Born Free Foundation - Keep Wildlife in the Wild

Kanjoo’s Wild Tour in Meru Park

3 August 2017

Categories: Homepage News, Kenya News, Education News

Kanjoo’s Wild Tour in Meru Park

By Moses Nyagah, Scout - nyagah@bornfree.or.ke & Simiyu Newton, Research Officer - simiyu@bornfree.or.ke

“I was surprised to find a number of pupils already in school by 5.00 in the morning,” said Mrs Mary Mutua, head mistress of Kanjoo Primary School.

It was a long awaited day for the 49 pupils, five teachers and one parent representative from Kanjoo. Some of the pupils hardly slept the previous night for fear of missing the bus pick-up at dawn from school. They were going for an ecological trip in Meru National Park located less than 2km from their School. Kanjoo is one of the beneficiaries of an educational programme supported by Born Free.

Those visiting the Park were winners of an essay competition that had been conducted by both Born Free and Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS). Each class from mid to upper primary levels had a specific theme related to wildlife and environmental conservation. Seven judges were drawn from both organisations.

“I have never been to a Park before,” said Kanyi, a class four pupil capturing the view of many of his schoolmates.

The trip was not only a game drive, but an educational excursion where we freely interacted with the children, and shared experiences, ideas, perceptions and attitudes on wildlife and environmental conservation.

Our first stop was in the Rhino Sanctuary. Meru Park is a home to both black and white rhinos. The pupils got to learn more about these endangered species and why they have a role to play in ensuring their survival. There was excitement as the children watched the wild animals from big game to small game, with the most exhilarating part came when they come across a tower of reticulated giraffes’ in the midst zebras in the plains. Besides other sites, we also visited Elsa’s grave along river Ura and Adamson’s Falls Bridge.

Six hours later, we drove to the Park’s headquarters at Murera where the pupils and teachers were hosted for a lunch treat at the KWS officers’ mess. With stomachs full, it was time to award presents after a question-and-answer session. Every pupil proved to be a winner and each got learning materials such as dictionaries, text books, geometrical sets, pens, pencils, rulers amongst other items.

Despite a few hitches during the trip, the experience will forever remain vivid in the minds of these pupils.

“Imagine how it feels to have a drive on a bus for the first time! Not a game drive, but just the first experience in a vehicle. That's why some of the children suffered from motion sickness. A majority of our pupils have never had a chance to ride in a bus or even a three-wheeled tuk tuk. Today they did that, saw a variety of wildlife which they had only heard of before, and learned lots. This is a dream come true for them,” said Mrs. Mutua after the trip.

Born Free hopes to conduct similar ecological excursions for more school children around Meru Park to teach about wildlife and empower them and their communities to make informed decision on environmental management and conservation.

Born Free Foundation
Broadlands Business Campus, Langhurstwood Road
, Horsham, RH12 4QP, UK - Charity Reg. No. 1070906


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