Expedition Earth: South Africa

Haai! And welcome to South Africa! We’re having so much fun with our Geography Curriculum this year. I’ve been excited about Africa and it’s finally here!

Here are some of the fun activities we did for the week:

We started off filling in our passport and putting on our flag sticker for South Africa:


Some Things We Learned:

  • Where S. Africa is on the world map & located Cape Town

  • Learned a song in Afrikaans

  • How to say “Hello” in Afrikaans

  • Prayed for the people of South Africa, and Xhosa

  • Learned about children in Botswana (I know, not part of S. Africa, but its close by and it was in our book)

  • Read Usborne Encyclopedia of World Geography

  • Completed a South Africa lapbook activity

  • Learned about the Baobab Tree (a.k.a. The Upside Down Tree)

  • Completed and classified animals of South Africa

  • Learned new Geography Vocabulary

  • Made an Apple and Cheese Crumble dessert

  • Learned more about South Africa from National Geographic Kids

  • Learned major landmarks and other fun facts about South Africa

And here are what I managed to take pictures of ;o)

Of course we always start off by reviewing all countries learned so far, then finding our newest one:


Here’s my white board for the day. Although S. Africa has 3 capitals we really only memorized Cape Town.


We worked on our Flag and Mapping Worksheets. I doubled up on these this week due to other commitments, but it went fairly well.


Of course we did our favorite activity, the animals of each country.


And here were our favorite animals, it’s hard to tell from the photo, but I think we liked the Meerkat and Rhinoceros.


We made S. Africa mini-books for our World Lapbook:


And we made Apple Crumble. This would’ve been really good had we skipped the cheddar cheese! We ended up scraping it off the top and eating the insides! I’ll share the recipe later on.


Well that wraps up our week on South Africa! Stay tuned as we head over to Kenya next week!

Click here to learn more about my Expedition Earth World Geography curriculum!


  1. Sounds like you guys had lots of fun – but I must say (as a South African) I have *never* heard of apple crumble with cheese (yuck). Now a really traditional recipe would be Koeksisters. Really labour intensive but SO worth it, They're yummy!! (you can find loads of recipes on Google).

  2. Haha! That is what I was going to say, as a person who grew up in South Africa I never heard of apple crumble with cheese! I would have scrapped the cheese off too! 🙂

  3. We have a DVD called Meerkat Manor – it was free and we haven't watched it yet b/c the kids are smaller but something you may want to check into for next year! 🙂

  4. Mumsie says:

    The Apple Crumble with cheese should have been for the study of Great Britain! And with Extra SHARP cheese. My grandmom, from England, made that all the time.

  5. Hi Erica,I live in Cape Town, and 2 things jumped out at me when I read your post on your South African "expedition"- firstly, Botswana is not part of South Africa, and secondly, cheese is not used in Apple Crumble. Otherwise, I hope you thoroughly enjoyed learning about our beautiful country :-)Lianne

  6. Don't you know that apple pie without cheese is like a hug without a squeeze?! I think that's British though! 🙂

  7. I also wanted to add my "yuck" to your cheese on the apple crumble! It is not a South African dish we've ever heard of … maybe you should try a Malva pudding. A very popular dish is pap and wors, a mealie meal porridge similar to polenta with cooked sausage. I'm so glad you all enjoyed your journey to South Africa.

  8. Hey Erica,Just wanted to let you know cheese, or no cheese, you keep me inspired and on my toes! It's so easy to get run down and bored with the same old things, so thank you so much!!~Kelly

  9. Hi everyone! So as far as the cheese crumble thing not being from S. Africa, I guess I'll have to email the Trip Around the World folks since they had it in their book! LOL!Also, I know Botswana isn't in S. Africa, but if the book we're going through doesn't have the specific country we are in, we grab one close by, Botswana is directly north, so we chose that one. We also pray for S. Africa too, its just nice to have something to read with it.

  10. Funny about the cheese and apple :). I am an American living in Cape Town, and it's cool seeing your ideas about teaching your kids about this country. Our little one is too young now, but when she is older I will definitely cover SA more extensively in her geography studies since she spent her first couple years here. I love your site and am gathering tons of great ideas to implement with my LO when she's older.

  11. Ditto. I'm from South Africa and definitely never heard of cheese on apple crumble before ! A more traditional pudding would be milk tart. It's a thickened custard in a crust. I'll dig out my recipe and add it to comments for you

  12. 3/4 cup flour, 1 Tblsp baking powder, 65 grams butter, 1 eggPreheat the oven to 180'C and grease an ovenproof dish.Rub butter into the dry ingredients. Beat egg and add to mix till you obtain a soft dough. Press into dish (paper thin) then bake blind. bake till golden.Filling2 cups Milk, 30 mls butter, 1/2 tsp vanilla essence, 3/4 cup cornflour, 1 cup of caster sugar, 4 eggsSeperate eggs and beat whites till stiff and set aside. Bring butter and milk to the boil,Add egg yolks to a jug with measurements and top up with water to 175ml. Add vanilla essence, cornflour and caster sugar to egg yellow water and mix well. No add to hot milk and cook till thick and creamy, stir over low heat constantly. When it thickens remove from heat and fold in egg whites. Pour into crust smooth over. Sprinkle a little cinnamon over the top then cool in fridge.Serve cold 🙂

  13. What a wonderful idea this curriculum is. I'm going to be looking more closely later today.I'm also South African, and besides the apple pie thing (as Chareen said – Milk Tart is delicious and truly South African)I just wanted to add that the Afrikaans greeting is not strictly correct. A "haai" is a shark in Afrikaans. We tend to mix our languages a lot, so many Afrikaners will say "hi" but pronounce it "haai", but the correct greeting would be "hallo" (hello) or "goeiedag" (good-day). Now if I could just figure out how to spell the 2nd one phonetically for you!

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