“Teaching children about the natural world should be seen as one of the most important events of their lives” – Thomas Berry
Involving and teaching youngsters from our surrounding communities about conservation and sustainability play an integral part in the existence of our natural environment and its inhabitants, which forms part of one of the core philosophies of Sabi Sabi.
At grassroots level, connecting with the younger generation allows us the opportunity to create awareness about the importance of conservation and the impact it has on a socio-economic level.
The majority of the staff complement at Sabi Sabi hails from the local Huntington and Justicia communities, which are situated within a 30km radius from the reserve. In between visits from our local and international guests, we make time to take learners from surrounding primary schools out on safaris. During these excursions, the young learners are exposed to an environment far removed from their everyday life. Sabi Sabi leap at this opportunity to educate enquiring minds on the footprint we leave behind in the natural world and how this impacts the future.
Very recently, Sabi Sabi was in the fortunate position to have learners from two local primary schools in the area visit us. For some of our young visitors, this was a once in a lifetime opportunity to spend time in the African bush and engage with our guide and tracker teams.
Open safari vehicles collected the pupils from where they embarked on a late afternoon safari. Our guide and trackers teams pulled out all the stops to ensure they had the ultimate bush experience, treated like the VIP guests they are.
During their “sundowner stop” our trackers took over and explained the finer workings of nature such as tracks, dung, plants and the integrated role of elements in the natural world. This was done in the local Shangaan language to ensure all our guests understood the basic ecology and finer details of how all the pieces of the puzzle fit together. The learners absorbed all this information while they listened tentatively to what was explained to them, eagerly asking questions about the environment and wildlife.
Once the safari was over, we ensured they were transported back home safe and sound – and we were thrilled to see 42 very tired but extremely happy Grade Four pupils with big smiles waving us goodbye as they headed back home.