Muchenje Safari Lodge, which is situated on the quieter western side of the Chobe National Park, has been involved in an exciting project initiated by our Director Matt Smith and one of our guests Chris Gray, from Cardiff, Wales. This followed a stay at Muchenje, when Chris Gray visited the Muchenje Village and Mabele Primary School (one of the wonderful activities guests can enjoy when staying at Muchenje). This opportunity really enables the guests to understand Botswana and feel part of this country’s rich cultural heritage. Being introduced to Esther and her family at her homestead is a very humbling experience, followed by a fun break-time at Mabele Primary School, our local primary school – both rewarding in equal measure.
Muchenje was the founding lodge in the well-recognised Pack for a Purpose initiative back in 2001, and we have introduced hundreds of guests to the children over the years, who have in turn supported hundreds of children through the school. After one such visit, Chris returned back to the UK and made it his mission to supply something a little more than school books and pencils…..
With months of planning and collaboration between Chris, ourselves & later the Bushways Foundation, fund- raising reached its peak and we bought a much needed Minibus.
Children, some as young as 7 years old, have to walk from their homes in surrounding villages every day, some as far as 5 km a day, through the dangerous game area. The bus means that children can be collected in safety and returned home after school.
Once the bus was purchased Chris brought two willing drivers to drive it up to Wales, where it visited Chris’s local primary school and communities around Wales and filled it with all sorts of goodies… the bus, along with the goods inside has now left the British Isles and is Botswana bound.
We look forward to offloading these generous donations and settling the bus into its duty of carrying the children from outer lying areas to school each day.
Thank you to Chris and all the schools and individuals involved. We will update you with pictures and news of the bus’s arrival in due course.
Some recent guests that returned from their stay at Muchenje gave the following feedback:
“We visited the school which Rambo (Muchenje Safari guide) had attended as a child and were fortunate to meet the Headmaster and spend time in the reception class. This whole experience was truly the best part of our whole holiday and we feel so fortunate to have experienced it.”