Wilderness and Knysna Areas of GRNP
Environmental Education in Prison
The unit co-ordinator of Correctional Services in Knysna witnessed what SANParks is doing with the Kids in Parks programme and asked People and Conservation to run a similar program for the inmates who are often a forgotten community. Some of the pupils in the first programme had been behind bars for 8 and 7 years respectively, and had never finished primary school. They were hungry for information and they attended the programme every Thursday for three months. Activities included tree planting, marine week celebrations and looking at life in the Knysna lagoon.
Prefects from the Carpe Diem School for the physically and mentally handicapped paid a visit to Wilderness Area of the Garden Route National Park. Their visit coincided with National Weedbuster Week and it was an opportunity to inform them about this topic. The Working for Water project manager was very demonstrative and interactive in telling the learners more about alien invasive plant species. Their disabilities did not stop them from getting into the canoes and experiencing this activity.
Letaba Elephant Hall
The Elephant Hall in Letaba rest camp, Kruger National Park is an information centre dedicated to elephants. It contains many unique information boards and displays. The elephant hall hosts almost 100 000 visitors per year.
The museum covers elephant history, biology, behaviour, ecology and management as well as showcasing the ivory of eight of Kruger’s greatest tuskers (including six of the Magnificent Seven). The hall has recently been revamped to update the displays and incorporate the skull, tusks and skeleton of Mandleve.
In addition, the big tusker project competition has been launched recently, encouraging people to contribute photos and sighting information.
School Holidays at Letaba
During the school holidays there are many events that take place in Letaba to keep the children happy and entertained. There are guided tours of the Elephant Hall, scheduled video showings, a trivial pursuit game themed around the Kruger National Park, story telling session by Field Rangers,and a orienteering trail around the camp. Each child gets a map of the Letaba Camp and has to follow clues around the camp to retrieve letters which spell out a sentence. If they get this sentence right then they receive a price.
Annually, throughout the park there are also ‘clean up’ days which are oppertunities for the park to educate children about how to care for protected places and that littering damages the environment. At the end of the day each child gets a goody bag to say "thank you" for helping clean up the Kruger National Park and for being willing to learn about some of the problems that the park faces.