The Children in the Wilderness Zambezi (CITW) team is thrilled to share with you the incredible success of our recent annual camp hosted at the Painted Dog Conservation Centre’s (PDC) Inganyana Children’s Bush Camp. This four-day adventure brought together 40 students and 4 Eco-Mentors from our 8 CITW Lupane Eco-Clubs, all eager to explore and learn about the wonders of nature and wildlife.
As always, at the heart of our camp was the goal to inspire these Eco-Club students to become future custodians of our beautiful natural areas, and foster positive attitudes towards wildlife. Through a variety of engaging activities, we aimed to expose them to the magic of the environment and instil a deep sense of care.
For the duration of the camp, the children were immersed in a world of learning and fun, centred around environmental and wildlife education. They delved into the teak woodlands, discovering the intricate web of species, adaptations, and ecological relationships through hands-on activities. Additionally, the PDC rehabilitation facility provided a unique opportunity for the students to understand the plight of these Endangered animals and the importance of Painted Dog’s conservation efforts.
One of the most memorable experiences for many of the students was the game drive. For the majority, it was their first time in a game drive vehicle, allowing them to truly appreciate and soak in the beauty of the national park that lies so close to their homes. During the drive, not only were the animals appreciated, but the role each species plays in its natural community was emphasised, leaving a lasting impact on the young minds.
As Baba Dioum famously said, “In the end, we will conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we are taught”. This quote perfectly encapsulates the Educate pillar of our Impact mission for CITW, ensuring that our Eco-Club students are exposed to and taught all about the natural world they co-exist with, and empowering them to take action in conserving nature and its wildlife.
The success of this camp was truly remarkable, with many children expressing their aspirations to become game rangers in the future and work closely with national parks. With this, it is clear to see that the camp not only provided knowledge, but also ignited dreams and passions within these young students.
We extend our heartfelt gratitude to all the staff from PDC and the Iganyana Bush Camp who made this camp possible. We also acknowledge and give thanks for our partnership with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi, in collaboration with Ntengwe. Together, we are shaping the future of conservation and nurturing a generation of environmentally conscious individuals.