Warriors Academy Gap Year Program

Video and Photos

Warriors Academy Autumn Quest 7th April - 25th May 2018

The highlight of this Quest is the journey to Ponta do Oura in Mozambique for the two week ocean open water diving course. The Autumn Quest is rounded off with an unforgettable four day wilderness hike in the northern Kruger National Park.


The Warriors Academy Gap Year program is aimed at developing each individual participant through a series of four 7-week adventure Quests. Each quest has a flagship adventure activity and is supported by numerous secondary activities. This is a highly dynamic and active program designed to create an exciting environment for personal and emotional growth. Participants can choose to do any one of the Quests or to do all four as a full Gap year program. The Second Year Multi-Activity-Instructors (MAI) course is aimed at those individuals that would like to pursue a career in the Adventure tourism industry equipping them with all the needed skills to become a professional Instructor or guide.

Questions & Answers


based on 17 reviews
  • Housing 9.3
  • Support 9.9
  • Fun 9.9
  • Value 10
  • Safety 9.7
  • Program Selection 9.5
  • Pre-departure Help 10
  • In-program Support 10
  • Impact on Student 10
  • Value 10
Showing 1 - 15 of 17
Default avatar

The gap year I didn't know I needed.

I am going to do my best to express my honest and most brief review. Bare with me if it gets a little long winded!

I grew up in the USA. I went through all 12 years of schooling in the US education system only to find that I needed something more. Life experience, was one thing that any school cannot teach you in a classroom.

In 2007 I attended the Warriors program for the full term and graduated with pride in my heart. The skills to tackle life outside of academics are essential, and for me Warriors showed me that I could train myself and thrive as an individual and take on the world without hesitation, without doubt, and yet, employ great discipline to my own benefit. The skills I needed were taught to me. And so much more.

Over the Warriors course I learned that, not only was I capable of just about anything I set my mind to, but that I could open my heart, and be true to myself to accomplish my own goals with tools I built myself. Through my own efforts, I could bring results.

I will admit, this course is not a vacation, it is not about perusing the exotic wilderness and urban sprawl that southern africa has to offer, at leisure.

This course is not a walk in the park, it is not for the faint of heart. At times I was pushed to the very limit of my being, but through the teachings given, I was prepared to face anything thrown at me. I was taught to overcome any hardship offered.

Warriors also gave me many of my fondest memories. To this day I look back at the friends I made, the experiences I had and the fulfillment that comes with knowing I accomplished more in seven months than I ever did in all my years in school and even now, everyday I think back to what I learned to use it in my life. I still use the tools given to me to reach out and take life by the horns and make my own.

I cannot recommend Warriors enough for anyone that is willing to give their all, to commit to changing their lives for the better, to bringing out the best qualities within themselves. This is not summer camp, it's not boarding school, it's not a retreat or cruise or any of that. It is not for the lazy, apathetic, or entitled. It is for anyone who is ready to find out what they are made of. It is a place where one may come, and with an open heart, learn how to find out who they are, what strengths and weaknesses they carry, and how to employ that into life and all its challenges. To accept and move with the flow of things. To put your worries and anger and other negative energies into something productive, useful, or helpful and make something out of life.

Warriors does more than teach. It enabled me to learn and grow in ways I never considered. It pushed me to the limits and back again. I experienced the full spectrum of life in a microcosm of itself and came out the otherside better prepared for whatever future might come.

Tim Phillips
Warrior - 07

How can this program be improved?
It's not about the program, it's about yourself.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar

Let it build you

All I can say to future warriors just give your all warriors has changed my life I use to have but now am fearless because I saw life in a different way and it has grown in me that life is all about taking risk and making good decisions all I can warriors is the best place to be all I can tell you enjoy have make some good memories make new friends and just enjoy the excitement of every task and exercise that are do there

How can this program be improved?
Challenge us more
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar

What an adventure

Best year of my life, changed it all for the better, and still 10 years on feel a part of the family as I did when I was there.
I cannot recommend Warriors enough for everyone looking for a change of direction, a break from the norm, or a chance to find their passion.
This is an adventure you will never forget. The friends you make will last forever, and you'll become part of this (now global) family.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar

