Introducing the Londolozi Ripple Fund’s Newest Partner – Lessons In Conservation

We are delighted to announce the Londolozi Ripple Fund‘s newest Partner, Lessons In Conservation (LiC)!

Londolozi sees LiC as one of the first introductory steps to young South Africans as they build a career in wildlife that has the possibility of then being followed on with something like the Good Work Foundations Conservation Academy, and perhaps ultimately the Tracker Academy and Rhino Guardians program. Each is a possible stepping stone to a future South African who is grounded in the economy of wildlife.

Dean Carlisle, LiC founder and CEO, is the result of somebody raised in the wilderness by a Londolozi original, Les Carlisle, one of the first pioneers in animal relocation and the restoration movement that the Londolozi model inspired in the 90s. We have been incredibly inspired by Dean’s story as it is a true embodiment of what the Ripple Fund stands for.

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I’ll let Dean share in his own words what ultimately led him full circle back to Londolozi. For further reading into the background of LiC, click here.

The Story of Lessons in Conservation and Londolozi

It is a moment I will never forget…

We sat on Plaque rock at sunset, as many have done before us, taking in the natural beauty of this breathtaking place. A sensory overload was in full flow. I could hear six nocturnal bird species warming their voices in harmony with the frogs and the insects as the reeds softly rattled, swayed by the gentle but consistent flow of the Sand River. The distant roars of the Ndzhenga Male lions could be heard to the South as they announced their dominion over this ancient landscape. It was not long after the first big rains, and that distinctive smell was swirling all around us. We could smell the grass which had been crushed by a herd of elephants that we had watched earlier that afternoon. I could feel the warmth of the granite rock against my back, and the gentle cool breeze against my cheeks. The fireflies were dancing their aerial ballet as the last shades of pink and orange disappeared over the horizon, the day surrendering to the night. A small crocodile was hunting in one of the pools down to our right.

To be here was to experience nature in the way she was always intended to be. Wild, spectacular, and perfectly connected.

Ct Plaque Rock Sunset

The crocodile lunged for a small fish but missed. I watched in disbelief as the ripples ebbed from this central point, brilliantly illumined by the full moon that had now taken its place among the stars. As each ripple broke against the shore, time stood still, and it all started to make sense. One small movement, from a little creature, had impacted that entire body of water, and influenced everything that called it home. I was watching first-hand the Londolozi Ripple Effect at the place where it all began, and my heart was filled with gratitude to know that Lessons in Conservation would now be playing a small part in the ripple.

Sz 1090 Elephant Drinking Winnis Wallow Reflection

We were introduced to Jess MacLarty, the head of the Londolozi Village and began working on the concept together. The pilot project was approved, and we selected Tshemba Hosi, a school focusing on children with special needs, as our first partner. Lotus has arranged a visit, so Jess and I met the principal and walked through the school, completely taken by the commitment of the volunteer teachers and the size of the smiles on the faces of the young learners.

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Dean gives a lecture to the Londolozi Ranging team on LiC & how to conduct their lessons

The lessons were a massive success, and the outside-the-classroom, interactive teaching techniques used by Lessons in Conservation proved perfect for this group of children. They now understood the basics of conservation and ecology but still had never seen it first-hand.

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Rangers Chris Taylor & Kirst Joscelyne teaching learners

Londolozi came to the party again, James Souchon, the head ranger leading by example and taking the most special group of students on an unbelieve guided experience. We watched rhinos wallowing, elephants feeding, and sat under a marula tree watching the Ximungwe female leopard feeding. The children were in awe and had been visibly moved by the experience. Nature transcends boundaries.

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Head Ranger James Souchon & Dean during game drive with learners

The Londolozi guiding team, in partnership with the Lotus Impact Foundation (LIF) went on to complete lessons and game drives with all 16 children at the school, and we have no doubt Tshemba Hosi will be on the calendar for next year too. By doing so, Londolozi proved again that making a small difference in the community is something we can all do, no matter how busy we are.

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Robbie Ball, Kelsey Clark & Jess MacLarty smile with a group of young students

Our eyes are now set on the future, with plans to grow the programme to several other schools in the communities adjacent to the reserve.

We know that we cannot do this alone, so we call on you, as the Londolozi community, to help us touch the lives of young people not only here around Londolozi, but across the wonderful African Continent.

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How to Contribute

  • If you would like some more detailed, one-on-one information, or if you would like to make a donation to the Londolozi Ripple Fund and start your own ripple effect, please reach out to us at ripple@londolozi.co.za
  • Donate to serving to save with Lessons In Conservation

Stay in the Ripple

To stay connected, we have established a Londolozi Ripple Fund Impact site & Instagram Page where you can follow regular updates on projects and donations as they unfold and follow work that has already been successfully completed. If you would like to receive the Londolozi Ripple Fund Impact newsletter, please let us know at ripple@londolozi.co.za

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Your donations, no matter the size, will allow us to expose children to wildlife in a real and meaningful way. Simply by visiting, you will be contributing towards a movement, enabling everyone to be a conservationist in their own way.


You might also like to read:

Good Work Foundation | 29th February 2024
Londolozi Ripple Fund | 29th February 2024
Quality Education | 29th February 2024
Ripple Fund | 29th February 2024

Driving Change With The Good Work Foundation

Conservation | 22nd February 2024
History | 22nd February 2024
Lessons In Conservation | 22nd February 2024
Londolozi Ripple Fund | 22nd February 2024
Quality Education | 22nd February 2024
Ripple Fund | 22nd February 2024
Wilderness teachings | 22nd February 2024

Unveiling The Legacy Of Lessons in Conservation

Londolozi Ripple Fund | 18th January 2024
Restoration | 18th January 2024
Ripple Fund | 18th January 2024
Sustainability | 18th January 2024

Together, we sow the seeds of positive change!

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