Welcome to South Africa. We will commence our tour by exploring the vast contrasts in contemporary Johannesburg.
We will drive through the leafy northern suburbs with their gated communities and high walls, before making our way to the inner city.
Once an area in which only whites were permitted to live, post apartheid high crime and an influx of poor migrants caused many major companies to flee to the suburbs, and landlords to abandon their buildings to organised crime gangs.
Today the city center is undergoing a process of regeneration and gentrification. We will explore all of these processes and how they relate to South Africa's complex political past.
This morning we will travel to Soweto, the largest "township" in the Johannesburg region.
Once a "black designated area", Soweto is today part shanty town, part city and has a rich culture with numerous historic landmarks.
We will visit the former home of freedom icon Nelson Mandela and walk the world's only street on which two nobel peace prize winners lived. In addition, you will meet local activists and see the memorial to those killed in the anti-apartheid struggle.
In the afternoon we will visit the apartheid museum, one of South Africa's leading educational sites.
Having yesterday visited Soweto, a key landmark in the battle against aparthied, but also a well known tourist destination, we will today explore the township of Alexandra, itys less known cousin and a township in which tourist revenue does not provide relief from the poverty of the apartheid years.
Guided by local residents, we will see the cultural institutions of the township, while gaining an understanding of life for its many residents.
In the afternoon we will meet with a member of the local council with responsibility for this area to discuss the problems that plague the township, and will also have the oppotunity to put questions to a member of the Guateng regional parliament.
This morning we will meet with a leading South African trade union activist and poltiical analyst to discuss government progarms in the fight against poverty and for equality.
Later we will meet with health authorities and a leading medical journalist to discuss the problems that exist in the townships, downtown Johannesburg, and the city center in particular. Among the issues discussed will be the HIV epidemic and access to clean drinking water.
In the afternoon we will visit Lilisleaf Farm where ANC leaders were arrested for conspiring against the apartheid government.
In the evening, we will offer an optional tour to a model Zulu village and dance show.
Today is a rest day. We will offer an optional day Safari for a fee of $125 per person.
Today we will travel to Cape Town. We are a ground only operator and will provide the details of the flight that we recommend that you take, but booking the flight is your responsibility.
After arriving in Cape Town and checking into our hotel we will enjoy a walking tour of downtown Cape Town
Overnight: Cape Town
Today we will enjoy a walking tour focusing on Nelson Mandela's legacy in cape town, and significant landmarks in the struggle for freedom.
In the afternoon we will visit Robben Island where Mandel and his comrades were imprisoned. We will meet a former political prisoner, in addition to enjoying our tour.
In the evening we will meet with a leading South African political journalist to discuss the current state of South African politics. In particular, we will explore issues such as corruption, and the extent to which the opposition can propose a real alternative to the governing ANC.
Overnight: Cape Town
Today we will tour the parliament of South Africa and meet with members of parliament from at least two political parties.
Later we will hear from a panel of young leaders about how they see the future of South Africa, and its role as a leader in Africa.
Overnight: Cape Town
Our tour officially ends after breakfast, however we will offer an optional tour of Table Mountain and the magnificent Cape Peninsula for a fee of $125 per person
An additional night at our hotel can also be arranged on request
In the evening we will close the circle, speaking with a young activist from Gaza city. While we cannot enter the Gaza Strip, we will have a chance to talk with a resident via live video hookup.
This morning we will travel north to visit Israel's borders with Lebanon, Syria and Jordan.
At the Lebanese border we will be briefed by an expert on the Hezbollah organisation, and enjoy a jeep tour looking out over the border and potential conflict zones in any flare up. We will also understand how Shiite Hezbollah differs from Sunni Hamas.
Visiting the Golan Heights, part of Syria until 1967, and since controlled by Israel, we will discuss not only past attempts to forge a treaty between Israel and Syria, but also Israel's fears regarding Iranian infuence in Syria, and the ramifications of the Syrian civil war.
On our way back to Jerusalem we will stop at the border between Israel and Jordan where we will be briefed by an expert on Israeli-Jordanian relations.
