The National Zoo runs various programmes emphasising the value of a healthy environment to build a prosperous South Africa.

The NZG increases learners’ awareness of life science, biodiversity and its conservation via dynamic and interactive learning opportunities. These structured learning and teaching programmes are aligned with the National Curriculum Statement and the educational levels of participants. Some of these are available daily to visiting schools, while other (called themed lessons) are facilitated during certain times of the year only. Lessons are also facilitated during science festivals.

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School programmes

The NZG’s daily lessons are facilitated to school groups visiting the zoo from Mondays to Fridays. Schools are encouraged to book for these lessons, but many schools arrive unannounced.

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Youth courses

This 4-day course is presented to learners in Grades 7 – 12. This activity-filled course introduces learners to the wider field of nature conservation

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The purpose of the Animal Collections and Conservation Department is to oversee all management and husbandry aspects relating to the animal collections of the NZG, and to promote and conduct conservation activities that focus on population sustainability in ex situ as well as in situ environments.

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On having completed the Junior Nature Conservators course, children are invited to join the ZooClub. This is a life science club which offers a variety of activities and projects to create a better understanding of nature and the environment as well as exposing members to career choices.

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Adopt an animal

Have you ever wanted to own your very own wild animal? Well here is your chance – adopt an animal of your choice at the NZG and be their proud parent for a year.

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Elephant seal

Elephant Seals can hold their breath for up TWO HOURS! But how? Well, seals have more blood in their bodies than any other animal and, since oxygen is stored and carried around the body in blood, it allows them to hold their breath for an extra long time.