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Educational Trips

A strong conservation theme runs throughout the school, resulting in each of the classes having an opportunity to spend a night to a week away from school during the course of the year.  The Grade 1’s start taking advantage of the Peterhouse Group’s Nature Reserve “Gosho Park” and end up in their Grade 7 year at Rifa.
This is a bush camp on the mighty Zambezi, where the children experience the likes of game, tree and bird walks, canoeing, target shooting, initiative tasks,
game drives, visit to a crocodile farm, boiling an egg in a sulphur pool, fishing and much more.  At the end of each school trip, displays and projects are housed in our Natural History Museum, the heart of the School Conservation Theme.

Grade Seven Conservation Trip To RIFA

As part of the children's syllabus in their Grade Seven year, a trip is organised for them to the Zimbabwe Hunters' Association's Educational/Conservation camp, RIFA, on the banks of the Zambezi River, 4km upstream from Chirundu. We find this the ideal climax to what the children have learnt about their environment and how to conserve it whilst they have been at Springvale House.

The children are housed in secure enclosures with a member of staff nearby. In addition five hunters and a National Parks game guide are present. Expeditions are carried out in vehicles rather than on foot and are confined to the floodplain rather than the thick Jesse bush. Every effort is made to ensure the safety of the children at all times. 

Our programme includes an early start after some hot chocolate and biscuits, followed by the early morning activities such as a basic First Aid course given by a state registered nurse and basic identification of Trees and Birds. During these two activities the children are taught how to identify trees and birds as well as how to collect samples from nature to present scientifically. Further early activities include Tracks and Signs with  a visit to the hot springs. The children walk to the hot springs with a hunter and a guide studying the different aspects of tracking along the way, as well as a little geography to further what they learn about fault  lines and the thermal activities of the earth's crust. The last group does a course on Ecology where they learn about the ancient baobab trees and scorpions. 

After breakfast one group does Bush Craft where the children are taught survival including fire-making without matches while another group will do Initiative Tests to teach them team work and thinking "out of the  box". The third group learns about Insect Collection and presentation and the fourth group learns Pellet  Gun Shooting including gun safety. 

The high light for many of the children however is the canoeing in the latter part of the morning by the final group. An adult accompanies each pair of children in a very safe and well tested canoe. Two motorboats, with a hunter in each one, accompany the canoes whilst they row downstream, guiding them and helping where necessary.

After lunch we have a chance to do some fishing and game viewing as well as more ecology; an Impala dissection; a possible visit to the crocodile farm and a vulture watch. Recently an activity that was reintroduced where the groups get a chance to be creative. Here they 'paint' a canvas using only glue and what they can collect from the environment.

Evenings, after a hot shower and another scrumptious meal prepared by our caterers SERVCOR, are spent around the camp fire doing a team quiz or listening to stories and roasting marshmallows. A visit to "The Beach" (a large sandbank on the banks of the river) has proved a very well deserved break for the children. During this time they get to play games on the sand or just build sandcastles while supervised by the teachers and hunters.

Grade Six class trip to Far and Wide

Each year, at the beginning of the Second Term, the 2 Grade Six classes go to Far and Wide in Nyanga for  a week of team building and leadership orientatedactivities.

From their web site (, we read

Our emphasis is on leadership but teamwork, conservation, character development and growth are all very much part of the Far and Wide experience.  They areconducted by trained professionals with post graduate qualifications in educational psychology and are custom made to achieve specific outcomes be it team building, improved communication, greater understanding, leadership or increased performance.

School Programmes
FAR and WIDE Zimbabwe is a fully registered outdoor education centre based in the beautiful wilderness areas of the Mutarazi Falls and Nyanga National Parks in Nyanga, Zimbabwe. Programmes are conducted on a year round basis for school children from Grade 6 (11 year olds) to Upper 6 (18 year olds). FAR and WIDE employs only the most highly qualified and experienced professionals to run its programmes and offers the widest range of outdoor adventure pursuits in Africa. In addition our range of accommodation options makes our courses affordable to everyone.

This dynamic fun filled programme is designed to tap into the enthusiasm of our younger clients whilst instilling in them a love of healthy outdoor pursuits, nature and other people. It is ideally suited to teachingteam and leadership skills.

Grade Five Trip to the Lowveld.

Towards the end of winter, the Grade Fives go on their annual trip to the Lowveld. On the way there, they stop at Mr Hawgood’s farm in Beatrice, to see a working dairy and cropping farm in action before proceeding down to their first night’s accommodation at Great Zimbabwe, just outside Masvingo.

The following morning is spent soaking up history in the ruins and the Great Zimbabwe museum, and taking a thrilling walk across Kyle Dam. From there the children are taken to the Hakamela bushcamp, part of the Malilangwe conservancy, their base for the rest of their trip.

A full day is spent at the impressive sugar estates at Triangle, where the children are shown how sugar cane is planted, cared for, irrigated and harvested. They take a tour around the Murray MacDougall Museum, perched up on a hill overlooking the mill, before going back to the fields to witness the heat and drama of a cane burn.

For the rest of the trip, it’s back to the bush, with the focus on conservation. To ensure their safety, the children are accompanied wherever they go by professional hunters and guides, and by scouts provided by Malilangwe. These people also greatly enrich the children’s experience by teaching them bushcraft and pointing things out that might otherwise go unobserved.

The children go on bush walks each morning, and there are several game drives on the agenda. They investigate aquatic ecosystems in the Chiredzi River and they study some of the skulls and bones available at the bushcamp’s ‘schoolroom’. They are shown around Malilangwe’s captive breeding centre and are taught about the importance of conserving Zimbabwe’s wildlife and wild areas.

Group effort and team work is also developed in the children, both in their day to day activities and at the Malilangwe obstacle course.

A different route is taken on the way home; this time up along the eastern side of the country. The children get to walk across the Birchenough Bridge before heading home via Mutare. After all the first-hand experiences, they arrive back at school armed with a much better knowledge of their country’s agriculture, history and wildlife resources.

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