Young air cadets have jetted off on a mission to Africa.
Members of 404 Morpeth Squadron have teamed up with cadets from 346 Tynemouth for the three-week trip of a lifetime.
The group of 13 cadets and two adult staff travelled to Entabeni in northern South Africa on Monday, where they are helping to renovate and paint a school and host a sports day. They have also taken football kits to distribute to children.
The youngsters, aged 15 to 18, will trek with full kit in the Drakensberg Mountains, reaching a height of 3,482m, camp out in conditions where temperatures can reach minus eight degrees centigrade, and travel through the mountainous terrain of the Ithala Game Reserve in northern KwaZulu-Natal, where there are hyena, leopards, giraffe, zebra, warthogs, elephants, rhino and buffalo.
They will then spend two days visiting the battlefields of Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift, where they will meet descendants of the warriors who fought in the Zulu wars.
The trip will end in the beach city of Durban.
Volunteer Sgt Sarah Robson said: “This is the first time we’ve mounted an expedition like this and we’re really pleased to be able to take our cadets on this life-changing trip. It’s going to be a fantastic experience.”
The Morpeth contingent is made up of Megan Milbourne, Eleyna McGrady, Alexandra Sikkink, Rebecca Reed and Lisa Hunter.
The cadets have each had to raise more than £2,500 towards the trip and have taken part in bag packs, coffee mornings and tombolas.