Kirstenbosch Environmental Education Programme

Guided School Programme Details

Introduction to Kirstenbosch

First time visitors are introduced to Kirstenbosch. The variety of plant life is explored using the senses. Hands, ears and noses as well as eyes can be used in the Gold Fields Centre Garden to find out about plants

This topic is recommended for learners visiting the garden for the first time. Learners are introduced to the main areas in the garden by following a simple map.

They explore the diversity of plants in the forest and fynbos sections and visit popular sites such as the Dell, Colonel Bird's Bath, the Cycads, Pearsons Grave, Matthew's Rockery and the Otter and Main Ponds. Younger learners are encouraged to use their senses to explore the variety of plants and animals in the garden.

These guinea fowl are having a sand bath. They are favourites with the children except when they try and steal their lunches.



Plants and animals have interrelationships and interdependancies to survive in their environment.

Concepts such as food webs, photosynthesis, symbiosis, pollination and seed dispersal, can be explored in the fynbos garden or forest found at Kirstenbosch.


Plant Adaptations

Plants are adapted to the environment in which they live. The external structure of a range of plants is investigated and linked to how it helps them survive environmental conditions.

With the video microscope, everybody can see the adaptations of the plants such as hairs and oil glands.

Plants and People

People depend on plants in a variety of different ways. The uses of indigenous plants for many everyday products are investigated. The medicinal, ecological, aesthetic and economic importance of South African plants are discussed as well as issues around sustainable use of this valuable resource.


Fynbos, forest and succulent karoo biomes, as found in Kirstenbosch, are compared. Geographic and environmental conditions are discussed.
A single biome may be chosen.

Different types of plants grow in different biomes.


Water is a precious resource. It needs to be better understood and managed to ensure sustainable supplies. Wetlands and streams in Kirstenbosch are used to study the water cycle, water quality and diversity of life in water.

Learners have a chance to catch water organisms and identify them. The highlight of the learning programme is viewing the animals that they have caught on the screen of the video microscope.



The great variety and endemism of plants in the fynbos is unique. The concept of biodiversity is explored by observing, sorting and classifying a range of fynbos plants.


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