A group of University Centre Myerscough animal studies staff and students have enjoyed an unforgettable time working in South Africa.
The group recently visited KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa with Gap Africa Projects to take part in the Zulu Land Conservation experience.
All students were involved in carrying out conservation work within and outside of Nambiti private game reserve and at Zingela safari and river company. Activities including game and ‘big five’ monitoring, reptile and invertebrate trapping, practical conservation work and biodiversity assessments.
Trip highlights included bush walks to assess the presence of the big 5, night drives looking for nocturnal game as part of the anti-poaching initiatives and on-foot giraffe monitoring and identification.
One of the most heart-warming parts of the trip included students picking the top 20 art submissions for the rhino art competition where the winners win a 7 day stay at the camp and get to visit the game reserve.
Senior Lecturer Lou Bell, the trip leader, said: "Community work is fundamentally the most important part of any conservation initiative where community empowerment is key for project success.
‘’We were lucky enough to witness twenty local Zulu children winning their prizes which included toys, games, books and clothes from the 85 kg of donations taken over with the staff and students. In true Zulu fashion, this included dancing, singing and lots of hugging from all including us.
‘’We hope to continue this initiative and are currently looking for donations to help fund the kids camp which only costs £30 per child.
‘’The students discovered new life skills and experienced things they couldn’t do anywhere else in the world. It was a great experience for everyone in the group.
‘’All in all it was a little different to normal, and an awesome trip.’’
Places are still available on our animal studies programmes for a September start.