Shamwari Conservation Experience had the great privilege of hosting the Mike Horn Pangaea Young Explorers from all over the world this past weekend. The 30 young explorers were accompanied by students from Fontein Primary School in Port Elizabeth. Pangaea does a lot of great work with young people as they travel around the world, changing mindsets to conserve our natural world for the future like wildlife conservation. This particular group have been working with Fontein Primary School for a few weeks, painting classrooms, starting up vegetable gardens and recycling projects. A group of outstanding achievers were selected to join them for a fun filled, educational adventure with us here at Shamwari Game Reserve.Konrad, Graham and I took the group on game drives, teaching them about the animals, the job of a game ranger and the importance of biodiversity and preserving the land for the future. We made elephant dung paper with recycled old scrap paper, elephant dung and wood glue.
One night we took them on a scavenger hunt with clues related to the information they learnt while being out in the bush. They were taught about the poaching situation in South Africa and we all realized that there is a little poacher inside all of us (e.g. taking a tortoise from the wild to put it in your garden or small snakes, lizards and plants). After the talk they were divided into two groups and had to find snares and signs that a poacher had been there.
On the last day we visited the Born Free Foundation where they learnt what happens to big cats when they are kept in captivity. We said our final goodbyes and could see a dramatic change in the attitudes of a lot of the children from Fontein Primary after their visit here. We at Shamwari Conservation Experience are just grateful that we could play a small part in such a great project such as Pangaea. All and all a very successful weekend!