The Environmental School

Our Environmental School provides accommodation for groups of learners and teachers so that they are able to stay overnight in a typical bush area. The training is tailored to the activities, needs and challenges of the communities in this area and covers the following themes:

  • Soil and vegetation
  • Soil erosion/ pollution control
  • Water conservation
  • Perma gardening
  • Relationship with animals, plants and birdlife
  • Anti-poaching ( to combat the ever present rhino poaching crisis)


The school grants bursaries to promising and motivated learners to further their education in nature conservation at the Southern African Wildlife College or at the SA College for Tourism in Graaff Reinet.


The original Bush School was initially started to benefit the children of staff within the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve. It has now expanded into a broader based community activity that involves many High Schools and an ever growing number of Primary Schools.

The school now falls under the Timbavati Foundation and has been re-named The Timbavati Foundation Environmental School.

The programme runs from January to December and the pupils get to spend a few nights at the Environmental School to ensure that the lessons are experiential.

The new school features a fully equipped lecture room and expanded accommodation for future students. In fact, the new facility can sleep 24 students vs the old school’s 8. The students are split into 3 rooms, sleeping 4 per room. There is also staff accommodation as well as volunteer accommodation. This will mean no more driving backwards and forwards between Chimanimani and the current school allowing for a considerable saving in travelling expenses. A fully equipped hospitality department runs an efficient kitchen and dining area, and prepares all meals including packed meals for field trips. By increasing the number of students in nature conservation, we are more optimistic that we can help spread the word about the value of conservation in the local communities. We are extremely grateful for the generosity of the Leadwood Trust, the de Villiers family, our Trustees, supporters and businesses who help us in so many ways. Their on – going support is vital to our conservation efforts.

Also, in collaboration with Southern African Wildlife college and the Kruger National Park, learners from the 3 top performing schools are sponsored for a 3 day environmental educational trip to the Pretoriuskop restcamp in the Kruger National Park.

Good reasons to fund the Timbavati Foundation’s Environmental School Project

  • There are few NGOs and/ or non-profit trusts that provide direct service delivery within mainstream schooling in the region but we have a model of service delivery that is welcomed by all tiers of education – the learners, the educators, the governing bodies and the Department of Education. 
  • Good cooperation and trust building with local schools in the Acornhoek area
  • All funds go directly to the beneficiaries on the ground. The funds requested are only for direct project related costs.
  • Human and financial resources are used in the most beneficial way to achieve the intended goal.