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Children - our Nature & Wildlife evangelists, in their own right

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Kaapsedraai
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Children - our Nature & Wildlife evangelists, in their own right

Unread post by Kaapsedraai » Tue Oct 27, 2015 6:26 pm

Visiting Kruger or any National Park, our young children and grandchildren accompany us and they enjoy it. :D

They enjoy the game drives (up to a point, I must add i.e. when I am waiting too long for a Bateleur to take off to get some nice action shots :roll: ), help spotting animals/birds and then in return being rewarded with time to enjoy a swim, treated to a soft toy (I can open my own shop :D ) , ice scream etc.

Once back home, what impact does a visit to Kruger/other parks have on our children?
In the time we live in today, we and our children, even more are so, are over-exposed to fame and fortune idolising sport-, music-, other superstars. Still, there is nothing more rewarding to hold a lion cub, play with a warthog, touch a cheetah etc.
With the above in mind, what forms the basis for school assignments, when the opportunity allows such as:
- what will you be one day,
- who inspires you/a role mode,
- interesting places/insects etc. etc.

I must admit, I am in the fortunate position to assist my daughter with school assignments and quite a number assignments are nature & wildlife related.
Does other children also do the same?

To take this a step further:
I am considering to let my daughter do her own Travel Tale about our upcoming Kruger visit in Dec.
She has her own mik-druk (point-shoot) camera to share photos and experiences (incl frustrations - me staying too long at a sighting etc. :D )
Lets Chit-Chat about this - if it is a good idea at age 11 or not.... :think:

I regard our children, who are so fortunate and privilege to visit Kruger and other parks as: our Nature & Wildlife evangelists, in their own right! :thumbs_up:
Current: Table Mountain's mood today; Jul'16 ADDO NP
Finalised: Dec'15 Mokala ; Kruger; Golden Gate; Karoo; Sep'15 Bontebok; Jul'15 Agulhas; Aug'15 West Coast; Dec'14 Kruger; Jun'16 MZNP
Future: Jul'16 Storms river & Wildernis NP

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Re: Children - our Nature & Wildlife evangelists, in their own right

Unread post by billyf » Tue Oct 27, 2015 6:41 pm

My son accompanied us on every Kruger or KTP visit from he was about 4 years old until he was at university.
(The last trip was a father and son trip- great fun but not very good menus :D )
In the earlier days the grandparents were also part of the trips.

I remember him coming back from school one day when in Std 3 or 4 very disgusted with his teacher. He corrected the teacher who identified kudu horns as gemsbok horns, and the teacher was not impressed :wall: :wall:

He certainly has a great love of nature and wildlife, and he cannot wait to take his SO and stepson to the KTP.

A lot of his primary school projects included pics from the KTP or Kruger - even if they were appropriate or not :whistle:

So yes, exposing your children as soon as possible and as often as possible to our National Parks is very important in maintaining the love and respect of nature through the generations.
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Re: Children - our Nature & Wildlife evangelists, in their own right

Unread post by arks » Tue Oct 27, 2015 7:13 pm

I think having your daughter do a trip report is a great idea, Kaapsedraai, just so long as she is enthusiastic about doing it. (I think that wanderw's daughter, Eagle Eyes, did a TR some years back (or at least started one), when she was about the same age as your daughter.) It's a great opportunity for us to experience the parks thru young(er) eyes. I know that many of us have enjoyed a recent KTP report by a highschool student (I think that his forum name is klamb?) and years ago we had a terrific teenaged member, MarkWildDog, who made many memorable and valuable contributions to the forum. IMO the more younger contributors we have, the better! :thumbs_up:
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Re: Children - our Nature & Wildlife evangelists, in their own right

Unread post by Kaapsedraai » Wed Oct 28, 2015 11:45 am

Thank you, billyf. :thumbs_up:
It is great to hear about your experience :D

billyf wrote: I remember him coming back from school one day when in Std 3 or 4 very disgusted with his teacher. He corrected the teacher who identified kudu horns as gemsbok horns, and the teacher was not impressed :wall: :wall:

Yes, I can just imagine :lol:

billyf wrote: A lot of his primary school projects included pics from the KTP or Kruger - even if they were appropriate or not :whistle:

This is one benefit, not searching for something, just go into the Trip Archive and the SANParks website...to assist with factual info.

I have read Kobie Kruger's book Mahlangeni about their children and their outlook on life and their reference points ..which was thought provoking. :D
Current: Table Mountain's mood today; Jul'16 ADDO NP
Finalised: Dec'15 Mokala ; Kruger; Golden Gate; Karoo; Sep'15 Bontebok; Jul'15 Agulhas; Aug'15 West Coast; Dec'14 Kruger; Jun'16 MZNP
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Re: Children - our Nature & Wildlife evangelists, in their own right

Unread post by Kaapsedraai » Wed Oct 28, 2015 11:53 am

arks, very valid points touched on and thank you :thumbs_up:

arks wrote:I think having your daughter do a trip report is a great idea, Kaapsedraai, just so long as she is enthusiastic about doing it.

