2019 Spring Trip Location Confirmed: South Africa

Submitted by BursleyHall82 on May 21st, 2018 at 9:41 AM

I know this was one of the rumored destinations, but Harbaugh was on WTKA this morning and confirmed that the 2019 trip will be to South Africa. I don't believe that had been 100 percent confirmed before. Specifically mentioned Cape Town and Johannesburg, and said they'd be going on a safari.

Sounds like a great trip. Hopefully this will help even a little with 2019 recruits who will be enrolling early.



May 21st, 2018 at 9:43 AM ^

for a team trip. My daughters softball team went there a couple of years ago and she said it was an experience of a lifetime. So much to see and do around Capetown and a great learning experience for them.


May 21st, 2018 at 11:28 AM ^

I absolutel agree.  I was there last summer and had a phenomal time.  The people, the land, the topography, the climate, the wilderness, the city, the food - it's all pretty damn amazing.  These young men will get a lot out of experiencing this culture.  Long as hell flight though.


May 21st, 2018 at 11:44 AM ^

Glad I wasn't the only one who thought it.  Something seems strange about traveling for tourist reasons to a city that has such a monumental water shortage problem right now.  Not a knock on M Football or Harbaugh... I wouldn't be able to enjoy a vacation knowing that people are having to re-use shower water... and those are the better-off people.


May 21st, 2018 at 12:57 PM ^

I think it depends on how you go about it. Make the reality for people who live there part of the educational experience, rather than trying to insulate them from that reality. Contribute back in some way, perhaps through participation in a community water conservation project.

There are plenty of other local issues also worthy of attention.

Indy Pete - Go Blue

May 21st, 2018 at 10:53 AM ^

I love that our program is leading the way in creating these priceless memories and learning opportunities for our football players!  Many people say that we should pay the football players, and we are providing them something that no other university is providing at this point. (For the record, I am not one who advocates paying the players in cash).  These trips are a prime example of being 'leaders and best'. 

snarling wolverine

May 21st, 2018 at 3:45 PM ^

Interesting how no one has a problem with basketball going to Europe every few years (and some tropical resort like Maui or the Bahamas every year), but in this sport, apparently 100.0% of the players' focus must be dedicated to WINNEN FOOTBAW GAMEZ.  (And - maybe - going to class.  But FOOTBAW FURST.)




May 21st, 2018 at 10:00 AM ^

As someone who works in international education, I am pumped they are traveling beyond Europe/UK. Europe/UK is awesome and I am a huge fan, but there is so much more to see.


May 21st, 2018 at 10:45 AM ^

Agreed.  My viewpoint on study abroad is that a lot of people are fortunate in that they will visit western Europe in their lives.  Therefore, I always recommend people go way out of their comfort zone and study in a place that they likely wouldn't visit otherwise (Africa, China, India, etc.).


May 21st, 2018 at 6:18 PM ^

The team probably shouldn't go to China for a spring trip. The air is really polluted around that time. Winter is the worst but April and early May would be really bad too. I live in Korea and it's getting worse here. I'd say it's the worst thing about living here. But it's still much better than the air in China.


May 21st, 2018 at 10:00 AM ^

Epic trip.

Now that's a good use of the Michigan money cannon to our advantage.

And it's totally above board, rather than bagmen lurking around in the shadows.

Hats off to the amazing donors that are making this possible.




May 21st, 2018 at 10:10 AM ^

South Africa is an amazing, confusing, gorgeous, depressing, etc. place.  I spent a month there about a decade ago - all over the country - and it's utterly fascinating.  

There are a ton of educational opportunities - learning about Apartheid, current social inequality, amazing biodiversity, etc. - so this should be a great trip.

Johannesburg isn't all that great (outside touring Soweto), but Cape Town is incredible.  Hope they have a chance to go to Kruger and along the Garden Route.


May 21st, 2018 at 10:43 AM ^

Agreed.  Have to imagine a trip to Robben Island will be in the cards.

Side note - South Africa is a pretty damn dangerous place.  Got there and immediately went to get food.  We parked, got out of car, and a security guy was wandering around with his gun in hand.  A little startling.  One of the most blunt things you notice there is how every single piece of property has a fence/wall around it.  There is no such thing as a residential street with lawn after lawn...everything is gated off.  

I guess it's also dangerous since we were staying in St. Lucia for a night and the attendant told us not to wander down one street at night since hippos are known to wander around...haha.


May 21st, 2018 at 1:31 PM ^

Johannesburg and the area has a ton of great things to do. But, the typical tourist move is to fly into Joburg and immediately leave for Kruger or Cape Town. Those two places are absolutely world class, but to not spend time in Joburg is a big mistake.

Rose Bowl

May 21st, 2018 at 10:34 AM ^

I have always found South Africa interesting.  There was only one native people - the Koisan.  Everyone else migrated there a couple hundred years ago.


The Khoisan have lived in Southern Africa for thousands upon thousands of years. This is where the coloured people come from. 

The Nguni tribes (Xhosa, Zulu etc) moved south from central Africa many centuries ago and settled in the north and east of South Africa. These were the first black people in South Africa. 

A few centuries after they arrived, the first Europeans settled in the Cape and its surrounds. First came the Dutch and then people from many other counties (Germany, Norway, France, Scotland, Ireland and Portugal etc.). 

The descendants of the Khoisan (with some European and some black ancestors as well) became known as the Coloured people. Some people think they are only a "mixture" of the other races, but their ancestors are the oldes natives to South Africa. 

And then we had immigrants and slaves from India and Malaysia also settle in South Africa as well as the British. 

So most of the cultures and races in South Africa have been here for at least 200 years. 

Of course, in most people's mind, only black people live in Africa and so they don't really see non-blacks as ever being native.

snarling wolverine

May 21st, 2018 at 12:58 PM ^

The Khoisan are not of Bantu origin, but whether they are "black" or not is up for some debate.  

Some of the Coloured people are indeed of Khoisan ancestry, but they are an extremely diverse group genetically - it's not as simple as saying that the Khoisan are the ancestors of the Coloureds.