We at Shamwari love giving back to the community. We also particularly love the festive season and all the cheerfulness that comes with it.

We recently decided to have an End-of-Year party for the children at Khanya Care Centre that are based in Paterson. The little ones have a special place in our hearts and it’s important to us to do all we can to improve their lives and show them some love. We decided to take the children on an outing to Shamwari Game Reserve.

We had some help from our friends at our Born Free Foundation Sanctuary, Glen Vena and Thembela Tshani. We fetched the children from the daycare centre in Paterson and took them through our main gate to the Southern Born Free Sanctuary.

Along the way, we spotted various animals and Glen educated the children about them. We also came across some Elephant dung and Glen sent it around for the kiddies to touch and see. It was a scorching hot day so by the time we got to the Born Free Sanctuary they were ready for some juice and a place to relax.

Glen’s passion at Shamari:

Glen manages and maintains the Born Free Sanctuary and looks after all the lions and leopards. He works daily with them and has a passion for giving them the best he can with regards to their circumstances. Many of the cats have come from terrible conditions all over the world and they are his pride and joy at Shamwari.

Lots of laughs:

We decided to teach the children about the animals on the reserve by discussing the bones that are at the sanctuary. Glen facilitates two educational talks for schools each week. The bones in the centre are from animals that have passed naturally and are purely kept for educational purposes. The children each had a chance to blow into a Kudu horn that makes an interesting sound and they loved it! Many laughs were had as it was passed around.

It’s fun to learn:

Some of the animals Glen taught them about were lions, elephants, hippo, antelope, a tortoise and a vulture. The children were so excited to learn about the animals and loved Glen’s interpretation of them.

Happy end to the day:

After a good educational chat and plenty of useful information, the children then enjoyed a delicious lunch and watched the Born Free video about the cats at our sanctuaries before being taken back to Paterson. They sang songs on the way back and thanked Shamwari for a wonderful time.

Festive Season Love:

With Christmas only days away, we also decided to give each child a Shamwari Christmas gift along with Peggy, their caretaker that works many hard and long hours every day to look after them.

We wish them a special Christmas and a blessed New Year and look forward to some promising renovations to the daycare centre in the New Year.