August 2014

CITW Regional Programme Director, Dr Sue Snyman Appointed Vice Chair of IUCN TAPAS Group

Wilderness Safaris is proud to announce that Dr Sue Snyman, Group Community and Culture Manager and Project Director for Children in the Wilderness, has been elected Vice Chair of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) Tourism and Protected Areas Specialist Group (TAPAS).

The appointment, announced by TAPAS Chair, Dr Anna Spenceley, will put Sue’s 17 years of ecotourism experience to good use, as she assists the Group in supporting sustainable tourism in protected areas.
“TAPAS and Wilderness Safaris share a belief in the principles of protecting the world’s pristine wilderness areas through responsible tourism while sharing the benefits with communities”, says Wilderness Safaris Chief Sustainability Officer, Derek de la Harpe. “We are extremely proud of Sue’s ongoing achievements and are confident that her unique blend of skills and experience in this area makes her the ideal candidate for this role; we wish her every success as TAPAS Vice Chair.”
Being a member of TAPAS since 2011, Sue also served as acting Vice Chair from December 2013. She has attended various conferences and meetings on its behalf, including the Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference in Kenya in September 2013, and the Insaka Research Symposium in Cape Town in April this year. She also played a role in the development of a new TAPAS membership strategy, and contributed chapter sections and case studies to the IUCN Best Practice Guidelines for Sustainable Tourism.
“I have spent the past 17 years pursuing a career based on the fundamental principle that tourism and conservation are intertwined, and that together they are greater than the sum of their parts”, says Dr Snyman. “I am passionate about conservation, protected areas and the positive difference that tourism can make in the lives of local communities. Through my role as TAPAS Vice Chair, I hope to play an important part in further entrenching the Group as an important role player in the marrying of tourism and conservation in global protected areas.”
Sue also recently received a PhD (Resource Economics) from the University of Cape Town, which focused on examining the socio-economic impact of high-end ecotourism in remote, rural communities adjacent to protected areas. Her research was based on over 1 800 interviews with rural people in six southern African countries, giving her unique insight into community perceptions of nature-based tourism.
While continuing her day-to-day work for Wilderness Safaris, Sue plans to drive the TAPAS Community Working Group to provide best practice guidelines for tourism stakeholders who engage with communities living in and around protected areas.



 July 2014

Children in the Wilderness

CITW Nutrition Programme forges ahead thanks to generous donations
Children in the Wilderness (CITW) Zimbabwe’s Nutrition Programme is yielding impressive results, with a notable improvement in children’s school attendance, concentration levels and general health. Thanks to a number of generous donations, supplies of maize meal, sugar beans, salt and cooking oil are sent every two weeks to schools in five community villages in the Tsholotsho area of Zimbabwe, on the border of Hwange National Park. The food provided ensures that more than 1 200 schoolchildren receive a nutritious meal every school day of the year.

Donor funding secures essential supplies for community schools
Seven rural primary schools in Tsholotsho, Lukosi and Victoria Falls have been equipped with vital supplies such as exercise books and chalk. Benefitting schools included Ziga, Ngamo, Mpindo, Kapane and Jakalasi Primary Schools (in Tsholotsho), St Mary’s Primary School (in Lukosi) and Jabulani Primary School (in Victoria Falls). These donations will help a combined total of 2 180 schoolchildren. Teachers and students alike were full of smiles and gratitude as they expressed their excitement and thanks for these gifts.

It’s playtime at Ngamo and Ziga Primary Schools!
The school grounds at both Ngamo and Ziga Primary Schools had virtually nothing when it came to having a specifically designed play-area for their junior primary children and most playtime was spent sitting under trees or playing in the dust.
Grand Circle Foundation (GCF) agreed that it was time to develop playgrounds at these two schools. GCF provided the resources and community members were encouraged by CITW to help build swings, seesaws, and climbing frames as well as a rustic “summer-house”, which provides shade during the hot summer months. The project was completed in November 2013 and since then the children have been enjoying their colourful new playgrounds while benefitting from improved manual dexterity and positive motor-skill development.

Ziga community benefits from generous donations
Ziga Community, in Tsholotsho on the outskirts of Hwange National Park, has received a number of generous donations over the past year, including 150 mosquito nets from Mr Bill Hilton, and an entire library and media centre for the primary school, thanks to donations from GCF. The centre has a dedicated area designed to accommodate the many books the school has received over the years, as well as another area to house computer equipment. The school has also received computer equipment and the cell phone network now extends to the school opening up a whole new world to the community.
New boreholes installed at primary schools
Access to clean water is a challenge in the rain-scarce areas in which CITW operates, but thanks to the installation of boreholes at some of the community schools and villages in Tsholotsho and Victoria Falls, water is now in plentiful supply.
CITW and Rotary Club of Victoria Falls were approached by Mr Attie Jonker, Director of Franklin Electric in South Africa, with regard to a donation for the boreholes. Franklin Wells for the World Foundation (FWWF), a global leader in the production of water and fuelling systems, successfully installed five boreholes.

During the handover, a local Chief said that while his village had been there for almost 100 years, this was the first time they had access to the clear water that had been running deep below their feet. 

