Geography trips to South Africa take students to one of the most bio-diverse regions in the world, in a setting of stunning rock formations, such as Table Mountain and Blyde River Canyon. South Africa is home to some of the world’s most unique wild animals and stunning flora, which students will be able to witness in Kruger National Park and Kirstenbosch (one of eight National Botanical Gardens). Going on geography trips
to South Africa is both enriching and unforgettable for young learners.
Kirstenbosch was founded in 1913 to preserve the unique flora of South Africa, and with a few minor exceptions, it only cultivates indigenous species. Its outdoor area is mainly dedicated to flora native to the Cape region, including a collection of the famous protea family. In a large conservatory it grows plants from other South African biomes, including savannah, fynbos and karoo. Kirstenbosch gives students on geography trips a valuable opportunity to study the remarkable diversity of South African flora up-close. The gardens are located on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain, with several walking trails leading from the gardens up the sides of the mountain.
The iconic flat-topped Table Mountain overlooking the city of Cape Town is familiar to many people. Its smooth top is Ordovician quartzitic sandstone (commonly known as Table Mountain Sandstone), a form of rock that is highly resistant to erosion. Its shape encourages the formation of orographic clouds on its top that resemble a tablecloth. Bio-diversity on Table Mountain is remarkably high, with an estimated 2,200 flora species confined to the mountain. Many of these are threatened. The mountain is also notable for being the only terrestrial feature to give its name to a constellation: Mensa (‘The Table’) below Orion in the southern hemisphere. The unique landscape of Table Mountain is an excellent case study on geography trips to South Africa, as well as a stunning sight that will awe every student.
Blyde River Canyon
Another striking natural feature of South Africa is Blyde River Canyon. Carved into predominantly red sandstone, it is one of the largest canyons in the world, and may be the largest ‘green canyon’ due to the subtropical forest covering its slopes. It supports a diverse array of mammal, bird, fish and plant life. It makes another top destination for geography trips, demonstrating the breadth and beauty of biomes in South Africa.
Kruger National Park
One of the largest game reserves on the continent, Kruger National Park is an opportunity for students to see some of Africa’s most famous wildlife in a vast natural habitat. In addition to sighting the ‘Big Five’, students can see the different regions of plant life within the park: thorn trees and red bush-willow veld, knob-thorn and marula veld, red bush-willow and mopane veld, and shrub mopane veld.