The perilous 1,000-mile journey to save Africa’s endangered black rhinos
28 October 2022
Children in the Wilderness is an environmental and life skills educational programme for children focusing on the next generation of decision makers: inspiring them to care for their natural heritage and to become the custodians of these areas in the future.
Children in the Wilderness Limpopo Valley aims to include all children living in and around the Greater Mapungubwe TFCA, where the Tour de Tuli operates every August.
This year, the programme expanded to incorporate South African children who live in and around the Limpopo Valley. Sixteen scholars from the Alldays Combined School were selected to join the Children in the Wilderness camp at Tshugulu Lodge, a Peace Parks Foundation facility, in Mapungubwe National Park, a World Heritage Site. The use of the lodge was kindly donated by South African National Parks for the week-long event.
The curriculum for the six days included:
Environmental activities such as scavenger hunt, lllala the elephant play, the circle of life, conservation posters, bird identification walk and interactive bird worksheets;
Team building exercises with war cries, songs and team challenges;
Creative activities like bead making, painting and the making of gecko mobiles; and
Games such as impala, impala cheetah, the box skit and poaching games were played.
The interactive presentations included one on training anti-poaching dogs. The children were delighted to learn and play with the three puppies in training. Another presentation on elephants ended with the the children going on a game drive to find elephants, of which there were fortunately plenty!
The children went on game drives every day and also had the opportunity of participating in a world heritage tour of the area, where they were informed about the ancient history of Mapungubwe. They also paid a visit to the Interpretation Centre where they were given an overview of Mapungubwe’s history and watched a video on the history of the area.
© The University of Pretoria Department of UP Arts Mapungubwe Museum
The Centre, which won the World Building of the Year award in 2009, houses an array of jewellery, potsherds, shells, and many other artefacts, which have been excavated and collected over the past 100-odd years. The scholars were amazed to see the famous gold rhino, as well as all the other gold artefacts on display.
Thank you Children in the Wilderness Limpopo Valley for sensitising children to conservation and transfrontier conservation!