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 giving back with plenty of adventure along the way. Make a real-world difference in a local village, explore new cultures, and view all species of wildlife throughout South Africa.

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 future for themselves. You’ll be working side-by-side with South African youth and hear what about 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.

This experience provides 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. Along the way, you’ll discover many South African cultural traditions, 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 volunteer 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. The next stop is a township in Cape Town to volunteer with Baphumelele Children’s Home. Here teens will help to support vulnerable and orphaned children through mentorship and direct intervention, including helping to build homes, sports development, and health/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 this 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 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, buffalo, rhinos, and a leopard or two, if you’re lucky) along with so many other animals in their natural habitat. You may even wake up to monkeys on your porch!

Struggle and Reconciliation

Learn firsthand about South Africa’s history of Apartheid and the non-violent movement that rose up to overturn it. At Robben Island, tour the infamous prison where Nelson Mandela and many others were incarcerated on account of their civil rights protests. Discover how South Africa’s Truth & Reconciliation Commission (TRC) ushered in a new era of equal rights, forgiveness, and healing. You’ll also have the chance to 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 Beach
Experience Jewish life in South Africa
Go on a safari in the Kruger National Park region; confront lions, giraffes, elephants, zebras, and more!
Understand the history of apartheid in South Africa and how it was overthrown
Spend a memorable Shabbat with local Jewish teens in Johannesburg
Meaningful community service projects focused on environmental education, sports development, and mentorship

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. The actual program may vary slightly. An updated itinerary including confirmed accommodations is distributed 3-4 weeks prior to the start of the program.

Day #1 | Wednesday | Leave for South Africa!

  • Depart from New York City on a supervised flight (optional)
    Take-off and spend the night in the sky en route to South Africa

DAY #2 | Thursday | Welcome to Kruger

  • Arrive at Johannesburg O.R. Tambo Int’l Airport, South Africa
  • Meet local program staff and travel to the Kruger National Park area
  • A leisurely evening of program orientation and icebreakers
  • Overnight: TBA – Phalaborwa, South Africa

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
  • Return to the lodge to prepare for Shabbat
  • Kabbalat Shabbat service under the stars in the wild
  • Overnight: TBA – Phalaborwa, South Africa

DAY #4 | Saturday | Shabbat at the Lodge

  • Shabbat morning program and relaxed afternoon
  • Learn about the history of South African apartheid from the local tour guide
  • Enjoy your first Havdalah as a group, celebrate the start of a new week
  • Bonfire Braai, barbecue dinner under the stars in the bush
  • Night-time game drive – Observe animals hunting at night and learn about the constellations
  • Overnight: TBA – Phalaborwa, South Africa

DAY #5 | Sunday | Endangered 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: People of South Africa
  • Overnight: TBA – Hoedspruit, South Africa

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

  • Spend the 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, and to prepare students to work in the Kruger area, where tourism is a key economic engine
  • Reflect and relax in the evenings with South African cultural activities – including elephant interaction, a game drive, a cultural dance show, and traditional South African cooking lessons
  • Overnight: TBA – Hoedspruit, South Africa

DAY #10 | Friday | Jewish Johannesburg

  • Drive to Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Check-in to accommodations and prepare for Shabbat
  • Celebrate Shabbat with the Jewish community of Johannesburg
  • Overnight: TBA – Johannesburg, South Africa

DAY #11 | Saturday | Shabbat

  • Shabbat programming in the morning
  • Afternoon Shabbat programming organized by the youth from Sydenham
  • Celebrate Havdalah and start of a new week
  • Enjoy a delicious Shwarma dinner
  • Learn how to Gumboot dance with local dancers and drummers
  • Overnight: TBA – Johannesburg, South Africa

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

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

DAY #13 | Monday | Victoria & Albert Waterfront

  • Ferry tour to Robben Island (weather permitting) – World Heritage Site, a former prison for anti-apartheid activists, hospital, and WWll defense station
  • Explore the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront district in central Cape Town
  • Discussion with a former prisoner and anti-apartheid activist from Robben Island
  • Overnight: TBA – Cape Town, South Africa

DAY #14 | Tuesday | Boulders Penguin Colony

  • Spend the morning volunteering in the community. You 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
  • Jennifer Eaves House Concert
  • Overnight: TBA – Cape Town, South Africa

