In 2016, the Mabalingwe VRS Team launched an awesome new initiative – the ECOTAINMENT Programme. What a success it has been so far!
The programme was created to provide an extra activity for the younger Mabalingwe guests to enjoy. Something that would educate them, get them back into nature and simply give them the opportunity to have FUN.
A lot of work went into preparing for this programme – from buying and rebuilding the game drive vehicle, fondly known as the ECOBUG; to fixing and cleaning up the Huts used for some of the activities. Our most important task was appointing a nature loving and enthusiastic game ranger. And we found the perfect one! He is known by all as the ECOTAINER.
Our ECONTAINER, Hein Strydom, is a wonderful addition to the VRS Mabalingwe Team. He has truly brought the Ecotainment Programme to life. With lots of experience in wildlife and as a game ranger, as well as having a passion for sharing his knowledge about the trees, shrubs and animals, with those around him – Hein is an absolute gem. His love for the bushveld, way with children and knowledge of all that nature encompasses, has made the ECOTAINMENT programme a huge, smashing success.
To start off, Hein spent many days out in the Reserve clearing up and creating a walking trail, which has become a much-loved Mabalingwe addition. He also took time to identify and tag trees and shrubs along the way and even embarked on building benches and bridges on the trail. Hein went above and beyond to make the experience as enjoyable and interesting as possible for guests.
He has created two different ECOTAINMENT programmes – The Eco Cub Club (for children aged six to twelve years) and The Eco Teens Club (for ages of 13 and 16). Each programme offers exciting activities that are tailor-made for the various age groups. The activities include tree and shrub identification, animal tracking, spoor/dung identification, how to start a fire without matches, identifying different snakes and their venom, and so much more.
The programmes are about enriching our young Mabalingwe visitors as much as possible, in a safe and fun environment. It has been a fantastic success so far, and we are certain it will continue to be in the future. The VRS Team is committed to providing wonderful experiences for all who visit Mabalingwe. We will continue to improve where we can, to ensure our guests have a good time with us. We hope that Mabalingwe remains the place where our guests’ hearts lie.