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Grootbos gallery impresses

18 Apr

Grootbos gallery impresses

Situated in the Overberg between Stanford and Gansbaai, Grootbos Nature Reserve is known around the world for its 3 500 ha of pristine wilderness, 100 endangered plant species, 907 plant species, of which seven new to science were discovered here, three Milkwood forests over a 1 000 years old, the wonder of the marine big five and more than 23 mammal species found on the reserve.

The best part of visiting the Grootbos Nature Reserve is to get up close and personal with the work its foundation does. At a Grootbos Foundation open day held on 4 April, visitors were guided through the Hannarie Wenhold Botanical Art Gallery, where they met the conservation researchers and the Green Futures College team, visited the Spaces for Sports Facility and met the team of the Masakhane Homework Hub.

The Grootbos Foundation is a non-profit organisation, established in 2003 with the vision of conserving the Cape Floral Kingdom and uplifting the communities.

According to their website it is their mission to conserve the unique Cape Floral Kingdom and to develop sustainable livelihoods through ecotourism, enterprise development, sports development and education.

They focus on educational programmes like the Green Futures Education programme which relates to learning initiatives with a core conservation focus. These include nationally accredited training courses offered through their Green Futures Horticulture and Life Skills College, their Green Futures indigenous nursery and alien clearing and indigenous tree planting projects.

They also have a conservation research unit that relates to their conservation research programmes. These include award-winning ecological research projects, biodiversity surveys and management of human-wildlife conflict within a protected environment.

Their Sports Development Programme was established with the dual aims of achieving greater social integration in the Gansbaai region and educating and empowering youth, using sports as a vehicle for change.

Other projects include the Spaces for Sports Facility, the Masakhane Home-work Hub and a soup kitchen that was established during the Covid 19 Pandemic.

There are many things to do in this reserve, but it is the gallery and its operation that impresses one. Possibly every plant species found in the reserve is exhibited here in a unique way. According to Chris Lochner each plant is studied under a microscope and captured on the canvas.

“The work and detail the artists put into their work is impressive.”

. For more information visit or send an email to or phone 028 384 8048.

Chris Lochner, a botanical artist whose work was exhibited at the Hannarie Wenhold Botanical Art Gallery.Photo: Mariëtte Strydom


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