2024 CITW Zambezi Annual Camp at Davison’s, Hwange National Park

Children in the Wilderness Zambezi recently concluded its annual camp for Eco-Club students from the Tsholotsho region, south of Hwange National Park, at the enchanting Wilderness Davison’s. The atmosphere was vibrant with song, dance, and anticipation, as 28 Grade 6 students and four teachers from various primary schools embarked on a three-night adventure filled with fun and learning.

Upon arrival at Davison’s, the students were greeted warmly, and each received a bag of stationery and essentials for their stay. The campers were then sorted into teams named Bees, Wild Dogs, Mopane Trees, and Kori Bustards, aligning with the camp’s theme of biodiversity.

The first activity involved exploring the nuances of hospitality within the camp, from bed-making to baking in the kitchen, setting tables, and discovering the intricacies of game drive vehicles with guide Eustace. The boys, in particular, were captivated by this experience, eager to absorb every detail about the vehicles and their maintenance.

As the day turned to night, the campers gathered around the crackling campfire for a unique ritual known as the ‘burning of fears’. An ‘elderly man’ emerged from the shadows, symbolising wisdom or a traditional healer. Each student inscribed their fears on paper, which were then cast into the flames, symbolically releasing them from their minds.

The following day commenced with energising activities to kick-start the students’ spirits before heading out on an exhilarating game drive. Witnessing the wildlife they had only read about in books filled the children with awe and excitement, creating lasting memories of their close encounter with nature.

Teambuilding activities such as Sinking Ship, Croc Pit, Spider’s Web, and Mine Field engaged the campers in collaborative challenges, fostering teamwork and camaraderie. Additionally, the students participated in the Pangolin Africa education course, becoming certified Pangolin Guardians, equipped with knowledge about these unique creatures and how to protect them in the wild.

The camp days were brimming with adventure, from more game drives to engaging activities like ‘biodiversity bingo’ and a quiz to test their newfound knowledge. The campers were awarded participation certificates and adorable Mother Bear teddy bears as tokens of their memorable experience, before bidding farewell with hearts full of gratitude and joy.

A heartfelt thank you was extended to the Davison’s team and guides, including Paul, Eustace, Eddie, and Aminatha, whose dedication and expertise enriched the campers’ learning journey. Their passion and guidance were instrumental in making the camp a resounding success. Looking ahead, Children in the Wilderness Zambezi eagerly anticipates hosting two more camps at Toka Leya in Livingstone, Zambia, and Ruckomechi in Mana Pools, continuing to inspire and educate young minds in the wonders of nature.

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