DAY #15 | Wednesday | The Flavors of South Africa

  • Spend the morning with continued volunteer work in the community
  • Visit the District 6 Museum which celebrates the once lively multi-racial area that was
    destroyed during apartheid
  • Walk through Bo Kaap – also known as Cape Malay quarter – known for its brightly colored
    home and cobblestone streets, rich in history and culture
  • Experience a Malay cooking lesson and enjoy a delicious dinner
  • Overnight: TBA – Cape Town, South Africa

DAY #16 | Thursday | Township Tour

  • Spend the morning with continued volunteer work in the community
  • Walking tour of the Langa Township and learning about life there
  • Participate in Djembe drumming and dinner at Gold’s restaurant
  • Overnight: TBA – Cape Town, South Africa

DAY #17 | Friday | The Arts of South Africa

  • Spend the morning with continued volunteer work in the community
  • Visit Streetwires Art Collective and learn about African wire and bead craft
  • Check-in to our accommodation and prepare for Shabbat
  • Learn about local African wire and bead craft art at Streetwires Artist Collective
  • Spend Shabbat with the Jewish community of Cape Town
  • Overnight: TBA – Sea Pointe, South Africa

DAY #18 | Saturday | Shabbat in Cape Town

  • Shabbat programming
  • Enjoy a relaxed afternoon – walk around the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront district
  • Close Shabbat with Havdallah under the stars and celebrate a new week
  • Overnight: TBA – Cape Town, South Africa

DAY #19 | Sunday | Farewell South Africa

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

DAY #20 | Monday | Welcome Back Home

  • Arrive in New York 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 the New York area. You are responsible for your transportation to and from this location. 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. 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 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 are the typical group dynamics?
Although it varies from year to year, our average group size in South Africa is 18 teens. Some teens choose to sign up together with a friend or two, and most teens choose to come on their own. Either way, our participants will have the opportunity to meet a diverse group of peers from various locations across North America which makes exploring a new place together even more exciting. On some programs, we might have multiple parties from the same area register together. In this case, we are unable to inform families when this occurs and though we are always willing to share the group dynamics of the current registrations, we typically have a good idea of the general group make up after our cancellation deadline.

  • There will be a way for teens to communicate with each other before the program in late spring.

What’s the food like?

As a travel-based program, our meals take a variety of forms and may include hotel buffets, restaurants, specially catered meals and allowance funds for participants to purchase a meal on their own. Some meals that we provide outside of Israel may be certified kosher, but most meals are not. When a meal is served in a public buffet format (e.g. hotel breakfast), we will always ensure that there are vegetarian or pescatarian options available, but we will also not restrict teens from eating the food of their choice. Some meals may be provided via an allowance system whereby teens will be given cash to purchase the food of their choice. Such meals are typically arranged in an area where there are multiple restaurant options, and teens can choose the food of their liking. In situations where time is of the essence, staff may choose to facilitate meal orders on behalf of teens using their allowance funds. When the group eats at non-kosher restaurants with a pre-ordered menu, the options will only consist of vegetarian or pescatarian dishes. Participants with special dietary needs (i.e. lactose intolerance, gluten-free, kosher, etc.) should review our dietary restrictions commitment document and contact us in advance to be sure we can accommodate your needs during the program. In South Africa, expect to eat a lot of meat and potatoes.

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.

Will I need any vaccines?
BBYO Passport requires its participants to be up-to-date with most vaccines recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. You can check our immunization policy. There are no additional immunizations required aside from regularly mandated routine immunizations. However, vaccine guidelines vary by country and are continually evolving.We recommend that you consult with your teen’s physician as well as the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

Does South Africa require additional documents for minors to enter the country?
South Africa has imposed travel document requirements for children under the age of 18 traveling to South Africa. All documents must be completed within three months of traveling to South Africa; we will send an email to each participant’s family about three months before departure with the forms to complete along with detailed information. In order to ensure a smooth entry into the country, each teen must carry these three items:
1. Notarized and signed affidavit of consent from both parents (we will provide this form in the spring).
2. Traveler’s original birth certificate or a certified copy of the traveler’s birth certificate with both parents’ names listed. A certified copy can either be a copy issued by the government or it can be a notarized copy of the original birth certificate.
3. Notarized copies of both parents’ passports (if one parent is deceased, also a copy of the death certificate)

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 travelers and families.

