Zululand's Biodiversity Discovery

Wildlife Odyssey - South Africa’s Conservation Success Story

12 – 14 days

This academic field trip promises a deep dive into the science, conservation, and natural beauty of these valuable protected areas which are part of the South African Conservation Success Story, providing valuable insights and fostering a profound appreciation for the wonders of our world.
Embark on an enriching academic field trip, exploring conservation gems Ezemvelo Nature Reserve, Pongola Game Reserve, Kosi Bay Lake system, and Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park. Delve into the heart of Africa’s oldest protected areas, a journey filled with opportunity to experience rich biodiversity and conservation excellence. Join us for hands-on education and exploration in the realm of wildlife conservation.


Explore the incredible transformation of Pongola Game Reserve, from Africa’s first proclaimed game reserve to a period of de-proclamation and transformation into agricultural land, and finally, a rewilding triumph.

Witness the awe-inspiring presence of 4 of the ‘Big 5’ (minus lions) against the backdrop of the Lebombo mountain range and Lake Jozini.

Pongola is a testament to the South African conservation success story, fostering diverse ecosystems supporting nearly 90 mammal species and over 250 bird species.

Ezemvelo Nature Reserve’s location within the Highveld Grassland biome, biodiversity, and commitment to preserving a threatened biome make it an ecologically distinctive and invaluable protected area in South Africa.

The reserve boasts an impressive diversity of flora and fauna, including numerous grass species, birds, reptiles, and mammals. Some species are adapted to the harsh environmental conditions of the Highveld, making it a hotspot for biodiversity.

Ezemvelo features several wetlands, dams, and rivers which support a wide range of aquatic life and attract a variety of water-dependent wildlife. The presence of wetlands within a grassland biome is ecologically distinctive.

Explore the wonders of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Isimangaliso Wetland Park. Stretching over 280 km of coastline, this protected area is a paradise of blue seas, white beaches, wetlands, lakes, and unique terrestrial habitats. Nestled in the northernmost region of the park, Kosi boasts 4 pristine lakes interconnected by meandering channels, wetlands, mangrove swamps ranging from fresh to salt water, finally entering the Indian ocean via a pristine estuary, earning its status as a global biodiversity hotspot. Immerse yourself in the untouched beauty of this extraordinary coastal wonderland.

An internationally revered wildlife sanctuary, Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park often referred to as the “jewel of Zululand,” and is steeped in history, wildlife diversity, and natural wonder. A landscape of rolling hills, winding rivers, and lush woodlands. The park’s diverse terrain not only offers breathtaking vistas but is the foundation that supports abundant biodiversity.

These protected areas are not just wildlife havens but also jewels for wildlife conservation education as we gain first-hand experience through:

Download the programme brochure

Leave your details and we’ll send the programme brochure to your inbox:
DISCLAIMER: By submitting the above form you will be added to African Insight Academy’s mailing list. This means you will receive updates about tertiary-level academic field trips, as well as other African Insight Academy news. You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking on the UNSUBSCRIBE link a the bottom of the email. African Insight Academy respects your privacy and will never sell you contact details to any third parties.

Features and benefits of our academic field trips

Increase course appeal + student recruitment

Enhance the appeal of your institution’s study programme and recruit more students by including a life-changing and fully-accredited field trip to South Africa in the curriculum.

Customise the field trip to meet course objectives

Academic field trips are designed at any level to include experiences that meet specific learning outcomes of each group. Depending on the aims and objectives of the institution, field trips can form part of a formal academic module or a supplementary experiential learning nature.

We provide a complete academic field trip planning and facilitation service

Our experienced academic programme coordinators work closely with trip organizers to ensure that the desired outcomes are planned for and achieved. We take care of every aspect of the field trip.

Students learn from and work alongside some of South Africa’s most experienced wildlife and conservation guides

Our field trip guides are true pioneers of conservation in South Africa. To learn from them is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for students who are passionate about the environment.

Give students an authentic and educational African safari experience

During their trip, students stay in our purpose-built tented safari camp, with all the mod-cons of comfortable beds, hot showers, well-appointed dining facilities and “boma” area.

What students will learn about and experience:

Why work with African Insight Academy?

Over 25 years in business

We have been working with some of our university, college, and school clients for over 25 years, providing safe, well organized, bespoke educational experiences for over 12,000 students from all over the world.

We hold a British Standards Institute BS8848 health and safety accreditation

Health and Safety is our top priority - We hold global BS8848 safety accreditation from the British Standards Institute. Find out more here.

Expert field guides and mentors

Our internship mentors include some of South Africa’s most experienced conservationists and guides.

Why visit South Africa?

South Africa is a meeting point of the first and third world. It boasts a first world economy with educational institutions, communication networks, medical facilities and a road infrastructure to rival the best in the west. With access to extensive wilderness, wildlife, authentic traditional culture and outdoor adventure resources on its doorstep, South Africa is the perfect destination for those looking to learn more about conservation in a safe, practical and supportive environment, guided by experienced mentors.

Health and safety is our first priority and African Insight Academy holds a British Standards Institute BS8848 health and safety accreditation. Parents and guardians are welcome to request a copy of our comprehensive health and safety risk assessment for the camp.

Discover more

Thriving Ecosystems:
Exploring South Africa’s Grassland and
Savannah Biomes