Coastal Academy Trust

Kenya Trip

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1st Feb 2023

Jambo from Kenya!!

This week three of our students accompanied by Mr Rowland travelled out to Kenya for an unforgettable 6 days in the Mara Conservancy Park plus a short stay in the capital Nairobi.

The trip was paid for by Steve Backshall, famous for his brilliant nature programmes on the BBC and he was kind enough to invite the students to his house on the river where the BBC interviewed the students and teachers before their departure. They even got to meet his wife, the gold medal winning Olympic rower, Helen Glover!

The students were chosen for their keen interest in the environment, conservation and the natural world and the hope was that the trip would give them experiences and ideas at an age that could inspire them and others to the careers they hope to lead in the future.

Arriving into Nairobi in the early hours, the students transferred to a tiny 12-seater private light aircraft which flew them over the Masai Mara to the beautifully remote and exclusive Naboisho Mara Encounter Camp which would be their base for the week for all the explorations into the Conservancy.

Days soon fitted into a routine. Two daily game drives left before dawn and in the late afternoon to see the conservancy at its most active. In the cool of the morning, the students were able to see the Mara come to life as giraffe, zebra, gazelle, wildebeest and buffalo grazed on the grasses and at watering holes whilst lions, leopards and cheetah looked on hungrily from the bushes. Through the day they also saw hippo, crocodiles, elephant, hyena, warthogs and so much more. During one night drive, they even saw two lion prides fight over a zebra before two of the pride’s three alpha males came to drive them both away and restore order.

Between game drives, students took part in a variety of activities, visiting the Mara Elephant Project and the Mara Predator Conservation Programme to see their amazing work to collar, track and protect the elephants and big cats from poaching whilst trying to minimise and manage human-animal conflict by working with and educating local school children. They also visited the Ol Chorro Rhino Sanctuary to walk with the white rhinos in their natural environment.

But it wasn’t all animals – they also visited a local Masai Mara village where they were welcomed with song and dance before visiting inside some of the homesteads and gave gifts to the children by way of thanks. The gift of a football to the villagers went down brilliantly and inspired the guides to challenge the students to a Kenya vs England football match the next day. The students did brilliantly to hold the Kenyans to 4-4 at full time but penalties were their Achilles heel and the Kenyans won in the end.

There have been so many highlights and once in a lifetime experiences on this trip, this short report can barely do it justice. The students upheld the values of King Ethelbert School magnificently and threw themselves into all the activities offered brilliantly. The school and Mr Rowland who led the trip are incredibly proud of their achievements and look forward to seeing what they go on to do in the future.


Steve and Ben

Steve 4

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