Total Trees Planted
Bodhi Khaya Forest
Walker Bay Protected Environment – Uilkraal Valley- Overstrand – Overberg
Bodhi Khaya Forest, in the middle of the Walkerbay Protected Environment, is a mosaic of indigenous forest relics rolling through a valley covered with different vegetation types. Rolling through a valley with a fully intact eco-system, the Bodhi Khaya Forest site bridges Afromontane type forest to the Platbos type forest lower down. Walking through it, you can taste the different forest flavours. Having recently added a vast amount of land that needs to be rehabilitated, Bodhi Khaya is now expanding both her alien clearing program as w and her reforestation program: bringing back context, integrity and connection from one ancient relic to another.
Bodhi Khaya is otherwise a place to visit. This is a Nature Welness Destination in a rewilding sanctuary equally sharing care for oneself and for nature. Bodhi Khaya is a peaceful haven nestled at the foot of the Witkransberg, in the beautiful Overberg region. This is your safe space to connect with nature, find deep rest and renewal, experience inner transformation and awaken to the wisdom of your heart.
Farm 215 Private Nature Reserve
Walker Bay Protected Environment – Baardskeerdersbos – Overstrand – Overberg
Farm 215 – private nature reserve, is a protected area under Stewardship of Cape Nature and the first reforestation site of Trees for Tourism. The reforest site is part of a large conservation-servitude in favour of Flora and Fauna International. The 800 hectares of this reserve is covered with different fynbos vegetation types, riparian areas and indigenous afromontane forest remnants.
The reforestation site is an area along a stream which was previously used for agriculture and subsequently infested with alien invasive vegetation. The invasive vegetation has been removed and reforestation pilots were done in 2007-2010. On the basis of the success of these pilots, 10’000 trees were planted out in 2011, followed each year by allocations of a few thousand trees.
Far removed from the daily grind of life, farm 215 is a private, intimate and secluded retreat where you can enjoy spacious accommodation, tranquility, an overpowering sense of space and the unique nature of the Cape Floral Kingdom. Farm 215 is the base station of the African Horse Company, organising outrides and multi-day horsetrails.
Langeberg Mountains – near Swellendam
The Grootvadersbosch Conservancy was registered in 1992 as the first Conservancy in the Western Cape. The Grootvadersbosch Conservancy represents 16 private landowners who are committed to protecting the natural environment. The natural vegetation includes indigenous forest, mountain fynbos, renosterveld and lowland fynbos.
Grootvadersbosch Conservancy has implemented a “working-for-water” project, employing 132 previously un-employed people in clearing and restoration work, including the development of an indigenous tree nursery. Since 2014, 960ha has been cleared from alien invasive trees. The reforestation site was previously densely invaded by invasive vegetation and is surrounded by indigenous forest. The site has been partly cleared to support reforestation. The Conservancy is piloting a new approach to rehabilitation and reforestation by using the pioneer properties of black wattle and bugweed to provide shade for the young indigenous trees. As the indigenous trees become more dominate, the invasive trees are gradually removed.
Grootvadersbosch Conservancy is developing 140 km of linked mountain bike and hiking trails across the region from Heidelberg and Suurbraak and there are several self-catering and guesthouse options in the Conservancy.
Ferncliffe forest wilding
Town Bush Valley – Pietermaritzburg – KwaZulu-Natal
Ferncliffe is a remnant of endangered eastern mistbelt forest that clings to a ridge above the city of Pietermaritzburg, in the middle of a biodiversity hotspot with the highest tree diversity of any temperate forest in the world. It still has large mammals, and diverse forms of life, from bats and bushpigs to millipedes. It is a place of high endemism and rich biodiversity; its habitat and life forms score top of the class in the “irreplaceable” category.
Once 2,000 ha of the “Town’s Bush” covered these slopes, but its timber was heavily harvested in the 1800s and early 1900s, to the point that species like Podocarpus are now sparsely represented and just 250ha of forest remains. And now invasive plants, like the creeper called Mauritius Thorn (Caesalpinia decapetala) and Bugweed (Solanum mauritianum) are threatening what’s left.
