We were in Hoedspruit for the first week of July 2019! The LiC team held two separate camps at the South African Wildlife College. The first camp was taken with a group of learners from Tsakane Special School. Despite the massive language barrier – broken only by one of the school’s teachers stepping in as an interpreter – our team soon connected with the children. The lessons given to the learners helped them understand the importance of all creatures around them – big and small, as well as the career opportunities available within the conservation sector.
A definite highlight for many of the learners was the game drive they experienced at Leadwood Nature Reserve. Although most of the children could hear wild animals from their homes at night on a regular basis, they had not had the privilege of seeing them up close from an open game drive vehicle. This magical experience, paired with our lessons, allowed the learners to understand the sheer importance of the wildlife around them.
The second camp was held with a group of Scout Rovers – the leaders of the unit. This group possessed a great understanding of the importance of conservation that they were trying to pass down to future leaders within their communities. Our aim for this camp was to provide them with a deeper knowledge of the exciting world of conservation and give them more tools to pass the knowledge on. Our lessons went into more detail with this older group of learners, sparking interesting discussions and debates.
Overall, our team has grown tremendously through this experience. Both groups that we worked with were so different and amazing. They taught us so many wonderful things, and we were beyond grateful to return the favour. A huge thank you to the people and businesses that contributed to making this trip a success: Conservation South Africa, RMI, Leadwood Big Game Estate, Thorny Bush Game Reserve, Wildshots Outreach and Mpumulanga Scouts.