Posts tagged EducationalOutings
De Hoop Collections Community Outreach Camp
Identifying and naming new finds.

Identifying and naming new finds.

Cape Winelands Biosphere Reserve has co-facilitated and collaborated with organizations to arrange camps for youth from many different areas and backgrounds. Below is the recollection by a CWBR guide of a memorable camp. It was the first of its kind at De Hoop Collections, as part of a local outreach programme instigated by the De Hoop Collection guides, who had themselves already taken part in FGASA and Life Skill courses.  

De Hoop Community Outreach Camp June 2019

Recognising the CWBR bus and trailer approaching, the young girl increased her pace. She was still on her way to school with her bags for the weekend camp. As we pulled the bus into Nuwerus Napier Day Care Centre, her speed increased to meet us, as did her excitement and the size of the smile on her face.

To make a weekend camp possible, CWBR provided transport and equipment to De Hoop Collections, within De Hoop Nature Reserve. The camp was for 15 young people (aged between 2 and 14) and 2 teachers from the Day Care Centre. The principle of Nuwerus Napier Day Care Centre is herself a graduate from the first CWBR FGASA & Life Skills Guiding course. Before attending the course, she worked at the Day Care Centre as an assistant, and later at De Hoop Nature Reserve as a guide. However, feeling her deep conviction to make a difference in the lives of vulnerable young people in her community was not being fulfilled, she returned home to Napier and to the Day Care Centre.

Arriving at De Hoop, we were greeted with a magnificent view of the ocean, bright pink Protea repens and a wonderful welcome from the resident guides. They were anxious to get to know their young clients and prepare for the first camp activities. Without hesitation, the young people leapt on to the game-drive Landcruiser to go to the campsite. The sun would be setting soon. There were tents to erect and meals to cook.

That evening, the Team (Centre teachers, De Hoop guides and CWBR representatives) built a big fire in the middle of the boma and laid out a long table to seat everyone. They made a potje, and with an evening of games and great laughter, the young people were introduced to De Hoop, the Team and the weekend ahead.

Next morning the group rose early brimming with excitement to explore their surrounds. First, they ate a healthy breakfast at the long table and cleaned up to leave nothing for the baboons. Whilst CWBR made and cooked burgers for lunch, the group headed off for their first adventure – a walk around the inland lagoon.

The walk gave an opportunity to watch hundreds of Dung Beetle grubs. There were sightings of giant Ostrich and many Bontebok. We watched great Pelicans and many other coastal birds diving for fish close to us in the lagoon. In the distance, clearly visible with binoculars, Flamingos displayed their pink beauty. The wonderful sights at the lagoon kept the group fascinated until it was time to head off for the rocky shore tour.

Being transported from inland adventure to seashore by game-drive vehicle - the group was thrilled! The principal guide for the seashore walk is a seasoned professional at De Hoop and has become a hero and role model for the young people of Napier. He and his colleagues explained some of the rich and diverse forms of life on the rocky shores.  They discovered many creatures of all colours and shapes previously unknown to the group. A lucky find was an Octopus! Along the walk the group collected rubbish washed up on the beach and learned what happens when we pollute.

When we reached the sandy beaches, the urge to swim overcame inhibitions and the children splashed in the shoreline of the ocean. Returning to camp, the group warmed up with cups of tea.

With energy levels revived, the group put together ingredients for that night’s meal and headed, with their guides, for the protection of the boma. As the food was cooking, the group was introduced to the night skies – an experience enhanced by the arrival of marshmallows for the fire.

Packing and a hearty breakfast feast followed an early rise and shower next morning.  The group set off for another short adventure, which enabled the remaining guides and CWBR staff to discuss our work together, share experiences and learn from each other. It was a great opportunity to show off and test individual skills and knowledge.

Saying farewell to our hosts and colleagues was hard. Nobody wanted the weekend to end. With great joy, appreciation and fond memories, we waved goodbye to De Hoop and headed back to Napier.

Back at the Centre, we said our goodbyes to the principle and her colleagues.

Many thanks indeed to all who made the weekend possible, especially the wonderful people of Nuwerus Napier Dagsorg.

Using binoculars and cameras throughout the camp to see and document the animal and plant life

Using binoculars and cameras throughout the camp to see and document the animal and plant life

The beach was a highlight for most, with discovery of new creatures, fresh saltwater and sand.

