DAKTARI Bush School & Wildlife Orphanage

The mission of Daktari is to inspire, motivate, and educate underprivileged children to care for their environment through the medium of a wildlife orphanage.
Dec 4, 2012

happy baby-making, a great release & new roommates

Dearest Sponsors and enthusiasts,

Andreas here again, just like last time ;) The only difference is that I now am the fundraising manager for DAKTARI. So basically I try to get us donations so we can keep doing what we do. And thanks to you guys, we can!!! Thanks to you we can help lots of underprivileged children and animals. ;)


First of all, I would like to tell you all about the animal news here at DAKTARI:

A lot of changes have occurred in the last 2 month, we have 3 ostrich eggs in an incubator and 3 tortoise eggs buried under the tortoise enclosure!! Ostrich eggs only take a couple of weeks until they hatch (small chance of survival but we have our fingers crossed) but tortoise eggs take 12 to 18 months!!! So who knows, maybe next year there might suddenly rise 3 baby tortoises out of the ground! :o

Also, a new marmoset monkey named King Kong joined our sweet Princess Maya. He is only a year old and came from a monkey sanctuary nearby. He is very active and jumps all over the place. Luckily Maya is not too annoyed with him and takes very good care of this youngster.

As you know we educate the local children on caring for wild animals. Apparently we are doing a great job! A boy called Willington called us one day saying he saved a baby scrub hare in the village he lives in. The baby’s mum died and Willington decided to give the baby to DAKTARI. We are taking very good care of ‘Willy” and he is growing and doing great.

Scotty and Easy we told you about last time are doing great as well! Easy is free now and comes into camp whenever she is hungry and Scotty had surgery on her broken wing. She is still recovering but there is a very small chance she might fly again. We have our fingers crossed for her!!

Our caracal ‘Zulu’, the one who attacked May and was brought to Makalali for rehabilitation, has been released! He is doing perfectly fine in the wild and is now hanging out in trees so the tourists there can’t see him too often. ;)

If you have been following us on Facebook you probably saw our poll where we were trying to decide on a new name for an animal. A new Bush baby has been born!!! He is still tiny but is taken care of by his mommy. Eventually the Bush baby has been named ‘Diego’.


But DAKTARI is more than just caring for animals. We also focus on education!!

In this matter we got a little help from a volunteer who came to DAKTARI for 2 months. Her name is Agnes Deblangy, she donated a story created by her aunt about an Indian elephant called Nesha travelling Africa. Once here in South Africa he witnesses something that shocks him t the bone: POACHING! He decides to unite all the African animals and scares away the evil poachers. It’s an amazing story with a marvelous life lesson. The children absolutely love it!! They sing along with the songs and are cheer when the poachers are scared from the land.
Thank you Agnes!!!


But this is not the only donation we have received lately…
There were a lot of corporates who were kind enough to help us out!

We have received a LOT of dog food from Hill’s. And we’re very lucky with this since we have 6 dogs, a porcupine and a couple of antelope that truly love this dog food so it disappears quite quickly. ;)

Formalito donated us a camera trap, which takes pictures whenever something moves in its sight. This means we can see all the animals roaming around camp in the night! The children love it, and so do we. ;)

Stihl decided to help us once again. They have donated us more power tools over the years but this time really outdid themselves! They gave us a brush cutter!!! This is incredibly handy if you have a very big camp like ours to take care of and not enough much time to do it ;)

Also, Africa Geographic has caught the DAKTARI-virus. They were kind enough to donate us hundreds of magazines for the children! They love them! And we even gave a couple to our friends at the Green Kids Initiative and the schools in the area.

Madmimi a really good and easy mailing platform has donated us an upgraded account. This way we can easily reach all our contacts for newsletters etc.


And then we have a couple of private donations as well!!!

Gotthif Riexinger organized a party for his birthday and gave all its benefit to Daktari Germany.

Arja and Wilco, children of previous volunteers Anga and Gerrit Dijkhout from the Netherlands organized a birthday party in benefit of Daktari.

We built a new boma where the children have their leaving party and bonfire, this was kindly sponsored by one of previous volunteers, Kayley Flukes who raised $1550 AUD.

One of our current volunteers Lizzy Garland organized a mini-golf tournament before arriving at Daktari and raised $688 AUD.

So there you go, all updated! ;)

In name of all the children, animals, volunteers & staff here at DAKTARI,
Thank you very much for all your support!!!!
We wish all of you a very merry Christmas and happy new year!!

Oct 18, 2012

New training developed for the local students

The children at the eco-club
The children at the eco-club

Firstly I want to say “thank you for your support!”  Without your support I wouldn’t be able to keep developing this project the way we are doing now.

We are still going to two eco-clubs every week with each approximately 40 local students, where we teach them everything they want to know about the environment and the animals but also the economic impact of poaching. The new and exciting news is that we developed a new training week that a group of selected students can participate in!

