Witnessing incredible wildlife, sleeping underneath the stars in the African savannah and watching the sun set after a day’s safari are just some of the experiences awaiting students in Cornwall this month.
Zoology, conservation and wildlife students are heading to Kruger National Park in South Africa for an adventure of a lifetime, but trip coordinator for Cornwall College Newquay, Jane Cooke, said there was a serious reason for the visit.
“This trip is an incredible experience for our staff and students, but it’s important to give people insights into the various career paths available to them that start right here in Cornwall,” she said.
“Getting the chance to closely observe the wealth of wildlife and actively take part in real-life conservation projects has been a life affirming experience and offers the students a new perspective on their studies.”
Jane added that students have returned from the trip “with a renewed focus and determination in terms of what they want to achieve in their own career development”.
The National Park is one of the largest game reserves in Africa and the area the group will be staying, known as the Makuleke Concession, offers varied vegetation, great wildlife viewing and folklore of the early explorers and ancient civilisations.
Once there, the students, who will be immersing themselves in the experience by restricting any technology or even wearing a watch, will be supporting some of the numerous conservation projects that take place in the national park.
In addition to providing the unique opportunity to witness stunning wildlife in their natural habitats, the trip is also designed to equip the students with practical knowledge and skills to enhance their learning. With the help and expert guidance of various guides and game rangers, the students will learn safari guide techniques, conservation skills and wildlife photography as well as a wealth of practical information about the animal and plant life they encountered in the various habitats.
Student Connor Chatelier is currently studying FdSc Animal Behaviour and Psychology at Cornwall College and will be returning to Kruger National Park for the second year running.
Connor said: “Last year’s trip was amazing; I loved travelling to multiple places and experiencing different foods and ways of life from the locals. Tracking and conservation are big interests of mine and I’m really grateful to be able to experience them first-hand. Last year’s trip humbled me and helped me be patient with my studies and set goals rather than rush everything at the last minute. The most profound skills I learnt were patience and the value of teamwork and cooperation. I can’t wait to go back!”
The Kruger conservation experience is one of several breath-taking annual expeditions that Cornwall College Newquay offers, all of which have been described by former students as “incredible” and “enlightening”.
For more information on the range of Zoology, Surf and Marine courses available across The Cornwall College Group visit www.cornwall.ac.uk or call 0845 22 32 567.