Soccer in the Wilderness in Botswana

June 2014

The Soccer coaching clinics held in Maun and Sankuyo village recently were facilitated by professional soccer player and CITW Ambassador, Gordon Gilbert. The event was organized by CITW Botswana and soccer teams from primary schools in Maun were invited:   the “Re ba bona Ha” which is a team of players from different schools who have shown potential in soccer playing brought 15 participants, Matshwane Primary, a private school, brought 16 participants and Shashe Primary School, one of the CITW schools in Botswana, brought 20 participants.  22 children from Sankuyo Primary School also participated in a clinic with Gordon.

The other teams which benefitted from the coaching clinic were the three teams from Wilderness Holdings - the Maun Donkeys from Wilderness Safaris, Wilderness Air team and the Northern Air Maintenance team.  The Sankoyo Bush Bucks team was invited but could not make it due to other commitments, but the Coach came for a briefing where he received some advice from Gordon on how to deal with pressure when in a soccer league.

Apart from the skills and drills the participants learned, Gordon also shared with them the importance of self-discipline and commitment when a person would like to achieve something in life. He gave a brief background on how he managed to become a professional player, and he agreed with the participants that it is not an easy task but it all goes back to an individual’s commitment.

He gave a brief talk on the importance of conservation and why the participants need to take care of the environment.   In a nutshell he encouraged the school children to take their school work seriously so that they can earn good grades which will enable them to go into tertiary schools.  Even if one is a very good athlete they still need education because an athlete’s active life span is very short: so education is the only key which can better our lives.

Franklin Wells for the World Community Boreholes – Zimbabwe

Franklin Wells for the World Foundation (FWWF) is a global leader in the production of water & fuelling systems. Their aim is to address the need for clean water systems and to provide long-term accessible and safe groundwater sources to at-risk communities in developing countries. In 2013 Children in the Wilderness and Rotary Club of Victoria Falls were approached by Mr Attie Jonker, Director of Franklin Electric in South Africa with regard to the donation & installation of boreholes at some of the community schools & villages that we are associated with in Tsholotsho & Victoria Falls.

Once approval was received from the Zimbabwe Ministry of Education for exemption from import duties, FWWF successfully installed five boreholes with the necessary pumping equipment at Kapane, Mpindo, Jakalsi & Ziga Primary Schools (Tsholotsho), and Jabulani Primary School (Victoria Falls); a total project value of approximately US$77,000.00. These schools and the adjacent communities are now receiving beautiful fresh water every day; the implementation of these boreholes brings welcome relief to these dry & often barren areas and will help empower the communities to accommodate & care for themselves in a sustainable manner. During the handover ceremony a local Chief pointed out that his village had been there for almost a hundred years, but this was the first time they had access to the clear water that had been running deep below their feet.

A simple thank you does not adequately convey the level of gratitude that we all have for Franklin Wells for the World Foundation - their dedication and generosity to these five small rural communities has been humbling to say the least. Without their help, a project of this scale would quite simply not have been possible.

April 2014

The school grounds at both Ngamo & Ziga Primary Schools had virtually nothing when it came to having a specifically designed play-area for their junior primary children and most playtime was spent sitting under trees or playing in the dust. Playgrounds are extremely useful tools for gross motor skill development in children (i.e. physical activities such as running, swinging, climbing, crawling etc) and as such, it is an essential part of a child’s development in their early years.

In March 2013, Children in the Wilderness approached Grand Circle Foundation for assistance with funding and it was agreed that it was time to develop a playground for the children at these two schools. With the use of both new & recycled materials GCF provided the resources and community members from Ziga & Ngamo were encouraged by CITW to help build swings, seesaws, and climbing frames as well as a rustic “summer-house”, which provides shade during the hot summer months. Not only is a playground important for fun, but it provides activities for children in their free time and encourages free-play, which is very important for the development of their imaginations. The project was completed in November 2013 and the children and teaching staff are extremely excited about their colorful new playgrounds.

The benefits of improved manual dexterity and creative, fun play-time will not only mean positive motor-skill development but also brings huge smiles to each and every child.

Young San girl with terminal cancer sees the ocean for the first time, Namibia, March 2014

Rudi and Marleece van Vuuren from Naankuse Lodge phoned Rob Moffet, Wilderness Safaris Namibia Marketing, regarding a little San girl called Jostaphine. She came to Windhoek from one of the very remote villages to see a doctor and then learned that she had terminal cancer. She didn’t have long to live and her one wish was to see the ocean before she passed away. Rudi and Marleece just enquired about a possible flight on Wilderness Air to Swakopmund but Rob was so moved that he offered her and Marleece to travel to the Kulala’s, Swakopmund and then to Ongava Lodge. She had such a wonderful time and loved all the people she met and of course, seeing the ocean. Everyone at Wilderness was incredibly sad to hear that only a few days after she travelled to our lodges, that she passed away, our condolences are with her family and also her friends at Naankuse.

