Tri-Nations at Mapungubwe National Park

Read Bokang Shopane’s  (CITW Programme Coordinator for South Africa and the GMTFCA) report on the first of our now bi-annual Tri-Nations Camps, which took place at Little Muck Camp in Mapungubwe National Park. With the Nedbank Tour de Tuli five days away, this is a lovely little reminder of the impact we make in the Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier National Park (GMTFCA). 

Children from the three countries (Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe) arrived to welcome songs from our Children in the Wilderness (CTIW) Mentors. We did quick energizers to learn each other’s names and to break the ice. It didn’t take long for children to come out of their shells and they started smiling and warming up to each other. We then met at the meeting area, where Portia, our Eco-CLub Coordinator from Alldays in South Africa, taught the children how to make a Tippy Tap.

We allocated the children into three different teams with each team doing a team introduction presentation. The names of the three selected teams were Team Southern Ground Hornbill, Team Lilac-Breasted Roller and Team Kori Bustard. The teams were excited to learn the facts about their birds, which were in their workbooks, and they shared information about them in a creative way to the rest of the group. We broke into our country groups, where each country prepared themselves to share interesting facts about their country. Everybody went to bed happy after a very good first day.

Day two started with energizers, to pick up the momentum for the fun day ahead. The Mentors performed a skit on the leadership value of the day – Respect. We then headed off to Mapungungubwe Interpretation Centre. Children learnt about the history of the Mapungubwe people, the place and its rich heritage. They were very inquisitive and interested and asked many questions. They viewed some of the archaeology artifacts recovered from the Mapungubwe area, and then went on 5 minute walk to view Mapungubwe Hill.

 

The afternoon session focused on birds, trees and the Web of Life. After dinner, the children watched ‘The Lorax’ to emphasize the lessons from earlier on in the day. The evening ended with every child enthusiastic about speaking on behalf of the trees and wanting to protect their environment.

Day three kicked off with a drive to the Confluence and Treetop. We enjoyed the view of the Confluence and Treetop before going back to camp. At the camp we had an activity on careers where there were different presentations about the Transfrontier Conservation Areas, Eco-Tourism, Tourism and other careers in the hospitality industry. After lunch we did team building activities, setting up the three stations: The Sinking Ship, The Spiders Web and Knots, Tangles, Hands.

After the team building activities, we issued certificates and took individual and group photos. After dinner, it was time for the quiz activity to test the knowledge that the children acquired from their time on camp. It was interesting to note that indeed they had grasped so much in such limited time while having fun.