Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve& Wellness Retreat in the Cederberg, member of the award-winning Red Carnation Hotel Collection, hosted a group of 18 Grade 7 school children from Elizabethfontein Primary on the 18th of July, as part of its educational ‘Footprints for the Future’ project. First initiated in 2009 by the owners of Bushmans Kloof, the Tollman family, this annual event sets out to educate youth from the local community about the importance of conservation and eco-tourism. The project also provides insight into the hospitality industry, and may even cultivate an interest in this as a future career choice among a group of children that may otherwise never be exposed to the hotel industry.
General Manager, James Basson and his team welcomed the excited pupils to a full day programme, during which they not only experienced Bushmans Kloof as guests, enjoying delicious meals, but also a range of educational activities. Activities included a nature drive and guided rock art walk, as well as learning more about the endangered Clanwilliam cedar tree, and the actual planting of three trees in the lodge gardens. This endemic tree species is very close to the heart of Bushmans Kloof as it occurs only here in the Cederberg Mountains. It represents one of 1 000 surviving conifer species in the world and is categorised as endangered on the Red Data List as it is facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild. This fun, practical lesson also included information about the watering of the trees, types of soil and the importance of compost and mulch.
Another highlight of the visit was a guided tour to some of Bushmans Kloof’s famous Bushman painting sites. The reserve is a sanctuary for more than 130 ancient rock art sites that date back up to 10 000 years, which led to it being named a South African National Heritage Site. The children were fascinated by the interpretation of these priceless paintings that may have been done by their very own forefathers hundreds of years ago. The Cederberg is well-known for its rock art, and the children were taught about the importance of the art in the area and how to preserve it for generations to come.
During the nature drive the young ones had the opportunity to spot some plains game, including the once nearly extinct Bontebok and the endangered Cape mountain zebra, as well as Bat Eared Foxes and many other mammal, bird and plant species found at Bushmans Kloof.
‘It was truly wonderful to see Bushmans Kloof through the eyes of these local children, and to have the opportunity to share with them information about the importance of conservation, and the lifecycle of plants, animals and ecosystems. We were particularly delighted by their enthusiasm and interest shown in the preservation of rock art and I believe some valuable lessons were learned about protecting the art. It is very important that they, as the community leaders of the future, have an understanding of what we aim to achieve at Bushmans Kloof, and for them to carry home and into their school these messages about the importance of conservation, preservation and eco-tourism. I trust that we have achieved it with this group and look forward to welcoming the 2013 Grade 7’s from Elizabethfontein next year,’ commented Basson.
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MORE ABOUT BUSHMANS KLOOF WILDERNESS RESERVE & WELLNESS RETREAT
Bushmans Kloof is a luxurious ecological oasis of 18 533 acres (7500 hectare), situated at the foothills of the breathtaking Cederberg mountains. Here majestic views, staggering rock formations, open plains, invigorating outdoor activities, 16 luxurious rooms and suites, award-winning Cape cuisine and a wellness experience deeply rooted in Nature, all combine to create an unforgettable, luxury wilderness adventure.
Less than three hours’ drive from Cape Town, it is unequivocally recognised as a conservation success story, and was awarded the Relais & Châteaux Environment Trophy (2007), in recognition of its exceptional environmental and conservation projects. In 2009, it was the Global Winner of Wildlife Conservations Programs in the prestigious Condé Nast Traveler World Savers Awards.
Malaria and predator free, Bushmans Kloof is a sanctuary for many indigenous plants, animals and birds, including the endangered Cape mountain zebra. It is also home to over 130 Bushman rock art sites, is recognized as one of South Africa’s Natural Heritage Sites, and is part of the Cape Floral Kingdom. It bases its entire business ethos on preserving the precious natural environment, while providing guests with the ultimate African wilderness experience in the beautiful surroundings of the Cederberg Wilderness Area, which forms part of the Cape Floral Region – a recognized World Heritage site.
A mere 270km from Cape Town, the 5-star Relais & Châteaux lodge, voted Best Hotel in the World 2009 (Travel + Leisure), is renowned for its warm, caring service and exceptional hospitality. In 2010 it was listed on the coveted Condé Nast Traveler USA, as one of the Top 50 Resorts in Africa in the World’s Best Awards, and for the past three years (2010 – 2012), was voted included in the Condé Nast Traveller UK Gold List for Best Hotels for Food in Africa, Middle East and the Indian Ocean.
More About The Red Carnation Hotel Collection
Bushmans Kloof is a member of Red Carnation Hotels, an award- winning collection of five and four star family-run boutique hotels in London, Dorset, Guernsey, Geneva, Florida and South Africa. Each property has its own individual character and unique location that reflects the local environment, culture and cuisine. They all share the qualities that win Red Carnation so many prestigious awards – splendid luxury, generous hospitality, inventive and traditional cuisine, private art collections, passionate service and loyal staff committed to creating richly rewarding experiences for all their guests. For more information about these award-winning hotels and the rest of the Red Carnation Collection, please go to http://www.redcarnationhotels.com
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