22 students from Franklin University Switzerland, led by Professor Armando Zanecchia, explored Knysna this week. This was part of their Academic Travel program which focuses on the challenges of economic and political development, as well as related issues of wildlife and natural resource conservation.
The majority of the students were from the USA but made more worldly by those from countries such as Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan. Most are currently studying International Relations and International Management.
They stayed in the idyllic countryside of Rheenendal. Ocean Odyssey gave them the joys of Knysna’s sea and they got to meet the gentle giants of the Knysna Elephant Park. Further land trips were facilitated by Mike Hampton from Love Knysna. At Judah Square, Brother Zebulon shared the Rastafari faith and community whilst Brother Mau Mau filled their stomachs with a flavour-filled, vegetarian dinner. Sue Swain, biomimicry advocate, and Susan Campbell, environmental activist, both volunteered their time to explain the challenges of development and how we can, instead, work with nature. These talks were hosted at Endlovana Coastal Hideaway, the luxury tent accommodation facility on the coast between Brenton-on-Sea and Buffalo Bay.
Their 2-week tour was organised by Nathalie Belet from Conservation Global. The group met with business, academic and community groups in Cape Town, the Stellenbosch wine country, and the University of the Western Cape. They were given a tour of Parliament by Mosiuoa Patrick Lekota, the Leader of COPE. They also received lessons on sustainable wildlife management at the Gondwana Game Reserve near Mossel Bay. All had a wonderful time and, in particular, were impressed by Knysna’s beauty and friendly people.
Conservation Global and Franklin University Switzerland expressed their thanks with a donation towards an educative children’s trip to Pledge Nature Reserve which can be discovered in the heart of Knysna.