THE ’Exploring the Earth and Solar System’ course will take place at Matatane Camp in the Babanango Game Reserve. | File
THE ’Exploring the Earth and Solar System’ course will take place at Matatane Camp in the Babanango Game Reserve. | File

Forget photographic safaris, this SA game reserve is offering a course in Earth sciences

By Clinton Moodley Time of article published May 24, 2021

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Game reserves are constantly reinventing themselves, especially when they want to lure travellers during the pandemic.

The newly opened Babanango Game Reserve in KwaZulu-Natal is taking it one step further by hosting a 6-day introductory course in Earth Sciences.

The reserve has teamed up with experts from the University of the Witwatersrand’s School of Geosciences for the course.

The “Exploring the Earth and Solar System” course will take place at Matatane Camp on Babanango Game Reserve and runs from July 26-31. Guests will explore the geology of the reserve and learn about the rocks, skies and solar system. The package will offer participants short theoretical lectures every day, practical learning opportunities through walks or game drives to view formations on the reserve and stargazing will take place after dinner.

The course is accredited and covers basic and intermediate-level geology and astronomy. All participants will receive certification from the University of the Witwatersrand.

A press statement announcing the courses revealed that Babanango’s 3-billion-year-old rock formations made it the perfect place to explore the history of the Earth’s formation and rocks on the reserve.

“Ancient granite and gneiss form the main geological foundation across the reserve. Along the White Umfolozi, remarkably preserved sequences of thick lava flows and sediment record processes occurring on Earth 2.9 billion years ago. In the north-east, much younger glacial sediment and mudstones of the Karoo Supergroup cover this ancient terrain,” the statement revealed.

Babanango Game Reserve, located in Northern Zululand and 50km from Vryheid, is a malaria-free reserve home to three lodges – Valley Lodge, Zulu Rock Lodge and Matatane Lodge.

It’s dubbed as a bush lover’s paradise and travellers will see buffalo, giraffe, hyena and zebra. Babanango is working closely with the local Emcakwini, Esibongweni and KwaNgono communities.

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