By: Theresia Whitfield
Photography: Gary Todoroff
If you live in Paris, it makes sense that you’d see the Eiffel Tower at least once in your life. If you live in London, Kensington Palace might be a place you’d visit. In Washington, DC, it would be the White House. Why wouldn’t you see something that’s indigenous to your home country, something for which your nation is known? It’s like living in Africa and never going on safari.
The truth is, most of the children in Bulembu have never seen a wild animal, the type normally seen on safari. Swaziland has a number of fantastic game reserves, including Hlane, which is about 200 km’s away from Bulembu. The reserves are designed to protect the animals and allow them to live without threats to their existence from poachers.
There aren’t many opportunities for the children in Bulembu to travel much less take in the sights on safari. One woman aims to change that. In fact, if Gisela Miessner has her way, she’ll spoil the children in Bulembu thoroughly with food and chocolates and books. The native from southern Germany works hard to raise money and has visited Bulembu numerous times over the last five years. Tante Gisela, as she is affectionately known, takes various students on a day trip to a game reserve every time she visits.
This very special adventure for the students allows them to experience the animals in their natural habitat and is an educational opportunity, learning the importance of caring for the animals and about nature. The latest trip into the wild included a number of prefects on a day trip to Hlane in April.