An unforgettable journey

Twenty Darwin High School students and three staff have returned from Africa, completing an excursion to one of 29 World Challenge locations.

World Challenge is publicised as an experience that ‘builds the life skills young people need to live a life of courage, kindness and adventure’.

During the 18 months preceding departure, the self-nominated participants — largely from Year 11 — were expected to fully or partly finance the $7,000 journey.

Darwin High School Year 12 Coordinator and trip leader, Aaron Dalgleish, said raising the money gave the expeditioners “greater ownership of the journey” and was one aspect of personal responsibility associated with the Challenge.

“The students undertook a year of rigorous pre-trip training to ensure their physical fitness, ran the trip and took responsibility for themselves, managing their budget, booking accommodation and transport, and even deciding where and when to eat or cook for themselves,” he said.

The trip included learning survival techniques from Kalahari Bushmen in Botswana , a mountainous 30km trek, helping build the walls of a local library at Marobela in the four-day project phase of the trip, and a visit to the Okavango Delta.

Mr Dalgleish added: “We travelled to our delta camp using Mokoros, or dugout canoes, and in morning and evening walks we were thrilled by the sight of hippos, buffalos, zebra, giraffe, and even an elephant.

“At Namibia’s Cape Cross Seal Reserve  the students observed thousands of breeding seals, and finished the adventure with a three-day stopover at Etosha National Park .”

Student Kate Hinchcliffe said: “The trip to Botswana and Namibia was more than a challenge, it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.”

Last updated: 06 February 2018