Our Vision & Mission

The Grootbos Foundation is a non-profit organisation, established in 2003 with the VISION of conserving the Cape Floral Kingdom and uplifting the communities therein

It is our MISSION to conserve the unique Cape Floral Kingdom, the region we call home; and to develop sustainable livelihoods through ecotourism, enterprise development, sports development and education.

We create sustainable project models which are replicable and scalable in order to assist the communities that surround us, and those in other regions. Many of our projects generate their own income and/or are partially self-sustaining, of which we are very proud!


The Green Futures Education programme relates to all education initiatives with a core conservation focus that engage with the community and empower individuals to participate in conservation and eco-tourism.

These include nationally accredited training courses offered through our Green Futures Horticulture and Life Skills College, our Green Futures indigenous nursery, alien clearing programmes, and indigenous tree planting projects.


Green Futures Conservation relates to our conservation research programmes. These include award-winning ecological research projects, biodiversity surveys and management of human-wildlife conflict within a protected environment.

This continued and ongoing conservation work beyond Grootbos boundaries is setting a strong foundation on which to realise the vision of a Protected Environment.

Our Future Trees Reforestation Project works to rehabilitate the ancient Milkwood forests on the Grootbos Private Nature Reserve. Beyond Grootbos Nature Reserve, the Grootbos Foundation lends support to the Walker Bay Fynbos Conservancy and continues to drive efforts to conserve and protect the Cape Floral Kingdom.


Our flagship sports programme founded in 2008, works to promote sports and social development in the Overberg, an area with high unemployment rates and few educational, and developmental resources or opportunities.

Our Football Foundation provides daily coaching at 6 sites across the Overberg.

Established in partnership with the Premier League, the Football Foundation is a subsidiary of the larger Grootbos Foundation and aims to uplift communities by empowering individuals through accredited skills training and leadership opportunities. It works to promote education, health, social integration and participation through sports.


Siyakhula is our benchmark enterprise development and entrepreneurship programme. The projects within this programme focus on Early Childhood Development, food security and unlocking entrepreneurial potential.

The first 1 000 days of a child’s development is crucial and sets the pathway to the future. The Grootbos Foundation changes the future for children and adults.

Siyakhula has evolved since 2009 from our first ‘Growing the Future’ agricultural training project, into a far more comprehensive and far reaching career and employability-driven enterprise creation initiative.


Home base (and mission control) for our Foundation is the world famous Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, a multiple award winning ecotourism destination. Grootbos is a five star ecotourism business that specialises in the remarkable terrestrial and marine biodiversity of the Cape region of South Africa. For nearly two decades Grootbos has promoted the region’s beauty, interpreted its intricate stories, researched some of its many secrets and developed a suite of projects focused on conserving this exceptional part of the world for posterity.

Our Foundation was established in 2003 by reserve owners, the Lutzeyer family, with the aim of simultaneously protecting the unique natural environment of the region, and also improving the lives of local communities in a concrete, sustainable manner. A core philosophy linking conservation with social development initiatives has made Grootbos a world leader in terms of sustainable and responsible ecotourism.

Our Name

Our name is an Afrikaans word that translates as “large forest.” It is a reference to three ancient forests comprised primarily of endemic Milkwood trees (some of which are more than 800 years old) located on the Grootbos Reserve where we are based. The White Milkwood (Sideroxylon inerme) species is widespread in coastal forests and thickets along the southern and eastern coastline of South Africa, but this particular formation type is restricted to the Stanford-Gansbaai-area, with the only protected patches being found on Grootbos itself.


The Grootbos Foundation is a registered Section 21, non-profit company (#2003/014519/08) that is audited annually by Villet & De Wet. We are also registered as Public Benefit Organisation: PBO 930023319. BBBEE Level 1

Awards & Accolades

SSCN Africa – Leading like Mandela Region 1 Newcomer Award

  • Finalist: National Geographic World Legacy Awards – Engaging Communities
  • Tourism for Tomorrow Awards Finalist
  • Finalist: World Responsible Tourism Awards – Poverty Reduction Category
  • We Are Africa Innovation Awards Winner – Experience Africa
  • We Are Africa Innovation Awards Winner – Engage Africa
  • African Responsible Tourism Awards – “Best in Poverty Reduction” in Partnership with the Grootbos Private Nature Reserve
  • We Are Africa Innovation Award (Grootbos Private Nature Reserve)
  • Our Dibanisa Environmental Programme makes official shortlist for the “Beyond Sport Awards”. (The Beyond Sport Awards promote, support and reward the best projects across the globe that use sport for positive social change. See: http://www.beyondsport.org/awards)
  • Gansbaai “Spaces for Sports” site wins the Sports facilities and public spaces Grant at the 15th International Olympic Committee Conference on Sport for All
  • Gansbaai “Breaking Barriers” programme shortlisted for the Virgin Active Sports Awards: Best Community Programme
  • The Football Foundation’s Gansbaai project highlighted as a “Spotlight Project” at the Beyond Sport Awards

  • Mail & Guardian’s “Greening the Future” award – special commendation Green Futures
  • Overstrand Municipality Mayoral Award – Environmental Conservation Award
  • Football Foundation receives the ‘Highly Commended” award for the International Innovation Prize from the World Leisure Organization for our community development programme.
  • The Gansbaai Communal Sport Centre wins the prestigious Mail & Guardian “Investing in the Future” awards in the “Sports Development” category
  • The Good Safari Guide: Best Ecological Safari Property in Africa
  • Amarula Best Retreats in Africa Award: Winner: Most innovative Retreat in Africa (Grootbos Private Nature Reserve)
  • GEO Saison “Green Palm” for Michael Lutzeyer (Grootbos Private Nature Reserve)
  • Finalist: Tourism for Tomorrow Awards (Grootbos Nature Reserve)
  • Responsible Tourism Award: Best for Conservation of an Endangered Species (Grootbos Private Nature Reserve)
  • Condé Nast Traveler’s annual Green List (Grootbos Private Nature Reserve)
  • Responsible Tourism Award: Best protection of endangered species (Grootbos Private Nature Reserve)
  •  Imvelo Overall Winner for Responsible Tourism (Grootbos Private Nature Reserve)
  •  Imvelo Best Environmental Management Program Award (Grootbos Private Nature Reserve)
  • The Iris Darnton Award: for International Nature Conservation (Grootbos Private Nature Reserve)
  • MTN & Western Cape Tourism: Winner – Eco-Tourism experience of the year (Grootbos Private Nature Reserve)
  • British Awards: Tourism for Tomorrow, Protected Areas and National Parks – Highly Commended