18 September 2017Banyana Banyana took time off their tournament schedule to visit the Chipangali Wildlife Orphanage in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.

The South African Senior Women’s National Team is in the country to participate in the 2017 COSAFA Women’s Championship that is currently underway.

The Sasol-sponsored Banyana Banyana have been in camp since Tuesday, 5 September – they have already played three matches, winning two against Lesotho and Namibia, and drawing the last one in the group stages against Botswana, which they played on Sunday, 17 September.

“It’s been a long time since we started camp and after securing qualification in the last four it was important for us to unwind a bit and recharge our batteries a little bit – more so because we played three matches in four days. These outings are always important as we are able to switch off from football for some time and when we switch back on we are able to fully focus because we are refreshed,” said Banyana Banyana captain Refiloe Jane.

“It was something very welcome by all the players as it also helps us to bond off the field. We are grateful to the technical team for arranging the outing. I know all the players really enjoyed themselves.”

After their rest day, the South Africans will now turn their attention to preparations for the semi-final where they will face Zambia at Barbourfields Stadium at 13h00. The second semi-final clash between Kenya and Zimbabwe will follow at 16h00 at the same venue.

Zambia (Group A), Kenya (Group B) and South Africa (Group C) qualified after finishing top of their respective groups while Zimbabwe proceeded as the best runners up.

The matches will be played on Thursday, 21 September.

** Chipangali is a haven for wild animals which have little hope for survival in the wild – creatures which have been orphaned, abandoned, injured, born in captivity or brought up unsuccessfully as pets. It is often the last refuge for those brought in sick or injured, and increasingly it is a sanctuary for confiscated animals.

The Chipangali Wildlife Orphanage was established in 1973 by ex-game ranger Vivian Wilson and his wife Paddy, and its primary function is to offer a home to orphaned, abandoned and sick wild animals. Chipangali is not a zoo.

Wherever possible, rescued animals and birds are rehabilitated and returned to the wild. If safe release into their natural habitat is not possible, animals are cared for and kept for educational purposes and zoological study. In the case of endangered species, captive breeding programs may also be undertaken.

The word Chipangali comes from the Chinyanja language in eastern Zambia where Viv Wilson originally began his career in with the Zambia Government as a tsetse-fly control operator, it is here that the whole concept of Chipangali was born and derived. The word means ‘open friendly country.’

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