South African History Study Tour 2020

9 night and 10 day history immersion in South Africa
13 – 22 July 2020

  • 3 nights in Johannesburg
  • 2 nights in Kruger National Park
  • 4 nights in Cape Town


USD 5250 pp sharing / USD 7375 pp single

  • 20% non-refundable payment to confirm
  • 30% due 150 days ahead of programme start
  • 50% due 90 days ahead of programme start


  • accommodation 4 star hotels in Cape Town and Johannesburg
  • Kruger Park game lodge, all activities included, full board and lodge
  • Domestic flight South Africa
  • x5 lunches and x5 dinners in Cape Town and Johannesburg


  • International flights in and out of South Africa
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Discretionary gratuities
  • Visas (but we will assist with letters of invitation where necessary)

Day 1. 

Your guide for the programme meets you at OR Tambo Int’l in Johannesburg, and you head out to start absorbing contemporary urban Africa in Johannesburg. Before we get into the history, let us first connect with contemporary Johannesburg. 

We head straight to Maboneng, downtown Joburg, a suitably complex place in terms of both history and contemporary issues around urban regeneration, gentrification, social cohesion, neo liberal capital… On the bus your tour guide introduces some of the key historical threads of the city, threads that provide the context for Maboneng. In Maboneng precinct, we enjoy an African coffee, we take a walk through the precinct with a local resident, engage with some modern African design, fashion and art, and get a sense of the exciting city that is Johannesburg, the financial and social capital of South Africa. We will all have lunch together in Maboneng, at Kobo Cuisine, where Chef Kobo presents imaginative re-interpretations of traditional South African dishes in his intimate eatery. Over lunch we map out the full programme. 

After lunch, it’s time to check in at the hotel, and have the afternoon to rest before a very special evening of dinner and storytelling at the Zwipi Underground with storyteller Charlie Moyo. The Migrant Storytelling Dinner at the Zwipi is an ingenious way to quickly get up to speed with Johannesburg’s history, over a 6 course migrant cuisine menu, with each course narrating a different aspect of Johannesburg’s cultural and social and economic history. 

Back to the hotel around 22h30.

Private guide and vehicle, coffees in Maboneng, lunch in Maboneng, dinner, spring water

Day 2. 

Our second day together builds on the storytelling dinner of last night, and immerses everybody in a history masterclass curated across the city, and narrated by a diversity of voices. 

We start at the Fietas Museum hosted by museum curator and resident Salma Patel. Fietas and Sophiatown were thriving cultural and economic hubs in Johannesburg where black and Indian merchants achieved massive success. This was a plague upon the apartheid government’s racist ideology, and both areas were shut down and residents moved out. Whites were moved into Sophiatown and it was renamed Triomf, Afrikaans for Triumph. Fietas was never occupied by whites, staying abandoned indefinitely. In Sophiatown we are hosted by a local resident on a walking exploration of musical icons, cultural figures and key political moments.

For lunch we head close by to the Bambanani Urban Farm in Bertrams, where urban farmer Refiloe Molefe hosts a farm-to-fork Sotho lunch, and shares her insights into our South African past and future.

In the afternoon we head to Soweto. We start with stories of 1976 and the youth uprising, with a visit to the Hector Pietersen Memorial. There is so much here around language and identity, fake news (tying into contemporary Trump era politics), the role of young people in resisting oppression… we quickly visit Mandela’s house (where we are particularly interested in Winne Mandela and her role) before taking in some of the more contemporary aspects of Soweto. It is, after all, not a museum, but a home to more than a million people, the home of the Soweto brand, a very powerful brand across the world, home to some extraordinary businesses and organisations. To showcase this we finish with a beer tasting and presentation of the story of the Soweto Gold Brewery, a business that was sold to Heineken in 2018 for almost 7 million USD, taking the Soweto brand global. 

The evening is at leisure. 

Private guide and vehicle, lunch, entrance fees, hosting fees, beer tasting, spring water

Day 3. 

For our third day we go back in time to the days of earliest humans on a visit to the Cradle of Humankind, where a paleo-anthropologist hosts us on a journey to the origins of humanity at the Maropeng Visitors Centre. Then a light lunch, followed by a visit to the famous Sterkfontein Caves. 

