An active, culturally rich adventure with Minnesota Public Radio

South Africa with Kerri Miller

Join MPR News Host Kerri Miller for an experience of a lifetime to a destination unlike any other exploring the fascinating culture, history and habitats of South Africa. The trip includes hikes across the Cape of Good Hope, exploring the African bush by 4x4 vehicles, wine tastings and book discussions in some of South Africa’s top vineyards. This immersive trip will include book recommendations that will prepare you for special visits to the homes, church and prison of Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu. Kerri will lead discussions with local authors, professors and experts on South Africa’s challenging history and current political landscape. Space is limited.

A note about the activity level of this trip

South Africa with Kerri Miller has an adventurous activity level taking guests off the beaten path and immersing them in the beauty of the region. Each day involves walking, hiking, many stairs, uphill/downhill passages and an option to bike. This trip is suitable for reasonably fit first-time hikers, but the trip will be made more enjoyable by a certain degree of personal fitness and an adventurous spirit.

Kerri’s Book Recommendations

“Born a Crime” by Trevor Noah
“Every Secret Thing” by Gillian Slovo
“Out of Africa” Isak Dinesen
“Disgrace” by JM Coetzee
“Zoo City” by Lauren Beukes
“The Island” by Athol Fugard (a play)

Trip Host

Kerri Miller

Kerri Miller is host of MPR News and Talking Volumes, the joint book club of MPR, the Star Tribune and the Loft Literary Center and the new live national call-in show “Flyover”. She has won numerous awards including the Society of Professional Journalists National Achievement Award, Minnesota Broadcasters Award, the Associated Press Award and a Gracie award from the Association of Women in Radio and Television. Kerri has led public radio listeners on several literary travel adventures including “F. Scott’s Paris” in 2014, “Italy’s Literati” in 2015, “Hemingway’s Cuba” in 2016 and “Roaming Patagonia” in 2017.

Your MPR Adventure Begins

Day 1: Group departs USA for Cape Town, South Africa

Group flight prices will be available February/March 2018

Day 2: Arrive in Stunning Cape Town

Upon arrival in Cape Town this morning, your Cape region guide will assist the group transfer to your hotel. Rest up or go out and explore the local waterfront this afternoon. Meet your guide and MPR host Kerri Miller for a welcome dinner this evening. Sleep in Cape Town (Dinner available depending on flight times)

Day 3: Infamous Robben Island and Table Mountain

It is a short walk from your hotel to the jetty at the V&A Waterfront where you will board the ferry for notorious Robben Island. For nearly 400 years, Robben Island, 12 kilometers from Cape Town, was a place of banishment, exile, isolation and imprisonment. It was here that rulers sent those they regarded as political troublemakers, social outcasts and the unwanted of society. During the apartheid years, Robben Island became internationally known for its institutional brutality. The duty of those who ran the island and its prison was to isolate opponents of apartheid and crush their morale. Some freedom fighters spent more than a quarter of a century in prison for their beliefs. Those imprisoned on the island succeeded on a psychological and political level in turning a prison “hell-hole” into a symbol of freedom and personal liberation. Robben Island came to symbolize, not only for South Africa and the African continent, but also for the entire world, the triumph of the human spirit over enormous hardship and adversity. Today, you will be escorted around the island by an ex-political prisoner and given insight into the past and how the human spirit triumphs. After, enjoy an independent lunch on the wharf, then hop a cable car to the top of Table Mountain to catch the sunset. Dinner is included this evening. Sleep in Cape Town (B, D)

Day 4: Excursion to the Cape of Good Hope

Today will be spent exploring the coast of the Cape Peninsula so you can see for yourself how this spectacular southern tip of Africa became known as the “Fairest Cape.” We’ll drive past the pristine beaches of Camps Bay, Clifton and Llandudno—currently the hottest real estate in the world—to Hout Bay, a functioning harbor and the heart of the local lobster industry. From the harbor of Hout Bay to the rocky coastline and Chapman’s Peak, there are magnificent views of the sandy bays below. The combination of thrilling rocky inclines, shimmering blue waters and expansive skies simply take the breath away. After a stop for lunch, it is on to the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, where you can ride the funicular to the scenic of where the Indian and Atlantic Ocean currents meet. The spectacular sea and mountain views are reason enough to make the 41-mile trip from Cape Town. Amid the rocky landscape—home to mountain zebras, eland and ostriches—blooms magnificent Cape flora. Your guide will lead an optional 45-minute invigorating hike along the coast. If you do not wish to hike, you will be driven to the meetup point to rejoin your fellow travelers. Note: If you do decide to join your guide for the hike, be advised that you’ll be walking on an uneven rocky path and for a time on an irregular boardwalk. Some in the group may find the stairs at the end of trail to be quite steep. That said, the views are stunning! Continuing along the coastline, we arrive at beautiful Boulders Beach where you can sit among a colony of penguins. Sleep in Cape Town (B, L)

