Nature education for primary and secondary groups

Using the forest as a classroom, we provide primary and secondary nature education programmes.

Choose Ebony Forest for your school outing because of our:
• Curricula-related activities – history, science, geography – delivered in English or French
• Professional educators
• Interactive and fun activities that bring learning to life
• Ecology Centre with two classrooms
• Natural History Museum
• Tailor-made package for schools – tell us your requirements and we will do our best to deliver a package to suit you and your pupils

Our education goals are to:
• Rewild and reconnect children to nature
• Get children engaged and actively participating in wildlife conservation
• Inspire children to learn and shine through authentic experiences in nature, becoming active global citizens for a sustainable future.

 

Our outdoor learning opportunities cover a range of subjects and we are happy to discuss your requirements. We also provide teacher training.

Primary Children Planting - Ebony Forest - Mauritius

Why exposing children to nature is so important?

Today children can spend more than 8 hours a day on electronic gadgets.

Obesity and attention-deficit disorders are on the rise. Numerous studies have shown the health benefits to children and adults who are exposed to nature and the outdoors:

• encourages physical activity, healthy development and overall well-being;
• builds self-confidence and a sense of adventure;
• enhances creativity, focus, and problem solving abilities;
• improves social skills, cooperation and self-esteem; and
• reduces the risk of being overweight.

 

Quite simply, people that spend more time outdoors tend to be healthier and happier!!!

Primary School Forest Education

Reconnect children with nature and learn about Mauritian history, geography, and biology.

Join us for a great way to expose your young learners (6-9 years old) to the forest and outdoors. Select from a range of fun and informative activities below. This list is not exhaustive and so if you are an eco-school or would like a tailor-made activity, contact us.

 

These activities are led by our educators and are designed to motivate children to discover (or re-discover) the forest and to become future eco-responsible citizens.

School Children in Plant Nursery - Ebony Forest - Mauritius

The Activities

NATURE TREASURE HUNT

Duration:

30 mins

 

About:

Children will work in teams to follow riddles to discover the forest and learn about native and non-native plants and animals.

PLANTING / SEED SOWING / PLANT NURSERY ACTIVITIES

Duration:

30 mins each

 

About:

Besides helping to contribute to saving endangered trees, children learn what seeds need to germinate and plants need to grow, as well as how they can become future conservationists.

NATIVE AND ENDEMIC FLORA AND FAUNA CHALLENGE

Duration:

20-30 mins

 

About:

Discover why some species are good for healthy forests and others are bad and how did they get to Mauritius. Do you know where Chinese guava comes from or why a plant is called bois balais? Children will also learn how to identify native birds and what the shape of their beak can tell us.

HISTORY AND GEOGRAPHY QUEST

Duration:

20 mins

 

About:

Working in teams, children will search for clues in our Natural History Museum and to unravel the history of Mauritius and the creation of the island’s forests. The quiz and 6-8 minute film are available in English or French.

WHAT PLANT AM I?

Duration:

20 mins

 

About:

Using plant identification keys, children will learn to observe and identify different leaf shapes to name and find common native trees.

The Frequently Asked Questions

SUITABLE FOR

Children aged from 6 – 9 years old. The Shop, Restaurant, Museum, Ecology Centre and Toilets are wheel-chair accessible. If you need assistance, please contact us for advice.

DURATION

1.5 – 2 hours. For longer programmes or if you would like to do something else please contact us.

EDUCATOR-CHILD RATIO

1 educator per maximum 30 children. If you are visiting with more than 30 children, please divide them into smaller groups.

LINKS TO CURRICULUM SUBJECTS

Science, geography, history, maths, literacy.

LEARNING OUTCOMES

Teamwork, observation skills, identify different plants and animals and use a key, sow seeds or plant, know the needs of plants.

FACILITIES ON SITE

Ecology Centre with two classrooms, Natural History Museum, toilets, shop, restaurant, native plant nursery.

LANGUAGE

Educators are fluent in English, French and Creole. The museum, signage and questionnaire text are in both English and French.

LUNCH OPTIONS

Rs 170 per child for a juice + small pizza + a piece of fruit. Offer available only to school groups and not individuals. Please book in advance.