There’ll be some time to relax back at the hotel before heading to Yeoville for chef Sanza Sandile’s Yeoville Supper Club for a Pan African Plate, a long-table celebration of Pan African food in Johannesburg. We join other diners at Sanza’s 25 seater to enjoy 8 courses of food from Nigeria, Ghana, Mozambique, Kenya and other African countries. 

Private guide and vehicle, light lunch, entrance fees, hosting fees, dinner, spring water

Day 4. 

We head out early this morning for Kruger Park, along the Panorama Route, with visits to Blyde Canyon and Pilgrim’s Rest. We arrive at the Game Lodge in time for dinner. 

Private guide and vehicle, dinner, spring water

Day 5. 

Early morning game drive, Community village engagement, Evening game drive

Game drives, breakfast, lunch, dinner, spring water

Day 6.

Early morning game drive. After breakfast, transfer to Nelspruit for flight to Cape Town. 

Arrive in Cape Town late afternoon, check in at hotel and relax. 

Evening at leisure

Game drive, road transfer to airport, flight to Cape Town, transfer to Cape Town hotel, spring water

Day 7. 

We start our Cape Town exploration at the top! After breakfast we head up Table Mountain, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, and a key energy centre. From the top we can map out the city spatially and historically, creating a sense of how everything connects (or doesn’t) and the connection between geography and oppression. 

Then we head into the Company’s Gardens, the first formal food garden in the city going back to the late 1500s. This is a colonial space, decolonised in this experience by having a person of indigenous descent host a storytelling session here. Our host, a Khoikhoe musician and storyteller, introduces us to indigenous narratives in the city, using music, and teaching elements of Khoekhoegowab language. 

From indigenous origins to forced removals and the devastating impact of apartheid at the District Six Museum. 

We walk from the District Six Museum through the city into the Bokaap where we have lunch in the home of a great Bokaap cook. We use this Cape Malay culinary spread as the springboard to unpack the movement of people that created this city, to explore the role of slavery in the city. 

After lunch we trace the forced removals that pushed people out of the boundaries of the historic centre, to the early peripheries, the townships. We visit the Langa Pass Museum, to get a perspective on the Dompas System that controlled the movement of black people across the country, entrenching the apartheid separation model, with townships as the labour camps. Just down the road we visit the Langa Quarter, a project helping to shape the future of the city, reimagining Langa as a cultural and economic centre in the city and using enterprise development to create that reality. We finish the day later in Woodstock with a light bite to eat with Pat Fahrenfort, author and activist who opens the state of the nation to us through stories of her journey from factory worker under apartheid to senior role in the Department of Labour as part of the first democratic government, and the insights and warnings gleaned from being close to power. 

We are back at the hotel around 6.

Evening free

Private guide and vehicle, lunch, entrance fees, hosting fees, spring water


We start the day with a visit to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela spent many years, as did other key figures including Robert Sobukwe. We link to Winne Mandela, who was on a Robben Island of her own under house arrest and constant harassment in the dusty Afrikaner town of Brandfort where she had no running water or electricity and the house had no floors or ceilings. 

You have the afternoon to explore the V&A Waterfront. You’ll be back at your hotel around 5pm, or you are welcome to make your own way back. 

Evening free, optional extra tours such as the Cape Town Jazz Safari, Cape Town Choral Music Safari. 

Private guide and vehicle, Robben Island tickets, spring water


An easy going day following the Table Mountain range down to the Cape of Good Hope and the Cape Point Nature Reserve, via some of the most exquisite sites, including Chapman’s Peak, Kalk Bay, the famous Penguins-that-hated-the-cold outside Simonstown, and Kirstenbosch Gardens. Our visit to the Gardens, programmed at the end of the day, allows us to pull some of the historical threads of the programme together – the botanical gardens are a site of forced removal, and we delve into the connections between people, plants and oppression. 

Tonight, your final night, we will close the programme with a dinner party in the city. 

Private guide and vehicle, entrance fees, spring water


Your last day is a day of preparation for your departure. You can programme a morning tour, or just use the time for some or your own explorations in the city, shopping etc before your airport transfer in the afternoon.