Stephen Cunliffe
South Africa ZA

Stephen is a travel writer and avid conservationist whose work appears in prestigious magazines such as Africa Geographic and Travel Africa.

Category: Sustainable Lodge of the week

From its infancy as a tiny self-catering getaway, Grootbos Private Nature Reserve in Hermanus-Gansbaai area of South Africa’s Western Cape has evolved into a world-class eco-tourism act.

With 760 fynbos species – including six previously unrecorded specimens – Grootbos is an area of international botanic importance. The owners of the property set about establishing a fynbos nursery and training school to provide employment to members of neighbouring impoverished communities. This initiative has since given rise to the much-lauded Green Futures and Growing the Future projects.

Founded upon true eco-tourism principles, the picturesque reserve and its little lodge have converted thousands of travellers from around the globe into aficionados of the Cape Floral Kingdom.

The obvious next steps for this seaside eco-resort is to drop off the national grid and embrace solar-power along with an upgrade to the lodge’s sewage treatment system to further lighten its eco-footprint and push the lodge up to the next echelon of the sustainability hierarchy.

Grootbos sits proudly amongst the continent’s leading sustainable safari destinations and, as such, has been included by David Bristow and Colin Bell in their magnificent coffee table book: Africa’s Finest. This leading resource identifies the mere handful of truly sustainable safari operations from amidst a sea of eco-pretenders. If you’d like to get your hands on a copy of this stunning book, then you can order it here.

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