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Back to School
We can all strive to continue learning, all of the time. This month, in the spirit of ‘to give and to to get’, we showcase some of the projects and platforms that we support and have had the privilege of experiencing firsthand in Southern Africa. I will venture to say that there are few more rewarding aspects to travel than to visit remote, rural communities to give back…envision going to a local school to join in a day of lessons teaching English language class with literacy packs before lunching in the shade of trees and playing a game of bush soccer with over-eager children.  I have never seen bigger smiles!

Time is our most precious commodity…spend it together.

Best regards, Darren

Spend time with kids in the Bushveld:
Children in the Wilderness
This Southern Africa-wide Trust offers best in show platforms to introduce the region’s less privileged youth to the wonders on their doorstep. Children who might otherwise not get the opportunity to appreciate the wildlife and scenic splendor that attract travelers from around the world get to experience life in renowned lodges and learn about wildlife and ecology. What better way to ensure local communities are vested in the assets in the region? in addition, the Trust funds numerous school-based educational platforms, feeding programs and vocational guidance training. They are meaningful and comprehensive. 

Spend time in ‘green fingers class’ and in soccer training programs: Grootbos Foundation
At the very foot of Africa, overlooking a sweeping bay teeming with aquatic wildlife (including the ‘Marine BIG 5'), this nature preserve showcases the Cape Floral Kingdom in all its glory. Tourism dollars and the generosity of its owner combine to provide a unique, sustainable, educational offering that benefits the local communities. The Green Futures program educates ultra-keen locals about horticulture and fauna and flora conservation.  The Football Foundation brings some of the most renowned soccer players on the planet to train local youth. Finally, there is an Enterprise Foundation that offers participants in either program the tools to plan sustainable livelihoods from skills learned. Remarkable!

Learn about unique and distinct
wildlife species: Tswalu
Deep in the remote and vast Kalahari lies the largest private game reserve in South Africa. Tswalu’s credo is ‘restoring the Kalahari to itself’. After all, how can we enjoy wildlife in the pristine Kalahari if we do not care for its ecology and inhabitant species? Tswalu conducts cutting edge research programs around a number of species, including Meerkat, Aardvark and rare birds. They offer guests the opportunity to be involved in these projects in a hands-on fashion. It is rewarding to get a sense that you (and your family) are assisting in preserving experiences from which later generations will benefit.

Learn about, and contribute to, Rhino and Elephant conservation: The Wilderness Trust
Wilderness Safaris remains at the very forefront of wildlife conservation in Southern Africa. In Zimbabwe, they have ensured that some of the continent’s last great herds of Elephant and Buffalo thrive by funding anti-poaching operations and maintaining boreholes and water resources. In Botswana, they have pioneered a Rhino relocation process to remote islands in the heart of the Okavango Delta and partially funded their protection by elite units of the Botswana Military. If you are a ‘put your money where your mouth is’ type of person, patronizing Wilderness camps is one of the best ways to learn about these efforts and experience them firsthand.
For more information on any of the items above or other travel requests please contact:
Travel Sommelier 
+1 203 286 8338
Darren Humphreys
Copyright © 2016 Travel Sommelier, All rights reserved.

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