Member Programs in Action

National Zoological Gardens of South Africa

Pretoria, South Africa

The National Zoological Gardens is a National Research Facility of South Africa’s National Research Foundation. Its headquarters are in Pretoria, but it also manages the Emerald Animal World in Vanderbijlpark as well as the Game Breeding Centers in Lichtenburg and Mokopane. Not only does the Zoo conduct a variety of research programs, but also aims to:

• Educate and inform people about the Earth’s bewildering diversity of life and to encourage them to live environmentally friendly and sustainable lifestyles.
• Make the public aware of the advantages of scientific knowledge and to encourage youth to follow a career in the natural and life sciences.

The National Zoological Gardens is a popular destination for schools and higher education institutions: over 200,000 students attend educational programs annually. Various programs are offered based on the curriculum of the particular institution. In addition, regular workshops are conducted for educators and teachers.

One program offered by the zoo is the ZooMobile Outreach Program, a vehicle equipped with a variety of educational material such as skulls, horns, skins, feathers, shells, posters and even some small live animals. These informative programs are offered at schools, community gatherings, birthday parties and corporate functions.

Another program offered by the zoo is the week-long Junior Nature Conservators Course. After successful completion of the program, students may join our ZooClub. This club meets regularly, giving children the opportunity to assist our staff with their duties. Various outings are also scheduled to expose children to career opportunities.

For young adults, the zoo offers the ZooPartner Project. This leadership program allows students to broaden their skills and experiences before entering the job marke.

For zoo visitors, guided tours are offered in the evening. These informative tours are great fun for the young and the young-at-heart.

The National Zoological Gardens offers a number of informal courses which educate and inform participants in a relaxed yet successful way. Various courses for children occur mainly during school holidays, while self-enrichment courses for adults occur in the evenings or over weekends.

A visit to the National Zoological Gardens is like taking a tour around the globe. Mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and even plants from all over the world may be seen during one day’s visit. Information on various aspects of life on Earth is provided by means of information boards, interactive displays and talks by staff. In this way, we are: Bringing Knowledge to Life.’