On the morning of 27 July, 52 enthusiastic boys, accompanied by 4 staff members, headed off to Gauteng.
Our first port of call was the Ditsong Military Museum. The boys were blown away by the military equipment from the two World Wars – as well as the Boer War – that were on display. Weapons on display included the only intact Me-262 world wide, a Spitfire and a Hurricane, a WW1 Sopwith Camel, numerous tanks and anti- aircraft guns – as well as a small ITALIAN tank that had more reverse gears than forward gears!
The following morning we picked up our tour guide for our tour of SOWETO. We visited the scene of the 1976 Soweto Uprising and walked down the famous Vilikazi Street (the only street in the world to house 2 Nobel Peace Prize laureates). An eye opener for the boys was the privilege to enter the homes of some of the informal settlement dwellers; a chance to realize just how fortunate we are.
Thereafter, we spent a couple of hours at the Apartheid Museum. This institution so vividly and accurately reflects on our recent past. Hopefully many of the boys will now have a better understanding as to where we are as a nation today.
The afternoon was spent enjoying the rides at Gold Reef City before we headed off to our base for the next 3 nights at Maropeng in the Cradle of Humankind.
Saturday morning brought us up close and personal with cheetah and wild dogs with Ann van Dyk, before we headed off to the Union Building and the many photos at the foot of Mandela’s 9m statue. Our final destination for the day was a visit to the dominant structure that is the Voortrekker Monument.
The following morning the boys visited the Maropeng Visitors’ Centre for an interactive journey from the beginning of time to the challenges the planet face today. Thereafter we visited the Sterkfontein Caves where the fossils of many of the early Hominids were found. This stage of the tour was not for the claustrophobic!
And so, on Monday 31 July, after an epic and hopefully life changing experience (including being too close to comfort to an attempted armed robbery in a shopping mall!) we headed for home….
Report by Mr A.Faure-Field – Tour Organiser
Mr T. Green: Staff Member-
The Academic Tour was a huge eye-opener for me and I’m sure for a lot of the learners as well. Experiencing a tour through Soweto, the Apartheid Museum, the Voortrekker Monument as well as a walk through the Sterkfontein Caves was an incredible experience. Despite our misfortune of being in the vicinity of an armed robbery, the tour was an enormous success. I would encourage every learner who is interested in the history of our country to take part.
Jarryd Staples: Year 11-
The academic tour was an incredible experience, not just for a student of history, but for a student living in South Africa. It was an opportunity for learning and improvement, not only for academic purposes, but for personal purposes as well.
Keshav Maharaj: Year 9-
This tour was undoubtedly an awesome experience. We journeyed to various interesting and extraordinary places. We’ve always been well fed and well treated throughout the trip. It was a great opportunity to bond with other like-minded people in other grades and form strong friendships.
Ashraf Jeewa: Year 12-
I thoroughly enjoyed this tour and regret not having participated sooner in my schooling career.
I think that it shot me into a new world where I learnt so much, saw so much and experienced many things that got my heart racing. I also received so much needed exercise on this trip as I ran, jumped and ran some more. The food also remained explosive throughout the trip. This trip truly gave me some once in a lifetime opportunity and I would like to thank Mr Faure-Field for making it possible.