places to stay

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Cape West Coast Biosphere - 5 trails

Submitted by sproutingforth on Tue, 2012-01-17 13:43.

For more about the trails – here's a whole blurb about each, who you need to contact for more information, and to book.

“The Five Bay Trail, Darling Stagger, Wheels of Time, Eve's Trail and the Berg River Canooze are hospitable Cape West Coast trails for everyone, from hardcore mountain lovers, twitchers and botanists to family groups and modern-day strandlopers.”

The Cape West Coast Biosphere Reserve, for those of you who, like me, didn't know of its existence, lies between Diep River in Milnerton in the south, the Berg River, Velddrif in the north, the N7 at the towns of Moreesberg and Malmesbury in the east and the Atlantic Ocean in the west.

It is one of only six biospheres recognised as such by UNESCO in South Africa.


the cobbit of mcgregor

Submitted by sproutingforth on Wed, 2011-01-12 08:58.

Jill's cob guest houseJill's cob guest houseWe find the house via a combination of directions from McGregor’s locals and the ability to follow our noses once we have the rather obvious house in sight – there are not many homes in McGregor that look quite like it. Outside is a sign – cobbits cottage. It’s an apt description of what stands before us, built completely out of earth and serving as MAT’s headquarters.


wild olive farm offers 12-day permaculture course

Submitted by sproutingforth on Tue, 2010-09-07 10:52.

Our friend Hazel (we blogged about her here ) lives on a farm. It isn't just any farm either, it's a beautiful organic farm offering accommodation perched on the hill overlooking the Gou Kou River in Stilbaai.

Hazel's farm is a hugely popular lunch and breakfast venue, not least because she grows most of the vegetables and salads that she uses in her meals on her farm according to the principles of permaculture.

She is, as you will soon find out, intensely enthusiastic about permaculture and it is no surprise that she is now offering a 12 day Permaculture Design Course - starting on 18 October 2010.


ctgm second edition available now

Submitted by turbosprout on Fri, 2010-06-04 11:46.

Second Edition Cape Town Green MapSecond Edition Cape Town Green MapWe've been working on a project with the City of Cape Town's Environmental Resource Management Dept and A & C Maps for the last eighteen months and today we're launching the second print edition of the Cape Town Green Map, ahead of World Environment Day tomorrow. The online map was launched a year ago, and Open Green Map, the global green map system we are affiliated with, is also turning one tomorrow.


space of love gathering - inspired by anastasia and the ringing cedar series

Submitted by Estelle on Wed, 2010-03-17 10:15.

The first Space of Love gathering in South Africa took place early February this year. This was a wholly co-created event inspired by Anastasia and the Ringing Cedar series. The intentions were to create a safe, harmonious space in which people of all colours and creeds could come together in unity and celebration of life. An experiment in temporary community, in order to taste a way of life that is lived in close communion with nature and one another as true brothers and sisters.

The gathering took place over a weekend and was hosted by the Blue Hippo Tipi Village in Greyton. This is the home of many an ancient Oak, majestic horses, a beautiful lake, an array of magical plant- and wildlife, as well as a handfull of ancient souls...two of these being the lovely ladies who seeded the event.

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the eco shrine in hogsback

Submitted by sproutingforth on Mon, 2010-02-01 11:23.

There is something of the sacred in Hogsback. Perhaps it is the ethereal proximity of dense, indigenous forests that hint at faery folk, or its remoteness that make it so. But few people leave here without some element of reparation, even if it is simply their faith in the beauty of nature that is restored.

The approach to the eco shrine, which the artist Diana Graham calls the 'Voice of the Earth Eco shrine', does much to reinforce this impression. It is a tunnel formed by lean, leafy Hazelnut trees that create a vortex through which one moves from one time into another. Or so it seems.


top 10 news stories for 2009

Submitted by sproutingforth on Tue, 2009-12-29 13:46.

2010 is virtually upon us, but before we allow the new year to sweep us back into the swing of things, it's a good moment to reflect on the past year and what news stories were most popular with our readers.

1. is Woolworths just another bad egg?
So there you are; surrounded by posters of poultry basking in their freedom, your conscience and shopping experience clean because you are promised that the eggs you are buying came from free-range chickens. If chickens could smile, I’m sure we would be confronted by an enormous picture of a splendid beaky grin.

2. you can recycle tetra pak!
I have to confess to sending various irate messages to Tetra Pak over the last year about their apparent lack of recycling facilities in Cape Town, or the country for that matter. The perception out there, despite their very obvious drive to recycle overseas, is that one can't recycle tetra pak, and there are a fair amount of them if you consider things like fruit juice, some olive oil, long-life milk and custard all come in these containers – they heap up over time!


it's a map, it's green, and now it's in print

Submitted by sproutingforth on Tue, 2009-11-24 14:10.

www.capetowngreenmap.co.za now has a print map. You can either get hold of it free of charge from Cape Town Tourism Visitor Information Centres, or you can be one of the first to download a pdf version (read further).

This morning we were one of a small party of people (most of them the steering committee) who met on a hill at Tygerberg Hills Nature Reserve to launch the print map...


clean breaks – 500 new ways to see the world

Submitted by sproutingforth on Mon, 2009-10-12 08:58.

Richard Hammond and Jeremy Smith have just co-authored a tome for all Rough Guide enthusiasts. It's a book brimming over with unusual, ethical green things to do, all over the world, and worth getting hold of, if you're even remotely interested in climate-friendly travel.

The authors describe a Clean Break as – about minimising your environmental impact – on your journey and at your destination – by choosing carefully how you travel and the nature of the place you choose to stay at. It's also about having a positive impact in other ways – by contributing where you can to the conservation of wildlife and local heritage, and suporting local economies.

And before you translate that to mean that you have to give up certain luxuries or adventure extremes to which you are accustomed, the authors say absolutely not...


a revolution in straw - staying in elands bay

Submitted by sproutingforth on Mon, 2009-07-27 13:58.

We recently spent the most beautiful weekend in winter in Elands Bay on the west coast. And whilst I share this with some reticence (Elands Bay can do without a stampede) I do think that sharing our hideaway (join the strawrevolution at one boom straat elands bay) is something anyone who appreciates anything built sustainably will appreciate!

So, what is there to do in Elands Bay? was the first question flung my way when I mentioned to two of my closest friends jetsetting in from Johannesburg that we were heading out to the small town on the West Coast for our long-planned weekend away.

A little research brought to light an apt description that went something like this: there is a very long beach; and you can head down to the local pub and drink coke and klippies with the local potato farmers!...