Category Archives: Study Abroad News

News articles for Study Abroad trips to South Africa, Swaziland and Kruger National Park

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February News

African Quiver News:

AQ Clients Icons

Our Client List:

Study Abroad:
Chadron State College | Texas A&M |University of Tampa |
Columbia Business School |

Film Location Management:
Warner Bro’s Netherlands | Endemol Shine |TVN Poland |
GTNCO France

We have had a super 2016, with new friends and new destinations explored. Our year saw us facilitating study abroad tours (Johannesburg, Kruger National Park and Swaziland) as well as Cape Town, Kruger National Park and Johannesburg. The groups varied between 10 and 42 and each group had different objectives and motives but they all got the chance to view classic South African beauty and hospitality.

As an exciting spin off, we also produced a number of tailor made holidays. We have ventured into Botswana, Zimbabwe and Swaziland, while anchoring the tours around South Africa. Feel free to peruse some of our digital itineraries of current, recent and future tours:


These tours have been developed following conversations with the guests to suit their requirements. Our tours are affordable and pack in as much adventure and beautiful scenery as possible. Some of the tours drill down a little further and we visit various cultures and also to speak to experts about the social and political aspects of the dynamic South African heritage.

We would be delighted to help your friends or family put a trip together to visit South Africa – if you have a sports club looking for new territory to conquer and you fancy riding your mountain bike, hitting the trail or paddling the rivers or oceans, let us know.

We have also worked with film crews, most recently was the Warner Bro’s crew from the Netherlands and we performed an array of services for them from Location Management, Game Production, Scouting to pre and post production services.

Our tours and services are affordable and pitched at the desired level. With 10 years in the tourism industry and having travelled South Africa extensively, we have our favourite spots we would love to share with visitors from abroad.

 

Contact Mike Richardson on mike@africanquiver.co.za or Vikki Crook on vikki@africanquiver.co.za.

 

Have a look at our testimonials page for past experiences

 

Call our office on: +27 13 492 0769 or mobile / cell number: +27 83 310 5116

 

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Trip Report with Texas A&M and University of Tampa 2016

Texas A&M’s faculty of Agri-Business recently concluded a field trip to southern Africa along with students and faculty leaders from the University of Tampa. This trip was facilitated by African Quiver, a tour operation specializing in special interest tours with a strong conservation bias.

Map of our trip: 

 

Day 1-3: Johannesburg: Apartheid Museum, IRR, Soweto Bike Ride

The trip began in Johannesburg with a visit to the Institute of Race Relations, here Dr Frans Cronje provided the students with an expert analysis of South Africa’s socio/political and economic scenario. This aspect has been designed to provide the travellers with an in-depth understanding of what makes South Africa tick and learn from this unique country, whose young democracy is under scrutiny.

This seminar is followed by a bicycle trip around Soweto, taking in the epicentre of South Africa’s revolutionary period. All visitors are heartily welcomed in Soweto which bears testimony to the miraculous transformation that has occurred since 1994. A subsequent visit to the well curated Apartheid Museum further entrenches the real scale of the South Africa’s modern history.

Armed with this understanding and infusion into the workings of South Africa, the group had ample ammunition as a backdrop to perfect their Qualitative Marketing Strategy techniques, and with this we headed for the magical Kingdom of Swaziland. Read more on Swaziland here, but in short, this is where animals are to be seen, adventure is to be had and culture is to be immersed into.

Day 4: The Kingdom of Swaziland: Travel day and Ngwenya Glass visit

We entered via Ngwenya Glass, whose own story is that of a forebear to sustainable and responsible trading, while producing world class glass products, from recycled glass, powered by KFC cooking oil!

Day 5: Tree Top Canopy Tour and Meeting Nedbank

Onwards then to Malolotja National Park, a mountain reserve with few peers. The fascinating Canopy Tours were well enjoyed by all, while taking in breath-taking scenery, bird spotting and warming up next to log fires in the cabins.

This trip was followed by a visit to Nedbank where Ms Fikile Nkosi, MD, generously provided her time to explain to the group the workings of the banking system in Swaziland. Of great interest is their partnership with SWADE and a heart-warming story of rags to riches for impoverished villagers – led by a public private partnership that, well, just works!

Day 6: Museums, Shisa Nyama, Sunset Game Drive at Hlane Royal National Park

No thorough introduction into Swaziland is complete without a step on guided tour of Swaziland’s Museum and Sobhuza memorial, this interesting excursion was followed by a hearty Shisa Nyama – an opportunity to barbeque meat and mingle with the locals.

