“We discovered that Nyika is one of the most important treasures Malawi has.” Sanderson Mbunge, a teacher at Nkhomboli Community Day Secondary school, recently visited Nyika National Park for the first time as part of a wilderness camp we organised. “We saw many different kinds of animals, and a good number of them. Some features like Lake Kawulimi were not known to me – but now it is!”
Together with the Department of National Parks and Wildlife, we organise wilderness camps for children and teachers around the country. These camps aim to develop a passion to conserve wildlife through a personal connection to nature. Through these outdoor nature experiences, we encourage young people to develop strong ecological mindsets and help think through today’s environmental challenges.
Hands-on activities offer learners an opportunity to interact with nature through observation, recording and interpretation of data – as well as nature walks, group discussions, environmental games, camp fires, game viewing, storytelling and a pedal-powered cinema.
We recently ran a five-day children’s camp at Kasungu National Park – for learners and teachers from twenty-five schools surrounding the park. The trip inspired teacher Chimwemwe Abraham to share what she learned: “By attending the children’s camp at Kasungu National Park, I learned a lot about the importance of biodiversity and how we can protect nature. So I decided to share the experience with my fellow teachers.” Her workshop shared tips on getting children out of the classroom and learning practically in the great outdoors.