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THE GROENLANDBERG

The Groenlandberg is a mountain range beyond the Hottentots Holland Mountains in the heart of the Cape’s fruit country.

Located an hour by car from Cape Town today, historically it was several days ox-wagon journey from the Cape. The seasonal grazing land of the first people was referred to as the “Groenland”. Today this is the world-renowned fertile deciduous fruit and wine-growing valley known locally as the Elgin Valley.

The mountain range that bounds the Groenland to the east is known as the Groenlandberg – a spur of the Hottentots Holland Cape Fold Mountains ranging from the saddle at Viljoenspas in the north to Houwhoek and Botrivier villages in the south and contained by the Palmiet, Bot and Jakkals rivers.

WHAT IS THE CONSERVANCY?

A community of conservation-aware local residents has begun to take stock of their environment and cultural resources.

The Groenlandberg Conservancy is a growing movement of dedicated, nature conscious custodians and landowners who have mobilized themselves into a voluntary conservation forum. The Groenlandberg Conservancy was established in 1994 by a handful of farmers, under the chairmanship of Dr Paul Cluver. Over two decades later, the Groenlandberg Conservancy is making an ever increasing contribution to conservation on private land. Active and passionate, members are committed to environmental conservation, sustainability and social upliftment.

WHAT THE CONSERVANCY DOES

Members of the Groenlandberg follow profitable, sustainable and ethical business principles and commit to the social upliftment of historically disadvantaged communities. The key purpose of the Conservancy is to protect, conserve, and rehabilitate the environmental assets within the area. The forum of the Groenlandberg Conservancy plans and activates interventions, co-ordinates and disseminates knowledge to members and the public, and promotes awareness of all environmental aspects of the Conservancy.

Alien clearing projects rehabilitate key catchment areas. Education projects aim to strengthen landowners knowledge, and to disseminate awareness in the local communities, ensuring members and the community benefit from the environment and realize their ongoing responsibilities.

WHY THE CONSERVANCY IS IMPORTANT

Conservation is a necessity, not a luxury and biodiversity is key to survival. When biodiversity is intact, species and eco-systems are resilient, enabling them to adapt to environmental changes. When biodiversity is lost, nature responds unpredictably.

The Conservancy informs members, employees, the wider community and the public on the importance of maintaining bio-diversity in our environment and support landowners in changing agricultural practices to maintain a natural habitat.

The Conservancy works closely with the Biodiversity Wine Initiative (BWI) – all the wine growers in the Conservancy are members or champions. The Conservancy is a forum for facilitating community-based discussion and action for achieving mutual goals by creating a neighbourly network in a rural area- particularly important when it comes to wildfires.

COME EXPERIENCE THE GROENLANDBERG

The Groenlandberg offers a 34000ha treasure trove of fauna and flora, boasting some of the largest fragments of pristine renosterveld, which keep this highly endangered vegetation type from extinction. Leopard still roam the mountains while many bird, small mammal and antelope species abound. Orchards and winelands commingle beneath the majesty of the Groenlandberg mountains, offering access to the conservancy via breathtaking views and walks.

A number of accommodation offerings can be found in every valley in the conservancy ranging from luxury guest houses to rural cabins. The area specializes in serving fresh local produce, placing many of its restaurants on the foodie map. For the active hiking trails, mountain biking, canoeing and zip-lining are on offer. The Groenlandberg is an Eco-tourism destination with much to offer.

Let the pristine beauty of the Groenlandberg inspire you. Come and experience the world class hospitality the area has to offer. Share in and support the great work dedicated farmers are doing to protect this beautiful area.