grootbos foundation
mobile menu

Our Programmes

We facilitate three integrated ‘umbrella’ programmes: 'Green Futures’ which focuses on conservation, ‘Football Foundation’ which focuses on utilising sport for development, and ‘Siyakhula’ which focuses on the creation of sustainable livelihoods through enterprise development. Below are short programme summaries of these core initiatives. For more detailed information please visit their individual programme pages (accessed by clicking the READ MORE buttons below).

Green Futures

The Green Futures programme relates to all initiatives with a core conservation focus. These include award-winning ecological research projects, nationally accredited training courses offered through our Green Futures Horticulture and Life Skills College, our Green Futures indigenous nursery and alien clearing and indigenous tree planting projects. Read More

Football Foundation

Our flagship sports programme founded in 2008, works to promote sports and social development in Gansbaai, an area with high unemployment rates and few educational, and developmental resources and opportunities. Established in partnership with the English Premier League, the Football Foundation, a subsidiary of the larger Grootbos Foundation, aims to uplift communities by empowering individuals through accredited skills training and leadership opportunities. It works to promote education, health, social integration and participation through sports.  Read More


Siyakhula is our benchmark enterprise development and entrepreneurship programme. Many of the projects within this programme also have a dual focus on food security. Siyakhula, an isiXhosa word meaning “It is growing”, has evolved over the past 5 years from our first ‘Growing the Future’ agricultural training project, which taught farming, beekeeping and animal husbandry skills to local unemployed women; into a far more comprehensive and far reaching career and employability-driven enterprise creation initiative. Read More

Our Roots

Grootbos Private Nature Reserve

Home base (and mission control) for our Foundation is the world famous Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, a multiple award winning ecotourism destination. Grootbos is a five star ecotourism business that specialises in the remarkable terrestrial and marine biodiversity of the Cape region of South Africa. For nearly two decades Grootbos has promoted the region’s beauty, interpreted its intricate stories, researched some of its many secrets and developed a suite of projects focused on conserving this exceptional part of the world for posterity.

Our Foundation was established in 2003 by reserve owners, the Lutzeyer family, with the aim of simultaneously protecting the unique natural environment of the region, and also improving the lives of local communities in a concrete, sustainable manner. A core philosophy linking conservation with social development initiatives has made Grootbos a world leader in terms of sustainable and responsible ecotourism.

Our Name

Our name is an Afrikaans word that translates as “large forest.” It is a reference to three ancient forests comprised primarily of endemic Milkwood trees (some of which are more than 800 years old) located on the Grootbos Reserve where we are based. The White Milkwood (Sideroxylon inerme) species is widespread in coastal forests and thickets along the southern and eastern coastline of South Africa, but this particular formation type is restricted to the Stanford-Gansbaai-area, with the only protected patches being found on Grootbos itself.