A collection of testimonials from team leaders and students:
Marine Ecological Economist,
Programme Director for the MSc in Ecological Economics, The University of Edinburgh
“I gave Andrew our brief, our budget, and only the shortest of introductions to Ecological Economics, and he and his team at African Insight Academy came up with a fantastic and relevant itinerary that enabled us to explore community-based conservation, and the challenges that come with trying to achieve conservation and human development gains simultaneously. It’s important for me to say that they did this even though it was quite different to the bulk of the student trips they hosted. They were flexible and supportive and really worked with us to create a trip that was meaningful and impactful for our students. Their flexibility and capacity to tailor trips in different ways – including to radically different sized student groups – was a hallmark of their interactions with us.
It is also important to say that they provided full logistical support, and took health and safety very seriously. African Insight also generally made the delivery of the trip significantly easier from a staff perspective than previous trips had been.
We continued to work with African Insight Academy for the next half a decade. In this time, they remained incredibly flexible and supportive, including helping to facilitate two large groups of students undertaking research projects as the needs, requirements, and funding model of our trip evolved. Helping the students to conduct research projects while on the trip was an incredible feat of adaptation on the part of African Insight Academy staff, and it would have been, fundamentally impossible without African Insight Academy’s understanding of, and sincere investment in, the social and environmental context in which they operate. I often left South Africa feeling like Andrew and his team in African Insight Academy were more embedded in Ecological Economists than they realised!
It was with great reluctance and sadness that we have since moved our trip from South Africa to a location that is accessible from Edinburgh without flying, largely in order to reduce the emissions associated with the trip. This does not in any way diminish the great extent to which I recommend them. If ever I was taking students to South Africa in the future, or even a group of tourists, African Insight would be my first point of call.
Programme Leader for BSc Animal Sciences and Conservation Biology,
“As a University College delivering the subjects of Animal Sciences and Wildlife Conservation at degree level, we have been taking students on an annual field trip from the UK to South Africa with African Insight (AI) for 21 years. I can tell you without any hesitation that I would (and have on many occasions) recommended AI as an academic responsible field trip organisation.
Andrew and the team appoint guides carefully who have the knowledge, experience and communication skills (who can respond appropriately to the demands of the questions) to deliver information at the level required for the trip. The well-structured and risk assessed itineraries are designed mutually to ensure the trip meets the requirements of the course’s students are participating on.
We have recently written a new course – ‘BSc (Hons) Animal Biology and Wildlife Conservation’ – that requires further practical fieldwork. Pongola Reserve is a perfect location for this as it allows access to resources that students would never be able to practice within their own country. The student’s practical skills, knowledge and understanding of the issues that surround wildlife conservation is therefore heightened and has allowed students to critically evaluate conservation and therefore gaining higher grades on their return.
Due to the practical aspects of the trip, many of my students have been successful in getting their career aims within wildlife reserves globally.One factor that may need to be addressed is to allow access to further resources as our numbers are growing with respect to students and therefore expect to be bringing out many more students in the future who require the practical fieldwork experiences.
Thank you, African Insight, for the many years of support, advice and amazing unforgettable experiences you have given to me and my students over the many years. we very much look forward to at least another 21 years.”
Ann Williams, Higher Education Award Leader, Animal Management,
“I have been liaising with African Insight for the past 12 years in regards to their Academic field trips to South Africa. Each year African Insight review our trip which gives us a chance to change the program slightly to ensure we are continually meeting our students needs during the trip.
The students that have undertaken these trips have quoted them as being ‘life changing experiences’. I have even had a number of students return again for a second experience as the trip is so valuable in terms of the knowledge and support they receive from the African Insight guides. A few of my students have also returned independently to Africa to volunteer with African Insight on their internship program and to also volunteer with wildlife rehabilitation centres. The team at African Insight are incredibly supportive before, throughout and after the trip has been completed and this certainly allows the students to feel very comfortable during our academic trips and their subsequent independent trips.
