Asian teenagers embark on wilderness adventure in South African safari park

PUBLISHED : Friday, 29 July, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 29 July, 2005, 12:00am

Eight Hong Kong teenagers have embarked on an 11-day educational safari in South Africa.

They are among more than 50 students from South Africa and Asia Pacific countries taking part in the Cathay Pacific International Wilderness Experience, which began on Tuesday and ends on August 5.

The students, aged 16 to 18, had to write a 500-word essay on the environment before winning places on the Wilderness Experience.

The teenagers will be based at a camp in Entabeni Game Reserve near Johannesburg.

The stunning 10,000-hectare park is home to more than 380 types of bird and a large variety of animals, including zebra, buffalo, giraffe, rhino, lion, antelope and elephant.

Educational officers will lead the students in various activities, including hiking and camping trips, so that they can learn more about man's' impact on the environment.

Through activities such as singing, dancing, group discussions and mock weddings, the students will exchange ideas and learn about each other's cultures.

The Wilderness Experience programme, which was launched in 1994, is aimed at exposing decision makers of the future to key ecological issues and at promoting cross-cultural exchanges.

'The Wilderness Experience has been very successful in exposing young people to new ideas and making them ambassadors in their home countries for cultural understanding and environmental conservation,' said Alan Wong, a Cathay spokesman.

More than 500 students have taken part in the programme.