The Cape Leopard Trust runs camps in the Cederberg Mountains of the Western Cape for children aged 10 to 18. Depending on the nature of the group, different themes will be explored, including biodiversity, leopard biology, animal tracking, geology, rock art, astronomy and survival skills.
For older students, we look at current issues such as human-wildlife conflict, the role of tourism in conservation and the value of research. All camps have an underlying goal, which is that young people develop an understanding of and connection with the wilderness. We use a combination of adventure, art and science to this end.
About the camps
The Cape Leopard Trust environmental camps are suitable for anyone 10 years and up, providing accommodation, educational experiences, research and art materials, as well as organised excursions to local places of interest. The Cederberg and the Cape Leopard Trust's research are rich sources of educational material and lend themselves to experiential learning.
A wide variety of topics can be explored and camp programmes are unique to each group, depending on their age, needs and interests. Themes are explored using a variety of methods, including observation exercises, scientific surveys and art. Physical and emotional challenges are met through activities such as hiking and sleeping out in the wild.
We aim to give the participants an experience that is stimulating on all levels and ultimately gives them a sense of connection with and understanding of wilderness. Some of the potential camp themes include:
- Animals of the Western Cape
- Leopard and caracal research
- Black eagle research
- Human-wildlife conflict
- Animal tracking
- Rock art and archaeology
- Fynbos and Karoo biomes
- Birds and insects – pollination
- Reptiles and scorpions
- Fossil hunting
- Survival and navigation skills
- Art, writing and photography (must provide own cameras)
- Life skills and self-development
To download a copy of the environmental education brochure, click here.
The Cape Leopard Trust environmental campsite has been set up on the Matjiesrivier Nature Reserve in the heart of the Cederberg, with the support of CapeNature, for the express purpose of holding environmental camps.
It is situated in the shade of a poplar grove, with a cliff behind it and a river in front. The design of the campsite itself is an educational experience with dry toilets (Enviro-loos) and bucket showers, bringing awareness to water usage. Other facilities include:
- gas burners (no oven);
- fridge/freezer and large cooler box;
- cooking equipment (pots, bread board, salad bowls, jug, sharp knives, serving utensils)
- biodegradable dishwashing liquid;
- a braai area with braai grids and tongs;
- Toilets (we supply toilet paper)
- Hot showers (we supply biodegradable body wash)
- Tents (3-man safari style dome tents)
Lights are run off a solar panel in the campsite. We also provide a first aid kit and our environmental educators are trained in First Aid.
For directions to the campsite, click here.
Camp logistics and costs
This section looks at what is provided and what needs to be brought along for the camp. Costs of the educational experience are also discussed.
The Cape Leopard Trust provides the following at all of the camps:
- Self-catering camping accommodation at the Cape Leopard Trust campsite
- Presentations, learning experiences, guided excursions
- Research and art equipment and instruction
Groups must provide their own:
- Eating utensils
- Supervision in campsite and on outings
- Transport (Cape Leopard Trust 20-seater bus is available upon request at a cost of R4500)
Camp costs are subsidised by the Trust in order to reach all members of society. We are in a position to offer a number of fully sponsored camps per year to disadvantaged community schools, subject to donor funding being available. Rates are calculated as a daily fee per person. In addition the reserve applies a per person levy for the use of the reserve and its facilities.
Fees are as follows:
- 10-15 participants R150 per person/day
- 16-25 participants R130 per person/day
- 25+ participants R110 per person/day
Teachers and assistants: Three adult supervisors compulsory for camp supervision free of charge. Additional assistants at normal daily rate. All supervisors do need to pay Matjiesriver Reserve Fee.
Matjiesriver Reserve Cape Nature Entry fee: R30 per person
Hiking permit for Wolfberg Cracks: R50
If you would like to sponsor a rural child to attend a camp as a community outreach initiative, please let us know.
The National Lottery Distribution Trust has sponsored a 20-seater bus to the Cape Leopard Trust. This bus is available to assist with transport at a minimal rate. To read the story of the bus, click here.
Articles and feedback
The Cape Leopard Trust Education Programme has seen some remarkable stories emerge since its inception in 2009. To read some of the articles written on the various camps or to see feedback from camp participants, click here.
This section covers everything you need to know about the Cape Leopard Trust camps. Please click on the links below to download the forms required.