Our Passion

Renu-Karoo Nursery is located Wolwekraal Nature Reserve. The nursery supports conservation through its work which propagates, promotes and conserves indigenous plants by making them available to Karoo gardeners, landscapers and restoration practitioners.


Wolwekraal Conservation and Research Organisation is committed to environmental education as well as conservation and research. It achieves its education objectives through:

Intern Programme

Where Renu-Karoo and Wolwekraal Nature Reserve host nature conservation or horticulture diploma students for a maximum of one year. The interns are required to work in the nursery in plant propagation, and in the nature reserve. They collect research data, maintain hiking trails, and build information databases. They also participate in school education and guided walks. Benefits are negotiable and may include minimum wage and subsidised accommodation.

School Excursions

Where we work with local teachers to provide field trips for school groups on Wolwekraal Nature reserve that will illustrate some aspect of the scienceĀ or natural history syllabus. With the help of our interns school groups learn about the plants, animals, rocks and soil, human impacts on the natural environment, as well as ecological restoration and propagation of plants. Older groups have an opportunity to collect data for science practical work.  

Guided Walks

Guided walks in the Nature Reserve follow a meandering path that takes walkers through the major rocky and sandy habitats. We discuss geology, soils, and how the interactions between plants, animals and climatic factors maintain productivity and diversity. We demonstrate past and present human influences on the environment. The walks takes around 2 hours and 2km.

Renu-Karoo supports the education objectives of Wolwekraal Nature Reserve by hosting interns & providing training & facilities for practical work.


Research on Wolwekraal Nature Reserve focuses on the following aspects:

Veld Restoration

In 2016 and 2017, in collaboration with the Nature Conservation Department of NMU and Conservation Management Services, we carried out ecological restoration trials on silty and rocky ground. Our approach was to use dams or swales to trap runoff water, and to provide seed traps and shelter using stick mulch. We also sowed locally collected seed. Preliminary results of these trials are available to download here.

Vegetation Change

Since 2010 we have monitored the vegetation in 75 plots on Wolwekraal Nature Reserve to find out how the plants respond to rainfall and climate change. We also monitored plant cover on a number of line transects in various habitats on the Nature Reserve. Our findings were that the 2015-2021 drought killed around 40% of the plants. Fast-growing succulents and long-lived non-succulent dwarf shrubs were more drought sensitive than slow-growing succulents. The drought is ongoing and this research will need to be repeated. To read more, click here.

Animal Monitoring

Animal behaviour is monitored using trap cameras. This monitoring has given us an idea of the relative abundance of various mammal, reptile and bird species on the Nature Reserve, and their activity periods during the day or night.