Toka Leya Donates Solar Pumps and Water Tanks to Sinde Village, Zambia , March 2014

Wilderness Safaris’ official handover of two solar pumps, four water tanks and two water troughs to Sinde village in Zambia took place on Wednesday, the 26 th of February 2014. In collaboration with the village headmen, this generous donation was funded by guests from Toka Leya Camp and will greatly assist the community with access to clean water.

“Water is as much about social welfare, as it is about education. The availability of suitable water at the school and in the centre of the village, where the pumps and troughs were installed, ensures that children do not have to walk long distances in the dry season to collect water and, therefore, have more time available to concentrate on their schoolwork”, said Dr Sue Snyman, Children in the Wilderness (CITW) Programme Director. 

Snyman and Petros Guwa, Toka Leya General Manager, regularly meet with the village headmen and school’s Parent Teachers’ Association (PTA) to address the community’s priority needs and identify sustainable projects to improve the lives of Sinde’s inhabitants. According to Snyman, “It is extremely rewarding working with the Sinde community as they are wonderful people who are proactively involved in working together to better the lives of everyone in the village. When we were building the water troughs, people from the village came to assist as the project benefits the whole village.” 

Sinde village is situated approximately 30 minutes’ drive from Toka Leya Camp and guests are given the opportunity of experiencing a village tour, which includes visiting the pre-school, village centre, local shop, a homestead and Twabuka Community School, guided by a local village guide. Dave and Sally Pearson and Dennis Manalo generously funded the solar pump and two water tanks that were installed at Twabuka Community School. The solar pump and two water tanks installed in the centre of Sinde village were funded by Marci and Sree Kotay and Matt and Kay Franks, all guests who had experienced the village tour.

Drainage and water troughs were also built at both sites and the water gathered at the school will be used for its vegetable garden to supplement the government feeding scheme and to sell any excess produce to raise money for the school. An electric fence will also be erected around the vegetable garden and Snyman and Guwa will be providing training related to vermiculture and conservation agriculture in the coming months. 

During her speech at the handover, the Headmistress of Twabuka Community School thanked Wilderness Safaris and Toka Leya for their ongoing partnership and said that the installation of the solar pump and water tanks was indeed a blessing and very exciting for the schoolchildren. “Our pupils can now draw water from a tap just like children in urban areas. The availability of water will make it possible for the school to run most of its projects, such as gardening, tree planting and greening the school. Before, the borehole used to run dry by the third term which affected our students’ attendance. But now that is a story of the past. Indeed, Wilderness Safaris, Toka Leya, you are our everyday partners; thank you.”

March 2014

Mother Bear Project, Zimbabwe, February 2014

The Mother Bear Project is based out of the USA ; this non-profit organization is dedicated to providing comfort and hope to under privileged children, primarily those affected by HIV/AIDS, by giving them a gift of love in the form of hand-knitted and crocheted bears. The simple gift of a hand-knitted bear with a tag signed by the knitter helps show these children that they are unconditionally loved.

People from all over the world are involved in knitting these bears which are then distributed throughout Africa.

CHILDREN IN THE WILDERNESS has a long association with Mother Bear and the gift of these bears is shared with children who participate in our Eco-club Camps in Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana, as well as being distributed to deserving children in hospitals, clinics, orphanages and children’s homes in the surrounding areas in which we operate.

2014 marks the year that 100,000 bears will have been distributed through the Mother Bear Project.

CHILDREN IN THE WILDERNESS are so proud to be associated with this program and look forward to bringing a happy smile & warm heart to many more deserving children in the years to come.

Trumus Warriors Football Club, Zimbabwe, February 2014

Country:  Zimbabwe               

Name of Project:  Trumus Warriors Football Club

Location:  Victoria Falls

Community Involved:  Victoria Falls community members

Number of people impacted/involved:  30 players ranging from 14 to 25 years old

Project Description:  Trumus Warriors Football Club is a registered Division one Club in the ZIFA Southern region.  The Club is a non-profit organization managed by dedicated volunteers who tirelessly provide their assistance and time throughout the year. The major source of revenue comes from gate takings when playing and donations from generous individuals and sponsors.  Trumus Warriors Football Club was founded in 2013 and is based at the Mkhosana SDA Secondary Ground.  There are currently 30 players (ranging from 14 years to 25 years).  We recruit young people from Victoria Falls, as well as from disadvantaged communities around the country.  We pride ourselves in helping them off the streets and in other illegal activities.

Aim of the Club

Soccer is an integral part of local cultures across the world. It is something so positive that it brings smiles to children’s faces even in the worst of circumstances. The aim of the Trumus Warriors Football Club is to raise awareness about the Victoria Falls community’s ills with special regards to youth’s education, health, economic and social empowerment, and to foster support from relevant stakeholders for cooperation and implementing the soccer project. Trumus Warriors F.C realized that the true power of soccer has always been connections that it creates between people. Using successful soccer players as role models, and using the popularity of soccer to engage hard to reach young people, Trumus Warriors F.C has combined social theories, public health methodologies, rigorous evaluation and a huge dose of passion to reach the community at large.

