• South Africa
2 - 12 weeks

Program Details

Hostel Hotel
Primary Language
Age Max


Starting Price
$500 USD
Dec 06, 2019
Sep 11, 2016

About Program

If you want to explore one of the most exciting, beautiful and interesting countries in Africa, the Xtreme South Africa Experience is for you. Join our groups and enjoy five weeks of pure mayhem, adventure, culture and awesome experiences. Starting in Cape Town, you have a full on adrenaline week between paragliding, throwing yourself off the world's biggest abseil, and checking out the Cape of Good Hope.

Week two you can learn to kite surf, work on community projects or shark cage dive for an entire week working on a marine conservation project. Then it's a road trip up the epic garden route including national parks, bungees and good times with good people.

Finally, you will finish for two weeks on a wildlife conservation programme, out every day on big five game reserves getting lots of interaction with animals under big African skies. Interested? You should be because this is living.

Program Reviews

7.5 Rating
based on 4 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 75%
  • 7-8 rating 0%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 25%
  • Housing 7.3
  • Support 7.3
  • Fun 7.8
  • Value 7.5
  • Safety 7.5
Showing 1 - 4 of 4 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Loved It. Full of diversity and fun experiences.

I joined the South Africa experience and I have to say I loved it. For me it was a genuinely life changing trip. After 5 weeks I have seen and done so many different things, I cannot explain how much it has affected me personally. Week one in Cape Town volunteering was an extremely humbling experience. Getting to spend some time with the children of the community, who have absolutely nothing was very enriching for me personally but moreover I feel I have definitel done some good as well. Everything was well-organised, and I was made to feel welcome very quickly, although I did have a slightly shaky start at the beginning but I would put that down to culture shock more than anything else. Nikki and the team are very helpful and clearly care a great deal about the lives of the street children.

My contact at Xtreme Gap Year, Shannon was very helpful to me personally in helping me plan my trip. She was full of good ideas as to what to do which is why I ended up in the South Africa experience. I'm very pleased that I did. Part of the trip included a road trip through the garden route. I was put in a smaller group of 6 people, and whilst I didn't know anyone in the beginning I soon got to know everyone. This was one of the highlights of the trip. The guide was very knowledgeable and kept the group in good spirits. It was a good itinerary overall, but there were some long travel days. The different activities included, plus the places we went to made up for this however.

I tried surfing in Jeffreys Bay which was great fun, although I have to say I don't think it's turned me into a surfer! My final couple of weeks were spent on a game reserve which was a great way to see lots of wildlife and experience the bush. It was very hard work, but very rewarding as well. I was fortunate enough to see a buffalo giving birth, and we work to lots of different tasks during our time there.

The communication from extreme was excellent throughout, they certainly know a lot about the destinations, and my experience the South Africa experience was faultless. I would definitely recommend.

What would you improve about this program?
meals could be included during the road trip
4 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
No, I don't recommend this program

Awful Organisation

Did the 5 week South African experience and felt like I was being ripped off the whole time I was there. Lots of things that are implied on the website that they are included actually arent. We ended up having to organise lots of our own activities otherwise they wouldn't have happened. Ended up being moved to a different game reserve (having turned up to the one we were meant to be at and being told they were fully booked). The game reserve we were then placed on was a fifth of the size, disorganised and poor value for money. So bad that I left a week early! When I approached the company they were overly defensive and rude. I would not recommend!!

8 people found this review helpful.
Response from Xtreme Gap Year

Dear Rachel

While we are pleased you had a great time in South Africa, we are sorry to receive your one star review. The South Africa Experience is a very comprehensive trip, which usually has fantastic reviews so we are disappointed that your experience was not the same.

The directors of Xtreme have personally visited our in country partners and put the trip together. So we know first hand what a spectacular trip this is, combining the best parts of South Africa. With the trip being 5 weeks long, and combining so many different experiences each week, we see how it can be confusing to know what is included and where. There are alot of logistics involved in this trip, but overall it ran well.

Having looked into your email communication to see what went wrong, we note we had a couple of emails from you, that were responded too, during the trip to clarify certain inclusions and sections of the trip.

Some of these inclusions we had to clarify with you that they were not included as part of the trip such as that meals were not included on the road trip section of the trip. This is clear on the website under the inclusions section, but we will make this clearer from now on by adding this to the excluded section.

We are looking into what happened with the welcome Braai for you at the moment.

We appreciate you are frustrated due to being declined a refund for leaving early as your preference was to go travelling in your final week, but please be fair with your review. You were not dropped off at the wrong reserve, the organisation was not aweful.

You were informed at the time of booking, and in the predeparture pack email, and in an email during your travels prior to arriving at the reserve you would not be staying at the same game reserve as some of the other members of the trip. While other members of the trip were dropped off en-route, you were successfully delivered to the correct reserve. While we understand the disappointment, this was made clear through out.

Due to the popularity of the game reserves we use, the game reserve section takes place in different venues, depending on availability. You were placed in a very popular 5 star game reserve, albeit smaller but still over 6000 hectares. The other game reserve you refer to would cover roughly the same distance in the course of a week so the experience based on size is marginal.

