The award-winning Kogelberg Nature Reserve has launched its new modern eco-cabins and eco pods called the Mbali collection.

Dr Razeena Omar, CEO of the entity says: “We have an enormous responsibility to protect our biodiversity and the cultural heritage associated with this unique, pristine landscape. The conservation and careful management of our natural assets present opportunities for ecotourism to contribute to the economy and create work opportunities for rural communities living around the Kogelberg Nature Reserve.

“Members of the public have enjoyed eight years at the Oudebosch cabins and we are quite confident that our visitors will thoroughly enjoy the new additions to the reserve.”

Considered by many to be the most beautiful of CapeNature’s protected areas, Kogelberg Nature Reserve earns that reputation largely due to the reserve occupying an area with minimal human interference, offering uninterrupted landscape views and thousands of different plant species.

Given the reserve’s iconic environmental status, it was imperative to tread lightly with the construction of the new units.

Anton Bredell, the Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning in the Western Cape has welcomed the launch of the new facilities.

“CapeNature manages some of the most beautiful natural places on earth, all within the Western Cape. Critical to this management is ensuring tourists and visitors enjoy a memorable and comfortable stay while having an as little environmental impact as possible. The new Mbali collection will be sure to achieve that and cement Kogelberg’s place on the list of fantastic places to visit.”

The newly built units saw a partnership with the Craft and Design Institute (CDI), a non-profit company with 19 years of success in developing creative people, stimulate the local economy during these challenging times.

By partnering with CDI, in the capacity as a service provider for interior decorating services, the business outcomes far outweighed the benefits of appointing a single business in a traditional way, according to the entity.

This project not only directly supported local manufacturers but also, and very importantly, acts as a platform to showcase their work in beautiful spaces to a larger market, thus giving exposure to the SMMEs included in this project.

According to appointed architect, Tyrone Bloch, the architectural firm largely considered the climate crisis and building in a sustainable way. The cabins in the Mbali collection, are therefore strategically floated above the ground to allow water and animals to move seamlessly across the landscape with minimal interference.

A central focus of the design was to minimise the buildings’ environmental impact. To achieve this, locally sourced materials, waterless eco-toilets, solar geysers and planted roofs were incorporated, amongst other things.

The Mbali collection is made up of three new eco-cabins, each sleeping six people; five new eco pods, each sleeping two people and a central communal eco pool for exclusive use by overnight visitors. A six-sleeper unit that is entirely universally accessible is also part of the extension.

This speaks directly to the response to visitor needs and follows suit from similar successful projects implemented at other CapeNature reserves across the province. Providing access to protected areas for the differently-abled is a primary pillar in the entity’s eco-tourism development strategic ethos.

Bookings for the new units officially opens on  November 12, 2020.

Picture/s: Supplied

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