The Karoo is a semi-desert region divided into the Great and Klein Karoo.
The town, Oudtshoorn is the main town in the Klein Karoo and is nestled between the Swartberg and Outeniqua mountains. Oudtshoorn is the ostrich capital of the world and home to three plant biomes – succulent karoo, cape thicket and fynbos. The Swartberg mountain range nearby is part of the Cape Floral World Heritage Site.
The Garden Route, is a strip of land like no other in the world in terms of beauty, natural attractions and unique flora and fauna – hence its name.
It is home to endangered indigenous forests, elephants, loeries, sea horses, blue duikers, oysters etc. Our urban children need ‘time out’ to experience what so many tourists experience along the tranquil Garden Route.
South Africa’s scenic beauty, magnificent outdoors, sunny climate, cultural diversity and reputation for delivering value for money have made it one of the world’s fastest growing leisure – and business – travel destinations. About 10 million foreign tourists visited South Africa in 2010. The contribution of tourism to South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) and job creation, makes it one of SA’s key economic sectors.
An itinerary can be customised to suit your needs. Places to visit and activities :
Visit the spectacular Cango Caves for the general tour or the thrill of the adventure tour, to learn about stalactites and stalagmites; a working ostrich farm which includes riding on an ostrich and not to be missed, the Cango Wildlife Ranch to study crocs, the Big Cats and much more.
A ferry ride to Featherbed Nature Reserve at the Knysna Heads that includes a fauna and flora study and a short hike, shopping at the Knysna Waterfront, Knysna Elephant National Park to learn about these gentle giants and an opportunity to feed them, Wolf Sanctuary to gain an understanding of the exploitation of this species, an obstacle course through an indigenous forest, Tjembe drumming workshop, a walk through the forest at night, a study of the diurnal and nocturnal animals of an indigenous forest. One could also do an Emzini Township Tour to see how people live in a township (great reviews on Tripadvisor), as well as the Oyster Farm to learn about this unusual industry and an opportunity to eat an oyster.
Plettenberg Bay and beyond
Plettenberg Bay beach, visit Monkeyland (the biggest primate sanctuary in Southern Africa), Birds of Eden, a study of raptors and their rehabiltation, experience the exhilarating Tree Canopy Tour by riding through the tree tops 30m above the ground. Another destination is Addo Elephant National Park in Nelson Mandela Bay (Port Elizabeth).
Wilderness and Mossel Bay
Canoeing into the Wilderness Nature Reserve, hiking to a waterfall and a chance to swim in river pools, abseiling, sand boarding and team building activities. Visit the Dias Museum complex and send a card from the Post Office Tree, SA’s oldest Post Office.
Visit the Gallery for more photographs of the Garden Route.
Julie Womack is a qualified South African primary school teacher with 29 years teaching experience. She has organised and led more than 10 school tours to Cape Town, the Karoo, Garden Route, Mpumalanga and Kruger National Park. She is offering her services to help you with your Outdoor Education Programme by organising a trip for your class. She is also available to go with you on the tour and do the tour guiding and managing.
The Garden Route tour for kids aims to:
- Let the children see and experience the diversity of the Garden Route.
- Get the children to experience and evaluate tourism as a growing industry.
- Look at the types of jobs tourism creates.
- Identify the role of ecotourism in the world today.
- Study the fauna and flora of the Garden Route.
- Be involved with nature and conservation.
- Explore the indigenous forest during the day and at night.
- Be filled with fun and adventure.
- Allow for reflection and personal development.
- Allow the children to manage themselves as ambassadors for their country.
- Complete worksheets for each day’s itinerary with the purpose of teaching and learning.
- For South Africans, this Outdoor Educational experience is linked to the SA curriculum.
As an optional part of the tour, each child will need a 10p flip file to store the ± 15 worksheets that cover every place visited + additional work on tourism.
‘I still have my Knysna Tour Manual. It is the one school book I’ll never get rid of,’ says Mercedes, a second year marketing student .
The cost will depend on the activities chosen, the time of year and the number of children and adults. The cost will include all bookings, meals (except the first day’s lunch on the bus for the SA schools), accommodation, entrance fees, guiding fees, coach, driver’s costs, toll costs, pro rata costs of the teachers and master copies of all the worksheets.
- There must be at least one teacher / 18 pupils.
- The teachers are responsible for their pupils on the bus, at the different places, restaurants and at night until the children are asleep.
- The children must supply their own 10p flip file and first day’s lunch (lunch will be provided for foreign schools).
- The worksheets need to be rolled off by the school at least 10 days before the trip as they include the final itinerary and a list informing the children what to bring on the tour. These will be emailed to you a month before the tour begins.
- Ever child’s parents will be required to fill in an indemnity form and an emergency form with contact details. The children will also be required to fill in an indemnity form for the tree canopy tour. These will be emailed to you a month in advance.
- The school needs to supply a comprehensive First Aid kit to accompany the children on Tour and to have obtained written permission from the parents for the teachers to administer non- prescriptive medicines. A list of recommended medicines is available.
- If Julie is required to accompany the group, the teachers are to take full responsibility for the behaviour of the children especially at night.
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