Haka means pangolin in Shona. It’s also a game park just on the outskirts of Harare – out along the Mutare Road next to the Cleveland Dam. With zebra, wildebeest, impala, eland and giraffe as well as a host of small game, there’s plenty to see. They’ve also recorded 280 birds, which are monitored regularly by Birdlife Zimbabwe. This makes it an excellent destination for a school visit.
Mohammed Surtee has been running Haka for the last 20 years and is passionate about conservation. He’s delighted to welcome schools to visit the park, which is situated in the Greengrove Wetland area. This area has been demarcated as a Ramsar site so it carries the status of a wetland of international importance.
Schools can be accompanied by a Haka guide, who’ll take them around the park to answer any questions and point out things of interest.
It costs $2 per child to visit for the day, but Surtee is happy to negotiate this charge. Schools that are members of Birdlife Zimbabwe can visit for free. Any number of students can come as part of a visit and the group can either choose to walk or to drive around the park. School buses come into the park free of charge.
Haka offers horse rides on weekends and public holidays, they are also available for school visits if enough notice is given. A stone’s throw away, there’s fishing and canoeing at the Cleveland Dam.
Surtee says that a good number of schools do come and visit. “We are trying to encourage the Operation Raleigh chaps to set up a permanent camp at the park. The only problem now is that we don’t have overnight accommodation. It would be nice to have a dormitory and catering facilities for the kids.”
If you would like to visit Haka or take your class there on a school trip, Mr Surtee is happy to answer any questions you might have. Call him on 701330-5 or 0712 404 160.
To join Birdlife Zimbabwe call 481496 or 490208, or email [email protected]