A cost-free excursion offered to the University of Johannesburg (UJ) students by the University’s Internationalisation Office added a new dimension to perceiving Africa. The expedition, referred to as Africa by Road/Bus, offered students an opportunity to explore southern African countries’ cultures and traditions – beginning with Mozambique on the 15th of September, following with Botswana in October.
This series of trips to various countries was introduced to expose UJ students to different southern African countries, thus expanding their knowledge of the rest of the African continent. During the recent Botswana tour, students learned a few Setswana words through conversation with local people. Part of the learning offered a glimpse into the uniqueness of Botswana’s safaris, with fascinating landscape that cannot be seen anywhere else on the African continent.
Botswana’s population is almost like an extension of South Africa due to the language (Setswana) that is also widely spoken in South Africa. Interestingly, South Africa and Botswana share the same rivers that are named differently in the two countries. Botswana’s safari offered the students the natural feel of the neighbouring nation’s wilderness, almost like what South Africa has in the Kruger National Park.
“With Africa by Road, we hope to stimulate our students’ the spirit of comradery with the people on our African continent,” says Lebethe Malefo, Director: Study Abroad Programme at UJ’s Internationalisation Division.
During the Botswana tour, students visited one of the largest salt flats in the world, Makgadikgadi Pans. The plains of the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park teem with wildlife. Students saw wildebeest, Antelopes zebras and predators such as hyenas and cheetahs.
‘’This trip allowed me to interact with native people and international students allowing me to gain greater respect for other cultures. Visiting Makgadikgadi was the best, it is a fascinating place, but above all, it's a wilderness. That's what captivates us about it ‘’says Siphokazi Katsman a 3rd year Public Relations & Communication student.
Registered UJ students can join this University adventure in Southern Africa by registering on the link below: https://www.uj.ac.za/about/Internationalisation/Documents/Application%20for%20Outbound%20Mobility%202017_distributed.pdf