 

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 future for themselves. You’ll be working side-by-side with South African youth and hear what about 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.

This experience provides 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. Along the way, you’ll discover many South African cultural traditions, 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 volunteer 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. The next stop is a township in Cape Town to volunteer with Baphumelele Children’s Home. Here teens will help to support vulnerable and orphaned children through mentorship and direct intervention, including helping to build homes, sports development, and health/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 this 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 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, buffalo, rhinos, and a leopard or two, if you’re lucky) along with so many other animals in their natural habitat. You may even wake up to monkeys on your porch!

Struggle and Reconciliation

Learn firsthand about South Africa’s history of Apartheid and the non-violent movement that rose up to overturn it. At Robben Island, tour the infamous prison where Nelson Mandela and many others were incarcerated on account of their civil rights protests. Discover how South Africa’s Truth & Reconciliation Commission (TRC) ushered in a new era of equal rights, forgiveness, and healing. You’ll also have the chance to 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 Beach
Experience Jewish life in South Africa
Go on a safari in the Kruger National Park region; confront lions, giraffes, elephants, zebras, and more!
Understand the history of apartheid in South Africa and how it was overthrown
Spend a memorable Shabbat with local Jewish teens in Johannesburg
Meaningful community service projects focused on environmental education, sports development, and mentorship

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. The actual program may vary slightly. An updated itinerary including confirmed accommodations is distributed 3-4 weeks prior to the start of the program.

Day #1 | Wednesday | Leave for South Africa!

  • Depart from New York City on a supervised flight (optional)
    Take-off and spend the night in the sky en route to South Africa

DAY #2 | Thursday | Welcome to Kruger

  • Arrive at Johannesburg O.R. Tambo Int’l Airport, South Africa
  • Meet local program staff and travel to the Kruger National Park area
  • A leisurely evening of program orientation and icebreakers
  • Overnight: TBA – Phalaborwa, South Africa

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
  • Return to the lodge to prepare for Shabbat
  • Kabbalat Shabbat service under the stars in the wild
  • Overnight: TBA – Phalaborwa, South Africa

DAY #4 | Saturday | Shabbat at the Lodge

  • Shabbat morning program and relaxed afternoon
  • Learn about the history of South African apartheid from the local tour guide
  • Enjoy your first Havdalah as a group, celebrate the start of a new week
  • Bonfire Braai, barbecue dinner under the stars in the bush
  • Night-time game drive – Observe animals hunting at night and learn about the constellations
  • Overnight: TBA – Phalaborwa, South Africa

DAY #5 | Sunday | Endangered 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: People of South Africa
  • Overnight: TBA – Hoedspruit, South Africa

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

  • Spend the 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, and to prepare students to work in the Kruger area, where tourism is a key economic engine
  • Reflect and relax in the evenings with South African cultural activities – including elephant interaction, a game drive, a cultural dance show, and traditional South African cooking lessons
  • Overnight: TBA – Hoedspruit, South Africa

DAY #10 | Friday | Jewish Johannesburg

  • Drive to Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Check-in to accommodations and prepare for Shabbat
  • Celebrate Shabbat with the Jewish community of Johannesburg
  • Overnight: TBA – Johannesburg, South Africa

DAY #11 | Saturday | Shabbat

  • Shabbat programming in the morning
  • Afternoon Shabbat programming organized by the youth from Sydenham
  • Celebrate Havdalah and start of a new week
  • Enjoy a delicious Shwarma dinner
  • Learn how to Gumboot dance with local dancers and drummers
  • Overnight: TBA – Johannesburg, South Africa

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

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

DAY #13 | Monday | Victoria & Albert Waterfront

  • Ferry tour to Robben Island (weather permitting) – World Heritage Site, a former prison for anti-apartheid activists, hospital, and WWll defense station
  • Explore the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront district in central Cape Town
  • Discussion with a former prisoner and anti-apartheid activist from Robben Island
  • Overnight: TBA – Cape Town, South Africa

DAY #14 | Tuesday | Boulders Penguin Colony

  • Spend the morning volunteering in the community. You 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
  • Jennifer Eaves House Concert
  • Overnight: TBA – Cape Town, South Africa