Project Scope

Trumus Warriors F.C is a community based project which intends to empower youth by creating positive role models, nurturing them to dream and make informed decisions. The Club intends to create a forum where youths can question, address and find solutions to everything and everyone affecting them through the game of soccer.

Required sponsorship and breakdown of costs for Club (any donation amount welcome)

  • Administration expenses, including internet, website, stationery, etc. ($6270 per annum),
  •  Zifa annual affiliation fees ($2000 per annum)
  • Player licensing ($2300 per annum)
  • Player’s medical expenses ($1800 per annum)
  • Match camping ($4300 per annum)
  • Away-game transport ($9000 per annum)
  • Training equipment ($4000 per annum)
  • Coaches’ salaries ($800 per month - $9600 per annum)
  • Match and Training Kit ($3000 per annum)
  • Player meals ($3500 per annum),
  • Player allowances ($1320 per month - $15 840 per annum)
  • Player awards and bonuses & award event ($30 400 per annum)
  • Match referee fees ($5940 per annum)

If you would like to assist, please go to the donations section on and use the reference: Trumus Warriors.  For more information on our community projects, please contact Sue Snyman ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ).

January 2014


The five primary schools partnering with Children in the Wilderness in Tsholotsho District (Ziga, Ngamo, Mpindo, Kapane and Jakalasi), adjacent to Hwange National Park recently participated in a World Rhino Day eco-club project.

World Rhino Day is held on 22nd September all around the world, and celebrates all five species of rhino: black, White, Greater one-horned, Sumatran and Javan rhino. It was first announced by the World Wildlife Foundation in South Africa in 2010. The following year World Rhino Day grew into an international success, encompassing both African & Asian rhino species. It has since grown into a global phenomenon, uniting NGO’s, zoos, cause-related organisations, businesses, schools & concerned individuals from nearly every corner of the world.

CITW encouraged the newly developed Eco Clubs at rural schools in the Tsholotsho area to participate by creating their own papier-maché environmentally friendly rhino heads. The framework was supplied by CITW and the students of each eco-club were encouraged to come up with their own individual design which will be judged at the end of October 2013.

An info-sheet was given to each school along with their 'snare wire' Rhino Head. These were created by the Iganyana Arts & Crafts Group in Dete using snare wire collected from anti-poaching exercises.

As part of the project, Teddy Brightman of Zambezi Traveller kindly donated loads of old newspapers for the project. Look out for posts of the completed rhinos in early November.


September 2013

CITW Walking Trail – One for the Girls

The five girls arrived with Leonard from Mphata Tours, very shy and some fairly intimidated by being in the bush. Gogos Sarah & Maria joined us as Elders from the Makuleke village. Vuxeni, Patricia, Cynthia, Molly & Delight soon started to relax thanks to Derek’s jokes and the staff singing and dancing when welcoming them into camp.

After John’s opening prayer and the safety talk, the girls had to answer some tough questions. “What is Chief Makuleke’s real name?”, “South Africa’s National bird?”, “What animal is on the R10 note” in order to receive their CITW bags and shirts.

After a great lunch of hotdogs and lots of tomato sauce, the girls each selected an animal for their research project. Dan and Godfrey took them on their first afternoon game drive. Derek joined them as the un-official joker and photographer.

After dinner we sat around the fire while Crispen and Godfrey told stories about opportunities and leadership values. Great examples were used as well by the gogos who eagerly participated as well.

After lights out, I could still hear the girls chatting in their tents and going through the leadership values “be kind, be aware, be ….”

The next morning we started at 06h30 with some energizers lead by Derek, followed by a photography class after breakfast. We did some practice photos in the trails camp where most of the girls posed with the land cruiser. Dan, Godfrey and the gogos took the girls to Deku. Here they learned first-hand from Gogo Maria about living at Deku and the history behind the name and the baobab. They all returned to camp for a hot shower, some lunch and quiet time (not that there was much “quiet time”…as I could hear giggles and chats about the game drive).

After quiet time we made twig frames for their photos and the Gogos taught us all how to make beaded necklaces and bracelets. It is not as easy as it looks!

I joined the girls for the afternoon game drive and we went to Reedbuck vlei. Throughout the previous couple of days we talked about photographic safaris vs hunting safaris. We also covered the impact on the environment from poachers, littering, vehicles etc. At Reedbuck vlei there were off road tracks that the girls, gogos, guides and I rehabilitated by dragging branches over the tracks. We returned to camp via the Luvuvhu bridge where Dan (at this stage already a hero) did a star talk. Scorpio, the Southern Cross and Leo constellations were the highlights that most of the girls “what was the most exciting thing I learned today” chat ted about around the fire later that night. The girls were so excited about the day that around 23h00 I had to ask for some quiet due to all the chatter from their tents. Gogo Sarah mentioned the next day that she never knew about direction (north, south east and west).

