Two girls smiling at the camera giving a peace sign while traveling in Israel
SUMMER EXPERIENCES

Stand UP South Africa

Commit yourself to a summer of doing good with plenty of adventure along the way in South Africa. Make a real world difference in a local village, explore a new culture and view all manner of wildlife in this beautiful land.

Stand UP for Childhood Education

Embark on a journey of service, cross-cultural exchange, and adventure in South Africa! This Stand UP experience focuses on helping communities create a viable and sustainable future for themselves. You’ll be working side by side with South African youth. You’ll learn what it’s like to live in poverty, and the issues children face in both rural and urban areas. You’ll learn about the importance and the challenges of getting an education, a key component in getting out of the cycle of poverty.

You’ll have a unique opportunity to make a direct impact on children’s lives as well as an opportunity to see the world through a new lens. You’ll also discover many South African cultural traditions, you’ll connect with Jewish teens in Johannesburg, learn about apartheid, go on a wildlife safari, learn how to drum and gumboot dance, visit wild penguins on the beach, and so many other unique South African adventures!

Elements of the Program

A Mission of Service

At the heart of Stand UP South Africa are two volunteering projects. The first project is set in a rural community near the Kruger National Park, one of Africa’s largest game reserves. You’ll help improve the infrastructure and the gardens at a school while helping students learn about ecology and the importance of the environment, subjects vital to their livelihood. You’ll be teaching and inspiring youth to appreciate nature in all its amazing beauty that South Africa offers. Next stop is a township in Cape Town. Children there live in poor housing and face numerous challenges. You’ll be helping to support these children through mentorship and direct intervention, including helping to build homes, sports development, and health and nutrition workshops.

Meeting Local Jewish Teens

South Africa is home to a thriving Jewish community with a fascinating history and rich traditions. As part of our experience, you’ll spend a memorable Shabbat with local Jewish teens from Johannesburg. It’s a great opportunity to make meaningful connections on the other side of the world!

An Authentic African Adventure

Explore a whole new world of natural beauty and wildlife in South Africa. Go on a game drive and river safari where you’ll view the “Big 5” (lions, elephants, buffaloes, rhinos and a leopard or two, if you’re lucky) and so many more animals in their natural habitat. You may even wake up with monkeys on your porch! You’ll look out from the top of Table Mountain National Park, visit the Cape of Good Hope, where you may see ostrich and baboons.

Struggle and Reconciliation

Learn firsthand about South Africa’s history of Apartheid and the non-violence movement that rose up to overturn it. At Robben Island, you’ll tour the infamous prison where Nelson Mandela and many others were incarcerated on account of their civil rights protests. You’ll also discover how South Africa’s Truth & Reconciliation Commission ushered in a new era of equal rights, forgiveness and healing. You’ll meet with an ex-prisoner to hear their personal story.

Program Highlights

For a more detailed view of the program, check out the Program Itinerary

Observe African penguins in the wild at “Boulders
Retrace the unique history of Jewish life in South Africa
Go on a safari in the Kruger National Park region; confront lions, giraffes, elephants, zebras and more!
Hike the Cape of Good Hope where the Atlantic Ocean merges with the Indian Ocean and learn about the colonization of South Africa
Spend a memorable Shabbat with local Jewish teens in Johannesburg
Meaningful community service projects focused on environmental education, sports development, and mentorship.
Understand the history of apartheid in South Africa and the non-violence movement that overthrew it

Our Partner

Global Village Connect Travel

BBYO Passport’s Stand UP South Africa is organized in partnership with Global Village Connect Travel. Global Village Connect Travel connects people, schools and communities by developing practical solutions that improve education, economic opportunity and health through sustainable projects. They help provide immersive experiences for the teens on Stand UP South Africa.

We have provided the following sample itinerary to give you a better feel for this experience, including the types of accommodations we use. The actual program may vary slightly. An updated itinerary is distributed 3-4 weeks prior to the start of the program.

Day #1 | Wednesday | Leave for South Africa!

  • Depart from New York on supervised flight (optional)
  • Spend the night in the sky en route to South Africa!

DAY #2 | Thursday | Welcome to Kruger

  • Arrive to Johannesburg O.R. Tambo Int’l Airport, South Africa
  • Meet local program staff and travel to the Kruger National Park area
  • Leisurely evening of program orientation and icebreakers
  • Overnight: Olifants River Safari Lodge

DAY #3 | Friday | River Safari with Shabbat under the stars

  • Go on a morning river safari
  • Afternoon bush walk – Learn about animal tracking and survival in the bush
  • Kabbalat Shabbat service under the stars in the wild
  • Overnight: Olifants River Safari Lodge

DAY #4 | Saturday | Shabbat at the Lodge

  • Shabbat morning program and relaxed afternoon
  • Learn about apartheid from the local tour guide
  • Enjoy our first Havdalah as a group – celebrate the start of a new week
  • Evening: Bonfire Braai, barbecue dinner under the stars in the bush
  • Night time game drive – Observe animals hunting at night, learn about the constellations
  • Overnight: Olifants River Safari Lodge

DAY #5 | Sunday | Endagered Species

  • Check-out of our hotel and head to Hoedspruit
  •  Visit the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre and take an in-depth tour of their facilities in an open safari vehicle
  • Service project discussion and preparation
  • Evening Workshop: the People of South Africa
  • Overnight: Kubu Safari Lodge, Kruger Private Game Reserves

DAY #6 – Day #9 | Monday-Thursday | Community Service Projects

  • Spend mornings and afternoons volunteering in the local community, through hands-on service projects, with the Children’s Eco Training non-profit organization
  • Focus on hands-on environmental education to create awareness, teach, and inspire the youth to appreciate nature in all its intricacies
  • Reflect and relax in the evenings with South African cultural activities – including elephant interaction, a game drive and a cultural dance show.
  • Overnight: Kubu Safari Lodge, Kruger Private Game Reserves

DAY #10 | Friday | Jewish Johannesburg

  • Drive to Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Check-in to accommodations and prepare for Shabbat
  • Shabbat dinner and services with local youth from Sydenham Shul
  • Overnight: Garden Place, Johannesburg