DAY #15 | Wednesday | The Flavors of South Africa

  • Spend the morning with continued volunteer work in the community
  • Visit the District 6 Museum which celebrates the once lively multi-racial area that was
    destroyed during apartheid
  • Walk through Bo Kaap – also known as Cape Malay quarter – known for its brightly colored
    home and cobblestone streets, rich in history and culture
  • Experience a Malay cooking lesson and enjoy a delicious dinner
  • Overnight: TBA – Cape Town, South Africa

DAY #16 | Thursday | Township Tour

  • Spend the morning with continued volunteer work in the community
  • Walking tour of the Langa Township and learning about life there
  • Participate in Djembe drumming and dinner at Gold’s restaurant
  • Overnight: TBA – Cape Town, South Africa

DAY #17 | Friday | The Arts of South Africa

  • Spend the morning with continued volunteer work in the community
  • Visit Streetwires Art Collective and learn about African wire and bead craft
  • Check-in to our accommodation and prepare for Shabbat
  • Learn about local African wire and bead craft art at Streetwires Artist Collective
  • Spend Shabbat with the Jewish community of Cape Town
  • Overnight: TBA – Sea Pointe, South Africa

DAY #18 | Saturday | Shabbat in Cape Town

  • Shabbat programming
  • Enjoy a relaxed afternoon – walk around the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront district
  • Close Shabbat with Havdallah under the stars and celebrate a new week
  • Overnight: TBA – Cape Town, South Africa

DAY #19 | Sunday | Farewell South Africa

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

DAY #20 | Monday | Welcome Back Home

  • Arrive in New York 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 the New York area. You are responsible for your transportation to and from this location. 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. 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 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 are the typical group dynamics?
Although it varies from year to year, our average group size in South Africa is 18 teens. Some teens choose to sign up together with a friend or two, and most teens choose to come on their own. Either way, our participants will have the opportunity to meet a diverse group of peers from various locations across North America which makes exploring a new place together even more exciting. On some programs, we might have multiple parties from the same area register together. In this case, we are unable to inform families when this occurs and though we are always willing to share the group dynamics of the current registrations, we typically have a good idea of the general group make up after our cancellation deadline.

  • There will be a way for teens to communicate with each other before the program in late spring.

What’s the food like?

As a travel-based program, our meals take a variety of forms and may include hotel buffets, restaurants, specially catered meals and allowance funds for participants to purchase a meal on their own. Some meals that we provide outside of Israel may be certified kosher, but most meals are not. When a meal is served in a public buffet format (e.g. hotel breakfast), we will always ensure that there are vegetarian or pescatarian options available, but we will also not restrict teens from eating the food of their choice. Some meals may be provided via an allowance system whereby teens will be given cash to purchase the food of their choice. Such meals are typically arranged in an area where there are multiple restaurant options, and teens can choose the food of their liking. In situations where time is of the essence, staff may choose to facilitate meal orders on behalf of teens using their allowance funds. When the group eats at non-kosher restaurants with a pre-ordered menu, the options will only consist of vegetarian or pescatarian dishes. Participants with special dietary needs (i.e. lactose intolerance, gluten-free, kosher, etc.) should review our dietary restrictions commitment document and contact us in advance to be sure we can accommodate your needs during the program. In South Africa, expect to eat a lot of meat and potatoes.

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.

Will I need any vaccines?
BBYO Passport requires its participants to be up-to-date with most vaccines recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. You can check our immunization policy. There are no additional immunizations required aside from regularly mandated routine immunizations. However, vaccine guidelines vary by country and are continually evolving.We recommend that you consult with your teen’s physician as well as the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

Does South Africa require additional documents for minors to enter the country?
South Africa has imposed travel document requirements for children under the age of 18 traveling to South Africa. All documents must be completed within three months of traveling to South Africa; we will send an email to each participant’s family about three months before departure with the forms to complete along with detailed information. In order to ensure a smooth entry into the country, each teen must carry these three items:
1. Notarized and signed affidavit of consent from both parents (we will provide this form in the spring).
2. Traveler’s original birth certificate or a certified copy of the traveler’s birth certificate with both parents’ names listed. A certified copy can either be a copy issued by the government or it can be a notarized copy of the original birth certificate.
3. Notarized copies of both parents’ passports (if one parent is deceased, also a copy of the death certificate)

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 giving back with plenty of adventure along the way. Make a real-world difference in a local village, explore new cultures, and view all species of wildlife throughout South Africa.