The following day after the girls returned from their morning game drive, all prearranged plans for the rest of the day were changed when two snakes decided to bring their fight into camp (and as Molly mentioned “no fighting, it is a camp rule”). With a snake under the gogos’ tent and another above one of the girls’ tents, there was quite a bit of excitement. Two elephant bulls also came to visit us. Godfrey & Dan did a great job on keeping the girls calm and still, telling them about elephants. Each girl presented their project on a chosen animal and left for the afternoon game drive in high spirits. Highlights around the fire this evening included the elephants, opportunities, and the traditional use of zebra hooves. During dinner the girls expressed more interest in the stars so we decided to go out to the airstrip… found Scorpio, Leo, two leopards and heard a lion. What a day!

On the last morning, the lions woke us up early). After Derek’s dancing energizers we had breakfast, followed by the Market (an additional activity expanding more on commerce and monetory values. Crispen ran a tough market where the girls spent their CITW currency that they received from “selling” their photographs. He insisted that each girl must tell him what the change should be for each item. The girls “bought” a small manicure set and mammal book.

The trail ended with the final ceremony of handing out certificates, necklaces, photos and Super Leader badges.

Game viewing was unbelievable …eland, zebra, impala, nyala, warthog, elephant, leopard, baboon, vervet monkey, a genet…just to name a few. Leopard were heard calling every night and we had buffalo around camp.

From my side …

The small, intimate groups of children, where individual attention can be given to each child is definitely the way forward to mentor and guide our leaders of tomorrow. The flexibility of the small group also allowed us to adjust the program according to the children’s interest. Having a smaller group we could also discuss topics like leadership values, correct table manners, teenage pregnancy, give positive criticism while doing oral presentations and which subjects to take in Grade 10 to be able to achieve their dreams. The market idea was a bigger success with the girls compared to the boys as the girls had a better understanding of money and values in general. The elders in the groups were a great idea and both the boys and girls learned more about their own culture. Having spent such precious time with the children is an extremely humbling experience. The children were enthusiastic and wanted to talk about their dreams. They asked lots of questions and they wanted to know the answers. They wanted to laugh and to dance. And mostly they were like sponges …eager to absorb every bit of information.

It was a privilege to host these children…thank you for MY opportunity.

 June 2013


Brand New Teaching Volunteer Programme in Victoria Falls

We are very proud to be working with Children in the Wilderness on a brand new and exclusive volunteer teaching programme just outside Africa’s adventure capital, Victoria Falls. Although hands -on wildlife conservation and research is the primary focus of Conservation Travel Africa, we know that if children do not receive adequate education and leadership development, conservation programmes will have less long term success.

As a teaching volunteer on this rural school literacy and teaching programme you will spend your time providing much-needed teaching assistance in the under -staffed and under-resourced schools in the Jabulani area of Victoria Falls. You will help teachers in the classroom plus help with extra lessons, after - school clubs, homework and sports and help deliver a curriculum which includes life skills, conservation, environment and wildlife education.

Very often, rural African schools are ov ercrowded and children commonly receive little or no individual attention. Outside the major cities, there is a lack of qualified teachers and in many rural schools, school - leavers or partly qualified teachers learn on the job and teach classes of children only slightly younger than themselves. Volunteer teachers can be very beneficial for schools in rural Africa, both to help teachers in lesson planning and also to give children more support in and out of class. Volunteer’s enthusiasm and their overseas school experience can be a big motivation for local teachers – everyone in the first world is lucky enough to have been to school (although it may not have felt lucky at the time!) and teaching volunteers are often able to bring new ideas and inspiration to African teachers.

Inspire children to care for Africa’s wilderness areas and become the conservationists of the future We have joined forces with Children in the Wilderness, a non -profit organisation who have been bringing leadership development and lite racy programmes to rural schoolchildren throughout Africa for many years. They have worked extensively with local teachers, education experts and the Department of Education to establish a literacy, environmental and life skills education programme in Zimb abwe. 

Who are Children in the Wilderness?

The Children in the Wilderness environmental and life skills educational programme began as a result of discussions between actor Paul Newman and luxury safari operator, Wilderness Safaris in August 2001. Since it began in Botswana, the programme has also expanded through Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The Children in the Wilderness literacy curriculum focuses on the next generation of rural decision makers and conservationists. In addition t o running wilderness camps for rural children, fostering a passion and interest in wildlife, CITW also bring their educational programme into schools, focusing on literacy, numeracy, environmental and conservation education, HIV/AIDs, nutrition and life sk ills. This is where you come in! We need volunteers to help support local teachers and you will get very involved in all aspects of the Jabulani school.

What makes this programme different?
There are a lot of teaching and education volunteer programmes o ut there, so why is this programme different? We believe that to enhance the volunteers experience in a school and to really make a difference, they need to get involved in the classroom. And this programme definitely does that – you will receive full training on the curriculum from Children in the Wilderness staff prior to entering the school and be given a teaching pack for each lesson with learning objectives, activities and outcomes. To start with you will assist the full time teaching staff but you will soon be able to take your own classes and be responsible for helping out with small groups or individual children.

Do I need to be a teacher?
Absolutely not! No specific teaching qualifications or experience are needed! Although it is classroom based (and remember, your classroom might be under a tree!), you will be given all the materials you need before you go into the school and will start off by assisting the teachers. As you become more confident you will help individual students or take small grou ps for extra lessons or project work. The children are keen to learn and VERY enthusiastic! If you have a can -do, flexible attitude and an interest in children, then this is the project for you!