DAY #11 | Saturday | Shabbat

  • Shabbat programming in the morning
  • Afternoon Shabbat programming organized by the youth from Sydenham
  • Celebrate Shabbat and enjoy a delicious Shwarma dinner
  • Learn how to Gumboot dance with local dancers and drummers
  • Overnight: Garden Place, Johannesburg

DAY #12 | Sunday | Soweto and Travel to Cape Town

  • Spend the day touring in the famous Soweto township. Visit Constitutional Hill before heading to Nelson Mandela bridge and the “Top of Africa” – the tallest building in Africa!
  • Evening: Depart from Johannesburg, fly to Cape Town, South Africa
  • Overnight: The Team House, Cape Town

DAY #13 | Monday | Table Mountain and the Victoria & Albert Waterfront

  • Ferry tour to Robben Island (weather permitting) – World Heritage Site, former prison for anti-apartheid activists, hospital, leprosy colony and WWll defense station
  • Explore the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront district in central Cape Town
  • Cable car up Table Mountain (weather permitting) – Panoramic view of Cape Town
  • Discussion with a former prisoner and anti-apartheid activist from Robben Island
  • Overnight: The Team House, Cape Town

DAY #14 | Tuesday | Boulders Penguin Colony

  • Spend the morning volunteering in the community. We will be working with a local NGO who
    helps provide temporary shelter for vulnerable/orphaned children and young adults
  • Stop for lunch in Simon’s Town
  • Boulder’s Beach – hike along the beach to see the penguins
  • Evening: Jennifer Eaves House Concert
  • Overnight: The Team House, Cape Town

DAY #15 | Wednesday | The Flavors of South Africa

  • Spend the morning volunteering in the community. We will be working with a local NGO who
    helps provide temporary shelter for vulnerable/orphaned children and young adults
  • Visit the District 6 Museum which celebrates the once lively multiracial area that was
    destroyed during apartheid
  • Walk through Bo Kaap – also known as Cape Malay quarter – known for its brightly colored
    home and cobble stone streets, rich in history and culture
  • Experience a Malay cooking lesson and enjoy a delicious dinner
  • Overnight: The Team House, Cape Town

DAY #16 | Thursday | Township Tour

  • Begin the morning teaching a workshop and working with the local community
  • Walking tour of the Township – learn about life in the Township
  • Participate in Djembe drumming in the evening
  • Overnight: The Team House, Cape Town

DAY #17 | Friday | Service and Local Crafts

  • Begin the morning teaching a workshop and working with the local community
  • Learn about local African wire and bead craft art at Streetwires Artist Collective
  • Spend Shabbat with the Jewish community of Cape Town
  • Overnight: Head South Lodge, Sea Pointe

DAY #18 | Saturday | Shabbat in Cape Town

  • Shabbat programming
  • Enjoy a relaxed afternoon – walk around the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront district or visit the beach!
  • Evening:  Close Shabbat with Havdallah under the stars
  • Overnight: Head South Lodge, Sea Pointe

DAY #19 | Sunday | Farewell South Africa

  • Check-out of our accommodations and head to Greenmarket Square, built in 1696
  •  Visit the Company Gardens – first built in the 1650’s by European settlers
  • Depart from Cape Town to Johannesburg
  • Depart from Johannesburg on supervised flight (optional)
  • Spend the night in the sky en route to the USA!

DAY #20 | Monday | Welcome Back Home

  • Arrive to New York City in the morning

You have questions? We’ve got answers! Our most frequently asked questions for this program are answered below. Additional program-wide FAQs are also available. Contact us to learn more.

How will my teen travel to the program?
An optional supervised flight is offered – often from New York City. You are responsible for your transportation to the supervised flight departure city. Flight arrangements will be released in the spring. Families are also able to book their own tickets using miles or points that correspond to our supervised flight itinerary or book separate flight itineraries entirely and make arrangements to meet our staff in Johannesburg, South Africa. Learn more about our supervised flights.

Where will my teen be sleeping?
The group stays in several different types of accommodations, including 3-star hotels, a guest house, and rustic safari lodges in some of the most beautiful African scenery you can imagine. When booking our accommodations, we request for each teen to have their own sleeping accommodations in a shared living space.

How is the program staffed?
Each group is accompanied by a team of madrichim (counselors), a local tour leader and a bus driver. Staff names are sent out approximately 3-4 weeks prior to your departure as part of the pre-trip preparation email series. Staff are asked to make welcome calls to families before departure. Learn more about our staff team.

What’s the summer weather like?
July falls in the middle of the South African winter. Average temperatures range from 47˚F – 68˚F and rain is possible. It will be especially windy on top of Table Mountain and at the Cape of Good Hope – which can feel particularly cold. It is warmer in the “bush” (i.e. countryside), however, the bush gets cold at night.

How do you approach security?
The safety of the teens under our care is our guiding consideration. Learn more about our organization’s approach to safety & security.

What’s the typical group size?
Although it varies from year to year, our average group size in South Africa is 18 teens.

What’s the food like?
Meals will be Pescatarian (from non-Kosher establishments). An occasional kosher meal may be available throughout the trip. Some meals will be provided according to the “Pizur” system – an allowance for purchasing your own meal at a local eatery. Participants can buy food of their choosing with Pizur funds. Participants with special dietary situations (i.e. lactose intolerance, vegetarian, Kosher, etc.) should contact us in advance to be sure we can accommodate your needs during the program.

Will I need a visa?
If you travel with an American, Canadian or EU passport – good news! – you don’t need a visa to enter South Africa.

Does South Africa require additional documents for minors to enter the country?
South Africa has imposed requirements for children under the age of 18 traveling to South Africa. We will provide more details about these forms upon registration. In order to ensure a smooth entry into the country, each teen must have these three items:
1. Notarized and signed affidavit of consent from both parents (we will provide this form in the spring).
2. Notarized copy of your child’s birth certificate with both parents’ names
3. Notarized copies of both parents’ passports OR birth certificates

For more information about the required forms please visit the U.S. Embassy & Consulate in South Africa website.

For more information, check out our general FAQs.

