CONNECTION TO KRUGER
Kruger National Park is one of the most sought-after wildlife destinations on the planet. It is home to a huge array of wildlife including the 'Big 5', cheetah, wild dog and much more. It is roughly the size of Wales and visited by people from all over the world who come to be a part of its magic. Like many wildlife reserves around the world, when the Kruger National Park was formed, thousands of people were displaced from their homes to make way for the protected area. Now, millions of people live alongside the parks boundaries, with very little opportunity to visit the park. Lack of transport, financial insecurity and a general disconnect to the park mean that many have never had the chance to visit.
Connected Planet are working alongside Transfrontier Africa's Bushbabies environmental education programme, Koru Camp and the Bushbuck Ridge Hiking Club, to change that. We fund day trips into the Kruger and immersive environmental education camps for members of the local community to visit, learn about and connect with their wildlife heritage.
Programmes we have funded include the Bushbabies environmental camps; a series of Bushgrannies and Babies camps at Koru Camp; and a 4-day backpack trail through the heart of the Kruger National Park. Connected Planet have also sponsored a mini-bus for Nourish Eco Village to facilitate day trips into the Kruger.
By providing opportunities for communities to connect with the wildlife on the other side of the fence, as well as learn the importance of protecting it, we hope to find the next generation of Kruger conservationists.
BUSHGRANNIES AND BUSHBABIES
The Bushgrannies and granddaughters programme has seen 40 local grannies and their grandchildren spend 3 nights at the beautiful Koru Camp. Here, they camped deep in the wild, learning all about the magic on their doorstep. Despite living next to the park for their whole lives, most had never ever seen an elephant before. These camps changed that and the grannies and their granddaughters went back to their communities with a new sense of connection to the wild. In communities where poaching is rife and the grannies have a lot of influence, the messages they bring back are vital for the long-term conservation of Africa's wildlife.