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!
- Conserving, rehabilitating and protecting the natural environment of the Western Cape region, particularly the flora and fauna on Grootbos Private Nature Reserve and the Walker Bay region.
- The provision of education relating to indigenous horticulture, agriculture, conservation, ecotourism, greening and life skills education.
- Training and skills development for disadvantaged persons with the purpose of enabling them to obtain employment or become self-employed.
- Using sports and sports facilities as a tool for social integration, promoting healthy lifestyles for youth, and increasing environmental awareness and life skills amongst communities.
- Research, including ecological, educational, social and scientific research on topics related to our core programmes.
- Developing sustainable and innovative solutions to tackle the issue of food insecurity.
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 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.
Our Foundation is non-profit and makes use of generous donations received from corporate donors and governmental organisations, as well as Grootbos Lodge guests and other private individuals.
Our funding is well supplemented by income generated by our various projects, such as our on-site nursery and landscaping businesses, and the sale of produce from Siyakhula Organic Farm. All funds are invested through the Foundation into implementing our conservation, sports and development projects.
The Grootbos Foundation is completely responsible for the management and facilitation of all projects in our portfolio. This model harnesses the practical expertise within our organisation and effectively delivers on the objectives of our partners – donors, funders and public bodies. Opportunities around corporate social responsibility and experiential learning can be crafted to ensure that donors derive maximum value; and we strive to employ a Public Private Partnership approach at all times.
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
- World Travel Market (WTM) Africa 2019: Overall Responsible Tourism Award Winner
- WTM Africa: Best for Habitat and/or Species Conservation
- WTM London: Special Judges Award
- Community Chest Impumelelo Social Innovations Award 2019: Change Maker in Environment and Conservation
- 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