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Struik Nature

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Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Join the Authors of Freshwater Life for an Interactive Book Launch at Intaka Island Eco Centre

Invitation to the launch of Freshwater Life

Freshwater LifeStruik Nature is pleased to invite you to the launch of Freshwater Life by Charles Griffiths, Jenny Day and Mike Picker.

Freshwater Life is a comprehensive field-guide to the plants and animals of Southern Africa – the first of its kind – and describes the ecology of more than 1 000 freshwater organisms.

Join the authors for a presentation about their book on Wednesday, 11 November, at 5:30 for 6 PM. The event will take place at the Intaka Island Eco Centre in Cape Town. Come and be bedazzled by a “live feed” microscope revealing freshwater life that most people will never see in their entire lives.

Don’t miss it!

Event Details


Book Details

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Join Gavin Whitfield for the Launch of 50 Must-see Geological Sites in South Africa at the DITSONG Military Museum

Invitation to the Launch of 50 Must-see Geological Sites in South Africa

50 Must-see Geological Sites in South AfricaPenguin Random House invites you to the launch of 50 Must-see Geological Sites in South Africa by Gavin Whitfield.

South Africa has just about the richest geological heritage on the planet. Join Whitfield as he takes us on a journey through South Africa’s top geological sites.

The event will take place at the DITSONG Military Museum in Saxonwold, next to the Johannesburg Zoo, on 28 October.

See you there!

Event Details

Book Details

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Everything You Need to Know About the 2015-2016 Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concerts

The Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concerts are an annual opportunity to enjoy some of the best of South African music in the country’s most beautiful concert venue.

Highlights this year include Mango Groove, the Rotary Carols, the New Year’s Eve party with Grassy Spark and Jeremy Loops, and the Cape Town Folk ‘n Acoustic Music Festival in February.

Tickets cost between R110 and R175 for adults. There is a concession for people younger than 21, who pay only R80 and R140. Tickets for the Rotary Carols and the New Year’s Eve party are priced differently (details below). Tickets are sold by Webtickets.

Shows start between 5 and 5:30 PM, and gates open at 4 PM. Going early to secure a good picnic spot is a good idea. Going even earlier to enjoy the beautiful gardens before the music begins is a great idea!

Read all about the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens in these Struik Nature books:

KirstenboschKirstenboschAdventure Trails in KirstenboschKirstenbosch JournalKirstenbosch


Have a look at the exciting line up:
22 November 5:30 PM Freshlyground (youth: R110 / adult: R150)

29 November 5:30 PM Zonke Dikana (youth: R110 / adult: R150)

6 December 5:30 PM Arno Carstens (youth: R110 / adult: R150)

13 December 5:30 PM Mango Groove (youth: R110 / adult: R150)

17 December 5:30 PM Rotary Carols at Kirstenbosch (age 2-5: R20 / age 6-18: R65 / adult: R90)

18 – 20 December 5:30 PM Rotary Carols at Kirstenbosch (age 2-5: R25 / age 6-18: R75 / adult: R100)

27 December 5:30 PM Jimmy Nevis (youth: R110 / adult: R150)

31 December 7 PM New Year’s Eve Concert: Jeremy Loops and Grassy Spark (all: R330)

3 January 5:30 PM The Parlotones (youth: R140 / adult: R175)

10 January 5:30 PM Prime Circle (youth: R110 / adult: R150)

17 January 5:30 PM Karen Zoid and Francois van Coke (youth: R110 / adult: R150)

24 January 5:30 PM Mi Casa (youth: R110 / adult: R150)

31 January 5:30 PM The Soil (youth: R110 / adult: R150)

7 February 5 PM Cape Town Folk ‘n Acoustic Music Festival (youth: R110 / adult: R150)

14 February 5:15 PM Matthew Mole and Rubber Duc (youth: R110 / adult: R150)

21 February 5:30 PM Goldfish (youth: R110 / adult: R150)

28 February 5:30 PM The Cape Philharmonic Orchestra (youth: R110 / adult: R150)

6 March 5:15 PM Shortstraw and The Plastics (youth: R80 / adult: R110)

13 March 5:15 PM Al Bairre and Bye Beneco (youth: R80 / adult: R110)

20 March 5:15 PM Zebra & Giraffe and Monark (youth: R80 / adult: R110)

21 March 5:30 PM Fundraiser: Performer to be confirmed (TBA)

27 March 5:15 PM Beatenberg and John Wizards (youth: R110 / adult: R150)

3 April 5:15 PM December Streets and The Vanilla (youth: R80 / adult: R110)


Book details

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Join Margaret Roberts for a Tea Tasting and a Talk about Teas for Health and Vitality at Garden World