Day 5: Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden and the Historic Vergelegen Estate

This morning we set off to explore Africa’s largest botanical garden, Kirstenbosch! Nature lovers and garden enthusiasts will rejoice in the beauty of this awe-inspiring garden. After an independent lunch, we visit the historic Vergelegen Estate, established by Governor Willem Adriaan van der Stel in the beginning of the 18th century. Beautifully restored, the estate features a well-preserved Dutch manor house and outbuildings, a famous octagonal garden, a rose garden, a white garden and a wonderful herb garden. Our day culminates as we make our way to the “village of the oaks,” Stellenbosch, which is the second-oldest town in South Africa, and today is a vibrant university town. Admire the charm and harmony of Cape Dutch, British and Edwardian architecture as you walk through the shady oak avenues bounded by the water furrows of the Millstream. Discover the town’s many artsy boutiques or relax in a local café before meeting your guide and host for dinner at the hotel. Sleep in Stellenbosch (B, D)

Day 6 & 7: Cape Winelands and South Africa’s Culinary Capital, Franschhoek

Our days here are dedicated to fine wines, food, great literature and history. Our scenic drive will take us over the Helshoogte (“Hell’s Heights”) mountains to the picturesque culinary town of Franschhoek (“French Corner”). Visit the Huguenot Monument honoring the French settlers who fled from France to South Africa in 1688 after the Edict of Nantes was revoked, settling in this area to assist South Africa’s fledgling wine industry. Then we’ll visit local vineyards to sample some of the region’s fine wines and cuisine. Sleep in Stellenbosch (B, L, D)

Day 8: North to Johannesburg; Soweto Outing and Pilanesberg National Park

This morning we say goodbye to our Cape guide and board a flight north for Johannesburg. Our Earthbound Expeditions guide will greet us at the airport and take us on a private tour of Soweto (South Western TownshiHp), the largest black residential area in South Africa. In many ways, the story of Soweto is the story of South Africa; this is where the seeds of South African freedom took root. Our tour includes all the major points of interest, including the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, Baragwanath Taxi Rank, Freedom Square, Hector Pieterson Memorial and Nelson Mandela’s former home. This sprawling township was the scene of the tragic riots of 1976. Despite crowded, chaotic conditions, there is a tangible sense of community in these neighborhoods that the ordered, walled suburbs lack. Enjoy lunch in Soweto. After our visit, we depart by coach to Pilanesberg National Park. Pilanesberg National Park is malaria-free and borders the entertainment complex of Sun City. It is almost perfectly circular because it comprises the area of a 1.2-billion-year-old volcano crater with a small lake in the center. The park exists within the transition zone between the dry Kalahari and wetter Lowveld vegetation, commonly referred to as Bushveld. Unlike any other large park, unique overlaps of mammals, birds and vegetation occur because of this transition zone. Virtually all the animal species of southern Africa exist here, including healthy populations of lion, black and white rhino, elephant, buffalo and leopard—Africa’s “Big Five.” Bird watching is excellent, with over 300 species recorded. The park offers several wonderful picnic spots, numerous hiding spots for game watching, huge walk-in aviaries, safe hiking trails, safari drives at night and flights over the park in a hot-air balloon. Sleep in Pilanesberg National Park (B, D)

Day 9 & 10: In Search Africa’s Big Five

Not even two shots of espresso will wake you up like a 6:00 a.m. game drive into the African Bush. Accompanied by a park ranger, you’ll travel in an open 4X4 jeep in pursuit of lions, giraffes, hippos, rhinos and more. Enjoy a delicious breakfast upon your return to the lodge. Grab a good book this afternoon and lie by the pool or enjoy a siesta. Around 3:00 p.m. each day you’ll set off on another three-hour game drive in search of more wildlife. Following the evening safari, our farewell dinner in the African Bush is at an outdoor boma. If you are not going on the post-tour extensions, you will have time for an optional (not included) early-morning game drive on the morning of departure. Please book and pay for this in advance at the front desk. Sleep in Pilanesberg National Park (B, D)

Day 11: Farewell South Africa

In the early afternoon, you will be transferred by coach from the lodge back to Johannesburg airport for your flight back to Minneapolis, or continue to stunning Victoria Falls. (See details below.) (B)

Day 12: Base Trip Guests Return USA

South Africa with Kerri Miller guests arrive home with a lifetime of memories.