What sort of things will I be doing?
You will get involved with most aspects of the children’s school life, so as well as helping with lessons and teaching assistance, you may also work in the gardens, kitchen and laundry, getting to know other members of the community and really immersing yourself in the Ndebele culture.

Your days may include:
• Working with the teachers – acting as a classroom assistant and giving one -to-one support
• Cultural exchange – giving talks on your own country
• Extra lessons – taking children out of class and giving them extra coachi ng
• After-school clubs – helping children with extra activities, playing sports and gardening
• Helping with homework
• Holiday activities
• School maintenance and improvements
• Life skills lessons – helping teach children about themselves and their envi ronment
• Getting involved in daily life at the school – cooking, cleaning, chopping wood and laundry!

Will I get to see the Victoria Falls
Definitely! No-one should come to Zimbabwe without visiting one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World and you will get lots of time to explore Victoria Falls town and all the activities it offers – from bungee jumps to white water rafting, walking with elephants and game drives. For volunteers spending more time on the project, arrangements can be made to visit H wange National Park, an hour from the project – a wilderness area half the size of Switzerland which is home to Africa’s largest concentration of elephants as well as huge herds of buffalo, lions, leopards and the elusive rhino




 April 2013



In South Africa, the Children in the Wilderness (CITW) programme is built on a foundation of Eco Clubs. These clubs are hosted by volunteer CITW Eco Mentors and club sessions are usually held in a community school classroom or the grounds of the school on designated afternoons. In some cases, we endeavour to take children on selected outings to increase their exposure to the natural heritage in their area.

In the sessions environmentally conscious children with a common interest in the environment meet to learn, discuss, make friends and have fun. We aim to involve children in projects that benefit the community while developing an appreciation for their natural heritage.

It is at these clubs where we look fo r children who are genuinely interested in nature, wildlife and the environment and children who show leadership potential: all in keeping with the vision and values of the CITW programme.

Through these eco clubs we are able to reach more children on a mo re regular basis in the communities than we are able to accommodate on the CITW annual camps.
Club membership is limited to 40 members per school. The main reason for this is so that we can ensure that the eco clubs are of a high standard and that we can focus our activities and projects in a meaningful way.

The interactive, fun sessions are designed to be informative. Most often it is the camp staff, all members of the local community, that volunteer to run the Eco Club sessions in their home communit ies. This not only exposes children to different mentors but increases the respect of the staff members within their community.

Environmental projects and tasks are earmarked and organized in cooperation with the community members and teachers. The chi ldren are encouraged to participate in the planning process and come up with their own ideas in order for them to take ownership of their clubs and the projects. The Eco Clubs are increasingly providing positive community development while reaching the wid er community.

For our staff, it allows them to be leaders, connects them to their jobs, instils pride in their culture/history and their community, builds team spirit, offers an enriching experience, builds confidence and reveals new skills and talents.

When CITW started, the focus was purely on vulnerable children, but we have realised everyone is affected by the environment and saving the planet has become much more than a cause. It is becoming our way of life. We all have a responsibility for the condition of our planet and we need young environmental leaders to help positively influence change, choices and decisions to make a difference for now and for future generations.





The Africa Adventure Company was instrumental in providing the children of Ziga School with their fi rst computer and printer. They were also provided with a 5Kva generator and an inverter,

as well as a 3G Broadband modem & sim card so that they would

have internet access.

At least 80% of the students at the School had never seen a computer before so y ou can imagine how the introduction of first world communications was met with both excitement and trepidation.

Moses Chilufia's (School Headmaster) enthusiasm was palpable and he could not wait to fuel up the generator and demonstrate to both students & teaching staff how these strange looking machines would change each & every one of their lives.


October 2012

Children in the Wilderness

Celebrating Arbour Day with our Children in the Wilderness Eco Club schools

Pafuri Camp once again organised the tree planting sessions at the Makuleke Schools during Arbour Week 2012.

Michelle Hofmeyr of Skukuza Nursery kindly donated 30 indigenous trees (mangosteens, brown ivories, wild mangos and mahoganies). These trees were distributed to the four primary schools, high school and the Makahlule nursery school and excited children and teachers were on hand to help with the planting.

Malcolm McCulloch, Chairman of Wilderness Safaris, joined in the festivities, digging holes and showing the chidlren the finer points of tree planting.

Well done to Rob, Landi and the Pafuri Camp team for this great initiative!


August 2012

Children in the Wilderness

LIKE A DUCK - preparing for Tour de Tuli

It's one week to the start of Children in the Wilderness' biggest fundraising event, the 2012 Fedhealth
Tour de Tuli. 270 mountain bikers, both local and international, will follow game paths in wildlife areas and pass through some community areas in Botswana, Zimbabwe and end at Mapungubwe National Park in South Africa. While the actual event takes place over 5 days, preparation happens over many months.