No connections or extensions are available for this program. View all connected program options here.
 

PROGRAM REVIEWS

We know you'll love a BBYO Passport experience. But don't just take our word. Check out these real reviews from our past teen travelers.

Stand UP for Childhood Education

Embark on a journey of service, cross-cultural exchange, and adventure in South Africa! This Stand UP experience focuses on helping communities create a viable and sustainable future for themselves. You’ll be working side by side with South African youth. You’ll learn what it’s like to live in poverty, and the issues children face in both rural and urban areas. You’ll learn about the importance and the challenges of getting an education, a key component in getting out of the cycle of poverty.

You’ll have a unique opportunity to make a direct impact on children’s lives as well as an opportunity to see the world through a new lens. You’ll also discover many South African cultural traditions, you’ll connect with Jewish teens in Johannesburg, learn about apartheid, go on a wildlife safari, learn how to drum and gumboot dance, visit wild penguins on the beach, and so many other unique South African adventures!

Elements of the Program

A Mission of Service

At the heart of Stand UP South Africa are two volunteering projects. The first project is set in a rural community near the Kruger National Park, one of Africa’s largest game reserves. You’ll help improve the infrastructure and the gardens at a school while helping students learn about ecology and the importance of the environment, subjects vital to their livelihood. You’ll be teaching and inspiring youth to appreciate nature in all its amazing beauty that South Africa offers. Next stop is a township in Cape Town. Children there live in poor housing and face numerous challenges. You’ll be helping to support these children through mentorship and direct intervention, including helping to build homes, sports development, and health and nutrition workshops.

Meeting Local Jewish Teens

South Africa is home to a thriving Jewish community with a fascinating history and rich traditions. As part of our experience, you’ll spend a memorable Shabbat with local Jewish teens from Johannesburg. It’s a great opportunity to make meaningful connections on the other side of the world!

An Authentic African Adventure

Explore a whole new world of natural beauty and wildlife in South Africa. Go on a game drive and river safari where you’ll view the “Big 5” (lions, elephants, buffaloes, rhinos and a leopard or two, if you’re lucky) and so many more animals in their natural habitat. You may even wake up with monkeys on your porch! You’ll look out from the top of Table Mountain National Park, visit the Cape of Good Hope, where you may see ostrich and baboons.

Struggle and Reconciliation

Learn firsthand about South Africa’s history of Apartheid and the non-violence movement that rose up to overturn it. At Robben Island, you’ll tour the infamous prison where Nelson Mandela and many others were incarcerated on account of their civil rights protests. You’ll also discover how South Africa’s Truth & Reconciliation Commission ushered in a new era of equal rights, forgiveness and healing. You’ll meet with an ex-prisoner to hear their personal story.

Program Highlights

For a more detailed view of the program, check out the Program Itinerary

Observe African penguins in the wild at “Boulders
Retrace the unique history of Jewish life in South Africa
Go on a safari in the Kruger National Park region; confront lions, giraffes, elephants, zebras and more!
Hike the Cape of Good Hope where the Atlantic Ocean merges with the Indian Ocean and learn about the colonization of South Africa
Spend a memorable Shabbat with local Jewish teens in Johannesburg
Meaningful community service projects focused on environmental education, sports development, and mentorship.
Understand the history of apartheid in South Africa and the non-violence movement that overthrew it

Our Partner

Global Village Connect Travel

BBYO Passport’s Stand UP South Africa is organized in partnership with Global Village Connect Travel. Global Village Connect Travel connects people, schools and communities by developing practical solutions that improve education, economic opportunity and health through sustainable projects. They help provide immersive experiences for the teens on Stand UP South Africa.

We have provided the following sample itinerary to give you a better feel for this experience, including the types of accommodations we use. The actual program may vary slightly. An updated itinerary is distributed 3-4 weeks prior to the start of the program.

Day #1 | Wednesday | Leave for South Africa!

  • Depart from New York on supervised flight (optional)
  • Spend the night in the sky en route to South Africa!

DAY #2 | Thursday | Welcome to Kruger

  • Arrive to Johannesburg O.R. Tambo Int’l Airport, South Africa
  • Meet local program staff and travel to the Kruger National Park area
  • Leisurely evening of program orientation and icebreakers
  • Overnight: Olifants River Safari Lodge

DAY #3 | Friday | River Safari with Shabbat under the stars

  • Go on a morning river safari
  • Afternoon bush walk – Learn about animal tracking and survival in the bush
  • Kabbalat Shabbat service under the stars in the wild
  • Overnight: Olifants River Safari Lodge

DAY #4 | Saturday | Shabbat at the Lodge

  • Shabbat morning program and relaxed afternoon
  • Learn about apartheid from the local tour guide
  • Enjoy our first Havdalah as a group – celebrate the start of a new week
  • Evening: Bonfire Braai, barbecue dinner under the stars in the bush
  • Night time game drive – Observe animals hunting at night, learn about the constellations
  • Overnight: Olifants River Safari Lodge

DAY #5 | Sunday | Endagered Species

  • Check-out of our hotel and head to Hoedspruit
  •  Visit the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre and take an in-depth tour of their facilities in an open safari vehicle
  • Service project discussion and preparation
  • Evening Workshop: the People of South Africa
  • Overnight: Kubu Safari Lodge, Kruger Private Game Reserves

DAY #6 – Day #9 | Monday-Thursday | Community Service Projects

  • Spend mornings and afternoons volunteering in the local community, through hands-on service projects, with the Children’s Eco Training non-profit organization
  • Focus on hands-on environmental education to create awareness, teach, and inspire the youth to appreciate nature in all its intricacies
  • Reflect and relax in the evenings with South African cultural activities – including elephant interaction, a game drive and a cultural dance show.
  • Overnight: Kubu Safari Lodge, Kruger Private Game Reserves

DAY #10 | Friday | Jewish Johannesburg

  • Drive to Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Check-in to accommodations and prepare for Shabbat
  • Shabbat dinner and services with local youth from Sydenham Shul
  • Overnight: Garden Place, Johannesburg