The itineraries that African Insight offer the students are incredibly unique. Students in the U.K do not get the experience of radio tracking African wildlife or indeed scat tracking Giraffe, but African Insight enable the students to do so, professionally, and educationally during their bespoke field trips.
Without access to these field trips students really would not gain the practical experience they desire, and need, in order to fulfil a career in conservation or as a wildlife biologist. Whilst in Africa the students are encouraged to observe as much wildlife as possible, to be immersed within different ecosystems and to view the beautiful landscapes, ultimately whilst working well as a team, again an important skill to achieve which will aid them in seeking animal industry jobs in the future.
African Insight are a one of a kind company that really do keep education, conservation, sustainability and wildlife at the heart of their field trips.”
Academic Lead – Curriculum and Students | University Centre Askham Bryan,
Askham Bryan College
“University Centre Askham Bryan, York, offers a wide range of land-based degrees. As part of the Animal Management, Animal Conservation and Collections Management degree courses, we aim to engage with industry both in the UK and further afield, allowing students to see a wide range of areas that could inspire, challenge and develop their understanding of a sector and potential career opportunities.
Askham Bryan has been taking students out to South Africa for over 10 years as part of an additional study tour allowing students to see some of the key issues around wild animal management and conservation efforts.
University Centre Askham Bryan has been working with African Insight Academy for the international study tours for 4 years, where we have focused our visit at Somkhanda Game Reserve, Pongola Game Reserve and Kosi Bay. The African Insight team far exceeded our expectations with the range of activities undertaken at all three reserves, academic discussions and level of research. Students gained a key understanding of reserve management and all that it entails. The visit assisted the students with their studies, by allowing them to use the theoretical knowledge gained in the classroom from a range of different modules and applying them in the field. It is fair to say that the experience on offer with African Insight is one of the best Askham Bryan has had in South Africa and we have been in talks to return again in 2020, as we continue to develop a strong relationship between the two organisations.”
Department of Life Sciences, University of Roehampton, London:
“We have worked with African Insight for 10 years developing a university-level module/programme titled Conservation, People, and Wildlife: South African Fieldtrip. This is a module open to our students who have completed the second year of their degrees in zoology, biological sciences, or anthropology. The module, delivered almost entirely in South Africa, brings together the perspectives of wildlife conservation science, environmental/ecology, and human social/cultural perspectives to explore critically key wildlife conservation issues. We bring to the module our academic specialisms, but it only works because of Andrew Anderson’s passionate interest in, and commitment to, conservation education in situ; the range of specialists/practioners he draws on who offer orientations/discussions and experiential sessions; and the organisational expertise of African Insight. Through these fieldtrips our students have an infinitely richer educational experience than they would in the classroom or the library of the university.
African Insight offers an extremely flexible approach to put together the programmes that colleges and universities seek and, in terms of practicalities it attends to and arranges all the needs of any field course.
We would not conceive of planning our South Africa programme with any other company. With African Insight there is everything one needs to create, and deliver, a first-rate experience/education-rich and a superbly managed field course.”
Kirstie Lea McNulty, Intern
“No words to describe how amazing my experience was thanks to African Insight and their amazing guides Michael, Shadrack and Thabani. I’ve learnt so much and most of all been inspired to be the best conservationist I can be. Thank you for showing me the bigger picture and what it means to work in conservation. Already panning my next trip to volunteer.”
Hannah Donkin, Grade 10, 2019:
Jessica Deeb, Grade 10, 2019:
Taetym Hockly, Grade 10, 2019:
Mpilo Zondi, Grade 10, 2019:
Tayla Crockett, Grade 10, 2019
Karmishta Moodley, Grade 10, 2019:
Rachael Daley, Grade 10, 2019:
Hannah Oxenham, Grade 10, 2019:
Megan Ham (Educator), March 2020: