Citizen science in the Western Cape
Join us for a weekend of river exploration and conservation action in the breathtaking Bain’s Kloof mountains! Snorkel in crystal clear fynbos streams and meet the curious, fishy inhabitants that have swum these rivers for millennia.
Teachers – this is an ideal opportunity to engage your students in
hands-on science in an idyllic natural environment!
Bain’s Kloof, Western Cape, South Africa
Organise a group from your school and embark on this wonderful weekend adventure!
Select dates 1st & 4th terms – please enquire
Research hours to use toward school service requirements
This is an opportunity to be exposed to the wonders and values of river ecosystems at the same time as participating in hands-on citizen science that makes a real contribution to conservation.
Contribute to ongoing research by participating in snorkel surveys, fish counts and river health assessments. Get involved in the entire scientific process (from sampling to uploading results to a national online database) and contribute valuable and reliable information that can be used by managers to better conserve our precious river ecosystems.
This experience can be designed to complement school curricula and projects at the same time as equipping you with the skills and know-how to become an active citizen scientist within your own community.
Build an awareness of the importance of collecting data to tackle real-world conservation issues. You will be working on the Witte River, which is considered one of the last stretches of “pristine” foothill rivers in the Cape and is home to an incredible array of freshwater life. However, this ecosystem is invaded by both alien fish and plants.
Conservationists from organisations like Cape Nature are hard at work to restore and maintain this river for generations to come. The data you collect will feed directly into ongoing, collaborative conservation efforts that aim to manage this vital river ecosystem for both nature and people.
Slip on a mask and snorkel and discover a world hidden from view. A growing global movement, river snorkelling offers the opportunity to immerse yourself in crystal clear mountain streams and meet creatures you would never otherwise encounter. This is a highlight of the Bain’s Kloof experience and on this camp you can be a part of pioneering river snorkelling in South Africa!
Local hikes, bird walks, sunsets and campfires are all part of the experience, allowing you to immerse yourself in a beautiful wilderness adventure.
The Cape Floristic Region is one of the most biodiverse regions in the world and although well known for its gorgeous fynbos plants, far fewer people know about the hidden heroes of the Cape: the unique freshwater fish that humbly swim the cool, dark rivers.
Jump in and you will find Redfins Minnows (so called for their bright red pectoral fins), the curious Cape Kurper and if you are lucky, you might encounter the illusive Longfin Eel. Along with the fish, the Witte River is home to frogs, crabs and an abundance of fascinating freshwater invertebrates; the secret keepers of the river’s health.
You will be staying at beautiful McBains, with its rustic but comfortable cabins and rooms at the top of a mountain pass. There is a large communal kitchen, common areas with amazing views and even a rustic hot tub! There is plenty of space for unwinding at the end of the day.
All healthy, hearty meals are provided.
OBJECTIVES & IMPACT
Youth 4 Conservation partners with Living Labs, the education outreach programme of the Freshwater Research Centre. The FRC is a non-profit organisation that undertakes collaborative research in order to inform effective management, conservation and rehabilitation of freshwater ecosystems in Southern Africa.
Collaborating with Living Labs provides an ideal opportunity to connect young people with nature, encouraging then to actively engage in freshwater research and understand their relationship to river systems. On the one hand, the programme exposes young people to the wonders of our natural world, and on the other, it facilitates hands-on research that directly contributes to a national database to inform river management.
Photos courtesy of Jeremy Shelton (IG: @livinglabsza)