When I first went to South Africa in 2005, I had no idea what to expect. I volunteered for a few weeks at a shelter on the outskirts of Johannesburg, and I came away with a deep appreciation for the country. The people I met were amazingly enthusiastic, resilient, adventurous, and friendly. South Africa struck a chord within me and has drawn me back time and again as it has transformed itself since the end of apartheid.

That’s why I am excited to invite you to join me, AFAR cofounder Joe Diaz, publisher Ellen Asmodeo-Giglio, editor in chief Julia Cosgrove, and other members of our team for the second AFAR Experiences event. It will take place in Johannesburg, South Africa, October 8 through 11. I can promise that you will get beneath the surface of this incredible place and connect with the people and the culture in ways you never could on your own in such a short time.

We will hear from people doing fascinating work in the arts, environmental conservation, business, politics, and other fields. We will see modern and traditional musical and dance performances. We will feel the emotional weight of the Apartheid Museum. We will spend time in the historic township of Soweto, a place filled with charm, warmth, and fun, and which has given the world two Nobel Peace Prize winners. We will dine in the homes of locals and build real, lasting relationships. We will do all this with fellow members of the AFAR community, open-minded and curious people who share our love of travel.

I urge you to go to afarexperiences.com and check out the stories, videos, and photos from our first AFAR Experiences event, held in Cairo last October. We truly had an experience of a lifetime, and we are confident that our South Africa event, made possible by South African Tourism and Emirates Airline, will be every bit as memorable and enjoyable. We’ll work with these and other travel partners to give you the opportunity before and after the event to enjoy more of what South Africa has to offer, including Cape Town and Kruger National Park.

Space is limited, so I urge you to register soon at afarexperiences.com. Please feel free to contact me at sullivan@afar.com if you have any questions. We look forward to seeing you in October!

Good travels,
Greg Sullivan

Photo by Stephanie Trapp. This is the Founder’s Note from the July/August 2012 issue.