Day 7: Hlane and Village Tour

We headed down into the Lowveld to visit and base ourselves at Hlane Royal National Park. The rhino sightings at the waterhole were epic, while under the watchful gaze of the heavily armed rangers.

It was appropriate to move into second academic gear at Hlane considering the topic under discussion was the rhino poaching crisis. Swaziland’s Big Game Parks, of which Hlane is a member, has held the record for the most successful anti-poaching success and our group were to meet with the CEO and founder, Mr Ted Reilly soon after.

While at Hlane, the group went to visit an authentic village high on the Lebombo mountain range, walking past a church group singing anthems. This was en-route to see a traditional healer and to sample umcomboti.

 Day 8 SWADE site visits

We followed this excursion up with another to learn about LUSIP under the watchful guidance of SWADE and RMI. This is the project Nedbank is involved with and essentially it is about knowledge sharing, training previously impoverished farmers how to take their product to market and being able to irrigate from the LUSIP system. The travellers from the agri-business faculty found this most fascinating.

 Day 9 Mkhaya Game Reserve

Our next stop, also in the Lowveld was to Mkhaya Game Reserve, “A refuge for endangered animals”. It is also under heavy surveillance by professionally militarily trained rangers, armed with automatic weapons. This reserve has the most unique accommodation we stayed in – the open sided stone and thatch chalets at Stone Camp. With black rhino sightings, white rhino sightings while on foot, this winter viewing opportunity afforded great encounters with large animals. The visit was made more complete by the fortunate encounter of some of the conservation world’s heroes. Ted Reilly, David Cook and George Hughes. At this impromptu fireside gathering, the students were afforded the opportunity to test their interviewing skills at these masters of conservation. Much was learnt on both sides of the fire but a wonderful evening was had by all.

 Day 10: Mlilwane, Candles Factory, Roan Antelope Game Drive

Our merry band of travellers then headed up to the middleveld region, home to Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary and HQ of Big Game Parks. The group got to test the beehive accommodation units before settling into Sondzela Backpackers, the Wildest Backpackers in Swaziland. Mlilwane is an outdoor lover’s paradise and an opportunity to embark on personal discovery in the company of plains game – the absence of dangerous animals makes this a unique opportunity.

Days 11,12,13&14: Rock of Execution Hike, Sondzela Backpackers, Nguni Cattle Visit & Overnight Horseback Cave Trail

We sampled much of what makes Mlilwane famous – among those pursuits were a scramble up the infamous Rock of Execution – a 3hr hike that can be described as strenuous but so far accomplished by every member on an African Quiver expedition – this was followed by the overnight horseback trail where our lodgings for the night on this fully inclusive horseback trip was a cave, expertly hosted by various members of Chubeka Trails (the trailing division on Mlilwane). Some of us took to the hills via fresh trails marked for their annual Imvelo MTB Classic, we whizzed past wildebeest, kudu, warthog Nyalas, blesbok, while searching for crocodiles and hippos. Some of the group enjoyed an adventure caving experience at Gobholo caves, reputed to be the second largest chain of granite caves in the world, this was followed by wallowing in the Cuddle Puddle hot springs munching on awesome pizza.

We arranged to view the Nguni Cattle on Mlilwane, a breed endemic to Swaziland which faced extinction in the early 1980’s owing to their small size. Here we learnt about the importance of cattle to the Swazi’s as well as the different types of Ngunis. It was here again that we encountered Ted and his fellow conservationists where we had another great evening’s discussion and learning at over 150 year’s worth of hand’s on conservation experience.

Day 16, 17 and 18 Transfer to Kruger National Park

Our Intrepid group then headed for a three night safari expedition in Kruger National Park. We were based at Lower Sabie for two nights before rounding the whole trip up with a wonderful stay at Berg en Dal. Lion, Elephant, white and black rhino, buffalo were all to be seen, what remained elusive on this trip was the leopard. Next time!

See what the clients said:

 

 



About African Quiver

This trip represents an area of expertise for African Quiver, we know this area exceptionally well and thus able to tailor trips suited for specific groups. We recently conducted a similar trip for a group of 7 adventurers, also from America – stay tuned for the next trip report of the King Expedition to southern Africa.

