Posted: August 30, 2019
Botswana is a country in Southern Africa which is sparsely populated which protects some of Africa’s largest areas of wilderness and encompasses safari-based tourism.
The students spent ten days on the trip of a lifetime, travelling via Johnnesburg on an eleven-hour flight. They went to Tuli Wilderness, which is a reserve in an area of privately owned reserves with no barriers, meaning the animals can freely travel. Whilst in the reserve students viewed wildlife from viewing vehicles, spotting a wide variety of animals including leopards, lions, elephants, giraffes, eland, impala, kudu and wart hogs to name a few. Students also viewed wildlife at night and saw a number of interesting species such as genets, porcupine, bush baby, spring hare and African wild cats.
Kirsty Crook (HNC Animal Management student) said, “The trip was such an experience that will live with me forever, such mixed emotions. I cried because it was over, but smiled throughout it happening. I can’t believe how lucky I am. I was in touching distance of a Lion! It was amazing from the moment we arrived.”
The students also had time to explore the local area, including climbing ‘Eagle Rock’ a huge area in which a pair of Black Verreaux’s Eagles’ nest, where they were lucky enough to see a recently hatched chick in the nest whilst the parents watched students’ every move flying overhead.
Jack Anderson (North Lindsey College Curriculum Leader – Animal Management) said, “I chose Botswana as I have visited there on a number of occasions, it is a really special place, a true wilderness area. As well as that it is known as being the safest country in Africa which is evident when you meet local people who are all very friendly and welcoming.
“Students and staff had a great time visiting Tuli Wilderness, it is an amazing area with such a vast array of wildlife. I’ve visited Botswana on a number of occasions and I feel privileged each time. Each visit is unique, never knowing quite what to expect. On this visit, we were very fortunate with viewing a leopard a number of times and had frequent up and close encounters with elephants. This was a real wilderness experience with students learning so much and creating lifelong memories.”
During the trip the students also visited a local village, had lunch with a local family, learnt how to weave bracelets and visited the local school. They stayed in three campsites within the reserve. Each campsite was unfenced, meaning wildlife could roam through each, with students often hearing animals such as elephants, hyena and porcupines very close to their tents!”
Julie Sillence (HND Animal Management Student) said, “The Botswana trip was an amazing experience which we all feel very lucky to be a part of. Seeing wild animals in their natural habitat is exhilarating and we have memories that will last a lifetime thanks to the opportunities that the UCNL and the accompanying staff have given us. From being surrounded by a herd of elephants, tracking lions and discovering leopard cubs, to climbing Eagle Rock, watching the sunset and watching a meteor race across the sky. The trip was full of enjoyable discoveries.”