Find out what's going on at DAKTARI

Read through DAKTARI's Blog to get updated on what's happening at the camp. If you want to receive our newsletter to stay up-to-date, sign up at the bottom of the page!


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Friday, 29 June 2018 07:01

A new team member at DAKTARI!

 We are  happy to welcome Sacha, our new Office Assistant!

 

Sacha is 24 years old and is coming from Switzerland where he finished his business Management bachelor. He is staying with us for six months and will help with the Eco Clubs and the Fundraising tasks. 

For a long time, Sacha wanted to volunteer and he is still looking for what he wants to do professionally. So, he choose to come at DAKTARI to get a volunteering work experience in an NGO.

 

We are very excited to have Sacha in the DAKTARI Team and we hope he has a great time here in the coming months!

 

 

 

Thursday, 14 June 2018 13:48

Some DAKTARI animals released

We recently said goodbye to our Meerkat family. Twelve of our meerkats left DAKTARI to be rehabilitated. Only Gasper and Tikki stayed behind because they are quite old and have lost some of their teeth. 

Gasper was the first to arrive at DAKTARI in 2010, follow by Tikki (2011) and Madonna (2014). The family then grew with Madonna's three babies in November 2014: Porthos, Athas and Aramis. In 2017, Colo, Tschumi and Jess joined the meerkat family followed by Jess' three babies.

Eeyore the donkey is going to miss his butt scratching buddies and our staff will miss running after them when they escape! Although we were very sad to see them go; we are delighted to know that they will be back in their natural habitat soon enough. 

 

We also said goodbye to Chimoya, the baby buffalo. She arrived in March and has grown up with Tango and Tony, the baby sable antelope. She returned to the neighbouring farm where she is from to join her buffalo family and live in the wild.  

 

 

 

 

  

Friday, 08 June 2018 07:51

Tippi's Experience at DAKTARI

 

In my perspective, Daktari’s project represents the future for the next generations of Africa.

 

Before I had even heard about Daktari -along with their project, I already had similar ideas I could see myself building in the future. Reconnecting humans - and especially the children, with their inner instincts, respect, love and bond with nature and with the animals, with earth, and therefore their land and their culture…

 

I have always believed the importance of future generations to re-immerse the feeling and deep understanding of being part of everything and everything being part of them, of us, comprehending we are ONE.

 

Seeing the children open their minds and put their trust in us made me feel blessed and fortunate. I feel I taught them as much as they taught me, and also much about myself…

 

In today’s world animals do not have interspace, no longer a place alongside humankind. In today’s world, the human animal we are is disconnected from the earth, from nature and wildlife, because of the way society and civilization have evolved. This consequence is not down to personal choice, it is a way of life imposed on us from centuries ago that has separated us from our ancestral instincts and connection with the earth.

This has led to a loss of animal habitat, wrong interspecies communication and a damaged relationship between human and animal. Humankind have a way of making you feel and be in the present moment...

Humankind and animals belong together, as equals, side by side. No other way.

Our vision of the world and being has the possibility to extend through contact with other individuals, different locations, diverse cultures and different mindsets. Exchanges as such, not only intercultural but emotional and personal experiences are the most powerful tool towards an open-minded education and therefore a change in our current society. And this is what Daktari’s mission is about.

 

What particularly counts for me is to transmit; not to persuade but to give the foundations to be further interpreted freely.

 

 

Friday, 01 June 2018 06:39

Great South African Corporate support!

We recently received generous donations from South African corporates. 

 

L'OREAL donated some beauty and body care products. They will be given to the children who come to DAKTARI as a reward after their accomplishment of the week. It is a wonderful way to encourage them and to learn about hygiene.

 

The leader of the Pet Industry, Marltons, donated some products such as water bottles, dishes and games. This will contribute to the good care and enrichment of our animals.

 

The Rotary Club of Middleburg donated stationary and school furnitures for DAKTARI and schools we are working with. All have been received with a lot of gratitude. 

 

A leading food producer, RCL FOOD, donated Maize meal, flour and peanut butter which are all part of the children's meals.

 

We are very grateful for all these amazing donations! Donations like these are fundamental to the organisation in order to keep their program running! 

 

 

 

  

Thursday, 24 May 2018 08:04

Welcome Beth!

DAKTARI recently welcomed Beth, our new animal assistant! Beth is joining us from the UK where she previously studied zoology. She is staying with us for six months and will help our Animal Manager Johnson with the care and welfare of DAKTARI's animals. Her main goal is to update the animal enclosure with enrichment.

 

Beth has many experiences with wild animals. She volunteered twice in a rescue and rehabilitation in Malawi. She helped to raise and care for monkey mainly, but also lion, serval or leopard! Then she worked as conservation intern for two months in Kwazulu Natal in South Africa.

 

We are very excited to have Beth in the DAKTARI Team and we hope she has a great time here in the coming months!

 

   

 

 

 

My name is Karin and I’m from the Netherlands. I’m at Daktari with my husband Gerwin and my two sons Nils (14) and Bjorn (10). When we’re planning this holiday we really like to combine working as a volunteer and meeting other cultures and experience the nature. Daktari offers that. Especially the education program for the local students and working with the animals is why we choose Daktari.

We came at DAKTARI on Saturday 28th of April 2018 for a week. We flew to Johannesburg where we rent a car. We drove to DAKTARI ourselves. It was a beautiful trip and, in the end, we even saw buffalo!