South Africa with Kerri Miller Highlights

  • Pre-trip dinner and trip orientation in Fall 2018 with Kerri Miller at Minnesota Public Radio Headquarters in downtown St. Paul
  • Book Club-like discussions exploring the great literature of South Africa led by Kerri Miller
  • Special talk with South African authors and professors of literature
  • 4 game drives in open 4x4 safari vehicle with park rangers and trackers
  • Numerous winery visits with South Africa’s top producers, including hikes and biking
  • Opportunities to hike at Table Mountain, the Cape of Good Hope and vineyards
  • Stunning views from the top of Table Mountain
  • Sightseeing at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens
  • A visit to Mandela’s home in Soweto
  • A tour of Nelson Mandela’s prison at Robben Island with a former prisoner
  • A tour of Soweto’s apartheid museum
  • Three nights in the historic Dutch town of Stellenbosch

Pricing and Terms

Base Trip: January 23 - February 3, 2019 - $6,495 per person double occupancy (land and domestic SA flight only), $949 Single Supplement

Minnesota Public Radio travel alumni save $100. Reserve by June 1, 2018 and save $50. Pay your final balance by check and save $50.

OPTIONAL - VICTORIA FALLS POST-TOUR EXTENSION
4 DAYS / 3 NIGHTS
February 3–6, 2019
$2,239 per person Double Occupancy, $575 Single Supplement

INCLUDED IN VICTORIA FALLS POST-TOUR EXTENSION
• Regional round trip airfare (Johannesburg – Victoria Falls)
• Airport transfers to and from the hotel in air-conditioned vehicles
• Breakfasts and dinners while at the Victoria Falls Hotel
• Accommodation in a five-star hotel
• Zambezi evening river cruise and guided walking tour of the falls
• Sightseeing as per itinerary led by a qualified English-speaking guide
• Entrance fees for sightseeing as indicated above
• Earthbound Expeditions representative
• Porterage for one reasonably sized bag per person

PACKAGE EXCLUDES
• Gratuities for tour guides and hotel staff
• Items of a personal nature such as laundry, telephone calls, etc.
• Cost of obtaining passports or visa
• Meals not mentioned
• Alcoholic beverages
• Travel insurance
• Airline baggage fees

OPTIONAL - VICTORIA FALLS & CHOBE NATIONAL PARK, BOTSWANA EXTENSION
6 DAYS / 5 NIGHTS
February 3–8, 2019
$3,375 per person Double Occupancy, $875 Single Supplement

INCLUDED IN VICTORIA FALLS & CHOBE NATIONAL PARK, BOTSWANA POST-TOUR EXTENSION
• Regional round trip airfare (Johannesburg – Victoria Falls)
• All meals as specified: breakfast and dinners in Victoria Falls; breakfasts, lunch and dinner in Chobe
• Accommodation in four- and five-star hotels and lodges:
o 3 nights Victoria Falls Safari Lodge
o 2 nights Chobe Safari Lodge, Botswana
• Two evening river cruises and three morning drives
• Transportation in air-conditioned vehicles, including qualified drivers
• Sightseeing as per itinerary led by qualified English-speaking guide
• Entrance fees for sightseeing as indicated above
• Earthbound Expeditions representative
• Porterage for one reasonably sized bag per person

PACKAGE EXCLUDES
• Gratuities for tour guides, trackers and hotel staff
• Items of a personal nature such as laundry, telephone calls, etc.
• Cost of obtaining passports or visas
• Meals not mentioned
• Alcoholic beverages
• Travel insurance
• Airline baggage fees

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

U.S. passport holders will receive a visa upon arrival in South Africa. All non-South African passport holders are required to have at least TWO entirely blank (unstamped) visa pages (i.e., one side of such a page not front and back thereof) in their passport each time entry is sought into South Africa. These pages are in addition to the endorsement/amendment pages at the back of the passport. South African government regulations prohibit airlines from boarding passengers without the required blank visa pages. Passports must be valid for a minimum of 6 months after intended date of departure.

Note: There is a multiple entry visa charge to enter Zimbabwe of $45 USD CASH per person for USA passport holders. (Visa fees are subject to change without notice.)

WEATHER
January and February are considered summertime in the Southern Hemisphere, which means warm, sunny days in Cape Town and Johannesburg with average daily temperatures at approx. 70F.

RESERVATIONS AND DEPOSITS
Early reservations are essential to guarantee space on the date you wish to travel. A per person deposit of $500 is needed to confirm your space on most journeys. An additional $200 per person is requested if opting for group air. We prefer payment to be made by check, but we also accept Visa, MasterCard or American Express. You can make your secure credit card deposit online, by phone or by mail.

Deposits are refundable for 60 days from the date received or 90 days prior to departure, whichever comes first. A $75 per person processing fee will be applied to all cancellations, regardless of when they are made. Once the deposit is processed, a deposit packet is sent with pertinent journey details. See our Terms & Conditions for additional details.

CANCELLATIONS
All cancellations must be made in writing. A $75 per person processing fee applies to all cancellations.

Need more information?

Call us: (1) 800-723-8454 Earthbound Expeditions is open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. Contact us! Complete our contact form and one of our travel consultants will contact you to answer your questions and help you complete your reservation.