Tea: 60 teas to revitalise and restoreMargaret Roberts, author of Tea: 60 teas to revitalise and restore, and Sandy Roberts will be presenting a talk about teas, with the opportunity to taste delicious herb teas and restorative eats, at Garden World.

The event is taking place on Saturday, 22 August, at 9:30 for 10 AM. The cost is R130 per person, which includes tea, snacks and a goodie bag. There will be prize giveaways, and copies of Tea will be on sale.

Don’t miss it!

Event Details

  • Date: Saturday, 22 August 2015
  • Time: 9:30 AM for 10 AM
  • Venue: Garden World
    249 Beyers Naudé Drive
    Muldersdrift | Map
  • Speaker: Sandy Roberts
  • Refreshments: Tea and eats
  • Cover charge: R130
  • Bookings: Garden World, 011 957 2545 or 011 956 3003, 083 997 6142

Book Details

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Visit Any National Botanical Garden for Free on Nelson Mandela Day

The South African National Botanical Institute (SANBI) has made an open invitation to all South African citizens to visit any one of the nine national botanical gardens around the country for free on Saturday, 18 July, in commemoration of International Nelson Mandela Day.

Mandela was an avid gardener himself, and is often quoted saying that the small patch of earth he tended to while in prison offered him a taste of freedom. Nelson Mandela Day is celebrated on the day of his birth, challenging people all over the world to contribute 67 minutes of their time to the global movement for good.

In lieu of entrance fees, SANBI asks that visitors bring donations of sanitary pads or toiletries which will be distributed to underprivileged school girls.

Read the article for more information:

Entrance into the garden will be free on this day; however, we request donations of sanitary pads or toiletries. By donating a pack of sanitary pads or toiletries, visitors will be contributing towards restoring the dignity of underprivileged school girls who miss about 7 days a month of schooling to avoid accidental embarrassment.

Your contribution to this worthy course will contribute immensely in ensuring that we keep our girls at school.

Related link:

Struik Nature has published a wide variety of books on the fauna and flora you can expect to find in SANBI’s gardens as well as numerous books on Kirstenbosch, arguably the most famous of them all:

KirstenboschKirstenboschKirstenbosch JournalAdventure Trails in KirstenboschKirstenbosch


Book details

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Rocks, Dinosaurs and So Much More: Bring the Kids to Kirstenbosch for a Winter Wonders Programme

Cape Town, South Africa

KirstenboschLooking for activities to entertain the kids this holiday? Then why not take them to Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden for some winter warmer fun!

The Winter Wonders Programme is a family event especially designed with children under the age of 18 in mind. As an added bonus, for the duration of the winter school holidays, all under 18s receive free entry into the garden.

Join others at Kirstenbosch for an amazing experience and learn about plant species associated with the era of the dinosaurs as all events are based on the theme “Discover the Dinosaurs”.

The programme started on 29 June and will be running until 17 July.

One of the many highlights on the jam-packed programme is a special presentation by Box of Rocks author Nick Norman.

Box of RocksGeological Journeys

Join the well-known geologist, who is also the co-author of Geological Journeys, at the Botanical Society Bookshop at Kirstenbosch on Thursday, 9 July at 10 AM for a special show and tell introduction to Geology. Norman will be bringing samples of different rocks and promises to delight both kids and parents alike with his inexhaustible knowledge of all the rocks you might encounter in southern Africa.

Don’t miss this!

