27 Feb Grade 9 Hike
In preparation for their 12-day Grade 10 Journey next year, the Grade 9 group embarked on a splendid hike through the mountains at Queen’s River Adventure Camp in Nelshoogte Forest Reserve outside Barberton, Mpumalanga. On the 22nd of February 2020, with all the gear and no idea of what awaited them, the Grade 9s and Uplands staff members departed from the College and arrived at Kariba Dam where they were introduced to their facilitators from A.N.T.S. (Adventure nature trails 4 Africa).
The Grade 9s were separated into groups and received their food for three days. The first activity was a fishing competition with a difference. They were tasked with making their own fishing rod first. Thereafter, the group hiked for 15km, experiencing a torrential downpour along the way. The groups crossed over the river four times and hiked through some stunning pine and natural forests up to the Queen’s River Camp. At camp, they were fortunate enough to have a lovely warm shower and cooked their own “scrumptious” meal.
Day Two was a rainy, mud-filled and slippery affair. The groups hiked their way through pristine natural riverine forest for 11km along the Matumi Trail to the Delfonte Huts surrounded by the majestic mountains of the Makonjwa Mountain Range, now part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Day Three was filled with a buzz of excitement and appreciation of getting back to “civilisation”, but they first had to conquer a 15km hike and had to ascend some 400m up to the bus collection point. Upon arrival back at Uplands, the Grade 9s and the Uplands staff were welcomed by their families and friends and looked forward to a home-cooked meal and a nice hot shower.