-379 based on the program duration. For more specific coverage details, please call our office.

Who will my instructors be?

Broadreach instructors are highly experienced, passionate, energetic and supportive. The average age of our instructors is 28 years old, and depending on the program, they meet specific qualifications (a Master’s degree in the subject area, PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor certification, foreign language fluency, Wilderness First Responder certification, etc).

Do your programs accommodate food preferences or food allergies?

We do our best to accommodate allergies and food preferences but we consider the situation, country and the program to determine whether it will be a good fit for the specific dietary restriction. It’s important that you let Broadreach know well in advance of any food preferences or allergies so we can determine whether your restrictions will work on your program.

Can I contact Broadreach alumni families for more information?

Absolutely! Just call our office and we can put you in touch with past participants who have joined the programs that interest you. Our alumni families are happy to share their first-person experiences.

How does payment work? Is the deposit or tuition refundable?

We require a non-refundable deposit of $1000 to lock in your spot, and then the final balance can be spread out and paid in a few different ways. The final payment is requested by about 3 months before departure. Our optional tuition protection plan covers cancellations for medical reasons up to 100% and cancellations for any other reason up to 75% (except for residents of NY state).

What do the academics involve? How do college credits work? What if I don’t take the program for credit?

Academics will vary by program but usually include journals, discussions, lectures, research projects, and a midterm and final exam. We expect all of our students to participate fully in the academic course work on our programs, regardless of whether they have chosen to take it for official college credit.

We partner with Lesley University in Cambridge, MA to offer college credit for our academic high school and college programs. Those credits are widely accepted at colleges and universities all over North America, and we can often let you know if an alumni student has transferred those credits to a specific school in the past. For more details, click here.

Do you offer any discounts or scholarships?

In the fall, we have a few different early enrollment discounts– please call our office for more information. We also offer a 5% discount on the second enrollment from the same immediate family in a summer. This offer is available to an individual student or siblings. The 5% discount will be applied to the program of lesser cost, and cannot be combined with any other discounts.

We do offer some scholarships through the Broadreach Foundation. Please visit for more information and to apply online for scholarships.

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