“In the end, we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand and we will understand only what we are taught.”- Senegalese environmentalist, Baba Dioum.
** Please note: In light of the recent lockdown Level 4 regulations, no further school tours will be taking place, but please see below for previous school tours. Dingo Dinkelman and his team will continue to share edutaining videos via their social media sites to keep children and adults engaged and connected with nature during this time.
With the natural world in dire straits, it’s imperative that the next generation is empowered with a deep respect for conservation by fostering a love for nature early on. To achieve this goal, award-winning Discovery Channel and Youtube Wildlife presenter, Dingo Dinkelman and his team of wildlife crusaders have embarked on around 500 KwaZulu-Natal school talks in three years.
“Education is the fundamental building block of any conservation work we do which is why our motto is ‘Educate. Inspire. Protect.’,” explained Dingo. “The reality is people aren’t going to fall in love with animals if they don’t understand them, if no connection has been formed. This connection is much easier to develop with children, which is why we’re so committed to providing a unique, memorable experience through our school exhibits.”
For every talk, the gregarious Dingo is accompanied by a number of interesting creatures, including a baby alligator, macaw, tarantula and snakes. Through is captivating talk and demonstration, Dingo provides the platform for children to connect with nature, and understand their role in conservation.
“So many children – even here in South Africa – aren’t being exposed to animals, to the bush, to the wild,” said Dingo. “That’s what we’re trying to change. Through these talks, we’re giving them a positive experience with animals, because when this happens at a young age, it has a fundamental impact on conservation and on their lives. For some children, it’s just seeing these animals in real life, for others touching them is important for a connection. By providing photos of the kids with these incredible animals we are also able to help this memory last with the kids for years to come.”
The talks, aimed at pre-school to Grade 7, are accompanied by lots of excitement and noise, with some talks being held for up to 600 children – pre-Covid-19 regulations. However, Dingo said that, no matter the number of children or where the school is located, it’s evident that a real impact has been made once they’re done.
“We need to bring up a generation of children who are willing to make a positive difference in the world because it’s now or never. That’s why we’re looking to spread the message of conservation to as many youngsters as possible, and are really looking forward to engaging with schoolchildren once regulations allow.”
In addition to school tours, Dingo and his team have achieved global recognition for their captivating wildlife videos which feature on the Dingo Dinkelman YouTube Channel. He’s also involved in a number of ongoing conservation projects for which he secures international sponsorship and runs exhilarating teambuilding experiences for organisations across the country – all focused on instilling a love of the wild.
Dingo Dinkelman is proudly sponsored by Toyota and North Face. To find out more about Dingo Dinkelman’s adventures, follow him on Facebook at @dingodinkelman, on Instagram at Dingo Dinkelman, check out his videos on YouTube at Dingo Dinkelman, or visit www.dingowild.com.