Connect to Nature

We believe that connecting hearts to nature through hands-on learning is a journey.
A journey we believe the sooner you start, the better!

Multiple learning experiences are available to you and your learners to get this journey started. Exactly what these look like will depend on your local Sustainable Schools Implementing & Supporting Partners. 

In general, day programmes are just the start – ranging from focused 1-3 hour in-school lessons to longer 3-5 hour excursions that get your learners off the school grounds. Next up is the ultimate immersive nature experience – an overnight camp! Through these experiences multiple connections are made with nature, self and peers.

We believe in changing lives through nature

To support learning in and about the natural world, Nature Connect offers in-school lessons and activities, excursions and overnight camps

Through our Conservation Leadership Project, a long-term investment is made in learners with a passion for nature. Grade 6 learners from select registered Nature Connect schools are invited to apply to be a part of this initiative. Once selected, these leaders-of-tomorrow participate in monthly nature-based activities until they leave school in Grade 12.

During these interactions, topics covered are underpinned by key sustainability issues and are centred around the 8 Focus Areas in the Sustainable Schools Programme.

All programmes have local and indigenous knowledge interwoven as a cross-cutting topic in order to highlight the wealth of local knowledge, customs, stories, proverbs and legends which exist in South Africa.

Focus Areas:
Biodiversity Network
Biodiversity Network
Community & Social Responsibility
Community and Social Responsibility
Energy & Climate Action
Energy and Climate Action
Health & Wellbeing
Health and Well-being
Water & Sanitation
Water and Sanitation
Production Consumption & Waste
Production, Consumption and Waste
Catchment To Coast
Catchment to Coast
Marine & Coast
Marine and Coast

In-school Programmes

These 1- to 3-hour curriculum-aligned interventions typically run on the school premises and cover content targeting the foundation and intersen phase. These short programmes are easy to integrate into the day’s lesson plan through the use of stories and interactive games, piquing learner interest and growing a love for our natural world. 

We cover an ever-expanding range of topics covering all 8 Focus Areas.

Excursions

If you are able to dedicate more time to learning about nature, in nature, you can participate in one of our excursions. Typically, these programmes occupy most of the school day (5 hours). 

Excursions are presently held at either the Zeekoevlei Environmental Education Centre located within the False Bay Nature Reserve, or the Biodiversity Showcase Garden’s Environmental Education Centre, located at the Green Point Urban Park.

Please note that these programmes are adaptable, and can be customised for implementation at a more convenient location.

Overnight Camps

As our flagship offering, we believe overnight camps are the ultimate connect to nature experience. Camps range from 1-5 days and are facilitated by a group of expert educators. Our facilities accommodate groups of up to 60 people which keeps groups small and allows for richer, more meaningful engagement.

Benefits:

Utilising the outdoors, camps provide a safe space for youth to engage in educational, fun, hands-on, active experiences. If you would like to address specific topics or curriculum-aligned content, these can be tailor-made. 

Key life skills and personal development activities are included in all overnight camps, helping youth develop in areas like leadership, confidence, teamwork, problem solving, and creative thinking skills.

We provide fun experiences in nature for non-school groups too! Book an overnight camp or excursion for your Eco-club, Scout, Cub, or youth group.

Venue:
The Island Campsite:

Situated in the Rondevlei Section of False Bay Nature Reserve, one is immediately transported to another world as you crossing the vlei and leave the urban environment behind.

The island features permanent platform tents with breathtaking views of Elephants Eye, Table Mountain National Park.

Fall asleep listening to the grunt of hippo, or maybe you will get lucky and see them frolic in the evening light while the pelicans fly overhead. 

Key features: sleeps 45 learners, dragon-boating, obstacle course, archery

The newly renovated Bokbaai Seaside Camp:

Situated 22km from Melkbosstrand on the West Coast, Bokbaai is the perfect place to escape from the City and learn about the marine and coastal environment. With Table Mountain in the distance, you and your learners will enjoy a private seaside escape. 

Fall asleep listening to the sounds of the waves crashing along the shore and enjoy the most magnificent flower show in spring. 

Key features: sleeps 60 learners, rock shores exploration, overnight hikes

Conservation Leadership Project

Through our Conservation Leadership Project, a long-term investment is made in learners with a passion for nature. Grade 6 learners from select registered Nature Connect schools are invited to apply to be a part of this initiative.

Once selected, these leaders-of-tomorrow participate in monthly nature-based activities until they leave school in Grade 12. While immersing learners in nature, learners cultivate meaningful relationships with themselves and their peers, all while growing in confidence and developing a sense of personal responsibility.

After serval years of running this programme, it has become evident through the alumni that friendships forged in this journey are strong, and that lives really have been changed through nature.

On graduation from Grade 12, passionate fledgling conservators may develop their career in nature conservation by engaging in our further education and training opportunities.

For more information on how your learners can become Conservation Leaders, please