New opportunities for tourists to enjoy a fynbos-filled break in a critically-endangered fynbos haven are becoming available. A new self-catering cottage has been launched at Fynbos Retreat – the joint venture between Flower Valley Conservation Trust and Grootbos Private Nature Reserve. And ‘glam-camping’ sites will soon also be on offer on the property.
The cottage, called ‘Sewejaartjie’ (a well-known fynbos specie), is ideal for couples looking for a nature- and activities-filled get-away. To date, Fynbos Retreat has offered two self-catering houses, with up to 18 visitors able to stay over at Arum Lily House, and a further six at Fountain Bush Cottage. These houses are also used for conferences and group workshops.
Aside from ‘Sewejaartjie’ Cottage, ‘glam-camping’ sites will also be completed before the end of the year. These sites will offer privacy to campers seeking classier camping facilities.
Fynbos Retreat is home to the critically endangered Overberg Sandstone fynbos – 80 species of which are endangered. It also hosts limestone fynbos, which is endemic to the Agulhas Plain. One Erica species found on Fynbos Retreat is found nowhere else in the world.
Due to the property’s significant conservation status, Flower Valley Conservation Trust and Grootbos Private Nature Reserve registered a conservation ‘easement’ over the major part of it as a way of securing the biodiversity of the region. Through the easement, title deed restrictions have been placed across the property, to ensure the pristine fynbos could not be removed for other purposes, such as cultivation. According to the legal team that assisted, the structure of this deal was the first of its kind in South Africa.
Fynbos Retreat is the first stop along the Fynbos Trail – a three-day hiking trail that traverses the Walker Bay Fynbos Conservancy, including Flower Valley Farm. However, Fynbos Retreat also caters for one-day hikes on the farm, as well as mountain bikers. A challenging 8km mountain-biking route has just been opened on the farm, boasting beautiful panoramic views from the highest point, but taxing riders with sandy patches and tough uphills.