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Kids in the Wild
It is a sad fact that the majority of kids who live in and around Mfuwe never visit South Luangwa National Park. Most have never seen a lion or a leopard, a giraffe or even the all too common Impala.  This beautiful park sits on their doorstep but might as well be a million miles away.
To the local community wildlife is often something to be feared; elephants raid their crops or a crocodile may take anyone who ventures in the river.  This is not a situation that encourages any enthusiasm for conservation. But without this wildlife there would be no visitors and so it is important that the community, and in particular teenagers, understand that they have the most to gain by conserving their environment and the local wildlife.

A safari for local kids
With a grant from The Elephant Charge, an annual off-road motor sport challenge, Project Luangwa took 24 local teenagers to stay at Kafunta River Lodge on the banks of the Luangwa river for a 4 day/3 night safari. We wanted to encourage the kids to gain a better understanding of conservation of their environment and wildlife, understand how a visitor sees the environment and experience exactly what a tourist experiences. We hoped that they would consider a career in tourism or conservation too but above all we wanted them to have fun.
With just 24 places and many eager kids we felt the only fair way to choose who participated was to ask them all to write an essay entitled 'The Link bet

However the main activities were the game drives and everybody was keen to take part and get into the park. On the first drive the kids were rewarded with their first sighting of lions and this was made even more special by the presence of six cubs playing around their mums. Several more pupils realised their ambitions of seeing leopards and hyena over the next two days and there were plenty of other animals too. Only the buffalo remained elusive. Kafunta's guides went out of their way to educate the children and allowed everyone the chance to act as a guide. 
But to understand what a great time was had by all (including Project Luangwa and Kafunta staff) let the kids tell you what they thought.
"I wasn't interested in nature before I went to Kafunta, now I think its really good".  From a boy who selected a wildlife book as a prize on the last day.
" I learnt that a guide has to know about lots of things and not just animals".
"It was like being a proper guest - I put my washing in that basket and it was waiting for me later - all ironed".
"My favourite thing was the food".
"We could go swimming whenever we wanted"

The Bushcamp Company and Mfuwe Lodge

School Educational Project

In 1999, The Bushcamp Company and Mfuwe Trails set up a project whose aim would be to become involved with the local communities and to help these communities by supporting education and providing much-needed help to local schools. As our main projects, we chose to help two schools, namely Chiwwatala Primary School in the main Mfuwe area and Chilongozi School, which is in remote area close to our bushcamps. We felt that these schools would benefit greatly from any help hat we could provide. Chiwawatala has just over 400 pupils with 5 teachers plus the headmaster, Mr. Charles Zulu, Chilongozi School has over 200 pupils and only one teacher.

Photos of Mfuwe Lodge (click)


The progress of the project has been remarkable, with generous donations in the forms of cash and goods ensuring that the schools have already benefited tremendously from the support received. Present and future projects for the two schools include:

*Building and renovation work - classrooms, toilet facilities and teacher's house

*Sponsorship of orphaned children through school

*Provision of school supplies and uniforms

*Sponsorship of a school vegetable garden at Chiwawatala. The students grow vegetables which

Mfuwe Lodge and the Bushcamp Company buys from them. This is a great way for the school to earn money for themselves, therefore not relying entirely on donations.

*At Chiwawatala, we have started a wildlife club called the Chongololo Club. During the rains, we ask our guides to go to the school to teach the pupils about wildlife, and we organize a weekly game drive into the park, which most of the children have never visited. This is greatly enjoyed by all - the kids get so excited seeing the wildlife and love learning about the bush

Thanks to the kind and generous donations we have received so far, we have been able to make a real and lasting difference to the lives of the schoolchildren.

Make a difference. No matter how big or small, it all helps"

Mfuwe Community Tree Planting Project

The Mfuwe Community Tree Planting Project started 2 years ago, through private sponsorship from the Bushcamp Company and Mfuwe Lodge.

The aim of this project is to combat the deforestation that is going on around the Mfuwe area. Trees are felled and the wood is used for fuel, cooking, warmth and building materials. It became a concern that the trees were not being used in a sustainable way, and so we decided to begin the Tree Planting Project in order to replace the trees that have been cut down. This will ensure that the community can continue to use this wood and it will also help to conserve the environment and the wildlife around the Mfuwe area.

Over 1,000 families in the Mfuwe area will benefit from the tree planting. Over the last two year,

5,000 trees have been planted. The project is on going and at the moment, work that is being done is as follows;

Clearing of land in preparation for planting - Collecting of saplings . Potting of saplings in potting bags - Planting the saplings in the prepared ground - Tending the growth of the trees.

We are currently making plans to expand the project to encompass a wider catchment area and to involve more people.

For more worthwhile projects in Africa, see
Great Causes