Nature-based solutions are seen as valuable mechanisms for expanding the adaptation solution space and for reducing adaptation gaps to climate change. Many nature-based solutions, especially in the Global South, claim or attempt to incorporate social equity. Yet inequitable outcomes still occur, particularly at local scales, and particularly for the most vulnerable. Why is this the case? And how can we more legitimately consider equity during the design, planning and implementation of nature-based solutions? To provide deeper insights into the challenges and enablers to achieving social equity in nature-based solutions, we have created a collection of illustrated stories from southern Africa. These fictionalised and illustrated stories are based on the experiences and reflections of researchers and practitioners, and bring local voices to the fore. Each story includes a reflection that captures what we see as the space for action, based on a systematic review of the literature on this topic.