Since early 2017, the Ajubatus Foundation has coordinated many “Student Experiential” tours to the iconic Kruger National Park. Not only has each trip been customized to the group’s learning requirements and/or interests, but also each student has gotten to engage with wildlife and conservation research in a meaningful and personal way.
Between 2017 and 2021, the Kruger Trips focused on a safari experience that grew the conservation value within university students and allowed them to see the exclusive research being done within Kruger National Park, which the general public often does not have the opportunity to access. With the launch of our course at Stellenbosch University in 2022, however these 7-night/8-day programmes were revised to put into practice the knowledge absorbed during the academic portion of our International Global Education Programme (GEP). But it does not stop there, specialised trips have also been hosted for Stellenbosch University students as a whole, opening up a world of new-found understanding and appreciation of our magnificent National Parks.
What Do These Kruger Trips Entail?
Our Kruger “Safaris” go well beyond the tourism “experience” and considerable time is spent on group interactive activities, behind-the-scenes research tours, and concepts such as Deep Ecology in which the students are actively encouraged to embrace the sheer magnificence of wild Africa and to connect with this concept on a deeper level. Some of our students have even shared that these trips have been life-changing for them, forming bonds with the Ajubatus Team and connections to our natural world that are truly unbreakable. One example is our Marketing and Brand Manager, Kayla Liebenberg, who went on one of these trips in 2017 (as a BCom Marketing student) to embrace her passion for wildlife and returned to confirm her commencement of a new BSc Biodiversity & Ecology degree!
Students have been able to make these deep connections with Kruger, because our chairman John Dyer draws them in with his lifetime of experiences, fascinating wildlife encounters, and deep passion for preserving our natural world! His inexhaustible energy and deep ecology understanding provides a wonderful platform for students to build on their own lives. Such experiences come together during the behind-the-scenes research tours, where these trips provide invaluable knowledge about conservation efforts and allow students to the interact with Researchers, Scientists, and Veterinary personnel. These moments can then be reflected on during our safari game drives, where unforgettable wildlife encounters are made and the hosting Ajubatus Team provides background behind these encounters.
What Else Does The GEP Course Include?
Besides the safari tours and practicals hosted in Kruger National Park, our students (registered with the GEP course) have the opportunity to undertake accredited course lectures at Stellenbosch University, engage with researchers, and embark on long-weekend getaways to the magnificent Garden Route. On these getaways, they are encouraged to participate in research monitoring initiatives, such as the Shot Borer Beetle Project and Shark Genetic Research.
What Are You Waiting For?
The Ajubatus Practical Safaris should be on everyone’s “Bucket List”, with the experience being deemed a positive and unforgettable one. John is a motivational coach of enormous appeal and this is done within an informal and supportive journey that fast becomes an adventure. Whilst our recent trips have been limited to GEP, Stellenbosch University students and personnel are welcome to enquire for small groups (from 10 to 18 adventurers per trip) that wish to undertake an adventure filled with humour and an entirely new way of at looking at our natural world. For more information, please look at our Kruger Adventure Trips. Such trips are also the perfect platform for Corporate or small business “team building” programmes and John, as host, offers up wisdom on so many levels as a Motivational Guide in this often chaotic life we lead. This is evident in his published adventure novel, “Gone Fishing“, in which John led the Corporate Fishing Safaris for De Beers for quite some time.