Tri-Nations Camp – December 2018

Thanks to the extraordinary funds raised by the annual Nedbank Tour de Tuli mountain bike event, which takes place in the Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area (GMTFCA), Children in the Wilderness (CITW)  is able to run our life-changing programme in villages in Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe surrounding the GMTFCA.

We host an annual Tri-Nations Camp at Mapungubwe National Park, where we bring children together from these three countries. The initiative began in 2015 as a way of including children living in the GMTFCA areas in CITW programmes. The children who attend camp are selected from the CITW Eco-Clubs in their local schools in accordance with their commitment and portrayal of interest in conservation. 

The successful continuation of the Tri-Nations Camp forms part of a bigger project that sees the three countries that form part of the GMTFCA collaborate on various initiatives. These include CITW’s primary fundraising event, the Nedbank Tour de Tuli, a multi-day mountain bike event which traverses amazing and pristine wilderness areas in the three countries. Involving communities which reside in and around the GMTFCA, especially the young children, ensures that these areas will be protected by the local inhabitants in the long run.

At the confluence of the Limpopo and Shashe Rivers, where we can see all three countries!

We ran a full and fun camp programme – from team building activities, to game drives in Mapungubwe National Park, to a visit at the Mapungubwe Museum, our children learnt so much! We divided the children into three groups named after birds found commonly in the area. The teams competed against each other during certain activities, and on the final evening we had a hotly contested quiz where the teams battled it out, answering questions on what they had learnt during their time at camp.

Here’s what a few of our campers had to say about their Tri-Nations experience:

Olerato Moleboge, 11 years old boy doing Grade 5 at Semolale Primary School from Semolale village at Bobirwa Sub-District, Botswana

What I liked most about the camp was seeing the animals close to me and learning about them. The difference I would like to make is conserving animals and plants, teaching people about the dangers of poaching and cutting down trees. When I finish school I would like to be a tour guide.”

Simon Mamalelala, 14 years old boy doing Grade 7 at Semolale Primary School from Semolale villae at Bobirwa Sub-District, Botswana

The wilderness areas are important because people from other countries get to see the areas and wild animals that they did not know and they pay a lot of money. I will always remember the food, learning about the history of the park and game drive. I will make a difference by supporting organizations that protect wild animals and areas warning friends and parents about the dangers of hunting.

Tshepiso Makhura, 11 years old boy doing Grade 5 at Modikwa Primary School from Simson village, South Africa

I would to make a difference by encouraging people not to poach, when I grow up I would like to be a chef.”

Lorraine Muleya, 12 years old girl doing Grade 7 at Julakange Primary School from Maramani, Zimbabwe

I learnt about the ecosystem, and dangers of littering. When I finish school I would like to be a teacher, and the difference I am going to make is to teach others.”

Of course, none of this would be possible without our wonderful Mentors, and the support we receive from SANParks, the Department of Environmental Affairs, all of our sponsors and donors and the Peace Parks Foundation.

Mentors on the Treetop walk at Mapungubwe National Park

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