If you have been following my Grootbos posts, this is the second part of our family adventure. We arrived at Grootbos on a Friday afternoon and spent the day relaxing and unwinding. Our thought was to begin Exploring The Reserve the following day.
Grootbos Exploring The Reserve
We decided to book the Social Responsibility Tour early on a Saturday morning, so after a lovely breakfast we set off with our guide to explore the reserve. The tour introduces visitors to the community work which Grootbos has undertaken. Their aim is to help improve the standard of living, of the residents in areas surrounding the Reserve.
Growing The Future
We started the tour with a visit to “Growing The Future” – the perfect name, I think, as it is an undertaking which has been established to train women and provide them with skills in subsistence farming.
Subsistence farming is a skill set, mostly forgotten in recent years due to a more city focused lifestyle. Growing The Future teaches a group of women the skills of growing vegetables and fruit. They also learn the art of beekeeping and the principles of successful animal husbandry.
These skills help provide food for their families, as well as encouraging them to start a business, making themselves more financially secure.
It was great to see the gardens that had been cultivated, very happy chickens and the greenhouse. The best part of the tour, for our girls anyway – were the pigs! They particularly loved the large mommy pig “Scratchy”!
The next part of the tour was “Green Futures,” started by the Lutzeyer family and forms part of The Grootbos Foundation. The Grootbos Foundation is a registered Non-Profit, established in 2005. One of their projects was building an education center on Grootbos, to be used to train unskilled people in the field of Fynbos landscaping and conservation. There is also an indigenous wholesale plant nursery, where students learn how to grow and care for plants. These plants will ultimately be sold, and the funds generated reinvested into the project.
We received a beautiful Milkwood tree, to either plant on the Reserve or take home to plant. The Future Trees campaign, established as a form of continued conservation, has become a top priority for Grootbos, especially after a fire in 2006. The fire destroyed the Forest Lodge, as well as a large area of the ancient Milkwood behind the lodge! We decided to take our tree home and plant it, as a lasting memory of our trip to Grootbos!
The Reserve is a wonderful place for nature lovers, and they also offer a Fynbos Flower Safari, Guided Walks, and Birding Tours to name just a few of the “Nature” focused activities offered to Grootbos guests. “Bird lovers” may be able to spot beautiful indigenous birds, such as the Cape Sugarbird, Black Harrier, and Jackal Buzzard.
We also received a Field Guide to the Flora of Grootbos which describes 410 of the 765 species recorded in the Reserve, with emphasis on the “showy” flowers, species of conservation concern and those you are most likely to find in the greater Walker Bay area.
Details and Bookings
For more information or to make a reservation at Grootbos, you can visit their website by clicking here.
Our accommodation was sponsored by Grootbos for review purposes but this is not, however, a paid post, and all the opinions are my own