Youngsters enrolled on animal management courses at MidKent College’s Medway Campus visited South Africa at the end of last year. They began their action-packed field trip with three nights’ stay at Riverside Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre near Tzaneen, where they looked after a collection of monkeys and baboons.
Then, after a spectacular expedition along the Drakensberg escarpment in Mpumalanga, the students spent two nights in Swaziland’s Hlane Royal National Park, where they encountered elephants, lions and a selection of other equally impressive big game.
Next on the agenda was beautiful Kosi Bay where the group enjoyed some salt-water snorkelling and an international ‘friendly’ with the local school football team.
“This year’s trip was a great success,” said Alastair Down, programme area leader for animal management courses at the college. “The students learnt a great deal about wildlife and conservation, and gained some experiences they will never forget.
“It was great to see the learners maintaining a ‘have a go’ attitude throughout the trip,” he added. “Everyone was keen to get involved in the action, from assisting with veterinary care duties to carrying out an autopsy on an African rock python.”
Teenagers studying horse management at the college accompanied the group on its once-in-a-lifetime trip.
Kicking off their two-week adventure at an equine veterinary practice and top racing yard, these students went on to work the cattle on a real-life ranch and take part in an endurance ride through the Drakensburg Mountains.
“The trip gave our students an opportunity to complete both safari and endurance rides in incredible surroundings” said college equine studies lecturer Julie Lukehurst. “It really was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for them, and one they loved every minute of,” she added.