Creation Education Programme

The programme is uniquely educational and offers river rafting (optional and seasonal) and game viewing hikes. Education is of a participatory nature and is offered as "by choice". Programmes are designed with teacher's objectives as our agenda. Participants are dealt with as individuals and discovery plays an important part.

Introduction activity

You my star: a simple activity that helps each learner observe one another and looks for the good in each other during camp.

River swimming and canoeing - The river has a natural and safe pool which offers a great opportunity for swimming, paddling around, mud baths and a chance just to cool off.

Hike – approx. 7km walk where learners can stretch their legs and explore creation looking at the indigenous flora and fauna found at Nyala Pans, discuss adaptations and consider environmental impacts of non-indigenous species. Look at the characteristics of a grassland / savanna habitat, observing wildlife and noting animal behaviour through their tracks and scat. They will also have chance to reflect during a moment of special spot, we usually do environmental art during the hike.

Water and river related activities

  • Water study – hands on water study; using macro invertebrates from the stream to investigate and determine the water quality.
  • Watershed Puzzle – students learn about the pollution impacts various land uses may have on the waterways and how they can change their ways.
  • The Giving River – a story focusing on the river resources we utilize, including learners/youth own creative writing exercise.
  • Common Water – looks at how water usage has changed over time.
  • Create a Watershed – river vocabulary highlighting the Umkomaas main watershed.

Team building activities

A repertoire of games where learners/youth learn how to work well together and communicate to each other as a team.

  • Stepping Stones – a team game to work together to save the world’s resources.
  • Catapults – teams work together to build a giant catapult and have to shoot the target in order to earn lunch.
  • Sherman Tanks/All Tied Up/Direct the robot/Gutter ball/Conflict pillows/ - team building activities where learners consider the value of cooperation and communication.
  • Obstacle course – a variety of fun obstacles in the bush that the team are encouraged to complete and to work together to accomplish them all facing certain fears and moving out of comfort zones.
  • Orienteering - opportunity for learners to work as a team, explore their surroundings, learn basic map reading skills and embrace consequences of their decisions.
  • Potjie pots – teams cook dinner together. (often linked to orienteering i.e. they need to find their cooking items when completing the orienteering course)

Environmental activities

  • Scavenger Hunt - learners hunt for a given list of objects around the river camp then make connections between each of the objects and their adaptations.
  • Kiwi Ball- a fun game that allows the learners to understand the pressures humans put on a reserves and the effect that loss of habitat has on an animal population.
  • Oh Nyala - a fun game that considers the carrying capacity in the reserve for a population of Nyala.
  • Race for the Sun - through play, learners remember the resources that plants need in order to survive, and consider different threats to growing plants.
  • Environmental Art - learners work together in small groups to create an art piece using natural resources found on the site whilst exploring textures and colours of the natural world. This art piece is designed to reflect each member in the group.
  • Bird Beaks - this is a game that helps students experience what it is like to have different types of beaks and how each beak "adaptation" is a specialized tool for feeding on particular kinds of food found in particular kinds of ecosystems.
  • Nature mobiles - using natural resources found during their hike and at camp students will make their own natural mobile to take home.
  • Fair-trade game - Learners will learn about the complexities involved in business and the concept of fair trade.
  • Common dilemma – To introduce participants to the concept of sustainable development
  • Shades of Green – an observation study looking at the variety of green in the natural world.
  • Turtle Hurdle – game that illustrates the obstacles both natural and man-made that turtles face in the oceans.

Night activities

  • Movie under the stars – thought provoking movie screened under the stars with popcorn and hot chocolate.
  • Night walk – short walk discovering the light sounds and life if the bush.
  • Bat and moth – a game that enables the learners to act out how a nocturnal animal behaves in the night and encourages learners to make use of their senses.
  • Stalk the lantern - game explaining nocturnal animal behavior and need for camouflage.
  • Camp fire – learners enjoy songs and stories around the fire with marshmallows.

Closing activities

  • Solitaire – learners spend time alone down by the river reflecting and soaking in the great outdoors.
  • Story sticks - learners create a story stick reflecting on their time at camp.

Optional extra activities

  • White river rafting - for most learners/youth this could be their only opportunity to go white river rafting. Nyala Pans offer safe beginners rafting experience and a great team building exercise. This is seasonal and quoted for on request.
  • Dog display – this is a wonderful opportunity to see how intelligent dogs are and break some of the fears around these amazing animals. This does cost an additional R10 per learner.

Activities still being developed

  • Make early learning toys from everyday recycled materials for underprivileged preschools in collaboration with
  • Meet your pen pal and community school development project: before students visit Nyala pans river camp they are paired up with a student from the local community school. They will converse in letters beforehand and meet when the students arrive to assist the community school in development required at the time e.g. planting vegetable garden, building library etc.
  • Jungle lunch - Using ingredients harvested on the farm students will make their own jungle lunch.
  • Compass of sustainability - use the Compass of Sustainability tool to assess the overall sustainability of a site/community/idea/activity and identify places where an innovative change would have the most effect.
  • Night Drive – learners observe the night-time life of the African bush.
  • Bird ringing - as part a research project, regular bird ringing is undertaken at Nyla pans, this is an opportunity for learners to understand the importance of research and see these amazing creatures up close and earn about some of their adaptations.