Stand UP South Africa

Commit yourself to a summer of giving back with plenty of adventure along the way. Make a real-world difference in a local village, explore new cultures, and view all species of wildlife throughout South Africa.

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 future for themselves. You’ll be working side-by-side with South African youth and hear what about 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.

This experience provides 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. Along the way, you’ll discover many South African cultural traditions, 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 volunteer 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. The next stop is a township in Cape Town to volunteer with Baphumelele Children’s Home. Here teens will help to support vulnerable and orphaned children through mentorship and direct intervention, including helping to build homes, sports development, and health/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 this 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 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, buffalo, rhinos, and a leopard or two, if you’re lucky) along with so many other animals in their natural habitat. You may even wake up to monkeys on your porch!

Struggle and Reconciliation

Learn firsthand about South Africa’s history of Apartheid and the non-violent movement that rose up to overturn it. At Robben Island, tour the infamous prison where Nelson Mandela and many others were incarcerated on account of their civil rights protests. Discover how South Africa’s Truth & Reconciliation Commission (TRC) ushered in a new era of equal rights, forgiveness, and healing. You’ll also have the chance to 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 Beach
Experience Jewish life in South Africa
Go on a safari in the Kruger National Park region; confront lions, giraffes, elephants, zebras, and more!
Understand the history of apartheid in South Africa and how it was overthrown
Spend a memorable Shabbat with local Jewish teens in Johannesburg
Meaningful community service projects focused on environmental education, sports development, and mentorship

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. The actual program may vary slightly. An updated itinerary including confirmed accommodations is distributed 3-4 weeks prior to the start of the program.

Day #1 | Wednesday | Leave for South Africa!

  • Depart from New York City on a supervised flight (optional)
    Take-off and spend the night in the sky en route to South Africa

DAY #2 | Thursday | Welcome to Kruger

  • Arrive at Johannesburg O.R. Tambo Int’l Airport, South Africa
  • Meet local program staff and travel to the Kruger National Park area
  • A leisurely evening of program orientation and icebreakers
  • Overnight: TBA – Phalaborwa, South Africa

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
  • Return to the lodge to prepare for Shabbat
  • Kabbalat Shabbat service under the stars in the wild
  • Overnight: TBA – Phalaborwa, South Africa

DAY #4 | Saturday | Shabbat at the Lodge

  • Shabbat morning program and relaxed afternoon
  • Learn about the history of South African apartheid from the local tour guide
  • Enjoy your first Havdalah as a group, celebrate the start of a new week
  • Bonfire Braai, barbecue dinner under the stars in the bush
  • Night-time game drive – Observe animals hunting at night and learn about the constellations
  • Overnight: TBA – Phalaborwa, South Africa

DAY #5 | Sunday | Endangered 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: People of South Africa
  • Overnight: TBA – Hoedspruit, South Africa

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

  • Spend the 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, and to prepare students to work in the Kruger area, where tourism is a key economic engine
  • Reflect and relax in the evenings with South African cultural activities – including elephant interaction, a game drive, a cultural dance show, and traditional South African cooking lessons
  • Overnight: TBA – Hoedspruit, South Africa

DAY #10 | Friday | Jewish Johannesburg

  • Drive to Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Check-in to accommodations and prepare for Shabbat
  • Celebrate Shabbat with the Jewish community of Johannesburg
  • Overnight: TBA – Johannesburg, South Africa

DAY #11 | Saturday | Shabbat

  • Shabbat programming in the morning
  • Afternoon Shabbat programming organized by the youth from Sydenham
  • Celebrate Havdalah and start of a new week
  • Enjoy a delicious Shwarma dinner
  • Learn how to Gumboot dance with local dancers and drummers
  • Overnight: TBA – Johannesburg, South Africa

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

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

DAY #13 | Monday | Victoria & Albert Waterfront

  • Ferry tour to Robben Island (weather permitting) – World Heritage Site, a former prison for anti-apartheid activists, hospital, and WWll defense station
  • Explore the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront district in central Cape Town
  • Discussion with a former prisoner and anti-apartheid activist from Robben Island
  • Overnight: TBA – Cape Town, South Africa

DAY #14 | Tuesday | Boulders Penguin Colony

  • Spend the morning volunteering in the community. You 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
  • Jennifer Eaves House Concert
  • Overnight: TBA – Cape Town, South Africa