Box of Rocks

Have a look at the events poster for the Winter Wonder programme:

Kirstenbosch Winter Wonders Programme

Winter Wonders Programme


Book Details

Image courtesy of Daniel Sloan

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Don’t Miss Steve Johnson’s Talk, “The Sex Life of Plants” at the Durban Botanic Gardens

Orchids of South AfricaSteve Johnson, author of Orchids of South Africa, will be speaking at an event hosted by the Durban Botanic Gardens.

The topic of Johnson’s talk is “The sex life of plants.” The event will take place on Sunday, 26 July, at 3 PM at the Durban Botanic Gardens Visitors Centre.

Please note that it is essential to RSVP.

See you there!

Event Details


Book Details

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Don’t Miss the Kirstenbosch “Eat Your Garden” Plant Fair in Cape Town

Plant Festival 2015


KirstenboschField Guide to FynbosRestios of the FynbosExploring FynbosKirstenbosch

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is hosting the Plant Fair at The Stone Cottages on Kirstenbosch Drive on Saturday, 18 April, and Sunday, 19 April 2015.

The aim of this year’s fair is to highlight the role that indigenous plants can play in urban food gardening.

Don’t miss it!

Event Details

  • Date: Saturday, 18 April and Sunday, 19 April 2015
  • Time: 9 AM to 4 PM on Saturday and 9 AM to 1 PM on Sunday
  • Venue: The Stone Cottages
    Kirstenbosch Drive
    Newlands | Map
  • More details: Sarah, 021 671 5468

Read more about it:

Many indigenous plants can be grown as food plants, or used as herbs to flavour food. Indigenous plants also provide food for the birds and insects that are beneficial to food gardens, attracting pollinators and increasing diversity in urban gardens.

Book Details

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Busting Myths about Snakebite Deaths: Johan Marais Launches Snakes and Snakebite in Southern Africa

Johan Marais

On a high summer afternoon, high above the ground, a select group of lucky winners in the Struik Nature Club competition joined Johan Marais, South Africa’s most famous snake expert. The amble through the Kirstenbosch National Gardens to the “Boomslang” was a fabulous hour spent learning about snakes as well as an experience of the remarkable new aerial walkway that offers guests a staggering view of the peninsula.

Marais launched his book, Snakes and Snakebite in Southern Africa, at the Kirstenbosch Botanical Society Bookshop on 17 December 2014. The book is also available in Afrikaans as Slange and Slangbyt in Suider-Afrika.

Johan MaraisSnakes and Snakebite in Southern AfricaSlange and Slangbyt in Suider-AfrikaThose who attended the event got a taste of the contents of the book, as well as the delicious snake-shaped snacks! The author, an internationally respected herpetologist, shared fascinating information about the remarkable species of southern African snakes. In particular he highlighted the regrettable amount of misinformation that has been perpetuated for many years – and still continues to this day.

He emphasised that nobody really knows how many people are bitten in the region; but despite the bad rap that snakes have, the fear that many people have of them is irrational, as remarkably few people actually die of snakebites.

“Statistics for serious snakebites and snakebite deaths are hard to come by but about 7 000 people are bitten by snakes annually in the region,” he said. “Snakebite fatalities vary from year to year, with approximately 10 to 50 succumbing to death.” Marais said that more than 98 percent of snakebite victims who receive medical treatment survive their ordeal.

By contrast, in north Africa some 20 000 snakebite deaths occur annually, where the saw-scaled viper or carpet viper has a potent haemotoxic venom. The lack of antivenom and medical facilities are major factors, resulting in many fatalities.

In Southern Africa the Mozambique spitting cobra accounts for the majority of serious snakebites, followed by the puff adder and the stiletto snake. These species account for most serious snakebites, but the mortality rate is extremely low as the venoms are cytotoxic. “While these cause severe pain, local swelling and tissue damage, the majority of victims are treated successfully although some may lose limbs,” Marais said. “Stiletto snakes in southern Africa have not caused any known human deaths, but those further north into Africa have done.”

The Cape cobra has the most potent venom and, along with the black mamba, accounts for the most human fatalities. Information on snakebite deaths are hard to come by but totals around 12 to 24 or more deaths a year in Southern Africa. These snakes have predominantly neurotoxic venom that quickly affects breathing.

