Africa Inspection Visit Report
On the 21st October 2017, our first Africa inspection visit of academic year 2017/18 took place.
Three teachers from the USA & UK and 2 Glo-Ed staff linked up at Heathrow T3 and jetted off to Johannesburg, before the 6 hr transfer to Maputaland near the Mozambique border.
We inspected Somkhanda Game Reserve, and the educational programmes that take place there. On arrival to the reserve we were greeted with appearances from white rhino and bull elephants, before taking to our lodge accommodation for the night.
The next morning we started with a walking safari on foot in Big 5 territory, where we studied the wildlife that often gets overlooked on a game vehicle. We watched dung beetles hard at work, and spotted many rare birds. We investigated the recent destruction left behind by the elephants, and we tracked African wild dogs.
In the afternoon we took some pool time in the 46 degree heat, before a game drive to the dam to set some camera traps and try our hand at telemetry tracking.
Day 3 saw us transfer over to the local Zulu community homestays, where we enjoyed conversation and drinks with some of the community elders. We inspected their accommodations for students who integrate integrate into the community and met with the English speaking community hosts who showed us around.
From there we moved onwards to Royal Thonga at Tembe Game Reserve where we witnessed many spectacles such as elephants dust bathing and a lion kill!
Day 4 we moved to Kosi Bay. We spent time in the river estuary and snorkelled the mangroves where we saw eels and exotic fish, including the lion fish! We walking the desolate coast of the Indian Ocean and had talks on the coastal ecosystems. We inspected a few local fish traps and learnt about the history of the coast.
In the afternoon we headed out on a boat around the estuary lakes, where we bumped into hippo, several varieties of kingfishers, flamingos, eagles and vultures.
Day 5 was dedicated to the long airport drive back, but we all felt pretty zonked after a whirlwind visit and chance to see the best of this northern pocket of South Africa.
In summary, we decided that Somkhanda is a super destination for terrestrial conservation, community service learning and cultural immersion, river and estuary ecosystems, marine biology, anthropology/population studies, and wildlife.
More gallery photos can be found here: https://glo-ed.com/highlights-from-africa-october-17