The Masiphumelele Ikamvanites who attended 100% of tutoring sessions in the first term were rewarded with an amazing trip to the Cedarberg wilderness during the holidays.
On Thursday 7th April we set off, and after many, many twists, turns, bumps, and a couple of rather green and sick looking Ikamvanites we arrived at the idyllic Leopards Trust Camp in Maijtiesriver. Everywhere we looked we could see mountains, mountains…and…erm… that was about it! The beautiful scenary surrounded a secluded little camp; home to the Cape Leopard Trust.
We were welcomed by Elizabeth and Matthew who would be guiding us over the next few days. We arrived late and after the surprisingly quick erecting of tents we went on a small drive and walk to some amazing rock formations. As the sun was setting over the mountains and turning the sand stone a rich golden colour, everyone had a smile on their face.
The next day was somewhat more of a challenge. Awoken at 6am to the sounds of fighting baboons on the mountain behind us, we sent about the day which involved a gruelling hike to the Wolfberg Cracks. The 5 hour hike was testing at times, but the Ikamvanites rose to the challenge. They moaned, grimaced and perservered. When they arrived at the top of the spectacular rocks there were smiles, laughs and hugs all around.
The afternoon was spent sleeping, playing cards and reflecting on their amaizng accomplishment. The evening was spent dancing and singing around the fire with a lovely night sky gazing session under a full canopy of stars.
The wonderful thing about the camp is that it was educational as well. Whilst we walked and talked we also learnt. Elizabeth and Matthew are both trained teachers with a love and passion for the outdoors, animals and wildlife. We were shown skulls, rock art, leopard traps, taught how to track, how to identify different rock formations and plants, and even shown a plant that makes you smell nice! We saw insects, bugs, baboons, jennets, birds, and even Klipspringer.
The final day was ended in a swim in an isolated and beautiful river where we frolicked in the water as the sun set. Back to camp for a delicious meal prepared by the Ikamvanites and a evening spent lazing around the fire storytelling. The weekend was tiring but fantastic and as the learners got off the bus the only question was ‘When is the next one’.
Thank you to Peter and Allison for volunteering to come along and to all the learners who were amazing!