Do you see educational travel as simply a ‘fancy’ way of sightseeing? We’ve got news for you! Educational travel has become so much more than just exploring the off-the-beaten-track nooks and corners of the world. Especially, when you head to Southern Africa. See, the thing is Southern Africa is the ideal place for a learn-through-travel experience: whether you want to develop life skills or leadership identification or if you want to learn more about development, arts, culture, drama, fun, wildlife, leisure, outdoor adventure, sports matches or curricular subjects.
Here are some of the top learn-through-travel experiences on offer:
Explore the origins of humankind in South Africa
Translating to ‘returning to the place of origin’, Maropeng (the official visitor centre of the Cradle of Humankind) and the Sterkfontein Caves will take visitors to the ‘birthplace of humanity’. The Cradle of Humankind is one of the eight World Heritage Sites in South Africa and is widely recognised as the place from which all of the humankind originated. Stretching over 47 000-hectares, the site has unearthed the best evidence of the journey the human species has taken to where we are today. The site is a major international tourism destination with a total of 387 tourism attractions including 91 graded establishments.
Also look forward to star gazing, picnics and even talking to a dodo.
Learn about environmental management in Botswana
Despite the majority of Botswana’s landscape falling within the Kalahari Desert, the country is very much a top wildlife destination with its wilderness, rivers and swamps. Travellers interested in environmental management should consider heading to Botswana for the adventure of a lifetime. You will be given a first-hand look at what ecologist, species specialists, wildlife managers and anti-poaching agents’ day-to-day tasks entail.
Also look forward to working with wildlife up close, interacting with communities and adventure
Volunteer amongst the dolphins in Mozambique
While nobody would need an excuse to visit Mozambique, there is actually more to the destination than its beaches and delicious food. Throughout the country there are various initiatives and programmes that travellers can join to learn and to give back to the community, however, if there is one activity that stands out, it is the Dolphin Education Centre, based in Ponta Do Ouro. Experiences available through the Dolphin Encounter Centre include dolphin care volunteering, dolphin retreats and scheduled dolphin dates. Worldwide research also suggests that swimming with dolphins can help travellers de-stress and relax; alleviate depression, assist with insomnia and help disabilities such as ADD, autism, muscular dystrophy and downs syndrome to name but a few. At the dolphin centre, travellers will learn more about the therapeutic qualities of dolphins.
Also look forward: Diving, snorkelling, adventure
Learn to put mind over matter at the Victoria Falls
Who said that learning must be boring? Southern Africa with its diverse landscapes and cultures will offer more than enough for the adventurous at heart to get their adrenaline fix. This is especially true in Zambia, home to the mighty Victoria Falls. Whether it is learning about mind over matter through bungee or bridge jumping, getting involved in overland cycling tours to interact with local communities or learning about basic survival in the bush through a bush camp – Zambia will not disappoint. As a team-building activity, also consider white-water rafting.
Also look forward to helicopter flights over the Victoria Falls, walking with lions and other encounters with wildlife.