Ecotourism – Spotlight on Grootbos Private Nature Reserve

Grootbos Private Nature Reserve is a five star eco-paradise just 2 hours from Cape Town and 30 minutes from Hermanus en-route to the world-renowned Garden Route.  Showcasing incredible flora and marine life, it is home to the marine Big Five – whales, sharks, dolphins, seals and penguins.

But a visit to this spectacular property is about more than just a luxury experience… as a guest at Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, you will be directly contributing to the Grootbos Foundation.

The vision for the Grootbos Foundation is to transform communities and conserve the environment though the creation of sustainable livelihoods and active citizenship.  Many of their projects generate their own income and/or are partially self-sustaining.

There are three main ‘umbrella’ programmes that form the Foundations strategy.

Green Futures – focuses on conservation.  Established in 2003, the Green Futures Horticulture and Life Skills College provides educational training to 8-12 unemployed young adults each year. The aim is to give student candidates the skills and confidence necessary to market themselves and become employable, while at the same time contributing to the conservation and promotion of the region’s unique biodiversity.  Green Futures students also work at the on site Green Futures Nursery, learning to propagate endemic fynbos plants and indigenous trees.  Read more http://www.grootbosfoundation.org/pages/green_futures.php.

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Football Foundation – the focus is on utilising sport for development.  The Football Foundation of South Africa (FFSA) was established with the dual aims of achieving greater social integration in the Gansbaai region and educating and empowering youth, using sports as a vehicle for change.  Read more http://www.grootbosfoundation.org/pages/football_foundation.php.

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Siyakhula – focuses on the creation of sustainable livelihoods through enterprise development.  Historically, all Siyakhula initiatives were run from the Siyakhula Organic Farm, situated at the heart of the Grootbos Nature Reserve. This farm, established in 2009, provided skills development in organic agriculture, sustainable animal husbandry and beekeeping to members from the local community, particularly women. Today the farm employs a full-time staff of eight, and is run as a commercial enterprise to provide an income for Foundation projects – all vegetables, herbs, lettuces, fruit, eggs, honey and preserves produced at this farm are sold to the Grootbos lodges. Beyond skills development and food production, the farm functions as research and experimentation space for our larger food security projects, specifically the innovative ‘Green Box’ home garden system.  Read more http://www.grootbosfoundation.org/pages/siyakhula.php.

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