At the start of Term 2, the Grade 8’s of Silvermine Academy High School set off to Knysna for the first ever Grade 8 Tour.


After a seriously early start, the trip to Knysna was filled with fun, laughter and lots of loud music. We enjoyed a number of pitstops along the way where there students had the chance to play on the lawns, grab some much needed ‘padkos’ and play the ever-popular claw machine game. Ben became slightly obsessed with winning a watch!

The students stayed at the beautiful Brenton on Sea. We were greeted with stunning weather and the most beautiful sunsets in Knysna.


Upon arrival, the Grade 8’s quickly changed into their swimming clothes and set off to Phantom Pass to enjoy Paddling down the beautiful Knysna river. Despite a chilly wind, the kids loved this experience as we splashed one another while racing along the river. Some interesting cows were met along the way – so many, that we weren’t aware whether we were stepping in mud or…

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That evening, the students and staff enjoyed a delicious braai at our lodge. What lovely time to connect as a Grade, play some music and games and enjoy a dinner together. Mr V even brought his ukulele and impressed us with his skills – maybe he should play it in prize giving?

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On Day 2, we kicked off with a trip to the challenging “Puzzle Park” where the 3D maze and Forest Walk awaited us. Not only was this physically challenging, but also a huge mental challenge. Many of the students got lost in the complicated course, but through team work and GRIT, they managed to find their way and complete the challenge. Mr V and Mrs Caris were on fire, and dominated the course! The Puzzle Walk through the forest saw various brain teasers and games challenge the students whilst a 5 minute digital counter, kept the pace and excitement going at each station. Some teams flourished, while others struggled with this ‘different’ way of problem solving.

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Our Pizza at Maple and Moss farm stall refuelled the hungry stomachs before some serious adrenalin awaited us – PLETT PAINTBALL. All the students and staff agreed that this course was the most amazing paintball field which made us all feel like we were in a war. Terrifying! The staff and kids were split into a blue and yellow team before the siren rang, and it was show time. Paintballs flew at high speeds. Some ducked for cover while others jumped, rolled, and sprinted their way into combat. PHEW – what an experience! Some serious stingers, bruises and bumps later, the game was over and every single child was grinning from ear to ear.

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Rachel was particularly pleased after shooting Mr Keller (Coach K) in the neck – OUCH! Coach K got his own back by taking down Mrs Caris and Mr V in one foul swoop! Dan started the game with his shirt off, but after a few shots to the rib cage, he decided that wearing a t-shirt was a much better idea.

That evening, the Touring Group set off to the beautiful Knysna Waterfront for a magnificent dinner at all time tour favourite, SPUR!

After a delicious Day 3 breakfast, the Grade 8’s headed to the Harkerville Region for trips to the Elephant Park and Radical Raptors. Both these activities were incredible experiences for the kids as they learned about some amazing animals. The elephant park was an opportunity to learn about these incredible creatures, and even get a chance to feed them. The Radical Raptor centre was amazing, and a little scary for some as we learnt about the conservations efforts, the dangers of Rat/Pest Poisons and how they affect the beautiful Raptors of the Cape.

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The weather cleared up and the most stunning day awaited us at Adventure Land. A yummy take-away lunch and LOADS of slip and sliding down the various rides meant this afternoon was one that the kids would never forget.

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The evening was well-spent at our accommodation. A stunning evening walk to the beach, take-away Pizzas from Cafe Mario (YUM) and some wrestling matches on the grass capped off a spectacular tour.


Before setting home on Day 4, the Touring Group enjoyed one last activity – a beautiful cruise along the Knysna Lagoon to the Heads.

This Tour was memorable on so many levels, but none more than connecting these stunning kids. We look forward to developing this connection over the years to come. Thank you Silvermine Students for making SMA so proud and being amazing ambassadors of our fine school.


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