DAY #15 | Wednesday | The Flavors of South Africa

  • Spend the morning with continued volunteer work in the community
  • Visit the District 6 Museum which celebrates the once lively multi-racial area that was
    destroyed during apartheid
  • Walk through Bo Kaap – also known as Cape Malay quarter – known for its brightly colored
    home and cobblestone streets, rich in history and culture
  • Experience a Malay cooking lesson and enjoy a delicious dinner
  • Overnight: TBA – Cape Town, South Africa

DAY #16 | Thursday | Township Tour

  • Spend the morning with continued volunteer work in the community
  • Walking tour of the Langa Township and learning about life there
  • Participate in Djembe drumming and dinner at Gold’s restaurant
  • Overnight: TBA – Cape Town, South Africa

DAY #17 | Friday | The Arts of South Africa

  • Spend the morning with continued volunteer work in the community
  • Visit Streetwires Art Collective and learn about African wire and bead craft
  • Check-in to our accommodation and prepare for Shabbat
  • Learn about local African wire and bead craft art at Streetwires Artist Collective
  • Spend Shabbat with the Jewish community of Cape Town
  • Overnight: TBA – Sea Pointe, South Africa

DAY #18 | Saturday | Shabbat in Cape Town

  • Shabbat programming
  • Enjoy a relaxed afternoon – walk around the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront district
  • Close Shabbat with Havdallah under the stars and celebrate a new week
  • Overnight: TBA – Cape Town, South Africa

DAY #19 | Sunday | Farewell South Africa

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

DAY #20 | Monday | Welcome Back Home

  • Arrive in New York 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 the New York area. You are responsible for your transportation to and from this location. 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. 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 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 are the typical group dynamics?
Although it varies from year to year, our average group size in South Africa is 18 teens. Some teens choose to sign up together with a friend or two, and most teens choose to come on their own. Either way, our participants will have the opportunity to meet a diverse group of peers from various locations across North America which makes exploring a new place together even more exciting. On some programs, we might have multiple parties from the same area register together. In this case, we are unable to inform families when this occurs and though we are always willing to share the group dynamics of the current registrations, we typically have a good idea of the general group make up after our cancellation deadline.

  • There will be a way for teens to communicate with each other before the program in late spring.

What’s the food like?

As a travel-based program, our meals take a variety of forms and may include hotel buffets, restaurants, specially catered meals and allowance funds for participants to purchase a meal on their own. Some meals that we provide outside of Israel may be certified kosher, but most meals are not. When a meal is served in a public buffet format (e.g. hotel breakfast), we will always ensure that there are vegetarian or pescatarian options available, but we will also not restrict teens from eating the food of their choice. Some meals may be provided via an allowance system whereby teens will be given cash to purchase the food of their choice. Such meals are typically arranged in an area where there are multiple restaurant options, and teens can choose the food of their liking. In situations where time is of the essence, staff may choose to facilitate meal orders on behalf of teens using their allowance funds. When the group eats at non-kosher restaurants with a pre-ordered menu, the options will only consist of vegetarian or pescatarian dishes. Participants with special dietary needs (i.e. lactose intolerance, gluten-free, kosher, etc.) should review our dietary restrictions commitment document and contact us in advance to be sure we can accommodate your needs during the program. In South Africa, expect to eat a lot of meat and potatoes.

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.

Will I need any vaccines?
BBYO Passport requires its participants to be up-to-date with most vaccines recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. You can check our immunization policy. There are no additional immunizations required aside from regularly mandated routine immunizations. However, vaccine guidelines vary by country and are continually evolving.We recommend that you consult with your teen’s physician as well as the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

Does South Africa require additional documents for minors to enter the country?
South Africa has imposed travel document requirements for children under the age of 18 traveling to South Africa. All documents must be completed within three months of traveling to South Africa; we will send an email to each participant’s family about three months before departure with the forms to complete along with detailed information. In order to ensure a smooth entry into the country, each teen must carry these three items:
1. Notarized and signed affidavit of consent from both parents (we will provide this form in the spring).
2. Traveler’s original birth certificate or a certified copy of the traveler’s birth certificate with both parents’ names listed. A certified copy can either be a copy issued by the government or it can be a notarized copy of the original birth certificate.
3. Notarized copies of both parents’ passports (if one parent is deceased, also a copy of the death certificate)

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 travelers and families.