You will note we do not refer to specific game reserves on the website as we do use different providers depending on availability. The trip is popular as are game reserves. We endeavour to have our groups stay together as much as possible but at times our groups have to be split in the final 2 weeks.

We will now clarify this further on the website moving forward. We are sorry you felt you had a "rude response" this was certainly not implied in our emails. We are sorry if you took our responses to be rude.

We did explain that no compensation would be forthcoming or warranted if you left early from our perspective, this is not being rude, and we would welcome a telephone conversation with you on your return to discuss the issues you faced.

Many Thanks

Oliver Bray

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Possibly the best trip, experience of my life

First of all after traveling many parts of the world I have never travelled alone without knowing anyone, stayed in hostel/backpackers or ever done anything like this. My experience by far was one of my best! Everything it's says on the programme you do and is by far better than what u could imagine! From abseiling off Table mountain to Paragliding, diving with sharks, jump of the biggest commercial bungee in the world, sky dive, walking with lions, riding an ostrich and elephant, horse riding, sand boarding, Safari, hiking,c anoeing, seeing some of the most beautiful scenery/sunsets/beaches in the world u have it all right here!
I was nervous about staying in hostels as I have never done it before but when you are traveling alone it is the best way to meet people, I met more people in one week than I did living in Australia for 6 months! The people I met were from all over the world and were so nice and helpful which only enhanced my experience so much more I made so many new friends!
The organisation of the programme was second to none. From my pre departure with Xtreame Gap, very helpful, very organised and always on hand to give advice or answer any queries. After arriving in Cape Town I was picked up taken to my accommodation which was my first ever hostel but was put at ease straight away with the welcoming and friendliness and cleanliness of the place! My first 2 wks here was 2 of my best, great times, great fun with some amazing people and if Me you like a good night out you are in the right place! Highly recommended doing the Wine tour in Stellenbosh one day, it was a fantastic day with a great group of people (although the last few hrs are abit of a memory loss haha) the farms have great wine, cheese, lovely lunch and they are situated in some beautiful surroundings.
My volunteer work at a Township was very heart breaking but so rewarding.. Not only are you working with some of the most passionate people who help and give daily to these children but you will have fun with the children to! It was so nice to give something back and to see the smile on them kids faces every morning as they were so happy to see you, that smile makes it so worth while! Great kids and a great team with big hearts! Their living conditions are so poor so helping and bringing any sort of fun to their lives while helping to educate them was more rewarding than I could of imagined.
The garden Route was excellent! Our group was so mixed from all different countries and I couldn't of been with a better group for a wk lots of fun, great days/nights out everyone got on great and I loved every minute. Our tour guide was second to none! His knowledge, enthusiasm and commitment to the week with Us Was fantastic and was great to be around socially to! He is so focused on you having the best time and goes out of his way to make sure u do all wk, which we did!! All back packers was great, clean and every night was a fun experience! This is the wk you can walk with lions (highly recommended) do the bungee( you can't do the Garden Route without doing this) your days will be packed with lots of amazing things to do never a dull moment!
Jeffreys Bay, great seaside resort for chilling out, surfing, shopping! If U like a drink they have a great bar with beer pong, lively music, pool table etc.. I had a few great nights in this bar with again all the staff being amazing! After 3 days there we went to Port Elizabeth where u will be shown around by a very nice funny guy who will then in the evening take you for a great night out in Beer Shack.. Get your drinking head on, great bar/club/people one of my favourite nights!
Last wk on Safari your chance to get up and close to the animals in their natural environment! You will see the big 5 daily some just casually walking past your van! Accommodation was great! In the morning you help the environment doing volunteer work and then game drives all afternoon great experience! NOTE: if you go in winter take plenty of layers for this trip!
Overall my experience was amazing! Had some of the best food out there and wine ever, you can eat like a king or queen for pennies! Whatever u hear about South Africa I would like to share that in the 4 wks that I was there I did not feel ever In danger, see any danger or feel uncomfortable in any circumstance, obviously certain rules u follow as in don't go out on your own at night or walk the streets always stay in groups but still I never felt unsafe. It's just being cautious and using your initiative.
I had a reason for getting away for the month personally.. And on my return I was more confident, motivated and most importantly so happy again my journey was incredible!
Thank you to Xtreme Gap for organising everything for me! Your help and organisation especially Oliver was fantastic very professional. Thank you once again. If anyone thinking off going on this trip and would like to speak to me about it.. Feel free to get in touch with Oliver at Xtreme Gap and I would be happy for him to put you in touch with me as I was the first to do the trip and I would love other people to experience what I did! I wish I could show you more pictures but if anyone would like to see more again let me know and I can send some to you.

What would you improve about this program?
Only thing for me that I would change would be for me the last week the volunteer Safari felt to long but that just depends on the person and what your passions are.! As my voluntary work with children could never be too long as it's more of a passion for me! But for other people they may love animals more than I do so they would get more experience out of it than I did. it's a personal choice and opinion.
7 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Awesome experience!

I'd say this program is the best way to experience South Africa! From all the extreme activities to volunteering this has been one of the best trips I've had hands down! There's so much too see and do!

What would you improve about this program?
I would have increased the duration of my stay.
6 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers