Animals add something special, however nothing beats first-hand experience.
Children are naturally curious about the world – and we adults should be too!
At ZooLab, we (and our animal teams) are on a mission to get children and adults alike to see the natural world in new ways – ways that will amaze, educate and inspire.
Animals add something special to any setting, however we know that nothing beats first-hand experience. As you would expect at ZooLab we are passionate about that – and it’s why we always go the extra mile to bring you real animal handling workshops. Our travels aren’t holidays – they are voyages of discovery that gives our staff the chance to experience animals in their habitats and gives you the real experience from rangers who have been there and done that.
For the past two years, ZooLab have partnered with Mankwe Wildlife Reserve to give staff the chance to discover the fascinating flora and fauna of South Africa – the intention for our first trip in 2017 was to gather information and resources for our workshops, whilst gaining an insight into the conservation issues faced here. For the staff who visited it turned into something so much more…
Rhino numbers across the world are falling dramatically, a big part of this is due to poaching. After spending the week with Lynne MacTavish and the rest of her team at Mankwe, hearing their stories and understanding the daily struggles that come with protecting this endangered species our team felt compelled to take action and raise awareness of the issues faced which could easily bring both the black and white rhino to extinction.
ZooLab’s 2018 Volunteering Trip
In August, we sent three of our rangers - Chris, Lilian and Phil - to South Africa where they spent two weeks volunteering with the Nkombi Volunteer Programme. We wanted them to immerse themselves in this unique ecosystem, while experiencing first hand the conservation efforts taking place to protect the wildlife residing in the reserve.
To say our intrepid explorers had an adventure would have be an understatement - their time was spent caring for a baby zebra, fighting wildfires, taking part in bush burns (a controlled burn that can act as a barrier to a wildfire by reducing available fuel sources) and patrolling the reserve on the lookout poachers.
Ranger Reflections - Phil Burnett
“I’ve recently had the pleasure of returning to Mankwe Nature Reserve in South Africa for a second year - this time, I was part of their world renowned volunteer programme.
Our visit was full of ‘work’ such as trekking in the bush looking for snares, monitoring rhino, feeding and cleaning a baby zebra, and firefighting! The volunteer programme is an amazing way to contribute and help the cause. It was incredibly rewarding to feel as though our actions actually helped people and animals on the reserve.
When visiting Africa, the huge variety of wildlife is always going to be a major highlight! I personally love driving around the reserve and keeping my eyes peeled for all the amazing wildlife. We had amazing luck sighting incredibly rare animals such as caracal, leopard, brown hyena, buffalo, sable, eland, hippopotamus and of course rhino.
I honestly have fallen for Mankwe. The people and animals there are unforgettable. I would return in a heartbeat and recommend that everyone visits such a special place at least once in their lifetime to the feel the magic for yourself.”
Ask Phil all about his South Africa adventures at stand number: 9-512