Warriors 2010

Warriors is a great program that helped me bridge the gap between high school and “the real world”. Warriors gave me the opportunity and skills to reflect on who I wanted to become, evaluate my options and focus on what I wanted my purpose to be. The TOLTEC portion of the gap year offers all the tools for self improvement and have been invaluable to me over the past 8 years. Coupled with the many excursions we went on both inside and outside of South Africa this is a truly once in a lifetime experience that I would recommend to anyone.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar

There Is Nothing Like It

It is hard to quantify the experience I had at Warriors purely through the medium of a keyboard. The lessons that I learnt over four years ago are still as relevant to me today. You are pushed to your physical and mental limits - something that I don't think people of my generation do enough of.
If you want something different that will force into situations where you thrive as person, the Warriors Academy is the perfect place.

Yes, I recommend this program

The Hardest and Best Decision I made for my "Little Girl"

What an adventure! My daughter was struggling during her matric year and in an attempt to keep her motivated and focused, I said she could have a gap year before having to decided what path she wanted to take for her future! She finished her matric and did well but now it was time for me to make good on my promise to her. The deal was it had to be a gap year where she was not earning an income and it did not involve her laying on the coach reading or pigging out on junk food and video marathons. We did a lot of research and stumbled across the Warriors Gap Year! Both Courtney and myself were sold! I even wished I was 20 again so I could do the gap year too! : )
I have to say it was a very difficult decision for me as I am an over protective parent and have never had my "little girl" away from me for more then a weekend so the thought of me letting her go for a year was traumatising. Never the less it was about her and what was best for her. I knew she need space and time to do a little growing and self development in a safe environment, where I knew she would be looked after but would also be in her own space away from any of the normal influences she had had in the past. Time to live and experience new things in her life! Take a step our of her comfort zone. Warriors was just what she needed.

The day grew closer as I had to drop her off at basecamp and both of us trying not to show it grew more stressed! We made a weekend trip of it to put some fun in the trip. She packed and repacked her bags at least 10 times, look for the perfect fit and amount of items she would need for the first quest.
We arrived at Warriors basecamp excited and nervous as we did not quite know what to expect. It was a tremendous welcoming. I felt quite relaxed and happy my child was in good hands. The Warriors Team are amazing each with their own unique talents that work together like a well oil machine. We registered, dropped of her luggage in her new room for the year and went to lunch. Courtney was a bag of nerves and was not sure if she wanted to do this and was debating about going home to her safe home environment where she was not tested too much and not put out of her comfort zone. I left her with a group of new warriors to chat - not that she would chat - too shy for that and went to the parents orientation meeting. Rudi assured us our babies would be safe, loved, feed, daily challenged - physically and emotionally and even disciplined if necessary. Shew! I left the meeting not so sure I could walk way if she begged me to take her home. I messaged her to say I was on the way to meet up with her. She met me at the car, basically said good bye and was ready to mix with her new found friends! What a surprise that was. Now it was my turn to leave in tears! But that was the last time for tears!

We chatted when she got time but in a short 2 week period I could hear the change in her emotions and her words! Courtney was alive and living life! There were challenges she still had to face and break through but she was in the right place at the right time. It has been the best "finishing school" /"life equipping" experience ever!

She returned home a different person. Confident, happy, with a love for the outdoors and want to help people in their personal journeys. She got to do so many wonderful extra ordinary things during her year, things she would never have been able to achieve on her own. All those opportunities are fantastic but one of the most amazing things for me is to see her appreciate life! Value the small things like waking up in a beautiful forest with the sun shining in through your window, the birds chirping, a baby frog hopping across the path, a new flower blooming, the wind blowing through the trees at night and the most amazing stars shining so brightly at night. Courtney has bloomed just like an ordinary worm that turns into this most beautiful butterfly. Ready to explore the world!

