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Students visit South Africa for once-in-a-lifetime trip

28 February 2024
BSc Animal Science students recently went on an unforgettable journey into the heart of Africa.

BSc Animal Science students recently went on an unforgettable journey into the heart of Africa, to enhance their learning on our Higher Education courses. 

The five-day adventure delved into conservation practices and helped our students gain a great amount of experience that they wouldn’t get anywhere else. Led by Dr. Andrew McCarthy and Maureen Collins, this expedition unfolded as a key memory for our students and some are planning to go back again this December. 

The adventure kicked off at Moholoholo Game Reserve, nestled in the Drakensberg Mountains, offering breathtaking views and an intimate connection with South Africa’s wildlife. Activities like bush walks, tracking wildlife, and game viewing drives provided firsthand encounters with many different species.  

Shannon loved the variety of activities that she was able to take part in, saying: “The Africa trip was such a great experience that bult my knowledge and confidence and I had so many amazing opportunities and met amazing people that I wouldn’t have done otherwise. A year on I still speak about it.”  

Our students’ journey continued to Moholoholo Rehabilitation Centre, which is home to sick and injured animals and birds. Here, our students witnessed the dedication and passion of the staff and were able to contribute to the rescue and rehabilitation of South Africa’s wildlife. Behind-the-scenes projects, tours, and encounters with rare African vultures showed the critical role these creatures play in conservation.  

Naomi’s favourite memories of her journey to South Africa were from Moholoholo, saying: The vast array of incredible opportunities that I had a chance to be part of was the best bit about the trip. I even met a cheetah that was hand-reared which I would never have been able to meet otherwise. I got to see animals with natural behaviours that you wouldn’t be able to see in England such as lions taking their cubs across the rivers. Every day was such a big, huge adventure for us.”  

Our students also took part in a comprehensive first aid course, mirroring wildlife rangers’ training, emphasised safety in the wild. The journey ended in the magnificent Kruger National Park, a sprawling sanctuary teeming with diverse wildlife.  

This was a trip that the students will remember for a lifetime, with Alex looking back with fond memories: “Going to South Africa was what I thought could only be a once in a lifetime experience. For most people it is but I loved it so much that I am planning my next visit to go back. There was so much involved in our adventure, and it would be impossible to not love every second. We got to participate in a release of a giraffe, cuddling a cheetah, stroking rhinos, and tracking various animals. Swimming in a waterfall and venturing through the plains after elephants is something that I won’t ever forget. We also got to go on a night game drive where we got to listen to the hippos and hyenas in the dark. The trip was so educational and gave us the opportunity to learn so much.” 

Students from our BSc Animal Science course with lecturer Maureen.

You too could take part in unique experiences like this with our Higher Education Animal Care courses.