I guess, this is a guiding principle - they must enjoy doing this and do it out of free will.
The other important principle is that if you start something, you must finish it. :D

arks wrote: It's a great opportunity for us to experience the parks thru young(er) eyes. ....
.... IMO the more younger contributors we have, the better! :thumbs_up:

This is the point, as they just experience thing completely differently :D
We as adults can be selfish, hence the children can help us align our thought patterns when sharing same via a TT. :D

She is already excited and love drawing in the car etc, hence will start keeping a diary of every day's moments and comments...even if mom and dad said something causing a :redface: :D
Current: Table Mountain's mood today; Jul'16 ADDO NP
Finalised: Dec'15 Mokala ; Kruger; Golden Gate; Karoo; Sep'15 Bontebok; Jul'15 Agulhas; Aug'15 West Coast; Dec'14 Kruger; Jun'16 MZNP
Future: Jul'16 Storms river & Wildernis NP

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Re: Children - our Nature & Wildlife evangelists, in their own right

Unread post by leo21 » Wed Oct 28, 2015 12:14 pm

I myself have practuicaly grown up in the Kruger, and when i met the man of my dreams i was afraid that he was a real CITY boy and not into the Bush at all.

i took him on a short trip, he HATED it. As a 21st present my parents got me a 7 day trip for me and my Husband(Fiance at the time) he had no say....it was my 21st bday trip.....needless to say thats when the bug bit...its now a yearly trip and im in abosoute heaven now that he shares this love and we have even spoken about moving there one day....

so we had a son...

last year was his first trip( everyone told me he would be misserable and hate it) he was 15 months at the time.. my son loved it and we are now having our sencond trip with the now 2.5 year old, i hope to carry over my love of the bush to him and can maybe one day have a son that works as a Game Ranger in the Kruger. :pray:

I belive in teaching them young as my father did me and i will now pass on to my son...

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Re: Children - our Nature & Wildlife evangelists, in their own right

Unread post by Elsa » Wed Oct 28, 2015 3:34 pm

I think a trip to any of our national parks is a wonderful and educational trip for a child.
My grandchildren all love it and talk about their trips with such joy and can't wait for another.
They used to make a list from the guide book of all the birds & animals we saw and then back at camp go through it, looking up all the finer details and by the end of the trip they knew them all and what they looked like and now most of them are active birders.
A trip report is a wonderful idea and I would encourage any teachers out there to use the opportunity to get them to do one and use it to pass on the experience to the other class mates.

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Re: Children - our Nature & Wildlife evangelists, in their own right

Unread post by PNF » Wed Oct 28, 2015 4:35 pm

We took our 10 year old grandson in August for 2 weeks to Shingwedzi.........what a ball he had and what an experience for us! We first took him to KNP at the age of 3 - Pretoriuskop/Letaba/Mopani in chalets but this time it was camping. If we weren't out on a drive he was either in the swimming pool or off looking for spiders/scorpions/insects etc. He was forbidden by his grandfather to bring any that he could find back to the caravan.......!
The biggest advantage for us was that we had a 3rd spotter with us who had excellent eyesight and spotted things that we would have missed - do not underestimate the sharpness of their eyesight!
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Re: Children - our Nature & Wildlife evangelists, in their own right

Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Thu Oct 29, 2015 6:27 am

PNF, there is nothing like young eyes to find the elusive animals.

We tended to keep out Kruger trips rather short when our children were very young, but they have certainly grown into eco warriors now that they are young adults.

I started a tradition of giving a bush hike as a gift for the eighteenth birthday. This is a time when important decisions about the future need to be made. Nothing like a few days in the bush to set priorities straight.

Another tradition that I have started is giving a family holiday in the bush as a Christmas gift. So far we have been to Punda, Letaba, Tzendze, Olifants, Balule, and this year we will be going to Tambotie and Skukuza.

My children love to travel. My girls are really comfortable going places that are unusual and memorable. They are happy to pick up a back pack and, if need be, a tent. I do believe that this independent and curious spirit was nurtured in bush adventures.
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Re: Children - our Nature & Wildlife evangelists, in their own right

Unread post by Karin Mitton » Thu Oct 29, 2015 12:06 pm

Kaapsedraai wrote:They enjoy the game drives (up to a point, I must add i.e. when I am waiting too long for a Bateleur to take off to get some nice action shots :roll: ), help spotting animals/birds and then in return being rewarded with time to enjoy a swim, treated to a soft toy (I can open my own shop :D ) , ice scream etc.


