Imire Rhino & Wildlife Conservancy, Zimbabwe - travel journal
On 29th and 30th March 2023 Oasis Overland took a group of 92 children, aged between 5 and 18 years, and 14 staff from the Hupenyu Hutsva Children’s Home in Harare, Zimbabwe to a local wildlife and safari reserve. The children and staff were accompanied by Oasis Overland staff, including the Company’s three founders, and were transported in our expedition vehicles.
Journal:Date: 29th & 30th March 2023
8.00am We arrived to pick the children up and there was a lot of excitement as our two trucks pulled into the driveway! 23, very happy children boarded each vehicle and the journey to the reserve was full of lots of singing, hand clapping and waving at other vehicles!
9.30am When we arrived at the reserve each child was given a notebook and a pen and our first stop was at the Education centre, where the children watched a video, listened to a teacher and were able to walk around and read the information boards. Conservation was a major theme of the centre and the children then discussed this with the educator in a big group.
10.30am We then proceeded to do a game drive and view the wildlife. Despite their excitement the children managed to stay quiet for this and didn’t scare the animals away! We saw giraffe, wart hogs, impala, baboons, and zebra.
12.30am We stopped for lunch, of rice, chicken and a soft drink, provided by the café in the park. The children really enjoyed this. They were all able to sit together and there was lots of conversation about their morning. They never normally get an opportunity to eat out so this was a big event.
There was time to play before we set off on our afternoon activities.
2.00pm The reserve also has a snake park and we were able to visit this. Here, we had a very informative guide, who was able to answer all the children’s questions and more!
3.00pm With a lollipop and orange in hand the children boarded our trucks and we commenced our return journey. The children rarely leave the compound they live on so the journey was fascinating to them, seeing the land outside Harare and different areas of their own city. They also enjoyed chatting with our staff about their lives, jobs and favourite football teams! This was accompanied by plenty more singing and clapping!!
Impact from the staff: "Thank you Responsible Travel and Oasis Overland for doing this for our children. They are usually so isolated from the outside world and this event helps them to connect with it. It does so much for their self esteem. Look how happy they are, but I think they will be too excited to sleep tonight!’
"This is also a lovely day out for the staff too. May God bless you all"
"This is a once in a lifetime experience for us all. Thank you so much."
"You made us all feel so special. You even served us our lunch! Thank you so much. We will not forget this day."
"My face is hurting because I cannot stop smiling"
"I am so happy because it is the first time I have seen my totem (a python)"
"Thank you for doing this for us. We are so happy."
"I will never forget this day. Thank you!"
About our partner organisation: Oasis Overland has been working with the children’s home for over 10 years in a variety of roles – often supplying food and equipment when times have been really hard. Oasis Overland has also helped the home in terms of self sufficiency, providing tools, seeds and a borehole for their vegetable garden.
Other trips that we have run to Imire Rhino & Wildlife Conservancy in Zimbabwe:
21st and 22nd December 2017:
Funded by Responsible Travel, Oasis Overland took a group of 94 children and 10 staff from the Hupenyu Hutsva Children’s Home in Harare to Imire Rhino & Wildlife Conservancy in Zimbabwe.