DAY #11 | Saturday | Shabbat

  • Shabbat programming in the morning
  • Afternoon Shabbat programming organized by the youth from Sydenham
  • Celebrate Shabbat and enjoy a delicious Shwarma dinner
  • Learn how to Gumboot dance with local dancers and drummers
  • Overnight: Garden Place, Johannesburg

DAY #12 | Sunday | Soweto and Travel to Cape Town

  • Spend the day touring in the famous Soweto township. Visit Constitutional Hill before heading to Nelson Mandela bridge and the “Top of Africa” – the tallest building in Africa!
  • Evening: Depart from Johannesburg, fly to Cape Town, South Africa
  • Overnight: The Team House, Cape Town

DAY #13 | Monday | Table Mountain and the Victoria & Albert Waterfront

  • Ferry tour to Robben Island (weather permitting) – World Heritage Site, former prison for anti-apartheid activists, hospital, leprosy colony and WWll defense station
  • Explore the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront district in central Cape Town
  • Cable car up Table Mountain (weather permitting) – Panoramic view of Cape Town
  • Discussion with a former prisoner and anti-apartheid activist from Robben Island
  • Overnight: The Team House, Cape Town

DAY #14 | Tuesday | Boulders Penguin Colony

  • Spend the morning volunteering in the community. We will be working with a local NGO who
    helps provide temporary shelter for vulnerable/orphaned children and young adults
  • Stop for lunch in Simon’s Town
  • Boulder’s Beach – hike along the beach to see the penguins
  • Evening: Jennifer Eaves House Concert
  • Overnight: The Team House, Cape Town

DAY #15 | Wednesday | The Flavors of South Africa

  • Spend the morning volunteering in the community. We will be working with a local NGO who
    helps provide temporary shelter for vulnerable/orphaned children and young adults
  • Visit the District 6 Museum which celebrates the once lively multiracial area that was
    destroyed during apartheid
  • Walk through Bo Kaap – also known as Cape Malay quarter – known for its brightly colored
    home and cobble stone streets, rich in history and culture
  • Experience a Malay cooking lesson and enjoy a delicious dinner
  • Overnight: The Team House, Cape Town

DAY #16 | Thursday | Township Tour

  • Begin the morning teaching a workshop and working with the local community
  • Walking tour of the Township – learn about life in the Township
  • Participate in Djembe drumming in the evening
  • Overnight: The Team House, Cape Town

DAY #17 | Friday | Service and Local Crafts

  • Begin the morning teaching a workshop and working with the local community
  • Learn about local African wire and bead craft art at Streetwires Artist Collective
  • Spend Shabbat with the Jewish community of Cape Town
  • Overnight: Head South Lodge, Sea Pointe

DAY #18 | Saturday | Shabbat in Cape Town

  • Shabbat programming
  • Enjoy a relaxed afternoon – walk around the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront district or visit the beach!
  • Evening:  Close Shabbat with Havdallah under the stars
  • Overnight: Head South Lodge, Sea Pointe

DAY #19 | Sunday | Farewell South Africa

  • Check-out of our accommodations and head to Greenmarket Square, built in 1696
  •  Visit the Company Gardens – first built in the 1650’s by European settlers
  • Depart from Cape Town to Johannesburg
  • Depart from Johannesburg on supervised flight (optional)
  • Spend the night in the sky en route to the USA!

DAY #20 | Monday | Welcome Back Home

  • Arrive to New York City in the morning

You have questions? We’ve got answers! Our most frequently asked questions for this program are answered below. Additional program-wide FAQs are also available. Contact us to learn more.

How will my teen travel to the program?
An optional supervised flight is offered – often from New York City. You are responsible for your transportation to the supervised flight departure city. Flight arrangements will be released in the spring. Families are also able to book their own tickets using miles or points that correspond to our supervised flight itinerary or book separate flight itineraries entirely and make arrangements to meet our staff in Johannesburg, South Africa. Learn more about our supervised flights.

Where will my teen be sleeping?
The group stays in several different types of accommodations, including 3-star hotels, a guest house, and rustic safari lodges in some of the most beautiful African scenery you can imagine. When booking our accommodations, we request for each teen to have their own sleeping accommodations in a shared living space.

How is the program staffed?
Each group is accompanied by a team of madrichim (counselors), a local tour leader and a bus driver. Staff names are sent out approximately 3-4 weeks prior to your departure as part of the pre-trip preparation email series. Staff are asked to make welcome calls to families before departure. Learn more about our staff team.

What’s the summer weather like?
July falls in the middle of the South African winter. Average temperatures range from 47˚F – 68˚F and rain is possible. It will be especially windy on top of Table Mountain and at the Cape of Good Hope – which can feel particularly cold. It is warmer in the “bush” (i.e. countryside), however, the bush gets cold at night.

How do you approach security?
The safety of the teens under our care is our guiding consideration. Learn more about our organization’s approach to safety & security.

What’s the typical group size?
Although it varies from year to year, our average group size in South Africa is 18 teens.

What’s the food like?
Meals will be Pescatarian (from non-Kosher establishments). An occasional kosher meal may be available throughout the trip. Some meals will be provided according to the “Pizur” system – an allowance for purchasing your own meal at a local eatery. Participants can buy food of their choosing with Pizur funds. Participants with special dietary situations (i.e. lactose intolerance, vegetarian, Kosher, etc.) should contact us in advance to be sure we can accommodate your needs during the program.

Will I need a visa?
If you travel with an American, Canadian or EU passport – good news! – you don’t need a visa to enter South Africa.

Does South Africa require additional documents for minors to enter the country?
South Africa has imposed requirements for children under the age of 18 traveling to South Africa. We will provide more details about these forms upon registration. In order to ensure a smooth entry into the country, each teen must have these three items:
1. Notarized and signed affidavit of consent from both parents (we will provide this form in the spring).
2. Notarized copy of your child’s birth certificate with both parents’ names
3. Notarized copies of both parents’ passports OR birth certificates

For more information about the required forms please visit the U.S. Embassy & Consulate in South Africa website.

For more information, check out our general FAQs.

No connections or extensions are available for this program. View all connected program options here.
 

