For the past couple of years, the 3rd year Interior Design students together with their lecturers were involved in a community project in conjunction with the Bankenveld Honorary Rangers in the Kruger National Park. The project started in 2011 when the Academy was approached to help paint the day visitors’ area in the Satara Rest Camp depicting local cultural groups in the region. In addition to a nature scene painted on the outside of the restaurant in Satara, the group worked on a contour model of the Satara Olifants region, in the day visitors’ area in 2012. The bar area of the restaurant was also painted with traditional bushmen rock art.
This year the group diversified their work to Olifants Rest Camp as well as finalised the projects in Satara Rest Camp. Additional bushmen rock art was added to the existing scenes in the bar area of the restaurant in Satara, while four more wall panels were decorated in the day visitors’ area depicting Khoi-San hunting scenes as well as elephant migration scenes. The above mentioned wall panels were painted using a sponging technique with water base paints (sponsored by Potchefstroom Academy) in a funnel, creating the illusion of the hunters and elephant disappearing into the distance (exit). Furthermore, touch-up work was done to existing panels and damage evaluation and recommendations were done for the restoration of the contour model.
After two days of work in Satara, the group left for Olifants Rest Camp. Here, the existing ‘Olifants’ logo and name at the entrance of the camp were taken down and restored. The characteristic elephant tusks framing these signs were also cleaned and restored before the final assembly of the restored signs. Additionally, the group worked on a proposal for the interior revamp of the restaurant that will enhance the overall aesthetics and breathe new life into the space. The proposal involved a definite visual communication between the interior space and the scenic view of the Olifants River that can be seen from the restaurant.
For many students this was a once in a lifetime opportunity to work in the Kruger National Park, and the experience gained is of great value. Planned projects for the future include a community church at Satara’s Employee Village, restoration of the contour model at Satara’s day visitors’ area, as well as various interior design projects in rest camps in the northern reaches of the Kruger National Park. The staff and students of Potchefstroom Academy, as well as the Bankenveld Honorary Rangers would like to express their appreciation to the management of both Satara and Olifants Rest Camps for the opportunities offered and their continual support.Authors: Adri Steyn and James Vertue Photographs: Elani van Zyl