What the World Needs More Of

“The plain fact is that the planet does not need more successful people. But it does desperately need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers of every kind. It needs people who live well in their places. It needs people of moral courage willing to join the fight to make the world habitable and humane. And these qualities have little to do with success as we have defined it.” 

— David W. Orr, Ecological Literacy

We have come across a few of these peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers across Africa and the Indian Ocean. People and places we believe are making the world a more “habitable and humane” home, inspiring us daily in their purpose and dedication and pure love for the natural world and the communities of the continent and its islands.

Below are 19 people and places the world needs a lot more of…

Peacemakers

A person who brings about or promotes peace (the concept of harmony and the absence of hostility; inner and outer tranquility); creators of harmony in nature and wellness in the individual and the greater tribe.

  • Royal Chundu, Zambia

This lodge on the banks of the gentle upper Zambezi River is built on a philosophy of harmony. Peace lies in… the setting, with raised villas and walkways between the trees, to ensure a lighter footprint on the land, and the stillness of being away from it all… The community spirit – with only local Zambian employees, the support of local farmers and fishermen, and village visits to give a true sense of place to travellers and ensure that the community benefits from the lodge. And the practice of sustainable cuisine, in harmony with the earth and supportive of the local ways.

  • Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat, South Africa

In the foothills of the Cederberg Mountains, Bushmans Kloof is a natural sanctuary for indigenous plant and animal life. Several endangered species, over 150 kinds of birds, 750 plant species and over 35 species of mammals live in harmony together among the open plains, sandstone formations and towering mountains The lodge works closely with the local school and communities, fostering a relationship of compassion and a more peaceful world. In the spa, guests find tranquility in treatments that marry ancient wisdom with modern expertise. 

Healers

  • Londolozi Private Game Reserve, South Africa

The Londolozi Healing House unites the safari excursion with artful resting, curated bodywork and yoga in the wilderness of a private reserve. Working with wellness practitioners, therapists and wilderness guides, this is a chance to focus on your well-being, to quieten the noise and slow down the hurried world of today, in the name of self-healing and deepening your connection to nature. Read more >

  • Zanzibar White Sand Luxury Villas

At the centre of this getaway on the white sand of Paje beach in Zanzibar is an Oasis with open-sided treatment rooms, hammams, showers and the soft sounds of tropical garden life that winds around every path. The wellness practitioners have a way of using the spices of the land and intuitive touch to heal body, mind and spirit, furthering the experience and going deeper with sunrise or sunset yoga on the beach, exhaling with the tides and gazing out to the horizon.

Restorers

  • North Island, Seychelles

The story of North Island is simply unique, their commitment to restoration a defining feature of the private island lodge. As part of their Noah’s Ark Project, their goal is to  restore the entire island ecosystem (degraded and overrun with invasive plant and animal species) to its original natural abundance and diversity. It has been one of the most ambitious island rehabilitation programmes ever undertaken by a private company and a handful of NGO partners. Read more >

  • Camp Jabulani, South Africa

It is pure heart that drives Camp Jabulani, in the Kapama Private Game Reserve of South Africa. Under the wing of owner, Adine Roode and with a team of committed elephant handlers and conservationists, the tale of this sanctuary for orphaned elephants is one of the most genuine and inspiring you will hear. It is one that knows no bounds, with their additional work with the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre, where rescued rhinos and other at risk wild animals are cared for.

  • Anjajavy le Lodge, Madagascar

A true haven of Madagascan wilderness, Anjajavy le Lodge has been pivotal in the creation of a protected area of Anjajavy, including forest and marine areas, ensuring the rewilding, biodoversity and sustainability of a region under threat. GM, Cedric du Foucault and his team worked tirelessly to restore this north-west peninsula, the land, the animals and the quality of life for the community. In the last nine years, they have accomplished: the scientific reintroduction of aye-ayes and giant tortoises, after extinction in the wild for 700 years; important research on fosa; and the replanting of 400 000 trees.

All in all, “somewhat of a miracle,” says Cedric.

Storytellers

  • Dereck & Beverly Joubert, Great Plains Conservation

Who? Filmmaker, Dereck Joubert, and photographer, Beverly Joubert – National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence, wildlife conservationists and the inspiring husband and wife team behind Great Plains Conservation and its Relais & Châteaux camps in Kenya and Botswana (Mara Plains Camp, ol Donyo Lodge, Zarafa Camp and Duba Plains Camp).

Why? Their deep love for Africa’s wild spaces and beings has led them across Africa, capturing the stories of leopards in the Maasai Mara, Okavango lions, migrating wildebeest, wandering elephants, rhino relocations and the Maasai culture… creating in the last 30 years: 25 films, 11 books, six scientific papers, and several articles for National Geographic magazine, focusing on large predator species. They have received eight Emmys, a Peabody, the World Ecology Award, and in 2009 they were inducted into the American Academy of Achievement.

