Environmental awareness is growing almost as quickly as the human race’s production of damaging emissions. While we are all becoming conscious of emissions, not everyone is aware of what can be done to reduce the amount of damaging carbon in the atmosphere.
In the tourism industry eco-travel has become mainstream and as global warming and the dwindling of fossil fuels have become crucial issues, travelers have turned more and more to environmentally conscious options when planning their holidays.
A Step towards a climate solution
Research indicates that pristine thicket areas within South Africa hold more carbon compared to transformed or over-grazed land. Further to this, there are specific plant species that have particularly effective levels of absorption under semi arid conditions (or sequestration as it is known scientifically). One of the most effective plants is the Spekboom, Portulacaria Afra, which grows predominantly in the Eastern Cape. Samara Private Game Reserve is rich in spekboom habitat and has launched a project to facilitate the re-generation of previously over-grazed land on the reserve through the planting of Spekboom. In order to maintain heterogeneity of the area, additional plant species will also be identified and planted.
Our first batch of spekboom was planted on 4th of May by a class of secondary school learners from Spandau Secondary School, Graaff-Reinet. For the past year, Samara has been running a community/environmental awareness project through which groups of learners from each of the schools in Graaff-Reinet come out to the reserve to learn about the environment and to gain exposure to the hospitality industry. By helping us to regenerate the land, they are ensuring a section of pristine wilderness will still exist for their children to visit after them.