Ferncliffe forest wilding is a young non-profit organisation devoted to the restoration and rewilding of this forest ecosystem. Its initial restoration pilot sites, about 5.5 ha in size, are in an area due to be gazetted as part of a wider Protected Environment. It works with the landowner, the Msunduzi Municipality and other stakeholders, to achieve its aims. And its work extends up towards the core area of forest as resources allow.
The NPO doesn’t chase huge numbers, preferring to plant larger trees and protect them with tree guards so that they survive in large numbers (the riotous KwaZulu-Natal growth and hungry browsers necessitate this). That said, it aims to plant 10,000 trees in its lifetime. It also aims to provide work opportunities that teach skills. And because of the time-consuming invasive vegetation clearing and thinning and follow-up that must be done prior to and post planting, its trees cost a more than some other organisations.
Rewilding Ferncliffe, a physical place of great beauty, is a symbol of what needs to be done across the globe: to take action in hyper-local, careful ways to contribute to a healthier society and planet.
Klein River Cheese Farm | WPO site
Kelin River Valley, near Stanford – Overstrand
This 5 ha site hugs a wide part of the Klein River, dotted with little islands. It was heavily infested with invasive alien vegetation, which has now all been cleared. Sporadic regrowth of indigenous vegetation indicates the previous presence of woodland.
A chunk of pasture has been sacrificed and that area will be integrated in the new forest. The site has been fenced in to protect it against grazing cattle.
The whole of the rehabilitation site includes a dryer area, higher on the hill, covered with remnants of critically endangered Elim ferricrete fynbos, which will also be rehabilitated. This type of fynbos occurs on land very suitable for agriculture and has mostly been ploughed up. Little of it is left and most of the species of this type of fynbos are listed as endangered on the IUCN red list.
In the end of the day, the WPO site will connect to the TfT, two further to the East along the Klein River, bringing integrity back to the river and the riparian area, creating a bulwark against erosion and a corridor for wildlife.
Platbos Forest – Private Nature Reserve
Walker Bay Conservancy – Uilkraal Valley – Overstrand – Overberg
“Platbos”, Afrikaans for ‘flat forest’, is the Southernmost forest of the African continent.
Platbos is a relic forest and bit of a botanical mystery. Contrary to other relic forests in the Cape of South Africa, It occurs in deep sandy, alkaline soil on north-facing, gently undulating and dry terrain.
There are many age-old trees in Platbos with some over 1000 years of age. Draped in “old man´s beard”, the trees have gnarled, twisted trunks and branches, folded and creased like the wrinkled limbs of elephants. The pure forest air nurtures a myriad of lichens that mottle the tree bark in patterns of orange, pink and white. During the wet, winter months, the mosses and epiphytic ferns that make their home on the trees come to life in brilliant shades of green.
Reforestation occurs along the edges of the present forest and there are plans for reforestation on the neighbouring properties. The whole of Platbos is protected and a declared Private Nature Reserve.
Platbos Forest is open to the public for day-walks and trails and there are several accommodation options available on a self-catering basis.
Goodwill Mountain Farm (INACTIVE FOR OUTSIDE DONATIONS)
Klein River Valley, near Stanford – Overstrand
Several trees have been planted here under the SAReforest program. The reforestation process is still in process but at the moment not supported by outside donations. This is reforestation site is 14 hectares of alien forest with predominantly Black Wattle as well as some Blue Gum and Port Jackson. The forest hugs a small river which is fed by the mountains and runs through the property.
During a large flood in 2005, the banks of the river were heavily damaged and there are now large dongas along the course as well as some places where the waterway cuts down to bedrock. Repairing the river and combating erosion will therefore be an important part of the rehabilitation process.
Some indigenous trees growing spontaneously indicate that this area has been a forest in the past, and that there is the water and fertility necessary for creating one anew. The alien vegetation will be cleared ongoingly as we plant the indigenous trees – in this way, the existing trees will act as support for the new ones and help to prevent erosion on the steeper slopes. Furthermore, Black Wattle trees fix nitrogen in the soil which the surrounding vegetation can benefit from.
Ultimately, this forest will become a sanctuary for plants, animals and humans alike. It will definitely be a place of peace and probably a source of inspiration, but hopefully also a call to action.