Fancy a holiday with a conscience? In this episode of ExtraVirgin, Natascha visits the private eco-reserve of Grootbos in South Africa to discover an extraordinary landscape where five star luxury and a genuine commitment to sustainable, ethical and community -focused practices go hand in hand.
National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World set in a floral wonderland, with 800 plant species, including 400 on the red data list as threatened. There are ancient milkwood foresets and mountains covered in meadows of flowers, wild windswept beaches where southern right whales breach just off shore and the brave can dive with great white sharks. On land there are floral safaris or hikes with botanists, ancient caves to explore, wineries to visit, or a tour of Grootbos’ own farm that proves incredible fresh food for the lodge’s guests.
Grootbos Foundation has an educational and training program – training young horticultural students on their farm and others in eco-hospitality and tourism training, Their Football Foundation financially and emotional supports young people in sport, providing training, inclusive sporting programs, uniforms, education, female empowerment mentoring and healthy meals. The third arm of the Foundation is in eccology and conservation, working to protect this extraordinary and unique environment with ecological research, tree planting, the removal of invasive introduced species and creating a conservancy in partnership local landowners.
If South Africa is on your travel radar, then have a listen. If it’s not, have a listen anyway, it may well become a new bucket list entry.
*Natascha was a guest of Grootbos