ECOStudy, in association with Wilderness Leadership School, was requested to facilitate a wilderness experience for the participants of the Thanda Girls Leadership Course.
The decision was taken for two groups to visit uMkhuze Game Reserve, a Big 5 reserve located in northern Zululand, from 9-13 December 2022 and 12-16 January 2023.
The goal of the trip was to provide the girls with an environmental experience that challenged and educated them whilst increasing their skill set as young leaders.
During the trip the girls studied the ecology of the various ecosystems, identifying and learning about the organisms that live in the ecosystems. Time was spent around the camp learning about the trees, animals and insects that occur in the area.
They were introduced to animal tracking by looking for spoor and signs of animal activity, using one’s senses, indigenous knowledge of the environment and creating a general understanding of the bush.
Mr Lawrence Nene of Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife came to speak to the girls about poaching, explaining why it is so important to stop this illegal activity. The girls were also given a display by one of the anti-poaching dogs which is used in the fight against rhino poaching.
In addition to the environmental education, activities also included self-growth exercises, such as practising affirmations and colour therapy. These activities are aimed at building self-awareness and confidence in each of the young leaders.
Wilderness Foundation Africa would like to thank Wilderness Leadership School, the uMkhuze team for accommodating the group, and additional sponsors Bushnell and Ultimo, for providing the best possible experience for the girls.