The beach was a highlight for most, with discovery of new creatures, fresh saltwater and sand.

Experiencing new environments and textures.

Experiencing new environments and textures.

A Celebration at Jan Marais Nature Reserve

For National Water Week in March, Cape Winelands Biosphere Reserve, in collaboration with Stellenbosch Municipality Urban Greening, held a Water Wise Festival at Jan Marais Nature Reserve from the 22nd - 24thMarch 2018.

There were children’s activities, talks, demonstrations, and stalls. Lanzerac Wine Estate provided volunteers to do face painting.  

The invitation went out to the public, universities, and schools.

To open the festival the deputy minister of Stellenbosch Municipality shared his own practices, in his household and his family, how to save water. A wise highlight being 2-minute showers and reusing the water in the garden. He thanked his team in their effort to create water-use awareness.  

Deputy Mayor of Stellenbosch opening the Water Wise Festival

Deputy Mayor of Stellenbosch opening the Water Wise Festival

The drummies from Ebenezer Primary School in Paarl put on a spectacular show to get the festivities started. 

Throughout the festival the activities for the youth included

A demonstration by the High-Altitude Team from Working for Water on how they use their skills to rescue a cat out of a tree. USIKO brought a water tank for everyone to leave their hand-print on, later to be installed at creche - who they have donated it to, and CTEET did interactive games. They enjoyed a lesson on propagation methods of plants: how a small sustainable business can be created out of these horticultural practices from home. There were also two educational show and tell events by Giraffe House Road Show.

For the adults – there were talks by

Rob Armstrong ‘Role of Conservancies on Preserving the Catchment Area’

Louis Willemse ‘Water and Culture’

Dyllon Randall from UCT ‘Waterless Toilet Project – Creating fertiliser out of urin’

Good conversation and discussions evolved. Urine, culture, and blushing pride proteas became the 'aha moments' of the day. 

Stalls educating about sustainability, energy and water saving

Solar Installation guys



 Aqua Savers

Green Logic

Water Explorer

Cape Winelands Biosphere Reserve


Saw Dust Toilet

Cape Winelands District Municipality

Working for Water High Altitude Team

Working on Fire 

A BIG THANK YOU to everyone who part-took in the festival!

It was a great success! 

High Altitude Team at Jan Marais Park Water Wise Festival

High Altitude Team at Jan Marais Park Water Wise Festival

A volunteer showing youth how aquaponics works

A volunteer showing youth how aquaponics works

Giraffe House made a special visit to the Water Wise Festival to teach children about reptiles and more!

Giraffe House made a special visit to the Water Wise Festival to teach children about reptiles and more!

Does water come from a tap?

The Biosphere Reserve, invited by Frandevco, got involved with the educational component of the river clean-up program in Franschhoek today. Three-hundred youth listened to a lively interactive talk aimed to create awareness of where water comes from and what they can do to keep the river in their neighborhood clean. Why it gets dirty.

First to further spread the seed…

To grow the seed - it needs sun and water to grow, and birds to further spread new seed. Equals Love.  

Where does water come from?

How does it become dirty?

How do we keep it clean?

Lets get more kids excited about water and where it comes from!

Lekker (and hectic) day at the CWBR farm

Last Monday, two of our our volunteers took eFata children out to the Cape Winelands Biosphere Reserve farm!

6 weeks ago, the CWBR welcomed two young volunteers from Luxembourg, Ophélie and Jana. During their 6 months stay, Ophélie and Jana are assisting teachers at eFata School in Groendal, and organising educational activities for the eFata children. eFata School is a kindergarten for 5-40 Xhosa infants and children, ranging between 3 months to 7 year old children.

Last Monday, Ophélie and Jana, decided to treat the eFata children and take them out to the CWBR farm. During their outing to the farm, the children were given the opportunity to participate in growing the vegetables, which are then used for their school meals. CWBR have a special vegetable bed, just for eFata School. 

CWBR runs many youth educational programmes and finds it very important for children to have a chance to do gardening and understand the great joy and benefits of learning such a skill.

As eFata School does not have their own playground or a backyard at school, the eFata children will be visiting the CWBR farm once a week to see their vegetables grow and enjoy the vast space to run around and play. During their visits, the children will also have the chance to interact with the 16 rabbits, cats, dogs and horse which live on the CWBR farm. 

Volunteer with children

Volunteer with children