PROGRAM REVIEWS

Stand UP South Africa

Commit yourself to a summer of doing good with plenty of adventure along the way in South Africa. Make a real world difference in a local village, explore a new culture and view all manner of wildlife in this beautiful land.

Stand UP South Africa

Commit yourself to a summer of doing good with plenty of adventure along the way in South Africa. Make a real world difference in a local village, explore a new culture and view all manner of wildlife in this beautiful land.

Stand UP for Childhood Education

Embark on a journey of service, cross-cultural exchange, and adventure in South Africa! This Stand UP experience focuses on helping communities create a viable and sustainable future for themselves. You’ll be working side by side with South African youth. You’ll learn what it’s like to live in poverty, and the issues children face in both rural and urban areas. You’ll learn about the importance and the challenges of getting an education, a key component in getting out of the cycle of poverty.

You’ll have a unique opportunity to make a direct impact on children’s lives as well as an opportunity to see the world through a new lens. You’ll also discover many South African cultural traditions, you’ll connect with Jewish teens in Johannesburg, learn about apartheid, go on a wildlife safari, learn how to drum and gumboot dance, visit wild penguins on the beach, and so many other unique South African adventures!

Elements of the Program

A Mission of Service

At the heart of Stand UP South Africa are two volunteering projects. The first project is set in a rural community near the Kruger National Park, one of Africa’s largest game reserves. You’ll help improve the infrastructure and the gardens at a school while helping students learn about ecology and the importance of the environment, subjects vital to their livelihood. You’ll be teaching and inspiring youth to appreciate nature in all its amazing beauty that South Africa offers. Next stop is a township in Cape Town. Children there live in poor housing and face numerous challenges. You’ll be helping to support these children through mentorship and direct intervention, including helping to build homes, sports development, and health and nutrition workshops.

Meeting Local Jewish Teens

South Africa is home to a thriving Jewish community with a fascinating history and rich traditions. As part of our experience, you’ll spend a memorable Shabbat with local Jewish teens from Johannesburg. It’s a great opportunity to make meaningful connections on the other side of the world!

An Authentic African Adventure

Explore a whole new world of natural beauty and wildlife in South Africa. Go on a game drive and river safari where you’ll view the “Big 5” (lions, elephants, buffaloes, rhinos and a leopard or two, if you’re lucky) and so many more animals in their natural habitat. You may even wake up with monkeys on your porch! You’ll look out from the top of Table Mountain National Park, visit the Cape of Good Hope, where you may see ostrich and baboons.

Struggle and Reconciliation

Learn firsthand about South Africa’s history of Apartheid and the non-violence movement that rose up to overturn it. At Robben Island, you’ll tour the infamous prison where Nelson Mandela and many others were incarcerated on account of their civil rights protests. You’ll also discover how South Africa’s Truth & Reconciliation Commission ushered in a new era of equal rights, forgiveness and healing. You’ll meet with an ex-prisoner to hear their personal story.

Program Highlights

For a more detailed view of the program, check out the Program Itinerary

Observe African penguins in the wild at “Boulders
Retrace the unique history of Jewish life in South Africa
Go on a safari in the Kruger National Park region; confront lions, giraffes, elephants, zebras and more!
Hike the Cape of Good Hope where the Atlantic Ocean merges with the Indian Ocean and learn about the colonization of South Africa
Spend a memorable Shabbat with local Jewish teens in Johannesburg
Meaningful community service projects focused on environmental education, sports development, and mentorship.
Understand the history of apartheid in South Africa and the non-violence movement that overthrew it

Our Partner

Global Village Connect Travel

BBYO Passport’s Stand UP South Africa is organized in partnership with Global Village Connect Travel. Global Village Connect Travel connects people, schools and communities by developing practical solutions that improve education, economic opportunity and health through sustainable projects. They help provide immersive experiences for the teens on Stand UP South Africa.

We have provided the following sample itinerary to give you a better feel for this experience, including the types of accommodations we use. The actual program may vary slightly. An updated itinerary is distributed 3-4 weeks prior to the start of the program.

Day #1 | Wednesday | Leave for South Africa!

  • Depart from New York on supervised flight (optional)
  • Spend the night in the sky en route to South Africa!

DAY #2 | Thursday | Welcome to Kruger

  • Arrive to Johannesburg O.R. Tambo Int’l Airport, South Africa
  • Meet local program staff and travel to the Kruger National Park area
  • Leisurely evening of program orientation and icebreakers
  • Overnight: Olifants River Safari Lodge

DAY #3 | Friday | River Safari with Shabbat under the stars

  • Go on a morning river safari
  • Afternoon bush walk – Learn about animal tracking and survival in the bush
  • Kabbalat Shabbat service under the stars in the wild
  • Overnight: Olifants River Safari Lodge

DAY #4 | Saturday | Shabbat at the Lodge

  • Shabbat morning program and relaxed afternoon
  • Learn about apartheid from the local tour guide
  • Enjoy our first Havdalah as a group – celebrate the start of a new week
  • Evening: Bonfire Braai, barbecue dinner under the stars in the bush
  • Night time game drive – Observe animals hunting at night, learn about the constellations
  • Overnight: Olifants River Safari Lodge

DAY #5 | Sunday | Endagered Species

  • Check-out of our hotel and head to Hoedspruit
  •  Visit the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre and take an in-depth tour of their facilities in an open safari vehicle
  • Service project discussion and preparation
  • Evening Workshop: the People of South Africa
  • Overnight: Kubu Safari Lodge, Kruger Private Game Reserves

DAY #6 – Day #9 | Monday-Thursday | Community Service Projects

  • Spend mornings and afternoons volunteering in the local community, through hands-on service projects, with the Children’s Eco Training non-profit organization
  • Focus on hands-on environmental education to create awareness, teach, and inspire the youth to appreciate nature in all its intricacies
  • Reflect and relax in the evenings with South African cultural activities – including elephant interaction, a game drive and a cultural dance show.
  • Overnight: Kubu Safari Lodge, Kruger Private Game Reserves

DAY #10 | Friday | Jewish Johannesburg

  • Drive to Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Check-in to accommodations and prepare for Shabbat
  • Shabbat dinner and services with local youth from Sydenham Shul
  • Overnight: Garden Place, Johannesburg

