Kalahari retreat

Students visit the waterpark.


Elizabeth Kaiser photo

Going to a water park in February sounds ridiculous. Well, to the University of Wisconsin-Platteville college students it sounded like a perfect stress-free Friday night to get away from homework, essays and studying. UW-Platteville and the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point shared a trip to the Kalahari in the Wisconsin Dells, an event hosted by the Campus Programming and Relations and supervised by Pickard Hall Resident Director Nicole Mitchell and Pickard Hall Senior Assistant Rebecca Fisher. 

The four buses were parked at the Pioneer Student Center waiting for the students inside to be assigned the correct bus and get loaded. Once everyone was accounted for, they departed. When the buses arrived, the students waited in the lobby area while the non-students exited, and the lifeguards rotated positions. After they left, the students were set free in the water park until 1:00 a.m. 

The Kalahari is the world’s largest indoor water park and, according to the Kalahari website, “is a place that lets you experience the thrills of Africa.” There were many slides and rides that the students could experience. They could splash, swirl and twirl down the Tanzanian Twister and land in a nine-foot pool or learn to surf a perfect wave at the FlowRider, where lifeguards were there to help and teach. 

For a more thrill-seeking adventure, students could experience the thrill with the Screaming Hyena that drops you through the “roof” 60 feet above the water park, or the Sahara Sidewinders where you enter the tube and race your friends through a vertical plummet of 250 feet and a 360-degree loop. Or, take a ride on the fast water coaster, the Master Blaster. 

If you are there for a more relaxing adventure, slow it down and take a ride on a tube through the Lazy River, warm up in the hot tub or wade in the Wave Pool. If you still want to take a ride down a slide that isn’t so thrilling, grab a tube and take a ride down the Elephant’s Trunk or go solo and ride Zig Zag Zebra that takes only six seconds. For more family or friend-oriented activities, head to Crocodile Cove and sit in the pool with friends, battle it out with water basketball or challenge someone’s balance with the water walk.