“The term ‘green’ certainly can be misused”, says Kathryn Johnson of Mosaic Farm, one of the few true eco-tourism establishments in South Africa. Surrounded by the whale watching paradise of Walker Bay Beach and the majestic Overberg Mountains, Mosaic Farm (near Stanford) perfectly blends the glories of nature with fine country living and superb South African cuisine and wine.
“Many businesses claim eco-friendliness”, continues Kathryn. “It’s a term often used very loosely as a marketing mantra, but without following the fundamentals of environmental integrity, social justice and economic development, claims can be empty.”
The Mosaic Mantra:
- Active conservation
- Our guests’ experience and appreciation of the natural environment
- Involvement in environmental and community needs
Mosaic Farm have cleared more that 200 hectares of lagoon front land densely infested with Rooikraans, Port Jackson and Myrtle. This has brought back indigenous plant, bird, and insect and mammal life, and restored the balance of the eco-system. General Manager, Justin Boshoff and Assistant Lodge Manager, Craig Templar, are trained conservationists and wildlife guides. Management along with the owners, Breese and Kathryn Johnson, are passionate about restoring their environment.
But their commitment to eco-tourism goes much further. Guests staying at Mosaic Farm are treated to a range of educational, nature based activities, including to mention just a few, guided birdwatching, whale watching from the Walker Bay Nature Reserve and beach, kayaking on the Hermanus Lagoon, and 933 hectares of fynbos to explore. A nature DVD library, including “Roberts Birds of Southern Africa” shown on big screen, continue the education of guests in a relaxed way.
Mosaic Farm itself was built according to Sustainable Building Practices. “All the stone on our buildings is from Mosaic, most (70%) of the thatch on the Lagoon Lodge has been sustainably harvested from Mosaic – the rest was purchased locally. Dead Milkwood branches were used as supports at the Lagoon Lodge. The furniture and countertops at the Lagoon Lodge were made from a dead tree that we bought, which washed up on the Milnerton Beach and other furniture was made by a local furniture maker in Hermanus.” Kathryn told us that this was done to prevent pollution from manufacturing and pollution from the transportation of materials and assisted with job creation.
She continued, “Our outdoor picnic tables and trash receptacles are made from recycled lumber, we’ve used local, natural, durable materials for flooring, countertops, showers, etc. We use local suppliers as much as we can for meat, seafood, cheese and other products and we’re very proud of our organic vegetable and herb garden.”
Giving back to the community is also of the utmost importance when talking about eco-tourism, which Mosaic Farm clearly advocates:
- They are a member and active participant in the Walker Bay Fynbos Conservancy and the Stanford Tourism Bureau
- They support Food 4 Thought Pre-Primary School & Garden and organize opportunities for American students or post graduate individuals to teach in the school.
- They organize and facilitate camps for disadvantage youth in Stanford
- Teen Leadership Camp – teach hospitality skills training and environmental education and sports.
- Day Camp for all ages – games, art, sports.
- They support the Stanford Housing & Development Co-Op (a plan for a sustainable village to replace the squatter camp in Stanford).
- They established a USA based non-profit fund to assist with financial needs of Food 4 Thought Pre-Primary School and the Stanford Housing & Development Co-Op.
The 4-star graded Mosaic Farm is truly an inspiration, showing us all that ecotourism needn’t be a compromise on luxury, but is rather a different way of life which should be embraced and which indeed enhances the experiences we so treasure and conserves them for generations to come.
Contact Mosaic Farm:
Address: Provincial Road, Stanford, Western Cape, South Africa
Web: Visit Mosaic Farm