Hillcrest learners go wild about eco tour

Learners and a few staff members from Hillcrest High School were selected to go on an Eco tour at Bayete Lodge, Zululand Rhino Reserve recently. PHOTO: Matthew Willman

TEN learners from Hillcrest High School attended a sponsored trip to Bayete Lodge in the Zululand Rhino Reserve recently. The learners were selected by staff members and ranged from Grades 9 to Grade 11.

Though a mixed bunch, one of the highlights was how the group gelled together, as if drawn together in consideration of something bigger than themselves.

Some of the Hillcrest High School learners excited about their game drive. PHOTO: Matthew Willman.

During the few days, along with soaking up the whole experience out in the reserve, observing the animals and extensive birdlife, the learners were privileged to listen to talks by key persons in the KwaZulu-Natal conservation community, including: Chris Galliers (Project Rhino coordinator and chairman of the Africa Committee of the Game Rangers Association); Frances Hannah, from the Zululand Conservation Trust which works with Project Rhino and Etienne Gerber, Project Rhino Zapwing pilot.

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There was a Skype classroom session for learners to share all they had learned, organised by the Technology Integrator, Margaret Tracey, partnering with Eshowe High School.

Local and internationally renowned photographer, Matthew Willman, offered his photographic services and images free of charge to help the cause of conservation.

Some of the Hillcrest High School learners excited about their game drive. PHOTO: Matthew Willman.

One of the learners, on his return to school, told his teacher that he now knows what he wants to do when he finishes school next year.

The grade controller, who nominated him for this amazing adventure, said she realised that this trip had a much greater impact on the learners than she had ever imagined.

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Hillcrest High School headmaster, Craig Girvin, added his thanks particularly to the Johnny Lowe Memorial Trust and the Ken Collins Charity Trust for the opportunity.

“I am grateful that in a short space of time we were able to ensure the trip happened and our learners were able to make use of this wonderful opportunity,” said Girvin.


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Deshni Ramkissoon-Pillay

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