In the evening we will be briefed by an Israeli journalist who has written extensively on Syria, and is considered an expert on the Assad regime.
Overnight: Upper Galilee
This morning we will travel into the West Bank to hear the Palestinian narrative. We will commence in the defacto Palestinian capital of Ramallah. There we will meet with a representative of the Palestinian Foreign Ministry, and a minister in the Palestinian Authority Government. We will also meet a Palestinian polling expert who will brief us on trends in Palestinian public opinion, and their views on the peace process.
In the afternoon we will visit the new planned Palestinian city of Rawabi and meet its visionary, Palestinian businessman Bashar Al Masri. We will also meet a Palestinian student leader.
This morning we will visit Yad Vashem, Israel's national Holocaust memorial and study center.
Afterwards we will continue into the Palestinian city of Bethlehem. There we will meet with the city mayor or a senior activsit of the Fatah political party. We will also tour a Palestinian refugee camp and meet with a resident who fought against Israel as a Jordanian soldier in 1948.
From Bethlehem, we will travel to Tel Aviv.
Overnight: Tel Aviv
Today is a rest day. An optional tour of Tel Aviv is included
Overnight: Tel Aviv
Today we will visit the city of Hebron, the only majority Palestinian city in which Israelis live. In addition to a walking tour of the city and its politically charged graffiti, we will:
(1) Meet a representative of Israeli settlers living in the city;
(2) Enjoy lunch in a traditional Palestinian home;
(3) Meet the Palestinian mayor or govenor, or one of their deputies;
(4) Hear from a young Palestinian leader.
In the afternoon we will tour the Gush Etzion region, a so called Israeli "settlement block" and area of contention in recent years.
Today we will visit the Israeli foreign ministry for briefings on Iran, peace negotiations, and Israel's relations with other regional players.
Later we will visit the Knesset, Israel's parliament, where we will meet representatives of at least two parties (subject to availability).
Our final briefing will be with a senior western diplomat, who will try to clarify much of what we have heard and seen.
Our tour ends this evening. We will enjoy a celebratory dinner, and an optional Tel Aviv nightlife tour.
Overnight: Tel Aviv
An optional tour to Masada and the Dead Sea will be offered the day after this tour ends at a cost of $125 per person
Cost and inclusions
Cost per person in twin or triple room:
Single supplement: $1295
4 star hotel rooms
tour guide daily
all speakers as per program
all ground transport during tour hours
All site entry
visa fees and charges
lunch and dinner other than farewell dinner
anything else not set out in program
Terms and Conditions
The following terms govern your participation on any program offered by International Political & Conflict Seminars Pty Ltd trading as "International Political Seminars". By electing to participate in any program that we offer, or paying any amount to us, you agree to be bound by these terms.
These terms and conditions are governed by the laws of the Commonwealth of Australia and the state of New South Wales within the Commonwealth of Australia. A dispute in relation to these terms or your participation on a program with us may only be bought in the courts of New South Wales.
You acknowledge that the itineraries posted on our website are indicative of the program that we provide, but that circumstances and speaker availability may change. As such, our program may change. You will not be entitled to any compensation or refund as a result of this.
You acknowledge that there is inherent risk in relation to all overseas travel, including as a result of war, terror, crime, motor vehicle or other accident, and illness. You agree to release us against any and all damage that you suffer on our program as a result of any such cause.
You agree to purchase travel insurance valid in every jurisdiction that you visit with us.
Any amount paid to us is non refundable, except at our absolute discretion.
We may change a program as a result of security needs, weather conditions, and for other reasons we consider reasonable
We reserve the right to cancel any program due to their being insufficient participants up to one month before departure. In such cases, we will refund amounts that you have paid to us, but will not be liable for additional costs that you incur.
You agree that you will not act in a manner that is disruptive to our educators, speakers, tour guides, staff, or to other participants, and will not engage in behaviour that is illegal or dangerous while on a program arranged by us. If you do so, we may eject you from our program without any compensation or refund being due.
If any part of these terms is illegal or unable to be enforced, it will be read down or severed, but only to the minimum extent necessary by law.
Our failure to exercise any right under these terms does not constitute a waiver of that righit.