28 November 2016
Over October Half term, 18 Stoics embarked on a trip of a lifetime, pushing us fully out of our comfort zones. We arrived in Johannesburg after the 11 hour flight and were greeted warmly by the Warriors team. We then headed to the Warriors base camp in Tzaneen, which was a five hour drive from the airport. We spent the evening getting to know everyone and enjoyed a delicious supper. After supper we headed to bed, all feeling rather tried; we slept in cabins that night.
On our first day we ventured on a 25km hike and stopped on the way to slide down a waterfall into a pool of water. Our morale was kept high by singing and laughing and at the end of the day we all felt very satisfied with what we had achieved.
The next day we headed to Lenyeenyee to visit a crèche. From the moment we entered to the moment we left the children just wanted to be picked up and hugged. It was the most heartwarming experience and I think it showed us all how different life can be for others and how lucky we are. After this we went to Kinyongo Reptile Centre where every Warrior held a python around their necks! We ended the day by driving to Swadeeni campsite where we set up our tents surrounded by beautiful scenery and had a Braai.
The following morning we went to Moholoholo Animal Sanctuary where we got to stroke a cheetah and see the famous honey badger. We then headed to Nyani cultural village where we watched an outstanding performance of African dancing and learnt about the history and the lifestyle of the tribe. We also shared a meal with them which was delicious and all the people were lovely. After an enjoyable day we went back to the campsite and got introduced to a ‘Warriors Belly’ that we then had to cook in teams.
The next day we started off our morning with a walk to see some amazing waterfalls and we had the pleasure of swimming in the pools. After this we travelled to Panorma where we set up basecamp. We then psyched ourselves up and went to do ‘The Big Swing’. This was a tandem jump off a cliff into a valley with a 68m free fall at 180km/h. Everyone completed ‘The Big Swing’ with fear but great excitement as well. That evening we cooked a traditional South African poykey.
The next day we set off to ‘Elephant Whispers’ where we learnt about African elephants and got to feed and pet them. We then had a five hour journey to Rustenburg. When we arrived we set up our tents and had a relaxed evening. The next morning we woke up all feeling very excited to do our skydive - falling out of an airplane at 11,000m. That evening we enjoyed another poykey cooked by South Africans at the skydiving base in Rustenburg and had an entertaining evening with them.
On the last day a few more people still had to complete their skydive. We then packed up all our belongings and went to Ishigeki fighting academy where we learnt self-defense. After this we returned to Johannesburg airport where we had our last supper as Warriors. We said our final goodbyes and left for home. We all had the most amazing week and it lived up to all my expectations. I think everyone would agree that we would all love to go back to repeat this experience and we would recommend this to anyone considering it.
Rosie Smith (Lower Sixth, Queen’s)