At Daktari, every volunteer works with the animals and give some lessons to the students. Every evening there is a meeting where the work and the lessons for the next day are planned. You do stabling, feeding the animals and cleaning up. The animals vary from smaller ones like mongoose, meerkat, owls, eagles, bush baby and dassies to bigger ones like ostrich, caracal, cheetah and wild dog. The subjects of the lessons are about the environment, renewable energy, knowledge of the animals but also about politeness, respect and job opportunities at a game reserve.

 

My sons helped with cleaning the enclosure of the cheetah "Martin". That was exciting! First, we had to lure the cheetah with a chicken to got him locked. It took a couple of minutes but eventually, it worked. And Then they could start cleaning the water and fill it up with fresh water agin. 

 

The Tuesday we went to another school in the village where DAKTARI offers a special education program called "Eco-Club". The children coming there on voluntary. It is very special to see how eager the students are to learn. It was a lesson which took 2 hours without a break. And they were still focussing! In the Netherlands that age (15-17) not even have the focus for 1hour! I was impressed. 

 

When we where at DAKTARI they had a baby buffalo and two baby sable antelope. Six times a day they get a bottle of warm milk. At 6 pm it was my turn and it was really dark. With my headlight, I got into the fence and the buffalo came immediately to me. He was pushing me forward to get along so he gets his milk. It was really funny!  When he was drinking I had to say to myself: I am here in South Africa feeding a baby buffalo! It was great!

 

DAKTARI was a family experience we will never forget! 

Thank you so much! 

 

Friday, 04 May 2018 06:37

A week of Job training in the village

 

Every time a year, when the children are writing exams, DAKTARI manage a Job Hunting Program week. Usually, DAKTARI welcomes 8 students in the camp from Monday to Friday. But last week the Job Hunting Program was organized in the neighbouring village. Our outreach manager and her team welcomed four local youths looking for a job: Nico, Lucy, Dalene, and Ingrid.

 

This program focuses on giving these youth the skills they need to find a job. They had lessons on CV writing, cover letter writing, job interview skills, and using email to reach out to potential employers and following up on applications.  Then, once a month, a workshop is organized in the village to follow up the students if they need more help.

 

For a week the students worked hard and have left the Job Hunting Program with a renewed hope of finding a job. We are confident that these hardworking individuals will soon be employed.

 

 

 

 

DAKTARI Bush School & Wildlife Orphanage provides supplementary environmental and life skills education to Grade 8 learners in the nearby underprivileged communities. But DAKTARI is also a wildlife Orphanage for the animals that have no possibility of being released into the wild.

 

The wildlife orphanage started with a blind donkey and a bushbuck. Today, more than 80 animals call DAKTARI home, including that same blind donkey and bushbuck. DAKTARI takes in animals that have no possibility of being released into the wild.

 

Regularly, DAKTARI welcome baby animals: meerkat, mongoose, squirrels, Sable Antelope or bush-baby. Like all DAKTARI’s animals, they play a large role in the children’s education about the environment.

 

The children interact daily with the animals at DAKTARI’s wildlife orphanage. The animals live in enclosures throughout the camp or live free in the bush surrounding camp. Twice per day, the children assist our volunteers and staff with animal feeding and care. Sometimes the children and volunteers can help raise small animals until they can be released back into the bush.

 

The DAKTARI Wildlife Orphanage offer the opportunity for the students to see a cheetah, jackal, or even a meerkat in person. Unfortunately, many of children have never seen the local wildlife even if they live near the Kruger National Park. The cost of entering these game reserves, both national and private, is too high for their families to afford. Their faces light up when they arrive and see a cheetah have a meal or have a squirrel jump on their shoulder. This experience inspires the children to want to protect these animals them!

 

  

 

    

 

 

"I came to DAKTARI on April 1st 2018. I was looking online for places to volunteer abroad and out of around 20 organizations DAKTARI was the one that seemed to offer the most opportunities and experiences. After I found DAKTARI I spent no time hesitating to prepare for the trip. I bought my plane tickets just a few days after I emailed them saying that I wanted to volunteer and would be arriving in 2 weeks.

My experience here overall has been wonderful. I was nervous because I have had no previous experience on teaching children or taking care of wildlife but every new thing I am doing here has been with a supportive team of amazing volunteers and staff. I learned that teaching children about the environment is fun and rewarding. However, kids are still kids and they can get into quite a lot of trouble-making which means that we the volunteers spend much time watching over them. Trying to juggle the classroom lessons while caring for baby antelopes and doing regular duties has occasionally left me exhausted though. I love that I am making a difference here in the lives of many children and animals but my limits have definitely been pushed but they have been pushed for the better. I think my favorite times were when I was able to share in the local culture and dances with everybody and we all had a great time as well as when I was able to take breaks and bask in the beauty of South Africa and not worry about a single thing.

 

I have enjoyed my time here greatly. I come from a very urbanized city with little to no wildlife. Coming here is like a vacation and reminder that the Earth has so many wonderful things to show us. I was also able to partake in great opportunities like working with children to teach them to take care of their environment and feed baby antelopes and buffalo from a bottle. We also are lucky enough to work closely with a cheetah, dassies, jackals and wild dogs which is something very few people will ever do in their lifetime. It also gave me a break from the very fast-paced lifestyle we have in Los Angeles so I will be very refreshed coming back home.

My best memory may have to be the bonfire night dances with the children and staff. It is like a party and everyone has a great time. It makes me feel like we are all one big family enjoying our time together."