Unveiling The Legacy Of Lessons in Conservation

We are delighted to be announcing an exciting new partner of the Londolozi Ripple Fund, but before we do, we thought we’d share the back story of how Lessons In Conservation (LiC) came to be, and how the Londolozi Ripple Effect has influenced the growth and journey of this phenomenal programme. I’ll let Dean Carlisle, LiC founder and CEO, describe in his own words the journey he has had so far…

Dean Carlisle, LiC founder and CEO

From the time that I could write, I have known that I want to live and work in the bush. Being born into a conservation-loving family, it is all I have ever known really.

I followed around with my little feet in the massive footprints left by my dad, Londolozi Alumni Les Carlisle, as he worked in translocating some of Africa’s wild animals from one area to the next, establishing new reserves and ensuring the survival of species. These once in a lifetime experiences were my every day, and they played a massive role in fostering my love for conservation, a deep appreciation for the bush and what we can achieve when we work together.

1. Dean And Rhino
Dean Carlisle’s early conservation days

As I grew older, I started to understand that I love animals because I understand them. I was exposed to them in a real and meaningful way from a young age, not because of anything I had done, but simply because of the family I was born into.

I studied Zoology at the University of Pretoria, and it was during my first year of post-graduate studies that this idea of teaching children about conservation came to be. The initial goal was to teach 20 children, and then raise the funds we needed to take them on a game drive. I realised I could not do this on my own, so reached out to my friends at university to see who would join what at that stage was simply an idea. The dream became official when we were awarded our registration certificate as an NPC in May 2018, and by this stage, many friends had joined the cause. 

1st Interview
Our first interview for LiC

I sat down with a blank piece of paper to formulate what exactly Lessons in Conservation, or LiC as it affectionately became known, would be. It became clear that if this was going to work, we needed a strong set of values at our core, with a sense of family uniting us all. It is all about the way your work makes someone feel. We wanted our donors, partners, team members and students to believe that they are a part of something bigger, that they belong, that they are important and that their actions matter.

We delivered our first lesson, a group of 6 university students, all under the age of 23, teaching 20 children about animals on a bedsheet in a rural community called Olivenhoutbosch, about a 40-minute drive from Pretoria. Within 15 minutes we started to notice that the children were too energetic to sit through another class, so we had to improvise and come up with games and demonstrations to explain the concepts.

Lesson 1
The first ever lesson of LiC

We soon understood that if we were going to get children excited about conservation, we needed to ensure our lessons were as practical and interactive as possible. We spent less time in the classroom, and more time outside looking for biodiversity and observing how everything in nature was wonderfully interconnected.

The children were hooked, and thanks to our partners Mongena Game Lodge, the dream of taking children on a game drive became a reality. The smiles were permanent, on our faces and theirs, and we realised we were onto something.

Drive 1
The first game drive and practical lesson of LiC

Off the back of our first successful set of lessons we were contacted by a number of other university students across South Africa, asking how they could get involved. One team in Pretoria would not be enough, so we set up another team of students at Stellenbosch University. The model began to take shape, giving students valuable work experience while providing them a platform to make a difference in the world. We inspire young, budding conservationists to understand that at the age of 19, 20 or 21, you really do have the ability to change the world – more than anything, we try to give them the ability to dream.

The LiC family is now made up of 8 teams spread across South Africa, Eswatini, Malawi and Tanzania with over 100 university students giving of their time selflessly every day to better the lives of the young people around them. We hope you, the Londolozi Family, will join us too.

Eswatni 2
The special LiC family

By the end of 2023, we delivered lessons and game drives to over 7200 children, from 80 different schools, orphanages and special needs care centres in 10 African countries.

The premise on which LiC is built is leaving the world better than we found it, and one of the ways in which we do that is by identifying students who have a deep love for conservation and want to work in conservation for years to come. We foster long-term relationships with these students and assist them with developing their skill set, fund formalized training that will be beneficial in the conservation space to give them the best chance at making their dreams come true. The impact that this has when these students return to their communities is next to none, the next generation can look up and see someone like them, someone from the same community, with the same circumstances make a meaningful difference in the world.

Dean and the LiC team have an incredible story of passion, perseverance and profound impact, inspiring us at the Londolozi Ripple Fund and beyond. As we embark on this collaborative endeavor, stay tuned for further exciting updates as we uncover the intricate connection between conservation education and transformative action. Together, let us continue to write the next chapter in the preservation of our precious natural world.

How to Contribute

  • To donate to serving to save with Lessons In Conservation, click here
  • 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

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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Lessons In Conservation | 27th February 2024
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Wilderness teachings | 27th February 2024

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

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

Together, we sow the seeds of positive change!

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