FOOD AND BEVERAGES

Children can eat on site by either buying the school lunch for Rs 170 or other restaurant food, or bringing their own food.

 

If you would like to bring your own food to Ebony Forest, please inform us in advance. Ice cream and some snacks are available for purchase in our Shop.

 

As part of our commitment to protecting the environment, we do not sell drinks in plastic bottles. Children can fill up their water bottle from our filtered water fountain located in our Shop.

BOOKING

Booking is necessary.

Call (460 3030 / 3031) or email info@ebonyforest.com

BUYING YOUR TICKET

Once booked, you can purchase your tickets either online or when you visit.

RATE

Rs80 per child, Rs80 per adult (non-teacher). Teachers are free, conditions apply.

WHAT TO BRING?

A drink, sun cream, mosquito repellent, camera.

WHAT TO WEAR?

Trainers or comfortable shoes, cap, comfortable clothes, raincoat.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Children should keep personal belongings with them at all times or in the school bus.

TEACHER INVOLVEMENT

Teachers and adults accompanying the group are expected to be responsible for their students and may be asked to participate in some of the activities.

TRANSPORT TO EBONY

Please note that the Seven Coloured Earth do not allow 60-seater buses past the gate. It is 3.2 km from the gate to Ebony Forest Visitor Centre. Call us for advice.

WEATHER

If you are worried about the weather, please call to know whether it is raining or likely to rain at Ebony Forest. During rainy weather, activities can be done in our Museum and Ecology Centre.

PARKING

Available for cars, mini-buses and coasters. Please note that 60-seater buses are not allowed past the Seven Coloured Earth gate.

Secondary School Forest Education

Inspire, empower and give students the skills to protect nature

We want to inspire your pupils to be the conservationists and environmental champions of the future, as well as simply appreciating how fantastic the Island’s native wildlife and landscapes are. Select from a wide variety of activities how you wish your students to spend their time at Ebony Forest. If your students have particular projects on nature, forests, climate change, community engagement, sustainability or tourism, contact us to find out more how we can help.

 

School visits includes:
• Access to the Natural History Museum and Ecology Centre
• Film in English (6 mins) or French (8 mins) about the island’s wildlife
• Guidance from our experienced educators
• Opportunity to bring your picnic or buy lunch at a discounted rate

School Children in Museum - Ebony Forest - Mauritius

The Activities

FOREST HIKE

Duration:

30 mins – 1 hour

 

About:

Students are guided through the forest restoration sites to discover why we weed non-native vegetation and the importance of planting native species. They will learn to distinguish between native and non-native forest, the extent of forest loss in Mauritius and what they can do to help protect wildlife. On the Flycatcher raised walkway, they will discover the indigenous flora and fauna and witness an ebony forest.

Duration:

30 mins – 1 hour

 

Treasure Hunt:

Working in teams, students will have to follow clues related to the forest and use GPSes and compasses to find the treasure. The winning team takes home a prize!

BIOLOGICAL SURVEYS

Duration:

1-2 hours

 

About:

One of the best ways to learn about your surroundings is to conduct surveys of the plants, invertebrates, birds, reptiles, and the environment. Discover what techniques ecologists and scientists use to identify the species present and learn about abiotic factors such as the soil quality. We teach basic or more detailed techniques, just tell us your requirements. Students can learn to use a wide variety of tools such as Global Positioning Systems (GPS), compasses, quadrats, pooters, binoculars. Let us know what type of survey technique you are interested in and we will send you more details.

 

This session is designed to encourage students to make observations, record data and present their results. Why not take the data collected back to school and try some surveys there? You could compare the insect diversity of a native forest to your playground?

PLANTING / SEED SOWING / PLANT NURSERY ACTIVITIES

Duration:

30 mins – 1 hour or more

 

About:

Besides helping to save endangered trees, students learn what seeds need to germinate and plants need to grow, as well as how they can become future conservationists. These activities are a great way for your school to contribute to making Mauritius a greener and better place for wildlife.

NATIVE AND ENDEMIC FLORA AND FAUNA CHALLENGE

Duration:

20-30 mins

 

About:

Learn about the difference between native, non-native and endemic species and how they affect the food chains and ecosystems.

