In celebration of National Arbour Week and Tourism Month in South Africa, Green Corridors’ Amatata Adventures, planted indigenous trees at Maphephetha Secondary School in Maphepetheni.
Owned and run by local qualified nature guide Mlungisi Mthembu, Amatata Adventures takes hiking and camping tours in the area and also works closely with local schools on environmental education and tourism awareness programmes.
“A number of learners from the school, studying tourism for matric, have had work experience opportunities at my site,” explains Mthembu. “There is of course the vital link between nature and tourism in South Africa, and we were pleased to be able to give these learners an opportunity to witness this for themselves. It is important that as part of our ongoing environment education, that we demonstrate to the youth how important our natural habitat is. So we asked if we could plant some indigenous trees in the school ground, to give them the chance to grow something of their own as part of Arbour Week and Tourism Month.”
At the planting, Mthembu spent some time explaining to the learners studying tourism of the importance of keeping indigenous plants, and looking after the natural habitat that makes up this breathtaking part of Durban in the mountainous area north of Inanda Dam.
Five trees were planted -White Stinkwood, Coral Tree, Natal Mahogany, Cheesewood and a Oldwood. “We planted these because they are indigenous, relatively fast growers with the Mahogany offering some excellent shade for the learners.”
Amatata has options of two hiking trails for nature lovers, birders and adventurers, is a beautiful place for picnics and overnight camping with Green Corridors’ Pop Up Camps, and Mlu who lives and grew up in the area and is well-known to the local community.
“I am passionate about caring for our natural environment and to educate people and help preserve it for future generations,” he says. “I am determined to demonstrate to both my local community and visitors that rural tourism has a positive impact on communities. Planting these trees is one small drop in the ocean in environment education, but it’s a start.”