I have Warriors and the amazing family team to thank for providing the opportunity and guiding Courtney to take full advantage of the programme and to become someone she loves and respects! The Warriors Motto is: For the adventure of being alive! What a great motto that is! Now life is truly a daily adventure for being alive! Living it to the full. I can only encourage parents to take a serious look at the programme. If you want to give your child a life long gift, give them Warriors Academy Gap Year! The experience is literary life changing and it continues to impact your child's life for ever! Thank you Warriors! It has been an amazing journey!

How can this program be improved?
I feel the programme is very well rounded. One thing you might want to look at is a clothing washing and ironing session.
Yes, I recommend this program

Best gap year out there!

I did this course the first year that it opened, its fantastic!
Its like a modern version of a finishing school/army - perfect for school leaves who need more direction and need to get to know themselves and what they truly love.
It takes you out of your comfort zone constantly and teaches you true appreciation for life itself.
A MUST DO for all late teens before university perhaps, thats what I did.
Highly highly recommended!

How can this program be improved?
healthier food options available
Yes, I recommend this program

The biggest gift ever given to me!

Life gives you opportunities and it is up to you how you use them! I was given the opportunity to be part of the Warriors Program and I was hesitance at first yet I am grateful for having chosen this route.

The Warriors Academy gave me a lifelong gift of egniting my passion for sport, for running in particular.

This program is what I believe every young person need to take on before dribbling on to life. The lessons I learned then are all coming to play now in my sporting career!
Because of the tools and learning gained from the program, I am rouf to say that I am an elite sponsored athlete for my country!


For The Adventure Of Being Alive!

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar

If not now then 30 years ago

There are pockets of brilliance in this world and The Viljoens are right up there in having that magic touch. They have helped me make sense of my power, and they have liberated me from so many self-imposed restrictions it has been like how I imagine coming out of prison must feel.
What I most fondly look back on though is the astonishing gift they have given to so many young adults that pioneered the WASP programme. My favourite quote from one of the participants went something like this:- “I went to South Africa with a confirmed medical diagnosis of claustrophobia; you told me I would be encouraged to see where my limits were but never forced to do anything I really didn’t want to. I went into an environment that was safe, non-judgemental and enriching in so many ways. I smashed through limits I truly believed were unbreakable. I faced up to and overcame what I thought were permanent barriers only to realise that I had been living the labels slapped onto me by others. They don’t apply – in fact they never did. I have simply made that choice and Warriors showed me how.”
Don’t wait until you’re fifty to find out. Discover who you are and realise the perfection that’s already in you. Yes I recommend Warriors to people of all ages and backgrounds.

How can this program be improved?
More of Rudi please.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar

My Childs growth at Warriors

As most parents do my wife and I will do anything to give my children a competitive advantage in life. To this end we will always be so grateful for the oppertunity of sending our daughter to Warriors. She was a child that did not have an idea of what she wants to do or who she really was, and it was cause for great concern for us.
Sending her Warriors was without doubt the perfect fit for her, the individual attention and focused probleming solving was custom fit for her.
I send a confused child to The Warriors program and received back a confident goal oriantated young lady.
I have no hesitation in recommending this wonderfull program to parents, they are looked after by careing proffecionals.

How can this program be improved?
More participation by parents
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar

How Warriors Changed My Life

How does one describe a year of exillerating adventure, physical challenges, emotional highs and lows, personal reflection and putting your life in the hands of people you don't know who will ultimately become some of the most important people in your life in only a few words?

My warriors journey started when I was 20 years old after I decided to take a break after two years of studying. When I joined the programme I was in a very negative emotional state and my confidence was as low as it has ever been. The the fact that most of my fellow warriors were three two to four years my junior also made me doubt if I would fit in. All these aspects ultimately ended being inconsequential as I probably had the best year of my life up to that point.

The warriors programme exists in four components that is pread throughout the year in seven weeks a piece and I would strongly reccomend signing up to all four. We travelelled throughout South Africa and they took me to places, which even as a South African I didn't know about and took my breath away. Warriors challenges you as a person and each individual will be challenged in their own unique way. For a lot of people it is the adventure that attracts them towards the programme and admittedly that was the case for me. What made the programme special for me though is how it enabled me to find out who I was as a person and motivated me to live my live each day to its fullest potential. The programme forces you to step out of you comfort zone ragardles of where that zone is in your life, whether it be facing a fear of heights, being comfortable in your own body or putting yourself out into the world with th risk of people getting to know the real you. This is what makes the programme different for me from others as it is for every type of person from all spheres of the world.

