Last month, along with the RISE unit at Southern Africa Wildlife College and VulPro, we organised a series of four webinars to raise Vulture awareness in and around Kruger National Park in South Africa. Vulture numbers in Kruger are low, and poisoning events like one last year that killed 120 birds are having catastrophic impact.  The Makuleke Park Manager, Aubrey Maluleke, works alongside SANParks running a community owned, community run area within Kruger National Park. He included his educators in the VulPro seminars, and we’re thrilled that with encouragement from Aubrey and RISE they have used the experience to create an eight week programme for local children.  Youngsters from nine local primary and secondary schools – ‘VulPro students’ – are brought together by Aubrey’s team every other Saturday, for conservation ed. activities and experiences.

On the 6th May, we taught about Vultures senses. Their sense of smell, the sensor spot in their body and how its influenced by temperature. The way how the sensor changes its color according to their mood. We also taught about how vultures communicate to one another and the sound that they make to scare each other”

 “On 20th May we made a field trip into the Northern Kruger Park to Pafuri. We visited the EE center at Kruger’s Punda Maria gate for orientation.

children exploring mapkids education centre krugerchild reading

There, the children learned about nine different species of vultures, and the two most common vulture species found in the KNP.  Then after heading off through the park we actually watched vultures, and observed a tree where they are nesting.


Vulture nests in tree

We visited Crooks corner, where children saw and learned about the confluence of the Limpopo and Luvhuvhu river, and the history behind the three countries – South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique that intersect there. For the first time, our Vulpro students stepped on the ground of Mozambique.  We continued through the park, saw more wildlife including a rare sighting of a zebra calf feeding from its Mum.   Before departing homeward we had a picnic and debrief session at the Pafuri picnic spot.  It was poignant for the children to visit Pafuri, as it is their community land, where most of their their parents and ancestors lived before the National Park was created and they were displaced.   It was a beautiful and fruitful learning trip.”



You can find the Vulture resource kids are using here,  and learn more from the VulPro and Southern Africa Wildlife College websites.