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Semester 1, week4 – The final week of the semester focused on Mammals, Ethology, Navigation and Survival. With lots of game drives scheduled, everyone was very excited about getting out and seeing some awesome sightings, but it was going to be really hard to top last week. Fortunately, we were not disappointed. Every drive brought numerous high profile sightings, highlights including mating lions and a pack of wild dogs. You know that the students are getting spoilt when they are focusing on the vultures in the sky even though a pride of lions are sitting metres away.

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Tuesday afternoon was filled with excitement for the first Sleep Out however, with rain forecast, it was a ‘bit touch and go’ as to whether we were going to be able to make it. Luckily the weather cleared up and we were able to enjoy a beautifully clear night under the African stars. After a delicious braai, each student took turns to keep watch in 1 hour shifts throughout the night. For many, it was the first time ‘sleeping wild’ and as we gathered around the fire for breakfast, it was clear that we all felt privileged to be able to fall asleep with the noises of the bush all around, including lions, hyena and leopard calling in the distance.

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With the first Off Week looming, it was hard to contain the excitement and focus on studying for the final assessments of the semester. Finally, after a couple of gruelling hours of tests, we could taste the freedom. The Off Week will be spent either on the Panorma Route or in Sodwana Bay, and everyone is looking forward to reconvening in a week, well rested and with lots of exciting stories to share about their travels.

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Photos by Annabelle Ward, Jenni Smith & Annie White