Just outside of Cape Town’s city is a wetland that is home to prolific birdlife and even a hippopotamus or two. The Rondevlei Nature Reserve is part of the greater Cape Town and the Environmental Education Trust (CTEET) is located at this nature reserve and is an important educational centre for teaching children about biodiversity and the importance of ecosystems and how they work.
The Grade 6 learners at Rosmead Primary have reached the part of their curriculum that focuses on ecosystems and the school, in collaboration with Jenman Safaris and Exodus Tours arranged for the students to have an outing at the CTEET. Exodus sponsored the CTEET fees and Jenman African Safaris provided the transport. The learners were driven to the nature reserve in safari vehicles, much to their excitement.
At CTEET the students learned important lessons about eco-systems, biodiversity and animals and plants in their environment. They also took part in some team building exercises, the most entertaining/exciting of which was a dragon boat trip out onto the vlei. Many of the students had never even been in a boat and it was a thrilling activity to row the boat as a team through the wetlands. They spotted some beautiful birdlife such as cranes and ibises but unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) the hippos did not make an appearance. View the video of the dragon boat trip here.
In the question and answer session, before the “lesson” began many students were well versed in the terminology when it came to what exactly is an eco-system, a food chain vs a food web, and the importance of biodiversity. When it came to learning about venomous and non-venomous snakes in the Western Cape, as well as what types of venom and anti-venom are to be found - this was mostly new and very interesting information to the students. At the end, they were even given the opportunity to touch and even hold a non-venomous python that is housed at the centre.
It was a wonderful opportunity for the students to go on an educational outing, in previous years the trip hadn’t been possible due to lack of funds. Rosmead Primary lacks funds for extra-curricular activities and outings such as these and relies on the support of donors to make them possible.
The students had a great time and some of them even asked if they could go again, it’s truly wonderful when children can enjoy educational activities.