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Children’s Retreat at Sanctuary Baines’ Camp, Botswana - September 2019

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- Recently Sanctuary Baines’ Camp in Botswana opened its doors to some very special visitors… -

The charitable organisation Tower Family Support based in Africa works with children considered to be vulnerable. The charity strives to support children in struggling families, usually with single parents or no parents at all, as well as offering care to abused children. Together with the charity, Sanctuary Baines’ Camp opened its doors to ten of these children, who had an amazing few days participating in educational, insightful and fun activities.

children-waiting-at-airport

Day 1:

The children then started their first lesson from Elephants for Africa. In the afternoon, everyone went on a game drive, stopping regularly to learn about tracking and spoor, focusing on buffalo, Impala and hyena. The drive ended at the hippo pool where the children enjoyed juices and snacks. By the end of the first day, the tired children had already seen three of the big five animals; an astonishing experience for all.

Children-on-game-drive

Day 2:

The first activity of the second day was another lesson from Elephants for Africa. The lesson was based around elephant behaviour and conservation. The talk focused upon the elephant-human conflict and the children considered ways to mitigate the struggle. Next, the children boarded the vehicles and enjoyed a slow, scenic drive to the Moremi Park. The group were very excited as they spotted more animals. After the game drive, the children helped to prepare a delicious bush lunch.

In the evening, the weary group had a restful film night, whilst enjoying their snack packs and cupcakes!

children-making-lunch

Day 3:

Day three begun with another game drive, stopping regularly to learn about topics such as rhino tracks and the use of mokoros. The game spotted included impala, buffalo, elephant, giraffe, various species of bird and zebra.

Following lunch, the group had lessons about endangered species and the importance of nature conservation. After, the children completed a quiz showing how much they had learnt – the scores were impressive!

The evening was special as the children enjoyed a braai and storytelling.

children-around-camp-fire

Day 4:

On the final day, the children woke early and headed off, totally unaware about where they were heading. The group arrived at their destination, greeted by Doug and Sandi Groves, who have dedicated nearly 30 years to providing world-class care to orphan elephants.

The children met Jabu and Morula, two rescued elephants. The group were overwhelmed with excitement, thrilled to take part in actives with the elephants including, walking with them, petting them and learning how to respect them. We hope that the education received by the children will go far in helping to achieve Living with Elephants’ aim of improving the relations between humans and animals, resulting in a more successful co-existence.

children-wit-elephants

By the end of the children’s time at Sanctuary Baines’ Camp their knowledge of wildlife, nature and conservation was enriched. The children had a truly astonishing few days experiencing totally new experiences in a safe, welcoming setting. This project was a truly special experience for both the children and staff alike.

 

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