There are lots of wonderful natural places in the KZN Midlands, but not everyone is able to visit them and many children develop problems linked to their separation from nature.  Latest research demonstrates that when children have hands-on experiences with nature, they reap huge benefits – including improved self-esteem, enhanced brain development, higher levels of curiosity and creativity, and of course, a sense of caring for and connectedness to the community and the environment.

Midlands Conservanices Forum (MCF) believes that in order to protect precious eco-systems and the goods and services that they provide to society, it is important to educate and inspire learners to understand and value them.  Rather than reinventing the wheel, MCF partner with the Midlands Meander Association Education Project (MMAEP) and the KZN Crane Foundation (KZNCF) to strengthen environmental learning in the region. 

Through our wide network, we are often able to connect worthy individuals to learning opportunities, bursaries and sponsorships which support our aims.  We intend that limited resources are used to build capacity where it is most likely to succeed.

Wilderness Experiences


Through exposure to our wetland, grassland and forest ecosystems, learners are better able to understand the threats facing biodiversity in the KZN Midlands. One component of the MCF education programme is ‘Wilderness Experience’ where senior students spend a few days exploring a natural environment.  There is much evidence to support the fact that this sort of immersion experience has far reaching effects in fuelling a passion for the environment in young people as well as giving them exposure to environmental concepts in nature that strengthen their studies and understanding in the class room.


To assist educators to fulfil their commitment to excellent teaching and learning MCF helps arrange fieldtrips to support the curriculum.  In collaboration with Midlands Meander Association Education Project and KZN Crane Foundation, the Midlands Conservancies Forum encourages each member Conservancy to arrange an excursion for a school within their Conservancy to an area nearby.  These fieldtrips focus on Midlands biomes of grasslands, forests, wetlands and rivers.  Educator, Antonia Mkhabela, said “It is wonderful to observe learners applying the knowledge they have gained in class. Now they have the full meaning of what they have learnt.” 

Read about MCF work with Midlands’ learners on our blog:

N3 Toll Concession, through their Touching Lives Programme, funds these projects.