Grootbos Private Nature Reserve

Luxury in Harmony with Nature

    Company Description

    Nestled between mountain and sea, the Grootbos Private Nature Reserve is a five-star eco-paradise showcasing the incredible Flora and Marine life of the Southern Tip of Africa. Home of the "Marine Big 5" - whales, sharks, dolphins, seals and penguins; and with unparalleled floral diversity, Grootbos offers you a one-of-a-kind luxury African experience. Only 2 hours from Cape Town on the way to the world-renowned Garden Route, Grootbos is perfectly situated between the classic attractions of the Cape and is most certainly a highlight on any itinerary.   The name Grootbos, an Afrikaans word meaning Big Forest, is derived from the presence of our ancient Milkwood Forests. It is amongst these ancient forests that Grootbos has artfully laid out its exquisite two 5-star Lodges and exclusive Villa, with breath-taking views across the fynbos plains towards the sparkling whale sanctuary of Walker Bay in the distance. Whether ones interests are birding, wild flowers, whale watching, diving with great white sharks or relaxing on unspoilt beaches, Grootbos has it all. The gourmet cuisine on offer at this luxury destination is crafted from the finest and freshest local ingredients, including seafood specialties and excellent South African wines. Grootbos is about more than just luxury accommodation and eco adventures. Your visit directly contributes to the conservation efforts of the Grootbos Foundation as well as the development of sustainable nature-based livelihoods amongst local communities.

    Starting price per person in €

    350

    Community Programs

    Within our Grootbos Foundation we run a variety of projects to develop nature based livelihoods. Each year ten unemployed young people from nearby townships are selected to participate in the AGRISeta fully accredited Green Futures horticulture, landscaping and life skills course on Grootbos. Most have no prior knowledge of indigenous plants, but within a year they are brimming with enthusiasm and ready to put their knowledge and skills to work. the course combines essential life skills like personal finance, business skills, computers, driving and health education with knowledge of environmental and conservation issues, and skills of horticulture and landscaping. Classroom sessions, practical involvement in nursery and landscaping projects, and field trips to interesting places make learning relevant and fun. Successful students can apply for a second year of tuition and achieve their Field Guiding (FGASA) level 1 qualification, too.
    One of the most encouraging aspects of the Green Futures programmes is that the vast majority of our graduates have managed to find employment on completion of their course. A number of graduates have also been employed at Grootbos as nature guides, specialising in the region‟s marine and floral diversity. The students‟ knowledge of indigenous plants and water-wise gardening is greatly valued and they are snapped up by a wide range of employers, including landscapers,
    nurseries, golf courses, housing developments and conservation agencies.
    Another great project is our Siyakhula Organic Farm "Growing the Future". 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.
    Food for Sport is one of our innovative food security projects, managed under the auspices of the Football Foundation. It is a 12 week training programme, bringing together sport, and nutrition and food security to address the general low energy levels amongst the youth, while teaching school children invaluable lessons in organic food production, nutrition and life skills.
    Our careers, employability and entrepreneurship programme provides skills training workshops to empower an estimated 1783 young people per year to become more employable, self-confident and positive about life. Through career and employability workshops, students learn more about their individual aptitudes and strengths, as well as about different study fields and career options. It uses sport as the vehicle to reach those who have little access to skills development opportunities and resources. The project also offers learnerships and bursaries - giving students in rural communities the hope and tools to succeed in further education and in finding gainful employment.

    A select group of budding young entrepreneurs from the project go on to complete a business development programme focused on small enterprises and entrepreneurship. This programme strives to significantly improve students’ lives in areas such as personal agency, communication, teamwork, financial literacy and employment skills and hopes to strengthen their sense of citizenship.
    Adding to the above projects, we also run a candle making enterprise, produce our own fynbos honey and are running a community farm in the township Masakhane.
    Another big part of our Foundation is the Football Foundation. 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.

    Our multiple award winning programme launched in 2008, with the construction of a multipurpose sports facility, including a showpiece, a full-size, third generation (3G) FIFA standard artificial soccer pitch (sponsored by the English Premier League), situated at the cusp of traditionally segregated black, white and coloured areas of Gansbaai. This was achieved with the invaluable assistance of Sir Dave Richards, then chair of the English Premier League, (which still contributes funding to the project). We have also been assisted by members of the Overstrand Municipality, ABSA Bank and the Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport, all of whom helped us fund equipment and maintain the facility.

    The Football Foundation runs football, netball, hockey and athletics training sessions in Gansbaai, Stanford and Hermanus, which engage approximately 2000 youths each week. In addition to these sessions, we also run programmes centered on HIV education, female empowerment, environmental education, proper nutrition, enterprise development and integration. With this flagship programme, we aim to uplift communities by empowering individuals through sports programmes, including accredited skills training and leadership opportunities, and simultanously promote education, health, social integration and participation through sports. Today we facilitate a great number of projects for 7 000 boys and girls in the Overstrand area, six days a week, as well as facilitating programmes in other areas of the Western Cape and organised weekend excursions, matches and fixtures.
    Specific goals include:
    - Uplift communities by empowering individuals through skills training and leadership opportunities.
    - Encourage education, health and wellbeing, social integration and community participation.
    - Support and initiate grassroots sports development in South Africa by providing access to education, resources, facilities and equipment.

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