Giving back while traveling allows you to connect on a deeper level with the planet, local communities and philanthropists aiming to improve the world in which we live. We may not be able to travel right now owing to the Covid-19 crisis, but once life returns to normal we all need to be kinder to each other and to travel more responsibly. Elite Traveler has rounded up the best resorts and lodges around the globe that allow guests to actively participate in and support programs that do good.
Grootbos Villa 2, South Africa
Located just two hours outside of Cape Town, the eco-friendly Grootbos helps protect more than 6,000 acres of one of the world’s six floral kingdoms (regions recognized for their diverse plant species), the Cape Floral Region in the Fynbos Biome. Situated among colorful rolling hills filled with exquisite flora, the enchanting Grootbos property seamlessly blends into the landscape and has a beautiful modern design.
The four-bedroom Grootbos Villa 2 can only be rented for exclusive use, and it has a private infinity pool, kitchen, sauna, large gym, entertainment room, airstrip, wine cellar and indoor-outdoor living — all with views over the stunning landscape. Outdoor adventure reigns supreme: Go on a botanical-focused 4×4 tour to see more than 800 types of plants, including newly discovered species; forage for food (later on, a private chef will cook your bounty); visit beehives with a resident beekeeper; go horseback riding; or indulge on a private wine tour.
Lifelong philanthropist Michael Lutzeyer has dedicated more than two decades to conserving land in the Fynbos Biome. In 2003 he founded the Grootbos Foundation to further protect this critically endangered area’s flora and fauna, and also educate, employ and support local communities.
During your visit, plant trees as part of a reforestation program, go out in the field with entomologists, prepare meals for children and families, or partake in an after-school activities program or the youth-development canoeing program. Nearly 11,000 people benefit each year from the Grootbos Foundation’s work.
Rate: From $50,000 for five nights
Travel less than half an hour to the coast, where you can go shark-cage diving, or whale watch from the beach.
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