The Kids in Gardens Programme are offered to school groups as well as other guided groups.

1. The Kids in Gardens Programme (KIG): School groups

The KIG Programme caters for learners from Grades R – 12 and offers curriculum-linked lessons in the Free State National Botanical Garden on a wide range of environmental themes including Biodiversity, Ecology, Global Warming, Water and Education for Sustainability. We aim to raise awareness of the environmental issues facing our communities and develop skills which will enable learners to take responsibility for their own environment.

Leaners taking part in a School Project

Please follow this link for details of the themes and lessons:

Free State Kids in Gardens lesson menu 2021.

Up to 4500 learners per year attend lessons facilitated by our experienced team of environmental education officers. The lessons are fun, action-packed and hands-on and offer learners an opportunity to interact with nature in a very personal way as they are encouraged to discover the environment through careful observation, recording and interpretation of data. School teachers, accompanying their groups into the Garden, are exposed to practical activities which can be used in their own school gardens or neighbouring natural areas.

Lessons are also offered to learners with a range of special educational needs. Each lesson is adapted to meet the needs of each specific group.

Special lessons are facilitated in celebration of the Environmental Days/Weeks.

Lessons are offered in English and Sesotho.

Days on which the programme is offered:

Tuesday – Friday, throughout the school year (excluding public holidays).


  • 09h30 – 12h00: Grade R – 2
  • 09h30 – 12h30: Grade 3 – 12

Cost: R10 per learner

Planning and booking your lesson

  • Decide well in advance when a lesson in the Free State National Botanical Garden is going to be most beneficial to your learners.
  • Contact Mabelo Matsie, on Tel: +27 (051) 436 3530 or Fax: +27 (051) 436 1867 to book your visit.
  • A booking form will be sent to you via email. Complete and return the booking form, making sure to indicate your choice of lesson. This confirms your booking.
  • Full payment should preferably be done via EFT or Direct Deposit prior to the date of the lesson – refer to the Booking Form for the banking details – and the proof of payment should be sent to us via email immediately afterwards please. Cash and cheques are accepted on the day of the lesson as well, however electronic payments are preferred. Please note that cheques need to be made out to the South African National Biodiversity Institute.
  • Please ensure that there is at least one educator or adult available to supervise every 10 – 15 learners (or as discussed with the Centre Manager).
  • These accompanying educators and adults participate free of charge and are expected to be with the group for the duration of the lesson.

Please note the following:

  • In hot weather, learners must carry a bottle of water.
  • Learners should bring their own lunch as there is no tuckshop to buy snacks or drinks.
  • Please arrive in good time for the start of your lesson.
  • The education officer on duty will meet you at the Kiosk. Do not go into the Garden unaccompanied.
  • If it rains on the morning of your visit, the lesson will be adapted to accommodate the inclement weather. We are able to offer very good indoor alternatives for our lessons.
  • Any specific requirements dependent on COVID-19 related regulations will be indicated on the booking form.

Directions to the Garden

2. Kids in Gardens Programme (KIG): Other Guided Groups

2.1 Youth and Adults Groups

We offer educational programmes for youth and adult groups from community and environmental organizations, universities, partner institutions, education departments, tour guides associations and general interest groups.

The themes covered include global warming and its effects on biodiversity; sustainable use of plant resources; and the adaptations of plants in the succulent biome, however other themes are also covered. The participants engage with information about biodiversity and environmental issues as well as ideas for innovative and hands-on activities that they could amend and use for their own work-related contexts.

Outreach Greening garden project

Days on which the programme is offered:

  • Monday to Friday in school terms (excluding public holidays).
  • Monday to Friday in school holidays (excluding public holidays).
  • Times may vary according to the requirements of the group. Usually 3 hours duration.

Cost: R10.00 per student or community member.

Booking information:

Contact Mabelo Matsie, the Senior Provisioning Admin Clerk, on 051 436 3630 to book your visit.

2.2 Holiday Programmes:

Special programmes are offered during school holidays. These include fun learning experiences in the Garden for learners of all ages.

Learners participating in these programmes include, but are not limited to, school groups, various church youth groups, participants in the Department of Social Development’s programmes, etc.

Days on which the programme is offered:

  • Monday to Friday during the school holiday period (excluding public holidays).
  • Times may vary according to the requirements of the group. Usually 3 hours duration.

If you want to find out more about our lessons, please contact  Mabelo Matsie, the Senior Provisioning Admin Clerk, on 051 436 3630 to book your visit.

2.3 Special Programmes

Special lessons are offered to schools and community groups during Environmental Calendar Days and Weeks throughout the year. These include Wetlands Week, National Water Week, Biodiversity Day, World Environment Week, Climate Change and Energy Week, Arbor Week and Heritage Week.

If you want to find out more please contact Mabelo Matsie, the Senior Provisioning Admin Clerk, on 051 436 3630 to book your visit.

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