While not on tour, African Quiver has been involved with several television productions, most notably to French and the Polish version of “Who is the Mole.” These major productions required logistical planning, accommodation and general fixing and the areas covered so far: Johannesburg (Soweto, CBD & Haartbeestpoort Dam) The Panorama Route in Mpumalanga, The Kruger National Park, Pilgrim’s Rest, Zimbali / Durban / Pietermaritzburg, the Drakensberg.

We have arranged a Botswana tour as well as extensions in and around South Africa – Lukimbi, Idube, Shepherd’s Tree Lodge, Ivory Tree Lodge as well as Cape Town…fantastic 3 and 4 day packages.

Contact us on info@africanquiver.co.za to arrange your affordable trip that is steeped in adventure, wildlife and immersion into our wonderful territory.

Mike Richardson

African Quiver

Nelspruit

+27 13 492 0769

info@africanquiver.co.za

www.africanquiver.co.za


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Pretoriuskop, Kruger National Park

Texas A&M takes in the iconic Kruger National Park

What’s a Study Abroad Trip to South Africa without a visit to the iconic Kruger National Park? African Quiver decided to pay homage to the oldest camp in the Kruger. Pretoriuskop is very accessible and being situated in the south west region of the Park offers some of the most dramatic scenery – rocky outcrops overlooking pristine bushveld. This varied landscape therefore produces habitats suitable for a broad spectrum of animals. Notable for buffalo territory, this habitat is ideal for the elusive leopard…countless visits to the Park yield super check lists, however, they often exclude this famed feline. Having trawled the Voortrekker Road leading to Pretoriuskop twice with limited success, African Quiver’s guide, Vikki Crook mustered the troops for an early morning assault on the Shabeni Loop (see pic above). Barely one minute out of the Pretorisukop Camp, Vikki’s eagle eyes caught movement in a huge Marula tree off to our left.

 Leopard!
Slightly obscured, 2 leopard are actually visible
Slightly obscured, 2 leopard are actually visible

This had the Texas A&M students craning their necks and squinting their eyes into the dawn darkness, thinking that Vikki was hallucinating. Yet, there! The tree shook and as the sun gradually illuminated the tree, the distinctive tail came into sharp relief. But wait! She also had a kill! All Texas A&M eyes were now focused on that tree, and with crowds of vehicles (some might say a “lot”of cars…or even a “clutch of cars”- thanks Gemma!) arriving, more was revealed like an exciting Christmas present being revealed as the paper is gently removed. For at the base of the tree, two young leopards were gallivanting around, oblivious to the carnage and mayhem that must have played out only minutes before our arrival. For Mother Nature had just orchestrated the recurring great drama, predator vs prey. With absolute silence in our Sprinter, the scene had transfixed all and sundry. The heightened excitement elevated once more with a 4th young leopard zealously tugging at the precariously held prey. 4 leopard in one sighting – what a humbling experience that touched even the most hardened city slicker in our group.

Pretoriuskop was very well appointed with a number of levels of accommodation – from backpacker / dorm types to the more exclusive chalets with modern finishings, the Kruger National Park is fast becoming an all-round global conservation blue-print

Getting the run down of how Soweto came to be

Study Abroad in South Africa and Swaziland teaches Market Research

Texas A&M University as well as the University of Tampa designed a field trip to give students the experience and skills needed to participate in rigorous market research that recognises the context of the consumers and the products and services being marketed

 Trip report by Dr Victoria Salin

 

Testimonials from Agri Business Tour to southern Africa 2015

I just got done with a trip with African Quiver. I was a part of a Marketing Study Abroad trip with Texas A&M University and we went through African Quiver for all of our itinerary and planning. Mike was very proactive emailing all of the students to make sure that we had a place to stay upon arrival in Johannesburg before I officially started. I met him at our hotel and thought he would just be touching in with us through each of our stops but I was pleasantly surprised that he was with us for the duration of our trip! He put up with our crazy, American college group with professionalism and a great sense of humor. He was willing to alter our plans when we had petty requests like stopping at a certain shop (I was on a mission to find a woven grass basket and he made sure that happened) Part way through the trip we met his partner Vicki. What an amazing woman! She jumped right into our crazy group and took over where Mike was when he had to go tend to other things for a little while. She acted as guide, herder, mother, and spotter (she spotted a leopard in a tree in the almost dark!) Mike and Vicki are absolutely wonderful people and made my first trip to Africa better than I ever could have expected. If you are looking to plan a trip in the Southern Africa area please please please go through African Quiver!! You will not be disappointed!