40 School Kids hosted for a day of Conservation Education
We are so excited that our latest Conservation Education Kids Camp has taken place. This time at ol Donyo Lodge in Kenya’s astounding Chyulu Hills. Young students from local primary schools joined us for an incredible, informative time focusing on environmental awareness. They saw animals from a different perspective- including the giant, but very calm elephants that make this region their home. They visited the stables to meet horses for the first time and they learned what it takes to become a Relais & Chateaux chef. A huge thanks to everyone who shared their knowledge and made these children feel so welcome and enthused. And a special thank you to a certain guest whose generosity toward environmental education, enabled to us to introduce Kids Camps to ol Donyo in addition to those operating in the Maasai Mara and in Botswana.
Schedule of the day
The day started out at 9:30am when we dropped guests at the ol Donyo airstrip and then rushed back to the lodge to pack all that we needed for the very long day that awaited us.
We packed water and breakfast for 40 children and three guides. We arrived at the school and met the kids waiting for us, greeted them and briefed them about their trip to Ol Donyo Lodge.
We did a game drive to the lodge, on our way we were lucky to see giraffes, warthogs, lots of species of antelope and even elephants on a very close range. It was mind-blowing for the kids since they are used to seeing these animals from a very different perspective.
One of our three vehicles got stuck on the mud (like really seriously!) but finally we were strong enough to pull it out; we really wanted this to happen.
We arrived at the camp for a late lunch where we were given a very warm welcome by the Ol Donyo family to the lodge. I gave a talk about Great Plains Foundation, who we are, what we do, and talked about conservation factors affecting wildlife and their environment. The students were very much interested and were asking questions. It was so fun to see the kids realize that the elephants around the ol Donyo were so friendly and calm compared to those around their villages and that this is due to no one bothering them.
We introduced each and every head of department at the lodge. They talk about their departments and we also to took the students around the lodge to each respective department to learn how the lodge runs. Previously nearly all the kids wanted to be guides but after this lodge overview and tour around the camp, some wanted to be camp managers, chefs, waiters, room steward, etc.
We left the lodge through the horse stables, where we were greeted by Paul who is the head of the stable. He took us through the stables and tack room, talking about all of the horses including their names and breeds. For most of the students it was their first time to see horses.
We left the stables at 5:00pm and did a wildlife drive back to school where on our way we saw zebras, impala, giraffes, elephants and ostriches. We arrived just before sunset with some parents and the school chairman waiting to see how the day went.
It was very interesting seeing the kids enjoying and learning about conservation at that tender age. This shows that there will be future wildlife ambassadors in our communities.