Did you know that South Africa covers only 2% of the world’s land surface area, yet it is home to 10% of the world’s plant species and 7% of its reptile, bird, and mammal species and harbours around 15% of the world’s marine species?
And, did you know that South Africa has more wildlife today than it did 100 years ago? South Africa is recognized as a global biodiversity hotspot and our conservation effort is recognized internationally as a success story.
Today’s youth are tomorrow’s custodians of this global conservation and wildlife legacy, and their challenge will be to continue managing the sustainable utilization of these natural resources for future generations. How can they appreciate their task’s significance and enormity if they are not introduced to these ecosystems, natural landscapes and wildlife as part of their educational experience?
COVID-19 has severely disrupted both inbound and outbound international travel so now is the time for South African schools to embrace local school field trips. The disruption in international travel presents South African schools, educators and parents with a perfect opportunity to expose our youth to South Africa’s most significant global asset – its biodiversity and natural heritage.
The benefits of field trips and associated experiential learning can be life-changing. Learners have limited opportunities for field trips and putting trips on hold for a year could result in a missed growth opportunity that may never be possible to catch-up. Crucial life skills that come from the experiential learning may be missed and the consequences never appreciated.
Nature, the outdoors and authentic cultural experiences are the perfect learning environment. Link this to the fact that unless we instil a reverence in our youth for nature, biodiversity and cultural diversity then, as humanity, we are doomed. As parents and educators, we need to embrace nature and cultural-based field trips to the fullest extent.
African Insight Academy has over 24 years of experience in providing experiential learning through authentic nature and cultural field trips for both academic and personal development outcomes. All our academic field trip programmes meet British Standards Institute BS8848 health and safety standards, which are specifically designed for managing risks for adventure travel.
Please click here to find out more and download an overview of our South African School Field Trip programme.