DAY #11 | Saturday | Shabbat

  • Shabbat programming in the morning
  • Afternoon Shabbat programming organized by the youth from Sydenham
  • Celebrate Shabbat and enjoy a delicious Shwarma dinner
  • Learn how to Gumboot dance with local dancers and drummers
  • Overnight: Garden Place, Johannesburg

DAY #12 | Sunday | Soweto and Travel to Cape Town

  • Spend the day touring in the famous Soweto township. Visit Constitutional Hill before heading to Nelson Mandela bridge and the “Top of Africa” – the tallest building in Africa!
  • Evening: Depart from Johannesburg, fly to Cape Town, South Africa
  • Overnight: The Team House, Cape Town

DAY #13 | Monday | Table Mountain and the Victoria & Albert Waterfront

  • Ferry tour to Robben Island (weather permitting) – World Heritage Site, former prison for anti-apartheid activists, hospital, leprosy colony and WWll defense station
  • Explore the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront district in central Cape Town
  • Cable car up Table Mountain (weather permitting) – Panoramic view of Cape Town
  • Discussion with a former prisoner and anti-apartheid activist from Robben Island
  • Overnight: The Team House, Cape Town

DAY #14 | Tuesday | Boulders Penguin Colony

  • Spend the morning volunteering in the community. We will be working with a local NGO who
    helps provide temporary shelter for vulnerable/orphaned children and young adults
  • Stop for lunch in Simon’s Town
  • Boulder’s Beach – hike along the beach to see the penguins
  • Evening: Jennifer Eaves House Concert
  • Overnight: The Team House, Cape Town

DAY #15 | Wednesday | The Flavors of South Africa

  • Spend the morning volunteering in the community. We will be working with a local NGO who
    helps provide temporary shelter for vulnerable/orphaned children and young adults
  • Visit the District 6 Museum which celebrates the once lively multiracial area that was
    destroyed during apartheid
  • Walk through Bo Kaap – also known as Cape Malay quarter – known for its brightly colored
    home and cobble stone streets, rich in history and culture
  • Experience a Malay cooking lesson and enjoy a delicious dinner
  • Overnight: The Team House, Cape Town

DAY #16 | Thursday | Township Tour

  • Begin the morning teaching a workshop and working with the local community
  • Walking tour of the Township – learn about life in the Township
  • Participate in Djembe drumming in the evening
  • Overnight: The Team House, Cape Town

DAY #17 | Friday | Service and Local Crafts

  • Begin the morning teaching a workshop and working with the local community
  • Learn about local African wire and bead craft art at Streetwires Artist Collective
  • Spend Shabbat with the Jewish community of Cape Town
  • Overnight: Head South Lodge, Sea Pointe

DAY #18 | Saturday | Shabbat in Cape Town

  • Shabbat programming
  • Enjoy a relaxed afternoon – walk around the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront district or visit the beach!
  • Evening:  Close Shabbat with Havdallah under the stars
  • Overnight: Head South Lodge, Sea Pointe

DAY #19 | Sunday | Farewell South Africa

  • Check-out of our accommodations and head to Greenmarket Square, built in 1696
  •  Visit the Company Gardens – first built in the 1650’s by European settlers
  • Depart from Cape Town to Johannesburg
  • Depart from Johannesburg on supervised flight (optional)
  • Spend the night in the sky en route to the USA!

DAY #20 | Monday | Welcome Back Home

  • Arrive to New York City in the morning

You have questions? We’ve got answers! Our most frequently asked questions for this program are answered below. Additional program-wide FAQs are also available. Contact us to learn more.

How will my teen travel to the program?
An optional supervised flight is offered – often from New York City. You are responsible for your transportation to the supervised flight departure city. Flight arrangements will be released in the spring. Families are also able to book their own tickets using miles or points that correspond to our supervised flight itinerary or book separate flight itineraries entirely and make arrangements to meet our staff in Johannesburg, South Africa. Learn more about our supervised flights.

Where will my teen be sleeping?
The group stays in several different types of accommodations, including 3-star hotels, a guest house, and rustic safari lodges in some of the most beautiful African scenery you can imagine. When booking our accommodations, we request for each teen to have their own sleeping accommodations in a shared living space.

How is the program staffed?
Each group is accompanied by a team of madrichim (counselors), a local tour leader and a bus driver. Staff names are sent out approximately 3-4 weeks prior to your departure as part of the pre-trip preparation email series. Staff are asked to make welcome calls to families before departure. Learn more about our staff team.

What’s the summer weather like?
July falls in the middle of the South African winter. Average temperatures range from 47˚F – 68˚F and rain is possible. It will be especially windy on top of Table Mountain and at the Cape of Good Hope – which can feel particularly cold. It is warmer in the “bush” (i.e. countryside), however, the bush gets cold at night.

How do you approach security?
The safety of the teens under our care is our guiding consideration. Learn more about our organization’s approach to safety & security.

What’s the typical group size?
Although it varies from year to year, our average group size in South Africa is 18 teens.

What’s the food like?
Meals will be Pescatarian (from non-Kosher establishments). An occasional kosher meal may be available throughout the trip. Some meals will be provided according to the “Pizur” system – an allowance for purchasing your own meal at a local eatery. Participants can buy food of their choosing with Pizur funds. Participants with special dietary situations (i.e. lactose intolerance, vegetarian, Kosher, etc.) should contact us in advance to be sure we can accommodate your needs during the program.

Will I need a visa?
If you travel with an American, Canadian or EU passport – good news! – you don’t need a visa to enter South Africa.

Does South Africa require additional documents for minors to enter the country?
South Africa has imposed requirements for children under the age of 18 traveling to South Africa. We will provide more details about these forms upon registration. In order to ensure a smooth entry into the country, each teen must have these three items:
1. Notarized and signed affidavit of consent from both parents (we will provide this form in the spring).
2. Notarized copy of your child’s birth certificate with both parents’ names
3. Notarized copies of both parents’ passports OR birth certificates

For more information about the required forms please visit the U.S. Embassy & Consulate in South Africa website.

