‍‍‍‍‍‍If I apply will I definitely ma‍‍‍ke a team?‍‍‍

‍‍‍No. Building ZCA teams requires a lot of time, thought, and consideration of team chemistry and team dyna‍‍‍mics. There are often situations where phenomenal leaders aren’t chosen for a team. Not being selected for a particular team is less of a reflection of you personally, and more of a reflection of team dynamics. We value making the right teams based on diversity in age, life experience, belief set, socioeconomic status and ethnic diversity over bringing friends or people we might enjoy spending time with the most. The application process is designed to stretch you so whether or not you are chosen, you experience a small part of the g‍‍‍rowth of ZCA.

‍‍‍Is it safe to co‍‍‍me on this trip?

Yes. South Africa generally gets a bad reputation that is unfair in our opinion. We have brought more than a dozen groups in the last half decade without a single incident of theft or safety concern. Several of our American leadership team have lived in Cape Town for 3 to 6 month periods and also never encountered safety or theft issues. The crime in South Africa is generally a crime of opportunism and crime from those in incredibly impoverished situations trying to survive. With any situation of extreme wealth disparity, crimes like this will exist (even in the United States). We feel safer in Cape Town, than in some places in the United States. It’s all about being aware, intentional and mitigating risk. We mitigate risk by where we go, when we go, and the communities and locals who we have by our side.

‍‍‍‍‍‍All that being said, we cannot GUARANTEE anything. Any of us could die in a car accident tomorrow. By going on this experience you have to accept some of that inherit risk that is both in life and in travel. You will not be put in intentionally dangerous scenarios and we care for each person’s safety as if they are our own family members. Roads and transportation in Cape Town are just as safe and developed as in any American city.  At the end of the day, you have to choose‍‍‍ this opportunity and the risk that may be associated with it but we wouldn’t want anyone missing out on this life changing opportunity based on fear or misguided information they read online. If you’d like, we can connect you with any previous partic‍‍‍ipant to discuss safety concerns.

‍‍‍How long is a ZC‍‍‍A trip?

‍‍‍‍‍‍The length of the trip is generally 11 days from door to door (leaving your home until you are back in your home). We schedule this period over two weekends so that the minimal amount of “work days” are missed, generally 6 or 7 depending on the domestic flights you choose. We maximize the time in South Africa because of the value you’ll experience with our local team, while also respecting the challenge of requesting off of work. For those applicants still in school, you would generally only apply for a ZCA team during the week of your Spring break (and only miss 1 or 2 days of school in addition) unless you have the flexibility to miss 6-7 days of school in which case you can apply for any team.‍‍‍‍‍‍

What is covered in the cost of the trip?

‍‍‍Every possible necessary cost is covered from the moment you land in NYC on your way to South Africa, until the moment you return to NYC for your domestic portion of your travel home. This includes your flights to South Africa, all‍‍‍ lodging expenses in NYC and South Africa, all transportation costs in South Africa, all meal and chef expenses during your trip, all tour and museum entry fees, all facilitation expenses from Crossings Travel (our 5+ person local South African leadership team), one sports equipment donation and one meaningful souvenir. The only two costs not included are your domestic flights to and from NYC and your travel vaccines. If you are selected for a team, you will be given all the necessary information about what time windows to arrive and depart NYC and which travel vaccines are recommended by the CDC. The vaccines range from $0-150 depending on if you need any and which ones you may need.

What does a ZCA cost?

The total cost for each team is different based on your travel dates (cost of flights & tourist seasons in Cape Town) and your team size. Facilitation costs impact cost per participant differently for different team sizes. We are meticulous about lowering costs every year and have reached incredible efficiency without taking advantage of our African leadership team in the process. Rather than just adding several hundred dollars as a cushion for all possible scenarios, we prefer to make it as cost minimal as possible to each participant. The total cost for your ZCA experience will range between $3600 and $3,970 depending on some of the previously mentioned factors. Your individual cost for your team will be clearly communicated (3-5) months before your trip begins. A non-refundable deposit of $1500 will be due in the first month after you are selected for a team in order to book your flight.