Each selected student will get a week at Daktari where they will receive these extra lessons and coaching sessions, these are all about self-development. The exercises are designed in a way for the students to figure out their own passion, dreams and goals in life and where they should start with the first step. All is developed in a way that shows them that they, themselves, CAN change their future, even if it is with little steps at the time.

It also gives a great overview of the needs and obstacle for us as a project where they really DO need our help, things that they can’t do on their own, because of a lack of resources. It is not only about finding your goals and direction, it is also about getting to know yourself, your character, your strengths and weaknesses. All of this might sound so logical to you, but these students never got this in school! It is a whole new concept. So far we trained four students out of the selected 20 and you can see a huge change in one week. We touch subjects as how to present yourself in a job interview, how to write a resumé and a cover letter and what is body language and how does that work. It is interesting for me as a project manager to see the huge changes and the need where we can step in and help out!

Speaking of which, I would like to ask for your help. I have one student, Kabelo, she wants to become a charted accountant and she has a National Certificate in Financial Management N6, but is looking for a 18 month internship before she can further her studies, how great would it be if a company (overseas) could provide that for her! So if you know someone who might be able to help, please contact me (Risette de Haas info@daktaribushschool.nl).

We have more great news to share; we also had the opportunity to offer a group of our students a practical experience in the bush, where a group of field guides in training took the children out on a walk and thought them everything about birds and tracks! The children and the field guides were super enthusiastic. After the walk the students had to draw a track of one of the animals they saw, later on they could check this with a real track and see the differences. All of this inspired one of the students to change his goal in live into becoming a field guide!

In Hoedspruit, the nearby town, there was a market organized where Daktari held a stand as well. This market was all about sustainability, very interesting. We had the opportunity to invite some of the students to visit the market, where they could walk around and speak to the different companies holding a stand there. They learned about glass recycling, other conservation projects and why they are necessary and many other things. They also had the chance to talk to a rhino! This is Chris Daniel who wrote a children’s book, Bongi’s Quest, with a great story to explain the impact of rhino poaching, with his initiative he talks to children all over the world, and our students could hear his story and meet Bongi! Check the short movie on YouTube that was on the South African TV about this market: http://youtu.be/wWw3Sx-ebsQ

Students typing their own cover letter!
Students typing their own cover letter!
On the bushwalk, learning about tracks.
On the bushwalk, learning about tracks.
Checking if their track is the same.
Checking if their track is the same.
Pledging for recycling by the students.
Pledging for recycling by the students.
Meeting Bongi!
Meeting Bongi!


Sep 18, 2012

New inhabitants, sad passings and a great Kruger

The children at Kruger National Park
The children at Kruger National Park

Hello dearest sponsors,

My name is Andreas; I am filling in as an office volunteer and am happy to update you on everything that has been going on at Daktari. First of all I would like to thank every one of you for your donations and support! It is thanks to you that Daktari can keep helping under-privileged children and orphaned animals. It is thanks to YOU that we can make a difference in this world!!!!

We have quite a few new animal updates ready for you.
The first one would be the release of Gerri Junior, the spotted eagle owl we told you about in the last newsletter. He has been released at Askari, a big game reserve close to us.
Unfortunately our caracal May has passed away. Zulu, who had broken into her enclosure in the night attacked her. It was an extremely sad day for Dakatari and we decided that Zulu was getting too dangerous. He is now being rehabilitated in Makalali, our neighbouring game reserve, where he will then be released.
The pied crow Presley had medical complications, which she unfortunately died from two weeks ago. Let’s hope Elvis recovers from the loss of his best friend quickly.

On a happier note, we rescued a baby Duiker. Duikers are part of the antelope family and this one was found in the middle of the street. After an extensive search for her parents, the people who found her called Daktari. She’s been named “Easy” and she is doing quite well! She loves playing with the little dogs and drinks her milk very nicely.
We also rescued an African Hawk Eagle called Scotty. She flew into a power line and is still recovering from the severe injuries to her left wing. She will most likely never fly again but there is still hope!!! She is starting to hop around more and uses her wings to balance, which is a great sign!!

The children, as always, have been great in the last few months!! We even did another Kruger trip with the winners of the marula trees. They had a great time and were SO excited with seeing and learning all about the wild animals in the reserve. The smiles on their faces when we dropped them back off into the village is exactly why we put all this love and effort in Daktari!! 

Well, this is about it, if you have any questions or would like to follow our day-to-day happenings please find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DaktariAfrica
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Daktariafrica
Or read or blog on Tumblr: http://www.tumblr.com/blog/daktaribushschool
and http://www.tumblr.com/blog/daktarianimals

Scotty, the African Hawk Eagle
Scotty, the African Hawk Eagle
Easy, the baby Duiker
Easy, the baby Duiker
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