 

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 future for themselves. You’ll be working side-by-side with South African youth and hear what about 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.

This experience provides 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. Along the way, you’ll discover many South African cultural traditions, 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 volunteer 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. The next stop is a township in Cape Town to volunteer with Baphumelele Children’s Home. Here teens will help to support vulnerable and orphaned children through mentorship and direct intervention, including helping to build homes, sports development, and health/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 this 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 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, buffalo, rhinos, and a leopard or two, if you’re lucky) along with so many other animals in their natural habitat. You may even wake up to monkeys on your porch!

Struggle and Reconciliation

Learn firsthand about South Africa’s history of Apartheid and the non-violent movement that rose up to overturn it. At Robben Island, tour the infamous prison where Nelson Mandela and many others were incarcerated on account of their civil rights protests. Discover how South Africa’s Truth & Reconciliation Commission (TRC) ushered in a new era of equal rights, forgiveness, and healing. You’ll also have the chance to 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 Beach
Experience Jewish life in South Africa
Go on a safari in the Kruger National Park region; confront lions, giraffes, elephants, zebras, and more!
Understand the history of apartheid in South Africa and how it was overthrown
Spend a memorable Shabbat with local Jewish teens in Johannesburg
Meaningful community service projects focused on environmental education, sports development, and mentorship

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. The actual program may vary slightly. An updated itinerary including confirmed accommodations is distributed 3-4 weeks prior to the start of the program.

Day #1 | Wednesday | Leave for South Africa!

  • Depart from New York City on a supervised flight (optional)
    Take-off and spend the night in the sky en route to South Africa

DAY #2 | Thursday | Welcome to Kruger

  • Arrive at Johannesburg O.R. Tambo Int’l Airport, South Africa
  • Meet local program staff and travel to the Kruger National Park area
  • A leisurely evening of program orientation and icebreakers
  • Overnight: TBA – Phalaborwa, South Africa

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
  • Return to the lodge to prepare for Shabbat
  • Kabbalat Shabbat service under the stars in the wild
  • Overnight: TBA – Phalaborwa, South Africa

DAY #4 | Saturday | Shabbat at the Lodge

  • Shabbat morning program and relaxed afternoon
  • Learn about the history of South African apartheid from the local tour guide
  • Enjoy your first Havdalah as a group, celebrate the start of a new week
  • Bonfire Braai, barbecue dinner under the stars in the bush
  • Night-time game drive – Observe animals hunting at night and learn about the constellations
  • Overnight: TBA – Phalaborwa, South Africa

DAY #5 | Sunday | Endangered 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: People of South Africa
  • Overnight: TBA – Hoedspruit, South Africa

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

  • Spend the 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, and to prepare students to work in the Kruger area, where tourism is a key economic engine
  • Reflect and relax in the evenings with South African cultural activities – including elephant interaction, a game drive, a cultural dance show, and traditional South African cooking lessons
  • Overnight: TBA – Hoedspruit, South Africa

DAY #10 | Friday | Jewish Johannesburg

  • Drive to Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Check-in to accommodations and prepare for Shabbat
  • Celebrate Shabbat with the Jewish community of Johannesburg
  • Overnight: TBA – Johannesburg, South Africa

DAY #11 | Saturday | Shabbat

  • Shabbat programming in the morning
  • Afternoon Shabbat programming organized by the youth from Sydenham
  • Celebrate Havdalah and start of a new week
  • Enjoy a delicious Shwarma dinner
  • Learn how to Gumboot dance with local dancers and drummers
  • Overnight: TBA – Johannesburg, South Africa

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

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

DAY #13 | Monday | Victoria & Albert Waterfront

  • Ferry tour to Robben Island (weather permitting) – World Heritage Site, a former prison for anti-apartheid activists, hospital, and WWll defense station
  • Explore the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront district in central Cape Town
  • Discussion with a former prisoner and anti-apartheid activist from Robben Island
  • Overnight: TBA – Cape Town, South Africa

DAY #14 | Tuesday | Boulders Penguin Colony

  • Spend the morning volunteering in the community. You 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
  • Jennifer Eaves House Concert
  • Overnight: TBA – Cape Town, South Africa