For more information, check out our general FAQs.

No connections or extensions are available for this program. View all connected program options here.
 

PROGRAM REVIEWS

We know you'll love a BBYO Passport experience. But don't just take our word. Check out these real reviews from our past teen travelers.

Stand UP for Childhood Education

Embark on a journey of service, cross-cultural exchange, and adventure in South Africa! This Stand UP experience focuses on helping communities create a viable and sustainable future for themselves. You’ll be working side by side with South African youth. You’ll learn what it’s like to live in poverty, and the issues children face in both rural and urban areas. You’ll learn about the importance and the challenges of getting an education, a key component in getting out of the cycle of poverty.

You’ll have a unique opportunity to make a direct impact on children’s lives as well as an opportunity to see the world through a new lens. You’ll also discover many South African cultural traditions, you’ll connect with Jewish teens in Johannesburg, learn about apartheid, go on a wildlife safari, learn how to drum and gumboot dance, visit wild penguins on the beach, and so many other unique South African adventures!

Elements of the Program

A Mission of Service

At the heart of Stand UP South Africa are two volunteering projects. The first project is set in a rural community near the Kruger National Park, one of Africa’s largest game reserves. You’ll help improve the infrastructure and the gardens at a school while helping students learn about ecology and the importance of the environment, subjects vital to their livelihood. You’ll be teaching and inspiring youth to appreciate nature in all its amazing beauty that South Africa offers. Next stop is a township in Cape Town. Children there live in poor housing and face numerous challenges. You’ll be helping to support these children through mentorship and direct intervention, including helping to build homes, sports development, and health and nutrition workshops.

Meeting Local Jewish Teens

South Africa is home to a thriving Jewish community with a fascinating history and rich traditions. As part of our experience, you’ll spend a memorable Shabbat with local Jewish teens from Johannesburg. It’s a great opportunity to make meaningful connections on the other side of the world!

An Authentic African Adventure

Explore a whole new world of natural beauty and wildlife in South Africa. Go on a game drive and river safari where you’ll view the “Big 5” (lions, elephants, buffaloes, rhinos and a leopard or two, if you’re lucky) and so many more animals in their natural habitat. You may even wake up with monkeys on your porch! You’ll look out from the top of Table Mountain National Park, visit the Cape of Good Hope, where you may see ostrich and baboons.

Struggle and Reconciliation

Learn firsthand about South Africa’s history of Apartheid and the non-violence movement that rose up to overturn it. At Robben Island, you’ll tour the infamous prison where Nelson Mandela and many others were incarcerated on account of their civil rights protests. You’ll also discover how South Africa’s Truth & Reconciliation Commission ushered in a new era of equal rights, forgiveness and healing. You’ll meet with an ex-prisoner to hear their personal story.

Program Highlights

For a more detailed view of the program, check out the Program Itinerary

Observe African penguins in the wild at “Boulders
Retrace the unique history of Jewish life in South Africa
Go on a safari in the Kruger National Park region; confront lions, giraffes, elephants, zebras and more!
Hike the Cape of Good Hope where the Atlantic Ocean merges with the Indian Ocean and learn about the colonization of South Africa
Spend a memorable Shabbat with local Jewish teens in Johannesburg
Meaningful community service projects focused on environmental education, sports development, and mentorship.
Understand the history of apartheid in South Africa and the non-violence movement that overthrew it

Our Partner

Global Village Connect Travel

BBYO Passport’s Stand UP South Africa is organized in partnership with Global Village Connect Travel. Global Village Connect Travel connects people, schools and communities by developing practical solutions that improve education, economic opportunity and health through sustainable projects. They help provide immersive experiences for the teens on Stand UP South Africa.

We have provided the following sample itinerary to give you a better feel for this experience, including the types of accommodations we use. The actual program may vary slightly. An updated itinerary is distributed 3-4 weeks prior to the start of the program.

Day #1 | Wednesday | Leave for South Africa!

  • Depart from New York on supervised flight (optional)
  • Spend the night in the sky en route to South Africa!

DAY #2 | Thursday | Welcome to Kruger

  • Arrive to Johannesburg O.R. Tambo Int’l Airport, South Africa
  • Meet local program staff and travel to the Kruger National Park area
  • Leisurely evening of program orientation and icebreakers
  • Overnight: Olifants River Safari Lodge

DAY #3 | Friday | River Safari with Shabbat under the stars

  • Go on a morning river safari
  • Afternoon bush walk – Learn about animal tracking and survival in the bush
  • Kabbalat Shabbat service under the stars in the wild
  • Overnight: Olifants River Safari Lodge

DAY #4 | Saturday | Shabbat at the Lodge

  • Shabbat morning program and relaxed afternoon
  • Learn about apartheid from the local tour guide
  • Enjoy our first Havdalah as a group – celebrate the start of a new week
  • Evening: Bonfire Braai, barbecue dinner under the stars in the bush
  • Night time game drive – Observe animals hunting at night, learn about the constellations
  • Overnight: Olifants River Safari Lodge

DAY #5 | Sunday | Endagered Species

  • Check-out of our hotel and head to Hoedspruit
  •  Visit the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre and take an in-depth tour of their facilities in an open safari vehicle
  • Service project discussion and preparation
  • Evening Workshop: the People of South Africa
  • Overnight: Kubu Safari Lodge, Kruger Private Game Reserves

DAY #6 – Day #9 | Monday-Thursday | Community Service Projects

  • Spend mornings and afternoons volunteering in the local community, through hands-on service projects, with the Children’s Eco Training non-profit organization
  • Focus on hands-on environmental education to create awareness, teach, and inspire the youth to appreciate nature in all its intricacies
  • Reflect and relax in the evenings with South African cultural activities – including elephant interaction, a game drive and a cultural dance show.
  • Overnight: Kubu Safari Lodge, Kruger Private Game Reserves

DAY #10 | Friday | Jewish Johannesburg

  • Drive to Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Check-in to accommodations and prepare for Shabbat
  • Shabbat dinner and services with local youth from Sydenham Shul
  • Overnight: Garden Place, Johannesburg

