Our Trip To Treetops

Written By: The Lowdown - Jan• 31•01

cover2001-01The following article has been compiled using excerpts from diaries of students of Baobab College who visited Treetops schools camp during last October.  This was the first trip for a group of ten to twelve year olds.

“Before the trip I was so excited that I could not sleep! I stayed up the whole night. I got dressed at 5 am and I jumped on my Dad’s bed and woke him up. Dad started to shout at me because it was too early.

At 7.30 am we all gathered at school. Some of us were a little nervous because this was the first time that we had ever gone into the bush. The drive to the Kafue from Lusaka took about 4 hours. We stopped to have a snack under a shady tree. Our teacher showed us some elephant dung. It wasn’t fresh but it gave us the feeling that we had finally arrived in the bush!

After we had crossed the Kafue Hook Bridge we turned right into a dirt road leading north. The ride became bumpy and the Tsetse flies were having a feast! We then saw a Cheetah close to the side of the road. That was pretty amazing! We continued with our journey, only stopping once more to have a drink at Lufupa. As we rounded a final bend we saw a huge Baobab tree that could only be Konde Kamwale. There, underneath its huge branches was the classroom. We had finally arrived.

After supper we all went to our dorms. Mr Muyamwa had told us the camp rules and had said that animals often visited the camp at night. We were so excited that we couldn’t sleep. Instead we told stories and made such a noise that Mr Jones came out of his chalet to tell us off. As he came out of his door he almost ran into a hippo! He was not very amused.

On Monday we were put into two groups. One group went for a walking safari with an armed guard called Patson while the others went on a drive. The walkers went to visit a hippo pool. They counted over eighty hippo in the water and even saw a hippo fight! On the way they visited a traditional fishing weir. Patson told them that each weir could catch up to five tons of fish in a season! The walkers had to be on the lookout for lion because they saw fresh spoor in their trail.

On Tuesday everyone had to get up at 4.30 am to prepare for a day trip to the Busanga Plain. We could not believe how lucky we were. By the time we had returned to camp at 11.30 pm we had seen three separate sightings of lion, including a pride of five snoozing in a tree five metres off the ground! We had also watched a pack of wild dogs playing cops and robbers with a herd of wildebeest. In the afternoon we had an art class under the Baobab tree. After an early supper some of us went on a night drive to try to add our to species count. The rest of us stayed in camp swapping stories around the campfire.

Wednesday was orienteering day. Once again we were split into groups and the walkers were given a lesson on how to use a compass. They were also shown how to navigate by using the sun. First we had to walk into the bush with Patson and the teachers. We walked for about forty minutes and were thoroughly lost when Mr. Jones stopped us. He made us get into single file. The leader was given a compass and was given two minutes to navigate before passing it on to the next in line. We were told to find the river. Sometimes our line set off in totally unexpected directions but nobody seemed to mind! After about an hour and a half, Patson pretended to be lost. He wanted us to go east but we went west. Louann led us to the river. We are never going to listen to our teachers again.

Thursday was our last chance to visit the beautiful Busanga Plains. We did not see the variety of game on the drive that we did on our last one, but it was still special. The herds of Lechwe ducking their heads as they ran were a wonderful sight. In the evening we told stories around the campfire and Mr Bymolen showed us some of his magic tricks. Those that had the energy went on a last night drive whilst the rest of us took to our beds. Our last night was much quieter than our first!

On Friday we said our goodbyes to Treetops and to all the staff who had helped to make our visit a wonderful week to remember.

We all hope that Treetops will continue to pass a little of its magic on to others for a long time, way into the future.”


By Year Seven Students At Baobab College








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