DAY #15 | Wednesday | The Flavors of South Africa

  • Spend the morning with continued volunteer work in the community
  • Visit the District 6 Museum which celebrates the once lively multi-racial area that was
    destroyed during apartheid
  • Walk through Bo Kaap – also known as Cape Malay quarter – known for its brightly colored
    home and cobblestone streets, rich in history and culture
  • Experience a Malay cooking lesson and enjoy a delicious dinner
  • Overnight: TBA – Cape Town, South Africa

DAY #16 | Thursday | Township Tour

  • Spend the morning with continued volunteer work in the community
  • Walking tour of the Langa Township and learning about life there
  • Participate in Djembe drumming and dinner at Gold’s restaurant
  • Overnight: TBA – Cape Town, South Africa

DAY #17 | Friday | The Arts of South Africa

  • Spend the morning with continued volunteer work in the community
  • Visit Streetwires Art Collective and learn about African wire and bead craft
  • Check-in to our accommodation and prepare for Shabbat
  • Learn about local African wire and bead craft art at Streetwires Artist Collective
  • Spend Shabbat with the Jewish community of Cape Town
  • Overnight: TBA – Sea Pointe, South Africa

DAY #18 | Saturday | Shabbat in Cape Town

  • Shabbat programming
  • Enjoy a relaxed afternoon – walk around the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront district
  • Close Shabbat with Havdallah under the stars and celebrate a new week
  • Overnight: TBA – Cape Town, South Africa

DAY #19 | Sunday | Farewell South Africa

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

DAY #20 | Monday | Welcome Back Home

  • Arrive in New York 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 the New York area. You are responsible for your transportation to and from this location. 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. 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 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 are the typical group dynamics?
Although it varies from year to year, our average group size in South Africa is 18 teens. Some teens choose to sign up together with a friend or two, and most teens choose to come on their own. Either way, our participants will have the opportunity to meet a diverse group of peers from various locations across North America which makes exploring a new place together even more exciting. On some programs, we might have multiple parties from the same area register together. In this case, we are unable to inform families when this occurs and though we are always willing to share the group dynamics of the current registrations, we typically have a good idea of the general group make up after our cancellation deadline.

  • There will be a way for teens to communicate with each other before the program in late spring.

What’s the food like?

As a travel-based program, our meals take a variety of forms and may include hotel buffets, restaurants, specially catered meals and allowance funds for participants to purchase a meal on their own. Some meals that we provide outside of Israel may be certified kosher, but most meals are not. When a meal is served in a public buffet format (e.g. hotel breakfast), we will always ensure that there are vegetarian or pescatarian options available, but we will also not restrict teens from eating the food of their choice. Some meals may be provided via an allowance system whereby teens will be given cash to purchase the food of their choice. Such meals are typically arranged in an area where there are multiple restaurant options, and teens can choose the food of their liking. In situations where time is of the essence, staff may choose to facilitate meal orders on behalf of teens using their allowance funds. When the group eats at non-kosher restaurants with a pre-ordered menu, the options will only consist of vegetarian or pescatarian dishes. Participants with special dietary needs (i.e. lactose intolerance, gluten-free, kosher, etc.) should review our dietary restrictions commitment document and contact us in advance to be sure we can accommodate your needs during the program. In South Africa, expect to eat a lot of meat and potatoes.

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.

Will I need any vaccines?
BBYO Passport requires its participants to be up-to-date with most vaccines recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. You can check our immunization policy. There are no additional immunizations required aside from regularly mandated routine immunizations. However, vaccine guidelines vary by country and are continually evolving.We recommend that you consult with your teen’s physician as well as the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

Does South Africa require additional documents for minors to enter the country?
South Africa has imposed travel document requirements for children under the age of 18 traveling to South Africa. All documents must be completed within three months of traveling to South Africa; we will send an email to each participant’s family about three months before departure with the forms to complete along with detailed information. In order to ensure a smooth entry into the country, each teen must carry these three items:
1. Notarized and signed affidavit of consent from both parents (we will provide this form in the spring).
2. Traveler’s original birth certificate or a certified copy of the traveler’s birth certificate with both parents’ names listed. A certified copy can either be a copy issued by the government or it can be a notarized copy of the original birth certificate.
3. Notarized copies of both parents’ passports (if one parent is deceased, also a copy of the death certificate)

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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