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South Africa Study Tour

Forestry study tour of South Africa to learn about the forests, natural resources, and cultures in different ecosystems
SFR faculty and students visited a plantation on the slopes of Table Mountain in South Africa.

SFR faculty and students visited a plantation on the slopes of Table Mountain in South Africa.

 

Shortly after the end of the spring 2008 semester, four students and three faculty from the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management embarked on a 12-day study tour to South Africa. The first-ever tour was developed as part of the FOR 418 Agroforestry course that is taught every other spring. The objectives were to learn about the forests, natural resources, and cultures in different ecosystems.

The School is fortunate to have a relationship with Stellenbosch University in South Africa, which assisted with arrangements and field visits. The travelers crisscrossed the country starting in the northern region and ending up at the southern tip of the African continent, Cape Town. They visited the Hans Merenksy Timber Company, famous for some of the oldest and fastest-growing Eucalyptus plantations in the country; a timber cooperative; a private landowner who farms cattle and grows timber; and a community-based black empowerment forestry enterprise.

Highlights included viewing wildlife and natural resources in the famed Kruger National Park, a visit to the largest forest-based medicinal market in the country, a tour of a carbon-neutral winery, and the spectacular views from a pine plantation on the slopes of the Table Mountain.