The Wilderness Foundation is working together in partnership with the Vincent Mai-Family Foundation to fast-track the restoration of the Plains of the Camdeboo Private Nature Reserve.
The reserve will be used as a benchmark for future wilderness area restoration projects.
The Plains of the Camdeboo Private Nature Reserve is situated in the Great Karoo region in the south-east interior of South Africa, north of the town of Pearston in the Eastern Cape Province. It covers 8,827 hectares, and was formed in 2009 through the consolidation of 12 separate farm portions including parts of three of the original farms in the area, namely Rustenburg, Donker Hoek and Onverwagt.
The name of the reserve was inspired by South African novelist, Eve Palmer’s book on the area, The Plains of the Camdeboo.
The Camdeboo municipality includes the Eastern Cape towns of Nieu-Bethesda, Graaff-Reinet, and Aberdeen.
The primary aim of the reserve is to conserve, and where necessary, restore the natural landscape and its constituent habitats, species, ecological process and cultural heritage. The Wilderness Foundation is managing this process on behalf of the Vincent Mai-Family Foundation which owns the land. Once the land has been restored through indigenous planting and prevention of soil erosion, indigenous animal species will be re-introduced to the area below carrying capacity.Both the fauna and flora will then be allowed to flourish naturally.
The long-term success of the reserve will ultimately be secured through the implementation of appropriate protected areas policies and management programmes, making a significant contribution to the national conservation estate. There will also be significant to local communities through job creation during the restoration process as well as long-term job creation once the accommodation aspect of the reserve is in operation.
A number of capacity-building initiatives will also be implemented including carbon sequestration and restoration projects. The aim of the restored nature reserve is to provide opportunities for university-based field research, community tracker, field guide and hospitality training and wilderness walking experiences. Various executive programmes will also be offered including board retreats and leadership training in the wilderness.
Excellent guest facilities are being constructed, with world class accommodation featuring sheltered decks for quiet contemplation and wildlife viewing.
Role of the Wilderness Foundation in the Plains of the Camdeboo project:
Establishing and managing a model private reserve. Which will be used as a benchmark for other new reserves in the future. It’s privately owned and managed on behalf of the Vincent Mai-Family Foundation.
Vincent Mai-Family Foundation,
Expected Duration of project: