Request Proposal

Exploring the wonders of nature allows students to recognize not only the astounding beauty and intricacies of their natural environment but also their responsibilities within and towards it.

Wonders of Nature: Zimbabwe

SchoolSchool | Global Themes Zimbabwe

Program Overview

Exploring the wonders of nature allows students to recognize not only the astounding beauty and intricacies of their natural environment but also their responsibilities within and towards it. In this program, students will learn about the local ecology of Zimbabwe, tackling concepts such as conservation and sustainable development, health and hunger, as well as social responsibility. Students will witness incredible natural spaces, such as the Victoria Falls and national parks, and engage with the complexities of these ecological spaces as they reflect on questions such as: Who ‘owns’ them? Why are they important? How can (or should) they be conserved and preserved, and by whom? Students will interact with several local agents, including community-based organizations, who are dedicated to protecting, preserving, and promoting these spaces. These interactions will also stimulate students to think, and learn, about culture – their culture, the cultures of others, and how beliefs and worldviews impact responses to the environment.

Culturally and Historically Significant Sites:

  • Matobo National Park
  • Victoria Falls
  • Chobe National Park

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this program, students should be able to:

  1. Explore cultural identity or cultural self-awareness
  2. Increase their knowledge of Zimbabwe, particularly with respect to the environment, ecology, and worldview
  3. Develop empathy and consideration for others
  4. Understand the characteristics of good leadership (leading by example, active listening, confidence, courage, respect, responsibility, effective communication,  perseverance, and honor)
  5. Work together within a team to achieve a common goal

Program Contributors

African Lion and Environmental Research Trust (ALERT)

ALERT is a non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of the African lion and the ecosystems on which the species rely. It is dedicated to a multi-disciplinary conservation approach. This involves a more holistic approach to conservation where the full ecosystem is studied, including large predator-prey species and other key species such as elephants. Woven into the fabric of this approach is the very important involvement of the communities that surround the Protected Areas and often experience conflict with wildlife. Conservation education and classroom support allow for the opportunity to spread the importance of conservation to young people and to involve teachers, community leaders, and children in caring for wildlife and the environment.

Painted Dog Conservation

Painted Dog Conservation (PDC) was established to make efforts to preserve this endangered species. Human-induced carnage from snares, shooting, and road kills accounted for 95% of all dog mortalities during the first two years of the organization’s operation. Early research presentations showed evidence of human prejudice and ignorance, and it was clear that unless this situation was addressed, the species could become extinct. The initial emphasis was thus to identify the critical threats and develop a pragmatic and holistic strategy that would make a substantial, lasting contribution to painted dogs, and the lives of the local people.

Dete Animal Rescue Trust (DART)

Professional wildlife guide, Paul de Montille, started DART (Dete Animal Rescue Trust) in 1999 to alleviate the suffering of animals caught in wire snares set by poachers. DART is a registered Wildlife Trust based in Hwange National Park that not only darts (immobilizes) and treats snared and injured wildlife, but for many years has also conducted snare patrols to search for and remove these devices from the bush before they can do any harm. Over time, DART expanded its operations to provide assistance and valuable logistical support including vehicles, fuel, and equipment for researchers and national park rangers in the field.

The Butterfly Tree

This community-led trust is based in Mukuni Village, Zambia. It is an exceptional example of community-led development. The Butterfly Tree runs programs in malaria prevention, nutrition, education, care for orphans and the elderly, small business development, maternity care, HIV/AIDS response, and water sanitation. Aside from providing 16 boreholes to serve schools and remote communities, the Butterfly Tree projects have added the first rural high school in the area, four special education units, and supported pre-schools. Over twenty schools were improved by building more classrooms, teachers’ houses, and latrines. Sustainable feeding programs help to improve concentration and attendance in pupils that walk long distances to get to school.

Sustainable Development Goals

This program engages students with the principles of the following United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. These are linked to the planned curricular activities:

Reduced Inequalities

Related Planned Curricular Activities: Painted Dog Conservancy, The Butterfly Tree, ALERT

Life on Land

Related Planned Curricular Activities: Antelope Park, Painted Dog Conservancy, DART, Chobe Day Safari, Game Walks and Game Drive

Featured Experiences

Boma Restaurant

Meaning “the place of eating,” Boma appeals to the senses with a variety of local dishes including game meat such as kudu, warthog, and ostrich. Guests are welcome to take part in traditional drumming and dancing. They even have the opportunity to eat a local delicacy – mopane worms!

Craft Workshop

Enjoy a cultural evening with Zimbabwean musicians, after which the local craftsmen will be available to teach you how to craft beautiful pieces of jewelry and sculptures. This cultural immersion experience will not only teach you new skills but give you insight into the cultures and traditions of the people of Zimbabwe.

High Tea at Victoria Falls Hotel

Visit the famous Victoria Falls Hotel, renowned for its colonial-era architecture. This five-star hotel is only a ten-minute walk from the falls and was built in 1904 as a key part of the “Cape to Cairo” railroad dream. Today, enjoying a high tea on the terrace gives you insight into what life was like over a hundred years ago as you gaze at the Victoria Falls Bridge with mist rising from the thundering waterfall.

Tiger Fishing

These ferocious, predatory fish lurk throughout much of the Zambezi, catching prey with their enormous jaws and needle-like teeth. Add a tiger fish to your repertoire during your sports fishing adventure on the Zambezi.

Flight of Angels

Hover through the pounding mist of Victoria Falls as you explore the stunning landscape from the air. A specially designed helicopter, providing panoramic visibility to every passenger, takes you high into the sky to be truly encompassed by the mesmerizing grandeur of the falls.

Victoria Falls

Known as the “smoke that thunders,” Victoria Falls is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. The waterfall system is the largest on Earth, about 1.7 kilometers wide and 108 meters high. Enjoy being awestruck by the sheer magnificence of the falls.

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