I can so relate to that!

I started travelling to Kruger with my son when he was 10. 90% of the time he is incredibly patient with his "weird" mom (HIS opinion of me and my obsessions with birds, animals and visiting Kruger). He really is the one person I know that I will take with me to Kruger, and he does understand sitting and listening to nothing.

He is also a talented photographer, which comes in handy when the animals are on his side of the car. But if you ask him about our trips, he will always mention the "12 hours we spent in the car on ONE Day!" :big_eyes:
I always try and keep a balance of drives and time in camp when he is with me, but I warned him in advance of that day - Croc Bridge - LS - Skukz - Pretorius - Croc Bridge, and while he will pretend it was awful, we had a great day.

But he is now 18, and rather relishing in the fact that he thinks he does not have to go on holiday with me anymore! :? Until he realises holidays costs money that he will not have for a while :twisted: So at the moment he will not be joining me on my next Kruger trip :cry: I am hoping he will change his mind. He also says he may never go to Kruger again :big_eyes: but he is 18, and I hope it is just hormones and trying to show he can decide what he wants to do now that the is "big" - time will tell.

But I think the times we did spend together in Kruger, Karoo NP and MZNP have planted the seeds to continue an appreciation for the parks and what they represent, even if he does not visit them as often as his weird mom!

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Re: Children - our Nature & Wildlife evangelists, in their own right

Unread post by Kaapsedraai » Sat Oct 31, 2015 7:20 am

Thank you for sharing your interesting experience with us, leo21 :thumbs_up:

leo21 wrote:I myself have practuicaly grown up in the Kruger, and when i met the man of my dreams i was afraid that he was a real CITY boy and not into the Bush at all....

I guess, my wife must have feld the same as you as I have never been to Kruger and thought if you see a lion etc, then so what could be the so unique as we have a lot of scantuaries in our region and what could be better than the Garden Route we regard as the 'Promised Land' :lol:
Well, well, well - I agreed to a trip to Sabie and region and the Kruger for a week....and when we drove along a gravel road to Mpondo dam, a Cheetah with 6 cubs approaching and I 'sold' and every year I cannot wait to return....our daughter was 5yrs, but have been since baby with us on canoes, hiking trails in the GR, so brought up in outdoors from from very young.. :D

leo21 wrote: last year was his first trip( everyone told me he would be misserable and hate it) he was 15 months at the time.. my son loved it and we are now having our sencond trip with the now 2.5 year old, i hope to carry over my love of the bush to him and can maybe one day have a son that works as a Game Ranger in the Kruger. :pray:

I belive in teaching them young as my father did me and i will now pass on to my son...

I guess, their interest and concentration span must be respected, hence plan a variety of activities to keep them occupied, hence the activities in the camps so important so they can get rid of energy and experience the animals making it a memorable moments. :D
Current: Table Mountain's mood today; Jul'16 ADDO NP
Finalised: Dec'15 Mokala ; Kruger; Golden Gate; Karoo; Sep'15 Bontebok; Jul'15 Agulhas; Aug'15 West Coast; Dec'14 Kruger; Jun'16 MZNP
Future: Jul'16 Storms river & Wildernis NP

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Re: Children - our Nature & Wildlife evangelists, in their own right

Unread post by Kaapsedraai » Sat Oct 31, 2015 7:36 am

Elsa wrote:I think a trip to any of our national parks is a wonderful and educational trip for a child.
My grandchildren all love it and talk about their trips with such joy and can't wait for another.

Elsa, so true and we had done so with our daughter since she was a baby always going to Garden Route doing a lot of activities. I guess, these memorable moments had stuck and ever since with every trip, there is a memory which had stuck. :D

Elsa wrote: A trip report is a wonderful idea and I would encourage any teachers out there to use the opportunity to get them to do one and use it to pass on the experience to the other class mates.

She is already excited, and following from the positive feedback she is getting in school on her projects, it created confidence and she also see as it be a great one to do, esp at this age level. I guess, this has also touched other children's hearts and we then realise how fortunate we are to enjoy these wonderful places i.e. she did a tour guide project in Western Cape, so did one on our trip to Agulhas. She asked the class of 24 who had been there and nobody except her teacher who came from the Overberg region. :thumbs_up:
Current: Table Mountain's mood today; Jul'16 ADDO NP
Finalised: Dec'15 Mokala ; Kruger; Golden Gate; Karoo; Sep'15 Bontebok; Jul'15 Agulhas; Aug'15 West Coast; Dec'14 Kruger; Jun'16 MZNP
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Re: Children - our Nature & Wildlife evangelists, in their own right

Unread post by Kaapsedraai » Sat Oct 31, 2015 7:44 am

PNF wrote:We took our 10 year old grandson in August for 2 weeks to Shingwedzi.........what a ball he had and what an experience for us! We first took him to KNP at the age of 3 - Pretoriuskop/Letaba/Mopani in chalets but this time it was camping. If we weren't out on a drive he was either in the swimming pool or off looking for spiders/scorpions/insects etc. He was forbidden by his grandfather to bring any that he could find back to the caravan.......!