SEEDS AND BEAKS

Duration:

20-30 mins

 

About:

Explore how seeds are packaged in fruit or adapted to the wind or water, and how birds’ beaks have adapted to eat different foods. Using analytical thinking, students will have to identify different food chains.

HISTORY AND GEOGRAPHY QUEST

Duration:

20 mins

 

About:

Working in teams, students need to search for clues in our Natural History Museum. They will unravel the history of Mauritius and the creation of the island’s forests and wildlife. The quiz and 6-8 minute film are available in English or French.

INVASIVE PLANTS AND WEEDING

Duration:

30 mins – 1 hour or more

 

About:

Discover how invasive plants are one of the greatest threats to the remaining native flora. Students will learn to identify native and exotic plants, the consequences of competition from invasive plants and participate in weeding an area. This is an ideal activity for eco-schools and those wishing to help native biodiversity.

WHAT PLANT AM I?

Duration:

20 mins

 

About:

Using plant identification keys, students will find different species based on their leaf shape, plant form and fruits/seeds. They will learn about why plants adopt different reproductive strategies and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each. This exercise is a great way to discover species and learn through a process of deduction and clues.

The Frequently Asked Questions

SUITABLE FOR

Children aged from 10 – 18 years old. The Shop, Restaurant, Natural History Museum, Ecology Centre and Toilets are wheel-chair accessible. If you need assistance, please contact us for advice.

DURATION

2 hours or more. Simply let us know what you would like to learn and how much time you have.

EDUCATOR-CHILD RATIO

1 educator per maximum 30 children. If you are visiting with more than 30 children, please divide them into smaller groups.

LINKS TO CURRICULUM SUBJECTS

Science, geography, history, mathematics, literacy, physical exercise.

LEARNING OUTCOMES

Teamwork, observation skills, animal and plant identification, seed sowing, planting, nursery activities, ecological techniques, basic conservation knowledge, orienteering and more.

FACILITIES ON SITE

Ecology Centre with two classrooms, Natural History Museum, toilets, shop, restaurant, native plant nursery.

LANGUAGE

Educators are fluent in English, French and Creole. The museum, film and questionnaire text are in both English and French.

LUNCH OPTIONS

Rs 170 per child for a juice + small pizza + a piece of fruit. Offer available only to school groups and not individuals. Please book in advance.

FOOD AND BEVERAGES

Children can eat on site by either buying the school lunch for Rs 170 or other restaurant food, or bringing their own food.

 

If you would like to bring your food to Ebony Forest, please inform us in advance. Ice cream and some snacks are available for purchase in our Shop.

 

As part of our commitment to protecting the environment, we do not sell drinks in plastic bottles. Children can fill up their water bottle from our filtered water fountain located in our Shop.

BOOKING

Booking is necessary.

Call (460 3030 / 3031) or email info@ebonyforest.com

BUYING YOUR TICKET

Once booked, you can purchase your tickets either online or when you visit.

RATE

Rs80 per child, Rs80 per adult (non-teacher). Teachers are free, conditions apply.

WHAT TO BRING?

A drink, sun cream, mosquito repellent, camera.

WHAT TO WEAR?

Trainers or comfortable shoes, cap, comfortable clothes, raincoat.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Children should keep personal belongings with them at all times or in the school bus.

TEACHER INVOLVEMENT

Teachers and adults accompanying the group are expected to be responsible for their students and may be asked to participate in some of the activities.

TRANSPORT TO EBONY

Please note that the Seven Coloured Earth do not allow 60-seater buses past the gate. It is 3.2 km from the gate to Ebony Forest Visitor Centre. Call us for advice.

WEATHER

If you are worried about the weather, please call to know whether it is raining or likely to rain at Ebony Forest. During rainy weather, activities can be done in our Museum and Ecology Centre.

PARKING

Available for cars, mini-buses and coasters. Please note that 60-seater buses are not allowed past the Seven Coloured Earth gate.

Small acts

of Kindness can
go a long way

CONTACT EBONY FOREST TO FIND OUT HOW TO DONATE, AND MAKE A DIFFERENCE TO OUR MAURITIAN WILDLIFE…