‍‍‍‍‍‍For the few participants who make a team and are still in school, it is a required mandate that $800 of that total $3600 - $3,970 tuition is self-earned directly from personal work efforts (preferably some sort of manual labor). It is important to us that when we enter some of the communities where children may be working instead of getting the opportunity to go to school, you understand the meaning of work and that no participant who comes on ZCA was “given” this entire o‍‍‍pportu‍‍‍nity but that each team member worked and sacrificed (in some way) for it.

Do I need to bring money?

‍‍‍‍‍‍We would NOT suggest bringing lots of cash or means of payment as you would only need it during your domestic travel portion to and from NYC. Any additional souvenirs or things purchased while in South Africa can be reimbursed via PayPal or Venmo to Chad or your group leader on‍‍‍ce yo‍‍‍u arrive back home.


‍‍‍Is this a religious mission‍‍‍ trip?

‍‍‍No. Although missions trips, especially‍‍‍ medical missions, can be valuable, this is not such an experience. And we encourage anyone reading this to investigate the harmful effects that many service, “voluntourism” and mission trips can have on the local communities both in the short and long term.

We are not going to South Africa to share our beliefs with Africans or convert Africans. We are going to LEARN from Africans in a variety of ways all centered around the value of community and community leadership. Each ZCA team will be comprised of people of all different beliefs and faiths and while you’ll be highly encouraged to share your beliefs in team settings and ZCA group discussions, you won’t be sharing your specific religious beliefs to local children. You will have plenty of opportunities to show off your beliefs via the love and service you give others both on our team and in the local African communities. We are going as LEARNERS, not teachers. This is a leadership and growth experience. You are investing in yourself and how you will lead communities and others for the rest of your life.


Do I need to be a basketball player/coach?

‍‍‍‍‍‍You don’t need to have a basketball background. The ZCA teams will be comprised of leaders from a variety of different fields. On the afternoons when we teach basketball, the level of play will be low enough where someone without a basketball background can teach and encourage the young athletes. We will also often split the coaches into groups of two and pair basketball experience with non-basketball exp‍‍‍erie‍‍‍nce.

How do we travel to South Africa?‍‍‍‍‍‍

‍‍‍‍‍‍Each participant from North America books their own domestic flight and flies into a North American hub (most likely NYC) the night before the flight to Cape Town and participates in team building exercises during dinner with their ZCA team. Each team has a group leader who has been on the ZCA experience prior and heads the leadership of bringing the group over and facilitating group exercises the night before the flight to Cape Town. If you are applying from a country outside of North America you will meet the group directly in Cape Town with a similar landing time. The team flies back together with their group leader and all inexperienced trave‍‍‍lers are‍‍‍ assisted once back in NYC airports to get to their domestic flights home.

‍‍‍Where do we meet once we‍‍‍ land in NYC?

‍‍‍‍‍‍Your group leader will organize and clearly communicate all of those logistics once every team members’ domestic flights are booked. Most likely, if you are a younger or inexperienced traveler, you will be met in your baggage claim and shown the shuttle to the hotel or put into small groups with other participants arriving at the same ti‍‍‍me an‍‍‍d jump in an Uber together to the Airbnb.

Why do we fly into NYC the night before?

‍‍‍‍‍‍So much of the curriculum is enhanced by groups being cohesive and the “ice” being broken prior to your arrival in Cape Town. The night before your flight to South Africa is an important team building evening and an opportunity for y‍‍‍ou to get to know your teammates on a de‍‍‍eper level.

Will my application answers be shared public‍‍‍‍‍‍ly or with my ZCA team?‍‍‍‍‍‍

‍‍‍‍‍‍Absolutely not. Answers to the application are incredibly confidential between you and the person creating your team. All information shared in an application is used solely to put together teams that are not only cohesive and diverse, but provide healing and love to one a‍‍‍nother‍‍‍ in incredible ways.




Where you'll‍‍‍ S‍‍‍tay






If I apply will I definitely make a team?

Is it safe to come on this trip?

How long is a ZCA trip?

What is covered in the cost of a trip?

What does a ZCA cost?

Do I need to bring money?

Is this a religious mission trip?

Do I need to be a basketball player/coach?

How do we travel to South Africa?

Where do we meet once we land in NYC?

Why do we fly into NYC the night before?

Will my application answers be shared publicly or with my ZCA team?