The logistics around an event straddling three countries bring its own challenges and no two countries operate alike. Everything is on track and we look like a duck serenely gliding down the River of Organisation - but paddling like mad under the surface.
Months ago, the route finders were out scouting the 2012 route while the multitude of personnel involved ranging from CITW staff, wonderful volunteers (local and international), medical and safety experts, masseuses, caterers, logistics and transport providers, helico pter pilots, camera crews, bike repairers, toilet and shower suppliers, landowners, Transfrontier Park officials and various government representatives were doing their bit. Planning goes right down to ensuring all waste and litter is properly removed and recycled.
Special mention must be made of the Land Rover Owners Club - they have been the backbone of the Support Staff on this event since its inception in 2005. They are the rockstars who have continuously committed not only their time, but also thei r vehicles to this event, at no rental or wage cost to Children in the Wilderness. Nothing is ever a problem, but rather an opportunity for adventure to these guys!

These pictures give you a small idea of what's been happening '˜under the surface'

Michelle Hofmeyr of Skukuza Nursery kindly donated 30 indigenous trees (mangosteens, brown ivories, wild mangos and mahoganies). These trees were distributed to the four primary schools, high school and the Makahlule nursery school and excited children and teachers were on hand to help with the planting.

Ever helpful Land Rover Owners Club member helps cyclists cross the Limpopo River on a previous edition ofTour De Tuli

The first cyclist has not yet put his cleats in his pedals for this year's event and planning is already underway for the 2013 edition!


JULY 2012

Busy, busy, busy. Children in the Wilderness staff have been on the go. Camps, follow-ups, eco clubs, mentor training, community initiatives and fundraising activities; these are just some of the things we've been up to.


Kgola, a past Children in the Wilderness camp participant, writes: 'As a young boy my passion was to be a pilot one day. When I was staying in boyei ward just next to the airport I would climb up the tree and look down at the airport to see planes landing…all I wanted was to be in an aeroplane one day. It was in December 2004 when my passion was unleashe d out, my first time in an aeroplane to Jacana. Thanks to Bana Ba Naga Programme. We were flying on a Cessna 206 and I was next to the pilot…I was so excited and filled with that energy of being there. I was so astonished by view from above'¦.most import antly it was a motivational chance for me. Even returning back to Maun I was still seated next to the pilot. It is Bana Ba Naga that ignited a spark in my life to be able to achieve the dream of my life'¦moreover I decided to work hard to achieve what I r eally want to be'¦.after my Form 5 in August 2008 I went to study commercial piloting in South Africa and graduated in March 2011. It is me KG now a qualified commercial pilot here in Maun. Thanks Bana Ba Naga for that opportunity.'
Children in the Wilderness' Environmental Stewardship programme, is in its 5th year, held a camp at Khwai Discovery. This programme focuses on children identified on initial camp programmes who showed true interest in the environment and that have loads of potential. It is a 6 day and 5 night career guidance orientated camp, hosting 24 children. The curriculum is an extension of the concepts that they were introduced to on the initial programme. Bianca Tshekiso was one of the brilliant, confident children we hosted. Before she came to camp she envisaged a nursing career. Now she would like to become a manager in one of the Wilderness camps in the Okavango Delta. Daniel Thigwagwa from Maun's Shashe Primary was keen to learn about camp operations that he voluntarily asked t o help the laundry ladies in the Housekeeping Department.


Community clubs have been initiated in the schools, a wonderful vegetable garden has been started in the Lentswe le Moriti community and the building of a school playground for the children at the Motlhabaneng Village Primary School is in the pipeline.
Some children from the local schools will be representing Children in the Wilderness Limpopo Valley at the opening ceremony for the 2012 Fedhea lth Tour de Tuli - our biggest single fundraising event for all the regions.


Children in the Wilderness has taken on board 30 more needy children in the Secondary School Scholarship Program. This has brought the total number of Children in the Wilderness -assisted students currently in school to 82.
'Wilderness Workshops for CITW' is an initiative that enables Wilderness Safaris staff to make a more significant contribution towards the Children in the Wilderness program me. Staff craft and fund a workshop or project for CITW and transfer key skills, unique to their role, to the children in the programme. The first workshop crafted and funded through this initiative was a 'Writers' workshop'. Twenty children from the CITW follow-up programme's media club joined this workshop at the Mvuu education centre for a fruitful and fun day of learning and writing.
Wilderness Safaris and Children in the Wilderness teamed up for an educational 'Black Rhino talk' for
the children in the Green Team at Bishop Mackenzie International Primary School.


The first ever Children in the Wilderness Overland Exploration in Namibia was held in June. All of the children who participated have been to previous CI TW camps and this follow -up programme provided them with the opportunity to see first -hand what makes tourism in Namibia so important. They visited Kulula Reserve, the Sesreim Canyon, Naankuse Cheetah conservation, Swakopmund, Walvis Bay and Damaraland. T he children got to climb dunes, boat rides, game drives while learning interesting environmental facts. They also had new life skill experiences.
Wilderness Safaris' photographer Caroline Culbert accompanied this adventure:

A Namibian safari is a special experience on its own, but this time it was the people of Namibia who wriggled their way into my heart. That's because I was lucky enough to join a very special CITW experience - CITW Explorers, where 10 Namibian teenagers got to see so me of their beautiful country. When I was being introduced to all of the staff and children, it was a little overwhelming; but there was one familiar face amongst the group, Corbiana Adams, whom I had met previously at Damaraland Camp. She gave me a big hu g and introduced the CITW Explorers. And soon I was to have many more Namibian friends. The CITW children were a pleasure to get to know, they accepted me and my camera with grace, and I was so impressed with the way they conducted themselves as teenagers. Their personalities and happy faces will stay with me forever.


