Educational day at the Zoo


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SOAPkidz at the Pretoria Zoo

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By Karen Hauptfleisch

For those of you fed-up with the service delivery in sunny South Africa, do yourself a favour and visit the Pretoria Zoo and experience how it should be done.

February was going to be a quiet month for SOAPkidz. A month with no events and only meetings planned.

Everything changed when Warrick Katzin, a Mr SA Finalist approached us as a volunteer with the request to arrange more events. Within an hour, three events were arranged, the last one a visit to the Zoo with Ons Huis, a home for mentally challenged people. A word to Elize and the next morning I received a call from Parks Leshaba, the education officer at the Zoo and within a week I was provided with a fun filled program, and for once the SOAPkidz volunteers could just stand back and enjoy the activities with the kids.

The first activity was the animal puzzle that the teams had to figure out. Everyone loved telling stories about their favourite animals and the excitement grew when Parks informed us that we would see a snake next.

Heuston then delivered a very interesting talk about snakes and everyone was most excited to be able to touch and handle the beautiful snake. His passion was so transparent and even those a bit wary in the beginning became eager to learn more about snakes.

Egg painting and a chance to show off creative skills followed with everyone taking part.

Next a drama filled visit to the reptiles and aquarium where SOAPkidz helped save a seahorse that had his neck stuck in between a plant. Loud cheers were heard when the Zoo keeper finally managed to rescue him.

At the canteen, Warrick and his team had arranged sandwiches and whilst enjoying the refreshments everyone chatted about what was next on the agenda and which animals we were going to see. Excitement abounded as we climbed into the cable cars and once on top, Parks showed everyone how to make birdfeeders.

A short walk along the top with Parks providing loads of interesting facts to everyone. The park is really doing their best with dustbins around every corner but unfortunately not everyone is enlightened about not littering and we picked up a bag of rubbish before going down with the cable cars.

Everyone enjoyed hiding and hunting for the painted eggs and by 13H00, 15 Tired “kidz” and 17 tired volunteers made their way to Mimo’s in Brooklyn where they were all treated to Pizzas, sponsored by Vivienne. The conversation was lively and the kids could not stop talking about the great outing. When it was time to complete the feedback questionnaire, the response was unanimous, they loved everything.

A BIG THANK YOU to the following people;

  • Parks Leshaba, Heuston and the wonderful staff from the Pretoria zoo. Your passion was contagious and we are looking forward to a long lasting partnership.
  • Elsie van der Walt and the staff from Ons Huis. One can see so clearly whenever there is love and passion involved. It was an honour spending the day with you and your special “children”
  • Warrick Katzin and his wonderful team
  • Vivienne Harris from High Point Elevators who provided food and refreshments.
  • And last but not least, the SOAPkidz volunteers. Thank you, together we do make a difference.

Educational day at the Zoo

Event Info

SOAPkidz is taking 20 children from the Ons Huis centre for a fun filled educational day at the Pretoria Zoo.


08h00: Welcome and introduction
08h45: Assembling of birds and mammals puzzles
09h30: Easter egg activity “eggs painting”
10h00: Break
10h30: Tour of the Reptile and Aquarium
11h30: Design of a bird-feeder
12h30: Lunch
13h30: Cable car ride
14h30: Tour of the zoo and cleaning
15h00: Debriefing session

Please contact Noeksie @ 083 975 2700 if you would like to volunteer for this event

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