Seeking knowledge and studying different sciences is considered ibaadat in Islam. Muslims are ordered to praise Allah Ta’ala through contemplating nature, which leads them to appreciate the wonders of Allah Ta’ala’s creation.

Allah Ta’ala states in al-Quran al-Majeed:

                         وفي الارض اْيت للمؤقنين

And in the earth are aayaat for the people with the truth of assurance

              قل سيروا في الارض فانظروا كيف بدأ الخلق

Say:Travel through the Earth and observe how Allah Ta’ala originated the creation

Al Madrasa tus Saifiya tul Burhaniyah organizes educational trips with Students Exchange Program every year for its pupils. This year, our Std 7 students travelled to Ol-Pejeta Conservancy, which is located in Laikipia county of Kenya, via Nairobi to participate in the 10th Students Exchange Program with students from AMSB Nairobi, Mombasa and Kuwait.    

In this trip, they discovered and learnt different things and skills in an adventurous atmosphere.   

To start with  

Day 1: On transit to Nairobi, children saw many landmarks and noticed the change of weather, vegetation and scenery. They reached Langata late at night and dispersed to their respective accommodation arranged by the camp organizers. 

 Day 2: Early in the morning children assembled outside AMSB Nairobi where they were divided into six groups, three of girls and three of boys. All groups had mixed children from the four Madaris. Everyone was given an activity booklet, which they had to fill and write the account of each day of the trip.  It took 5 hours by bus to reach Ol Pejeta Conservancy. On the way they were engaged in a variety of educational and brain teasing activities such as qafya (recitation of abyaats) and guess me right.   

At the Conservancy, tents were ready for their stay. The boys and girls had separate campsites. The kitchen and dining area was common.    

Immediately on reaching the campsite, all prayed namaaz then followed by lunch whereby we were served spaghetti and minced beef, salad and fruit salad. Then the children were taken into their respective campsites and they settled in their tents. At 4pm, an introductory ecological monitoring talk was given by a forest education officer, Ms. Eva, about camping in the jungle and the importance of conservation. Children learned new terms and terminology that they would come across in the trip.

Immediately after the conservation talk, we headed to the Hippo hide walkway where students learnt about hippos and how they are adapted to life in the water as well as adaption for defense and feeding. They were then guided on a short forest walk to try and spot hippos in the river Ewaso Nyiro. On our way back to the camp site we got the opportunity to see the majestic African elephants, black rhino, gazelle, impala, zebra, buffalo. At the end of an active day after magrib namaaz. This was followed by dinner, chicken stew, chapati veg/fruit salad. Later, there was a self-reflection session around a campfire when they recalled the day’s activities and concluded with an exchange of the many life-learning experiences they had.  They called it a day and got the jungle camping experience of sleeping in canvas tents with blankets and bedding, 4 to 5 children in each tent with pit toilets covered with wooden frame. There were rangers at night for security. 

 DAY 3: Fajar namaaz, in the freezing temperature with morning walk near the campsite was something exceptional, which cannot be described in words. Spectacular view of Mt. Kenya was amazing.  Children enjoyed a hearty breakfast of omelet, sausages, bread, butter and jam. After a hearty breakfast the children were given time to update their booklet. At 11:00am, we headed to the Morani information centre. Here, all the information of Ol Pajeta in creative snapshots and posters, even real bones were on display. From there they went to northern white rhino boma where they saw the northern white rhinos, the only 2 remaining in the world, and 1 southern white rhino as well as visited Baraka, the blind black rhino. Next, they visited the Chimpanzee sanctuary area. The students got to hear from the keepers the stories of the different chimps and how they came to be at the sanctuary to be able to understand the work that goes into their care. They also got to understand the threats facing the primates globally. Back at the camp after namaaz was lunch time, rice, mutton stew, roti and fruit salad. Afterwards the students got a demo / talk on some vital Bush skills necessary for survival in the African savanna. They had a little walk around the campsite as they learnt this. There after went for a 2hrs game drive to observe the wildlife in it’s natural habitat. Once again got to see herds of zebras, buffalo, impalas, gazelles, a couple of rhinos, fox, giraffe’s elephants.  

 Then it was back to the camp. After namaaz the children played Guess Me in groups and a couple of 1 min games by the campfire. Dinner was served. The menu for dinner was BBQ

 Day 4: After fajr namaaz we immediately departed for a game drive in hope to see the lion. After 2 hours of drive, we returned to campsite where upon we got the information that lions had been spotted at and so we rushed to that area. Fortunately, we were lucky to see 3 lions at a close distance for a short while before they hid into the bush. Back to campsite, the children were served mandazi baraazi, sausages, fruit salad and tea for breakfast.

They returned to the campsite to wind up. They reached the equator point where they were shown a science experiment.  Lunch was at Tree Trout Hotel. Children learnt about halal and haram animals and how to say bismillah on fish. They enjoyed their fish lunch at the spectacular hotel.  They reached Nairobi by 8 pm.   

Next day at 4.30 am, it was time to depart for Dar es Salaam. The long bus journey back home had an interval as the bus boke down at only 5kms away from the Namanga border. The children kept busy by playing games and was filled with discussions and memories of the trip.  An exciting journey in the untapped natural landscape was truly a memorable learning experience for all.  Reached back to Dar es Salaam 3:00am Monday / 27 / 2020


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