Five 2020 Matric Learners Set to Explore the Jewel of the Overberg 

by CapeNature

Five 2020 Matric learners have just been afforded the opportunity to explore the unforgettable De Hoop Nature Reserve in the Western Cape in the company of world-renowned adventurer Riaan Manser. These five matriculants; Jama Paliso, Hannah Chetty, Abdullah Seedat, Silondukhule Nquma and Lucy can der Meulen were the runners up in a campaign that saw five other students join Manser on a once in a lifetime educational adventure in the “Matrics in Antarctica Project” (see for more details) in which CapeNature is a proud collaborator.

The students get the chance to discover one of South Africa’s most unique biodiversity reserves firsthand. They will get to do this alongside explorer Riaan Manser and a team of educators, passionate about the environment. This unique reserve is home to the most threatened and smallest Cape Floral Kingdom as well as 260 bird species.

The endangered Cape Vulture

The learners will embark on an adventure characterised by learning and exploration when they immerse themselves in the natural beauty of De Hoop Nature Reserve. Situated in the Overberg in the Western Cape, De Hoop Nature Reserve is an area rich in biodiversity and boasts a pristine coastline where whales are often spotted during the annual whale season from June to December.

Some of the stunning views that the group can look forward to

Guided by a CapeNature official, visits to Potberg and Koppie Alleen will form part of their itinerary. Completing the group are facilitators from the University of the Western Cape, Stellenbosch University, Windermere High School and Zirildapark Primary School.  The learners will study the plethora of fynbos, hike up Potberg Mountain, swim in the pristine Indian Ocean and end their days stargazing. The learners will also participate in important discussions focused on the environmental crises facing the globe.

Potberg Mountain

“There is an ocean between saying and doing.”, is one of Manser’s well-known sayings. He is asking the youth to take proactive action, aiming for results instead of never-ending debates. “We have enough activists; we don’t need anymore. We need the gutsy doers. The ones that get the job done and deliver results.”, says Manser.

The group will be led through daily activities and lectures, with the aim to not only educate, but to guide and mentor as well. This adventure will serve as a catalyst propelling these talented and passionate young adults to become ambassadors for the environment.

The De Hoop Nature Reserve educational adventure is made possible through a collective partnership between Riaan Manser, CapeNature Wesgro and The De Hoop Collection. It is indeed a unique experience, and this is indeed why Wesgro has come on board to support this youth development initiative and provide transport for the learners. The De Hoop Collection has reiterated that there is no better place to learn about our responsibility to our natural world and wildlife than in the majestic Overberg and will be treating the learners to a guided tour of the natural beauty within the reserve followed by a luncheon.

Some of the biodiversity on offer at De Hoop

During 2021 Manser will embark on a CapeNature tour to visit and share his experiences at the different offerings, showcasing from the awe-inspiring Kogelberg to the ruggedness of the West Coast.

CapeNature CEO, Dr Razeena Omar concludes “We look forward to welcoming these young and eager minds to one of the Western Cape’s most unique and diverse nature locations. De Hoop Nature Reserve is one of the largest Marine Protected Areas in Africa. This partnership with ‘Matrics in Antarctica’ is an incredible opportunity to expose youth to the significance of the habitats and natural contrasts of special ecological interest waiting to be discovered along the Potberg Mountain with its colourful fynbos, and coastal cliffs hugging the shoreline.”

Follow the matrics journey through De Hoop Nature Reserve on social media, by looking out for the hashtag #MatricsInDeHoop.


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