The friends I made will be with me forever and when we see each other it is always a reunion of great laughs and memories. During my time on warriors I got numerous qualifications, like advanced scuba diving, sailing skippers license and to many to mention, but is probably better explained on the warriors website. My most memorable memories on warriors is not the adventure sports or the games, but the moments after a hike or rafting trip when everyone has set up their camp. It is in those moments that you start to reflect upon your life and you really get to know the people next to you as you share life experiences, ideoligies and dreams for the future.

Life was not always easy on the programme and there were times I wanted to leave, but with the help of the friends I made I saw it through and was ultimately rewarded by being a more rounded person. I am currently finishing my degree and my life gets more fun day upon day thanks to warriors. One of the most important lessons I learned on the programme is to keep on living and that even when things are going great to keep pushing your boundries in life.

For The Adventure Of Being Alive

How can this program be improved?
Have reunions, because I miss the people that are far away.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar


The Warriors gap year program has been very valuable to me. I have gained confidence, I have met wonderful people from all over the world and I respect myself a lot more than before. During the Warriors program you get thrown into the deep, which is good. It's the way to growth and development. You get to exercise a lot, which improves your overall health. The Warriors family is a tight family, I felt welcomed and at home there although my home is on the other side of the globe. We did things such as charity work, personal development workshops, personal branding. I got a lot of meaningful certifications during the 3,5 months I was there such as my scuba-diving qualification and a sailing certificate. I feel so much stronger now and I got a view of what I want to go do. I would recommend this program to everyone since it is such a unique experience. It is well-organized and totally safe.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar

My warriors gap year

If it wasn't for warriors I wouldn't have a clue where I would be. Warriors is probably the best program that I've ever done also the best thing I've done for myself... so here I was 18 years old and not a clue where I wanted to go with no direction what so ever. but then I found out about warriors academy and gave it a shot, at first I was scared because I was away from my family and didn't know anyone, but the best thing is that the minute you walk into the doors of warriors you are welcomed as family... this gap year is so full of fun, exciting adrenaline packed adventure but on the same note you learn so much more about yourself and who you are! Warriors gave me the skill set to accomplish anything I set my mind to. If it was jumping off a bridge or just taking the lead on a hike. If it wasn't for this amazing gap year then I wouldn't have been the person I am today.... I enjoyed this gap year so much I actually work for warriors now and I'm able to help people the way, the warrior staff helped me when I first started out.

You will be challenged to a point where you won't even want to carry on but you have to understand that at this point you will grow the most and prove to your self that you are STRONGER than you ever thought.

Yes, I recommend this program

Best gap year ever!

As a 17 year old traveling from literally the other side of the world for the first time it was so scary! When I arrived at basecamp after traveling for 3 days it was so nice that the facilitators and my fellow warriors were so welcoming! I was fortunate enough to participate in all 4 the quests. My favorite must have been the Spring quest! That was also where we did the wild coast hike! for sure my favorite hike of them all. Its crazy that when I think back to my first hike where I had so much trouble because of my negative mindset and then when i finally started being more positive I absolutely LOVED going on hikes! For sure Warriors has thought me allot but one of the most important things it has thought me is self love.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar

Best year of my life!

I now know who I want to be :)
I have all the tools and know how to use them in life. I understand that daily practice influences my results. The experience and the healing this year brought me will forever inspire me to love more, do more, give more and life with full force.
I am honored to call Warriors my Family and my home.

Yes, I recommend this program


Meet the Alumni

Meet the Staff

About Warriors Academy

Warriors Academy has developed an intensive self development program using a wide range of intrinsic and extrinsic activities. The program is divided into four quests, each with a flagship activity and supported by a variety of secondary activities....