The largest game reserve in South Africa, Kruger has more species of mammal than any other African reserve and is an important stop on any school biology field trip to the country.
During this fieldtrek, accompanied by experienced naturalist guides, pupils will learn to observe wildlife in a variety of habitats, including one of South Africa’s top nature reserves, Kruger National Park.
This biology themed fieldtrek starts in South Africa’s capital, Johannesburg, where you will be met by our ground team, who will accompany the group throughout your adventure.
You will explore the great Blyde River Canyon, one of the world’s largest natural gorges, before a visit to the Moholoholo Rehabilitation centre. This centre is an important rescue centre for injured and mistreated animals, and will provide pupils with a greater understanding of wildlife conservation. The centre is home to predators such as lion, leopard and cheetah; there are huge areas for these big cats to roam free, and pupils will learn about the process of their rehabilitation at Moholoholo.
Afterwards, you will continue to the world famous Kruger National Park, for three days of African wildlife study - a thrilling experience for pupils, identifying various species of animals, reptiles and birdlife. Kruger is rich in bio-diversity and home to elephant, lion, buffalo and leopard, as well as some of the world’s most critically endangered species, such as African wild dog, black rhino and saddle-billd stork. Pupils will learn to track different species, record findings and contribute to ongoing field work. Each evening the group will reflect on the day’s sightings, whilst listening out and perhaps spotting nocturnal animals around the campfire.
Today you will leave the UK for your overnight flight to Johannesburg in South Africa.
Upon arrival in Johannesburg, you will be met by your local guide who will show you to your vehicle and introduce you to your driver. You will then head due east to the Lowveld region of South Africa.
Begin your exploration of southern Africa with a tour around the world-famous ‘Panorama Route’. This is one of the most beautiful and popular travel destinations in South Africa. It leads through the rugged mountain range of the northern Drakensberg. Here, in the north-eastern part of the Great Escarpment, the inland plateau declines abruptly and steeply and opens up fantastic views of the plains of the Lowveld a thousand metres below. The most spectacular stretch is the Blyde River Canyon, from where a small loop road leads to ‘God’s Window’ – a spectacular view! The Canyon starts at ‘Bourke’s Luck Potholes’ and ends at the ‘Three Rondavels’. From many well-positioned vantage points one has a view of the 33 kilometre long gorge. The Potholes are very impressive rock formations that were shaped millions of years ago by erosion. The bizarre swirl holes developed when the once rapid river carried masses of sand and debris. You will also visit the wonderful Echo Caves, where you can see spectacular stalactites and stalagmites inside this National Monument.
Today you will have the opportunity to explore Moholoholo Rehabilitation centre. Wildlife is brought to the centre from all corners of South Africa, and once healthy enough are re-introduced into their natural environments. Those creatures that cannot be returned to the wild due to the nature and extent of their injuries are cared for at the centre and are used to educate the many people who visit us each year, both from across South Africa and abroad. The Centre now houses confiscated lions from a Mozambique circus, plus leopard, caracal, serval, cheetah, crowned eagle, martial eagle, vultures and many more that have been confiscated, orphaned, or injured. You will have a guided tour of the centre, and will be introduced to all the animals before enjoying some lunch on the grass where many smaller species roam free. In the afternoon, you will continue on an extended tour of the centre.
Today you will head towards Kruger National Park, visiting the Hoedpsruit Endangered Species Centre en route. Following an introductory presentation of the Centre, you will enjoy an in-depth tour in open safari vehicles with experienced guides moving between the various enclosures, enabling you to view cheetah, wild dog, lions, black-footed cat, African wild cat, ground hornbills, sable antelope and much more. After your tour at the Centre, you will continue to the world-famous Kruger National Park.
You will want to get up early today to head out to explore the national park. Kruger National Park is the largest game reserve in South Africa, covering 18,989 square kilometres, and extends 350 kilometres from north to south and 60 kilometres from east to west. Elephant, lion, rhino, buffalo and leopard are all found at Kruger National Park, which has more species of mammals than any other African reserve (at 147 species). Other species that you may come across include zebra, giraffe, hippo, impala, eland, kudu, cheetah and wildebeest.
Days 7-8 :
Another two full days day to explore the amazing wildlife of Kruger! Don’t forget to look out for the small things – there are 517 species of bird found in Kruger as well as numerous smaller mammals such as scrub hares, bushbabies and elephant-shrews.
Leaving Kruger National Park, you will head to The Elephant Sanctuary, near Hazyview. Their ‘Elephant Experience’ includes brushing down and grooming of the elephants with their handlers on a one-on-one basis, followed by an amazing one and a half hours of up-close and personal interactive educational programme with the elephants in their natural environment. Experienced guides share in-depth information and insight into African elephants and you will have the opportunity of walking trunk-in-hand with elephants. You get the opportunity to learn about elephant personalities, habits and behaviour. After your visit, you will head to your final campsite where you can have a celebratory final meal.
Leaving the Lowveld, you head back to Johannesburg for your overnight flight back to the UK
You will land back into the UK early this morning – welcome home!
- Destination: South Africa
- When to go: Mar to Oct
- Duration: 11 days
- Trip type: Fieldtrek
- Subject: Geography, biology
- Kruger National Park
- Moholoholo Rehabilitation Centre
- Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre
- Elephant experience
- Panorama route
- Accommodation: Camping
- Ideal for: Ages 16 to 18
Travellers will need:
- Strong interest in the chosen subject
- A desire to learn more in its natural environment
Situated at the base of the Drakensberg mountain range, Moholoholo is a rehabilitation centre for abandoned or injured animals, and offers students an immersive conservation experience.
One of South Africa’s most significant natural features, Blyde River Canyon is formed mainly from red sandstone and is part of the Drakensberg escarpment. It has an exceptional diversity of flora.
With a particular focus on cheetahs, Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre runs a breeding programme for vulnerable or rare animals and serves as a centre of education for local students.