PNF, I share your sentiments as our daughter always remembers Shingwedzi while in the swimming pool on a hot summers day. She looked up and saw a big elephant right at the fence looking at her - it was most memorable and she open talks about it. It seems we underestimate the value and lasting impressions a swimming pool experience are having on the children. I would say if you take you child to Kruger - let them have time out at the swimming pool as they love it! :dance:

PNF wrote: The biggest advantage for us was that we had a 3rd spotter with us who had excellent eyesight and spotted things that we would have missed - do not underestimate the sharpness of their eyesight!

Agree, they sometimes surprise one thinking of not paying attention, then spot on with excellent sighting one missed. :D
Current: Table Mountain's mood today; Jul'16 ADDO NP
Finalised: Dec'15 Mokala ; Kruger; Golden Gate; Karoo; Sep'15 Bontebok; Jul'15 Agulhas; Aug'15 West Coast; Dec'14 Kruger; Jun'16 MZNP
Future: Jul'16 Storms river & Wildernis NP

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Re: Children - our Nature & Wildlife evangelists, in their own right

Unread post by Kaapsedraai » Sat Oct 31, 2015 7:48 am

Meandering Mouse wrote: I started a tradition of giving a bush hike as a gift for the eighteenth birthday. This is a time when important decisions about the future need to be made. Nothing like a few days in the bush to set priorities straight.

Another tradition that I have started is giving a family holiday in the bush as a Christmas gift. So far we have been to Punda, Letaba, Tzendze, Olifants, Balule, and this year we will be going to Tambotie and Skukuza.

My children love to travel. My girls are really comfortable going places that are unusual and memorable. They are happy to pick up a back pack and, if need be, a tent. I do believe that this independent and curious spirit was nurtured in bush adventures.

Meandering Mouse, what a wonderful idea of gift - I will mention it to my daughter when she starts earning some money that I will love such a idea of a gift... :tongue: :D :D :D
On serious note, it is excellent and the more one wider their horizons, the more they are stimulated and eager to explore more. :thumbs_up:
Current: Table Mountain's mood today; Jul'16 ADDO NP
Finalised: Dec'15 Mokala ; Kruger; Golden Gate; Karoo; Sep'15 Bontebok; Jul'15 Agulhas; Aug'15 West Coast; Dec'14 Kruger; Jun'16 MZNP
Future: Jul'16 Storms river & Wildernis NP

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Re: Children - our Nature & Wildlife evangelists, in their own right

Unread post by Kaapsedraai » Sat Oct 31, 2015 8:00 am

Karin Mitton wrote: I started travelling to Kruger with my son when he was 10. 90% of the time he is incredibly patient with his "weird" mom (HIS opinion of me and my obsessions with birds, animals and visiting Kruger). He really is the one person I know that I will take with me to Kruger, and he does understand sitting and listening to nothing.

Karin Mitton, very interesting to earn about your experiences.
They know that when you enter the Kruger gate, radio is off and the sounds of the bush is the music, hence they also learning the bush sounds/music recognising them.
My daughter said on one trip afte waiting for a bird take off, that she is so glad that wildebeest and giraffe do not have wings and had to wait till they poo before action happens. :roll: :D :D

Karin Mitton wrote: He is also a talented photographer, which comes in handy when the animals are on his side of the car. But if you ask him about our trips, he will always mention the "12 hours we spent in the car on ONE Day!" :big_eyes:
I always try and keep a balance of drives and time in camp when he is with me, but I warned him in advance of that day - Croc Bridge - LS - Skukz - Pretorius - Croc Bridge, and while he will pretend it was awful, we had a great day.

That is great that you have another photographer on board and they often get that one shot you missed. :clap:
Agree - another principle is 'balance' time in the car and in the camp.
Also educate them on the days planning and camps, they relate differently to us to such paces i.e. Mopani remembers snake in the pool, Biyamiti how grandmom got such a fright when nearly stepping on a monitor etc. (Mabe, I mustwrite a short story on all these 'moments' :hmz: )
Current: Table Mountain's mood today; Jul'16 ADDO NP
Finalised: Dec'15 Mokala ; Kruger; Golden Gate; Karoo; Sep'15 Bontebok; Jul'15 Agulhas; Aug'15 West Coast; Dec'14 Kruger; Jun'16 MZNP
Future: Jul'16 Storms river & Wildernis NP


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