Struik Nature ClubThe black mamba is also the longest venomous snake in Africa. It used to reach 4.5 metres but now a specimen of 3.8 metres is rare. Because of its size it has a lot of venom, it bites readily and repeatedly. The venom absorbs rapidly and can paralyse the lungs within 20 minutes if the bite is serious.

“Although often described as aggressive, the black mamba is really shy. It is quick to escape if it has the option, but will not hesitate to strike if it cannot get away. Another problem is that because of its length it may bite quite high up in the chest region and such a bite would be far more severe than a bite on an extremity,” he said.

A severe untreated black mamba bite may kill a human in anything from four to 16 hours. In severe cases death could take place within an hour, but that is unusual.

As most South Africans love the outdoors, this book with its fascinating information should be a standard on all bookshelves. Simple icons, distribution maps and a fantastic array of colour photographs will help eager hikers and campers, to identify commonly encountered snakes easily.

A downloadable app gives instant information on any smartphone which is available – even if the user is offline. The vital first-aid information could save a life. In the absence of any snake-related drama – which, happily, is most likely if one takes the basic precautions of wearing closed shoes and long pants while hiking – this book is a terrific resource that will intrigue readers for hours.

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Liesl Jobson (@LieslJobson) live tweeted from the event using the hashtag #livebooks:



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Facebook gallery


Book details

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Sylvia Earle Launches First of Six “Hope Spots” – Marine Protected Areas – in Algoa Bay

South African CoastsMarine conservationist Dr Sylvia Earle launched the first Hope Spot in South Africa in Algoa Bay recently.

The author of South African Coasts: A Celebration of Our Seas and Shores is heading up the Mission Blue Expedition to create marine protected areas across the country.

The Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism website reported on the launch of the first of six Hope Spots in the country, which took place in Algoa Bay. The Mission Blue Expedition will also create Hope Spots in Aliwal Shoal, Cape Whale Coast, False Bay, Knysna and Plettenberg Bay.

Algoa Bay is not only the home of endangered great white sharks, but also cares for a large amount of sick penguins and other seabirds, according to the article.

Read the article for more on Algoa Bay’s rich marine life and ecosystem:

These Hope Spots will join others scattered around the globe to create a network of global marine protected areas in an aim to save and restore the earth’s oceans – the “blue heart” of our planet.

Algoa Bay was chosen for its rich marine biodiversity. Situated at the conjuncture of two major oceanic systems, the warm Agulhas current and the upwelling current of the cold Benguela, the bay provides the ideal conditions for supporting two different ecosystems.

The islands in the bay are home to large numbers of marine birds, including more than half the global population of endangered African penguins, the largest breeding colony of Cape gannets on the planet and the rare winter-breeding roseate tern.

Dr Sylvia Earle and supporters of the Algoa Bay Hope Spot initiative at Hobie Beach. Photo courtesy of Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism
Algoa Bay is also part of the Addo Elephant National Park, the only place in the world that’s home to the Big 7 – great white shark, southern right whale, lion, elephant, leopard, buffalo and rhinoceros.

Raggy Charters shared a few photographs of the event on their website, which kicked off early with a diving expedition. The Hope Spot banner was revealed underwater and the festivities started with a sandcastle competition. The children from Enviro Club performed traditional African music and dance and later that evening Port Elizabeth turned out in its finest for speeches and celebration.

View the photographs of the event:

Read the article:

Sylvia was presented with our Algoa Bay Hope Spot ‘Sea Pledge’, a code of ethics that we promise to adhere to in our bay in order to keep the hope spot thriving. It included a list of 21 things we can all do for our Hope Spot.

There was a short video shown about Algoa Bay and the launch of the Sustainable Seas Trust book South African Coasts: A Celebration of Our Seas and Shores which Sylvia stayed behind to sign copies of. The rest of the evening was filled with enticing conversation, wonderful food, an art exhibition and sales of the book and calendar to start the Algoa Bay Hope Spot trust, which will enable us to carry on educating and conserving the bay!

Book details

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