John Jones Fish river Journey


Leave only footprints


The John Jones Fish River Journey is our flagship outdoor ed offering. Journey, as it is affectionately known, is an epic, exhilarating adventure for the St Andrew’s College and DSG Grade 10s. The class is divided into 5 groups, each of which is accompanied and led by four staff members and a medic.  


Journey officially begins and ends at the mouth of the Fish River. This is a 21-day trip spanning 400 kms, allowing pupils to explore the true beauty of the Eastern Cape via canoe, bicycle, and on foot. The pupils are not permitted to take any devices or electronics with them, which presents an incredible opportunity to immerse themselves in nature, focus on the present and be themselves as they connect with their group members and make friends for life.   


The John Jones Fish River Journey retraces the path of the First South Africans, offering an opportunity to learn in new and exciting ways as one can delve into a world of abundant fossil diversity. This immersive expedition is tailored to encourage participants to push their boundaries and cultivate their personal growth across various dimensions – physical, intellectual, social, and spiritual.

Our cross-curricular program for the Journey encompasses leadership development, group dynamics, and self-awareness, fostering a profound connection with both self and community. Our overarching goal is to instil in each participant a robust sense of identity, a deep understanding of their place in the world, and a rich appreciation of the cultural and environmental tapestry of the Eastern Cape.


All specialist equipment is provided for Journey, including canoes, bicycles, tents, gas stoves and cooking utensils. Pupils will be provided with a good quality tent that they will share with a partner. They will be required to carry their camping equipment with them for the duration of the journey.


Food is supplied by the ‘support team’ every few days, depending on the group activity. Pupils will be expected to carry their own food for most sections of the Journey. All meals will be provided and carefully worked out according to energy requirements and the nature of the activity. Pupils will generally have to prepare their own food and clean up their own eating and cooking utensils. 


There will be a water source at each camp: either natural, or water that is brought in. It is important that learners do not pollute natural water sources. Pupils will learn to be responsible for their own hygiene. Facilities for dish washing and hand washing will be provided where possible, although this is sometimes limited and must be used thoughtfully. Containers for showering, hair- washing and clothes washing will be provided at certain camps. 


The safety of the children is the most important issue for all involved in the Journey and will not be compromised over any other goals. All camp sites and routes have been thoroughly explored by staff members. A support vehicle will be on route for the entire duration of the Journey. All staff members will have a cell phone and satellite phones are available for use in areas where phone reception is lacking. A professional canoeing company, with river guides, has been hired to lead river excursions. A team of paramedics (who have been involved with the Journey since 2005) will accompany the groups.

No Admission fee is charged. We do recommend that you return the form as soon as possible. An Entrance Deposit is requested once the pupil has been accepted the year prior to entry.