40 children were selected from the four Makuleke primary schools in the local community to attend the
December camp at Pafuri.
Andy Wassung vo lunteered at this camp and clearly it was a life -changing event for him'¦ In the world children are brought up in now, not much space is spared for conservation, the wilderness, or role models, and an understanding of our place in this natural world is lost on so many. Children in the Wilderness at Pafuri '¦ are the children who will fight for our remaining and increasingly fragile wilderness areas tomorrow. Now, sitting months later, having left the active banks of the Luvuvhu River and the smiling faces of the Makuleke children, I realise that the impressions they have left on me are much greater than the brief time I gave to them. I count myself extremely privileged to have worked so closely with these children. From shyly shuffling out of the school bus on day one of camp, to tugging my sleeve back as I tried to leave at the end, their transformation was moving to watch. To play a part in this is an opportunity
I would take up again in a second's notice.
Michelle Henley from Save the Elephants Foundation k indly hosted 4 children from the Eco Clubs on an elephant educational after the Re -Collaring at Pafuri. '˜Educational' being the operative word! She shared valuable, insightful information with the children - all now new Elephant Ambassadors! Alweet Hlungwani, Pafuri guide, related other general sightings and information back to relevant environmental issues in the children's villages.

The great news from Rocktail is the introduction of Eco Clubs at the two local primary schools and Mentor Training f or staff and community members. Staff from Rocktail Beach Camp attended a 2 -day Mentor training programme run by WEESA. The aim of the training is to further equip staff and other community members with environmental skills that they can share in their c ommunities and use to help run Children in the Wilderness eco clubs in the village schools.


Chipembele Wildlife has established a conservation club and girls club as a scheme to empower girls. We were privileged to host 4 girls belonging to a girls club at Mfuwe Secondary for one night at Kalamu Lagoon Camp.
Kalamu hosted 18 children and their teachers from the three schools in the surrounding area. They were joined by Stella Mwale a previous Kalamu Children in t he Wilderness camper. This year she returned to Kalamu as a volunteer Tent Leader and proved to be great role model for the children.
Many of the children mentioned the evening of the marshmallows as one of their favourites. Whilst holding the marsh mallows in the fire, we all sat around the camp fire and shared traditional stories and riddles. One of the Campers, Henry Matanda, said to his tent leader that the marshmallow was so sweet that he could taste it in his ears!


Following the recent Wilderness Safaris rebranding exercise and in an attempt to '˜think green' and recycle old brochures, CITW Zimbabwe embarked on an environmental & conservation awareness campaign by way of a mosaic competition which was held between the rural schools that fall under the Wilderness umbrella in Tsholotsho & Hwange National Park. The theme; 'What the environment means to us'.

In January 2012 we held the annual Tour Leader workshop at Linkwasha Camp in Hwange National Park. As part of the workshop Tour Leaders are invited to participate in a 'Day in the Life' visit to Ngamo & Ziga Primary Schools in the Tsholotsho area.
Generous donors have enabled us to start the Children in the Wilderness nutrition programme at Jab ulani Primary School and to purchase books, laminated posters and flashcards for the children at the school. Sefiwe Ndlovu, the school's headmistress, reports the children's attendance has risen at the school and concentration has improved considerably.
Parcels of knitting wool which had been sent by Rosalea Fisher, a ESL Family Literacy Teacher from the USA were donated to community women over the past year. When we visited Ziga Primary School we were met by a jubilant group of women, proudly wearing their new uniforms which they have funded themselves using the proceeds from sales of the items they have been making. A few months ago we gave them a sample sleeping mat made from 'plarn' (plastic bags knitted together to form a make -shift type of yarn), and they've been busy creating their own versions. There was great joy & lots of dancing & singing as they celebrated the arrival of new bundles of wool.


Children in the Wilderness staff are busy preparing f or the annual Fedhealth Tour de Tuli mountain bike tour which takes place from the 2 nd - 7th August, traversing wildlife and community areas in Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa. This fundraising event provides a substantial percentage of the funds to r un the CITW programmes. Click on picture to find out more.







Limpopo Valley



Mapungubwe National Park

South Africa



Rocktail Beach Camp
















Mvuu Camp









Limpopo Valley



Mashatu Tented Camp




Jacana Camp




Mvuu Camp




Andersson's Camp

Limpopo Valley



Mashatu Tented Camp




Mvuu Camp




Toka Leya




Andersson's Camp





South Africa



Pafuri Camp






To all of our wonderful sponsors, supporters and friends a very big THANK YOU. Without you all, we could not make all of this happen!

Warmest greetings

Rita Bachmann and the Children in the Wilderness teams