DAY #11 | Saturday | Shabbat

  • Shabbat programming in the morning
  • Afternoon Shabbat programming organized by the youth from Sydenham
  • Celebrate Shabbat and enjoy a delicious Shwarma dinner
  • Learn how to Gumboot dance with local dancers and drummers
  • Overnight: Garden Place, Johannesburg

DAY #12 | Sunday | Soweto and Travel to Cape Town

  • Spend the day touring in the famous Soweto township. Visit Constitutional Hill before heading to Nelson Mandela bridge and the “Top of Africa” – the tallest building in Africa!
  • Evening: Depart from Johannesburg, fly to Cape Town, South Africa
  • Overnight: The Team House, Cape Town

DAY #13 | Monday | Table Mountain and the Victoria & Albert Waterfront

  • Ferry tour to Robben Island (weather permitting) – World Heritage Site, former prison for anti-apartheid activists, hospital, leprosy colony and WWll defense station
  • Explore the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront district in central Cape Town
  • Cable car up Table Mountain (weather permitting) – Panoramic view of Cape Town
  • Discussion with a former prisoner and anti-apartheid activist from Robben Island
  • Overnight: The Team House, Cape Town

DAY #14 | Tuesday | Boulders Penguin Colony

  • Spend the morning volunteering in the community. We will be working with a local NGO who
    helps provide temporary shelter for vulnerable/orphaned children and young adults
  • Stop for lunch in Simon’s Town
  • Boulder’s Beach – hike along the beach to see the penguins
  • Evening: Jennifer Eaves House Concert
  • Overnight: The Team House, Cape Town

DAY #15 | Wednesday | The Flavors of South Africa

  • Spend the morning volunteering in the community. We will be working with a local NGO who
    helps provide temporary shelter for vulnerable/orphaned children and young adults
  • Visit the District 6 Museum which celebrates the once lively multiracial area that was
    destroyed during apartheid
  • Walk through Bo Kaap – also known as Cape Malay quarter – known for its brightly colored
    home and cobble stone streets, rich in history and culture
  • Experience a Malay cooking lesson and enjoy a delicious dinner
  • Overnight: The Team House, Cape Town

DAY #16 | Thursday | Township Tour

  • Begin the morning teaching a workshop and working with the local community
  • Walking tour of the Township – learn about life in the Township
  • Participate in Djembe drumming in the evening
  • Overnight: The Team House, Cape Town

DAY #17 | Friday | Service and Local Crafts

  • Begin the morning teaching a workshop and working with the local community
  • Learn about local African wire and bead craft art at Streetwires Artist Collective
  • Spend Shabbat with the Jewish community of Cape Town
  • Overnight: Head South Lodge, Sea Pointe

DAY #18 | Saturday | Shabbat in Cape Town

  • Shabbat programming
  • Enjoy a relaxed afternoon – walk around the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront district or visit the beach!
  • Evening:  Close Shabbat with Havdallah under the stars
  • Overnight: Head South Lodge, Sea Pointe

DAY #19 | Sunday | Farewell South Africa

  • Check-out of our accommodations and head to Greenmarket Square, built in 1696
  •  Visit the Company Gardens – first built in the 1650’s by European settlers
  • Depart from Cape Town to Johannesburg
  • Depart from Johannesburg on supervised flight (optional)
  • Spend the night in the sky en route to the USA!

DAY #20 | Monday | Welcome Back Home

  • Arrive to New York City in the morning

You have questions? We’ve got answers! Our most frequently asked questions for this program are answered below. Additional program-wide FAQs are also available. Contact us to learn more.

How will my teen travel to the program?
An optional supervised flight is offered – often from New York City. You are responsible for your transportation to the supervised flight departure city. Flight arrangements will be released in the spring. Families are also able to book their own tickets using miles or points that correspond to our supervised flight itinerary or book separate flight itineraries entirely and make arrangements to meet our staff in Johannesburg, South Africa. Learn more about our supervised flights.

Where will my teen be sleeping?
The group stays in several different types of accommodations, including 3-star hotels, a guest house, and rustic safari lodges in some of the most beautiful African scenery you can imagine. When booking our accommodations, we request for each teen to have their own sleeping accommodations in a shared living space.

How is the program staffed?
Each group is accompanied by a team of madrichim (counselors), a local tour leader and a bus driver. Staff names are sent out approximately 3-4 weeks prior to your departure as part of the pre-trip preparation email series. Staff are asked to make welcome calls to families before departure. Learn more about our staff team.

What’s the summer weather like?
July falls in the middle of the South African winter. Average temperatures range from 47˚F – 68˚F and rain is possible. It will be especially windy on top of Table Mountain and at the Cape of Good Hope – which can feel particularly cold. It is warmer in the “bush” (i.e. countryside), however, the bush gets cold at night.

How do you approach security?
The safety of the teens under our care is our guiding consideration. Learn more about our organization’s approach to safety & security.

What’s the typical group size?
Although it varies from year to year, our average group size in South Africa is 18 teens.

What’s the food like?
Meals will be Pescatarian (from non-Kosher establishments). An occasional kosher meal may be available throughout the trip. Some meals will be provided according to the “Pizur” system – an allowance for purchasing your own meal at a local eatery. Participants can buy food of their choosing with Pizur funds. Participants with special dietary situations (i.e. lactose intolerance, vegetarian, Kosher, etc.) should contact us in advance to be sure we can accommodate your needs during the program.

Will I need a visa?
If you travel with an American, Canadian or EU passport – good news! – you don’t need a visa to enter South Africa.

Does South Africa require additional documents for minors to enter the country?
South Africa has imposed requirements for children under the age of 18 traveling to South Africa. We will provide more details about these forms upon registration. In order to ensure a smooth entry into the country, each teen must have these three items:
1. Notarized and signed affidavit of consent from both parents (we will provide this form in the spring).
2. Notarized copy of your child’s birth certificate with both parents’ names
3. Notarized copies of both parents’ passports OR birth certificates

For more information about the required forms please visit the U.S. Embassy & Consulate in South Africa website.

For more information, check out our general FAQs.

No connections or extensions are available for this program. View all connected program options here.
 

PROGRAM REVIEWS

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