Girl meets Indian Ocean- Impressions from the “Rainbow Nation” (2)

Girl meets Indian Ocean- Impressions from the “Rainbow Nation” (2)

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We left Howick and spent the last couple of nights for us in South Africa in St Lucia with the aim of exploring the Isimangaliso Wetland Reserve. The road trip to St.Lucia was scenic and beautiful. I loved the sights of the Jacaranda tress scattered all over the hilly roads. We were told upon our arrival that Saint Lucia Estuary is the Hippo capital of the world and that in case we felt that there is something behind we better watch out and stand still or otherwise the hippo would go on panic mode and attack. Again, once I got my room keys, the lodge owner told me to be careful at night because the hippos come and drink water from the swimming pool right in front of my lodge room. I am happy to report that there were no hippos neither crossing the streets nor drinking water from the swimming pool. The lodge owner asked me to place a pin on her “where do you come from” world map. I looked at the map and smiled because I placed the first and only pin on Oman. ❤❤❤❤

On our first day we met Mr Phumudzo Munyayi, the land care contract manager of the Isimangaliso Wetland reserve and he introduced us to their work surrounding the removal of trees and the alien clearing program which helped create employment opportunities for the local population. We then met Mr Sifiso Vumas, the Environmental Education Officer, and Phumlani Lugagu, the Environmental Compliance Officer of the Reserve at Catalina Bay and they informed us about the Environmental Education and the Bursary program as well as their activities related to the lake restoration and infrastructure management. In between we walked to the coast and we managed to at least walk barefooted on the sandy beach. Later during the night, we went for a drive with Jeeps to explore the ecotourism activities provided by the park. The following morning we visited the wetland by boat and explored the ecological value of the reserve provided to species such as hippos, crocodiles and birds. I am here to report that we did not meet Simba during the night safari ride neither did any of the crocodiles we saw in the wetland showed any sign of interest in getting on board the boat with us. 😀

Our time in beautiful South Africa sadly came to an end and I found myself waiting at the airport having a spinach and shia seeds smoothie and looking at the remaining South African rands in my hands, I said to myself : I would keep them till whenever I come back again 😊

And maybe you would like to try the #KING MONADA #Malwedhe challenge because everybody in South Africa was crazy about it. 😂 😂 😂 😂

In case the photos I posted above were not enough,I leave you with some beautiful photos that Dr. Lisa Biber-Freudenberger took during our trip 😉

This summer school was a collaborative effort of the following German and South African partners:

German Partners

  • Center for Development Research at Bonn University (ZEF)
  • The Global Nature Fund (GNF)
  • The International Center for Sustainable Development (IZNE) at the University of Applied Sciences Bonn-Rhein-Sieg

South African Partners

  • The Wildlands Conservation Trust (WILDLANDS)
  • The University Kwa Zulu Natal, Geography Departement (UKZN)
  • The University Zululand (UniZulu)

The summer school was funded by the VW Foundation under the program “Knowledge for Tomorrow – Cooperative Research Projects in Sub-Saharan Africa“

I would like to thank Jana Schaffrath (ZEF, Bonn, Germany), Roxanne Munsamy (Wildlands, South Africa) and Mondi Msomi (Wildlands, South Africa) who provided us with a lot of support before and during the summer school. I would also like to thank Dr. Lisa Biber-Freudenberger (ZEF, Bonn, Germany), Dr. Jan Janosch Förster(ZEF, Bonn, Germany),Dr. Adrian Nel (University of Kwa-Zulu Natal (UKZN), South Africa) and last but not least Dr. Andrew Venter (Wildlands Conservation Trust (WILDLANDS), South Africa) for everything they have done to make sure that the summer school would be as enriching as it was for all of us.

Prof. Dr. Wiltrud Terlau (International Centre for Sustainable Development (IZNE), Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences, Germany), I still think of you with a very big smile 😊 Thank you for the great and wonderful memories. Ronja Volles or Ronja Rommie thank you for the friendly neighborhood experience. To each and every senior and junior participant,I am thankful for the great experiences you shared with us and the rich talks we had together.

Prof. Charles Mackie Breen, it was an honor to get to meet you in person. I wish you strength and good health and may you keep on inspiring the young people of South Africa and you may you keep on enriching the lives of people with your wisdom, expertise and mind.

Whether it’s planting the rooftops of Johannesburg, recycling the discarded shells along the coast of Namibia or by feeding chickens some good old black soldier fly. May all the dreams regarding our future projects that we shared during this summer school come true.😊😊😊😊😊

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