Student Kruger Adventure Trips (2017 – 2023)

by | Dec 14, 2022 | 2 comments

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. 

Students have been captivated by the grand presence of wildlife and how the expanse of wilderness can positively impact them. Source: Photograph taken by one of our students (2022)

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!

Photograph taken on one of our trips in 2017, where Kayla Liebenberg (on top of car bonnet on left) explored her passion for wildlife, participated in the Wild4Kids community initiative, and met John Dyer (stretched out on the floor), who has a contagious humour and connection to the bushveld.

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.

In 2022, Ajubatus GEP students went on a trip to Tsitsikamma to do research on the Shot Hole Borer Beetle (SHBS), which is an invasive insect species from Asia that has placed many of our indigenous and heritage trees at risk.

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.

About Kayla Liebenberg
Kayla is a driven and motivated individual who is passionate about wildlife and conservation. She always strives to significantly contribute to the scientific community and throughout her own life. She has worked with renowned researchers in her scientific work, has participated in formal scientific societies, and even presented at conferences, such as the annual Fynbos Forum. At the Ajubatus Foundation, Kayla focuses on broadening our opportunities to collaborate with other organizations, developing products that resonate with our target audience, planning our marketing campaigns, and ensuring that operations go smoothly and reach our targets.


  1. Tim Ruebsam

    These trips are wonderful opportunities for students from South Africa or across the globe to experience the African Bush first hand. I had the chance to take part in two trips during my time in SA back in 2022 and the time in the park was truly life changing. Never have I ever encountered so much beauty, diversity and just stunning landscapes in one place.

    The Ajubatus team was sure to make these trips memorable. From the very beginning we felt welcome, taken care of and in safe hands. John and the amazing people behind the foundation really know how to introduce students to the concepts of conservation, deep ecology, and get people excited about the great outdoors. The countless stories from his time in the African bush and opportunities to interact with experts in the field were filled with value!

    Thank you for this incredible experience! Memories I will cherish forever.


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