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 KwaZulu Natal 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.

education centre

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

KwaZulu-Natal Kids in Gardens lesson menu 2021.

Approximately 6 500 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 or isiZulu

Days on which the programme is offered:

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


  • 09h00 – 11h30 – Grade R – 3
  • 09h00 – 12h00 – Grade 4 – 12

Cost: R15 per learner (includes entrance to the Garden)

education centre

Planning and booking your lesson:

  • Schools are requested to contact Nozipho Mahlanze to book lessons at least a month in advance to: Tel: +27 (0)33 344 3298/ 073 588 4523
  • 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.
  • 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

Environmental education lessons are also offered to out-of-school youth, community members, environmental organisations, universities, partner institutions, education departments, tour guides associations and general interest groups.

The themes covered include biodiversity conservation, indigenous garden development, sustainable use of plant resources and climate change, however other themes are also covered under the community outreach programme. 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. The lessons are offered in IsiZulu or English.  Lessons are offered in the Garden.

education centre

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: R15.00 per student or community member.

Booking information:

Contact Nozipho Mahlanze, the Environmental Education Officer, on 033 344 3298/073 588 4523 to book your visit.

2.2 Holiday Programmes:

Special programmes are offered during the 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 Nozipho Mahlanze, the Environmental Education Officer, on 033 344 3298/073 588 4523.

2.3 Special Programmes

The Education Centre is always exploring new ways to better its services for the benefit of learners and the community. One way we are doing this is by teaching learners and members of local communities how to evaluate the quality of the river water in their communities through MiniSASS. The MiniSASS method can be used by any non-technical person to monitor the health of a river. The Education Centre is the ideal environment to learn about this exciting method. Schools are encouraged to take this multi-sensory learning opportunity and experience edutainment and the beauty of outdoor learning.

education centre

Special lessons are also 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 Plant Conservation Day, Arbor Week and Weedbuster Week.

If you want to find out more about our lessons, please contact Nozipho Mahlanze, the Environmental Education Officer, on 033 344 3298/073 588 4523.

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