Eco-tourism venture launched in Flower Valley

A new tourism venture known as the Fynbos Retreat has been launched in the Overstrand region of the Cape Floral Kingdom in South Africa.

A joint venture between Flower Valley Conservation Trust and Grootbos Nature Reserve, Fynbos Retreat neighbours both land area, forming part of the latter property, which totals around 2,500 hectares.

The property is a recognised biodiversity hotspot for its rare fynbos and ancient milkwood forests, with fynbos being one of the municipality’s biggest tourist assets. The retreat offers accommodation and a host of walking and mountain biking activities, and forms part of a three-day hiking trail.

fynbos - Flower Valley Conservation Trust

Ben Solomon, Chairman of the Overstrand Municipality’s portfolio committee for Local Economic Development attended the launch and remarked, “We want the Overstrand Municipality to develop as a tourist destination. Fynbos Retreat can now help tourists stay in the region longer.”

Sean Privett of Grootbos Nature Reserve acknowleged the origins of the conservation and development project, commenting, “This property was initially bought by Fauna & Flora International some years ago, because of its amazing flora and exceptional biodiversity. It’s a true biodiversity hotspot. Now, with this nature-based tourism offering, we hope that this little piece of the Cape Floral Kingdom will still be protected 400 years from now.”

Fynbos Retreat is home to limestone fynbos, which is endemic to the Agulhas Plain, as well as the Critically Endangered Overberg Sandstone fynbos. It holds 600 species of Overberg Sandstone fynbos, of which 80 are endangered. One Erica species found on the farm is found nowhere else in the world.

Fynbos Retreat was previously owned by Flower Valley Conservation Trust. The Trust sold the property to Grootbos – in a deal which will ensure it is protected inperpetuity. During the sale, title deed restrictions were placed across theproperty, and it was rezoned out of agriculture. Flower Valley’s Enterprise Development Manager, Frieda Lloyd, said this was the first deal of its kind in South Africa. “Fynbos Retreat serves as a model for property sales where the land needs to remain under conservation under the new owner. Today Fynbos Retreat is a showcase of sustainable tourism.”

Fynbos Retreat is expected to work closely with the other enterprises within the municipality, to increase thenumber of activities available to visiting tourists. Aside from the sporting activities, the region offers nature lovers’ access to rare fauna and flora.

For more details on Fynbos Retreat, please click here.