In Beverly’s words, “A great image should tell a story and start a conversation.” A conversation, in the Jouberts’ case, of conservation.

Read more:

The Way of the Wild Artist – Beverly Joubert – 10 Questions

The Dignity of Dereck Joubert – 10 Questions

  • Peter Tempelhoff, The Cellars-Hohenort

Who? Executive Chef at The Cellars-Hohenort and Greenhouse restaurant in Cape Town, Peter Tempelhoff.

Why? Peter weaves his tales through food – the stories of his own life, journey and passions and those of the region, the Cape and greater South Africa. The menu at Greenhouse presents dishes that look beyond the pantry and into the oceans, farms and orchards of the county for inspiration, sharing the local culture, traditions and flavours with diners. Read more > 

Discover Peter’s recent night of culinary storytelling at Ellerman House here >

Lovers

There are few places in the world where the romance of life, a sense of joie de vivre, is so strong that it manages not only to bring couples closer but also to make individuals fall in love with their own lives, with themselves and with life all over again.

It takes a certain spirit and fire, the kind we have encountered at 20 Degres Sud, Mauritius, and Blue Margouillat, Reunion Island, for instance, over languid meals and fine wines, and yes, long walks on the beach… 

Delaire Graff Estate in the Cape Winelands has sparked the lover in many of us, charmed by the estate’s wines, its vines and gardens designed with the term “Genius Loci” (‘the Spirit of the place’) in mind. AtholPlace Hotel & Villa, Johannesburg, with its Honeymoon suite and Marie Antoinette style breakfast on the private patio, Ellerman House, with the Atlantic Ocean peering through the open door, as we rest under the sheets a little longer, or sip champagne on the terrace.

In its intimate setting on a cliff in the Big 5 wilderness of Nambiti Private Game Reserve, Esiweni Luxury Safari Lodge has gathered us around a campfire to watch the sun go down, while the silhouette of a giraffe passes by and a glass of Moet finds a way into our hands.

At Chateau de Feuilles, Seychelles, lovers are made in a pool on top of the world, looking out over the Indian Ocean’s waters and wishing to be nowhere else but right there, in that moment.

Read more in our blogs:

8 African Experiences to Transform You

The Art of Giving. And Giving Well.

The Importance Of Being Educated

August in the Wild – A Camp Jabulani Ranger Reflects…

Camp Jabulani Ranger, Dohan Scheepers, shares insight into his recent adventures in the Kapama wilderness of South Africa.

Read more on Camp Jabulani’s blog >

“The past few weeks have been incredibly busy at the lodge, as we are now entering into some of the busiest months of the year. We are well into our South African winter, which has been extremely mild and pleasant this year, with the daytime average of approximately 26 – 28°Celsius /80°Fahrenheit.”

“I personally love this time of year, as the sun rises a little later than in summer, which allows guests to sleep in a little longer, if they were to consider doing an early morning game drive. One of the unique aspects of the guest experience at Camp Jabulani, is that guests have the freedom to decide when they would prefer to set out to explore the wildlife, but I always try to encourage them to at least do one early morning game drive with me, as it is my favourite time of the day.”

“We would set off just before the sun rises, to be out in the thick of the bush in good time to experience the first light of the day, with the sun peeking out over the horizon, welcoming us to a new and fresh day in Africa. Listening to the birds waking up, and the mammals stirring, as they vocalise between one another. It is a time for guests to feel the moment and truly appreciate their surroundings, and connected to nature rather than to Wi-Fi and electronics.

“Then to top it off, we stop in a safe clearing, to enjoy a much appreciated hot cup of coffee, or a hot chocolate together, with a delicious muffin or biscuit,  and just enjoy the moment together. Some guests take this time to reflect quietly about their surroundings, and other times, guest are buzzing with questions and curiosity about nature.”

“Africa has a way of touching people on a many different levels, and I love witnessing that, every day with my our guests…”

Thank you for sharing, Dohan. Till next our paths cross…

10 Questions with Esiweni Luxury Safari Lodge’s Head Chef

We sat down with Head Chef, John Roux, the man behind the delicacies of a truly special corner of the Nambiti Private Game Reserve in South Africa – Esiweni Luxury Safari Lodge. Get to know him for yourself in our insider’s Q&A.

1. What is your first memory of cooking?

As a child, the very first things I learnt to make were cakes and sweets. My sweet tooth has always been talking to me.

2. What makes Esiweni Luxury Safari Lodge so special?

Our personal interaction with guests, the amazing experiences on game drives and unforgettable dining moments (like personal bush lunches and the boma outside under the stars), and our showcase of the unique cuisine that South Africa has to offer.

3. Favourite time in the bush and the best way to spend it?

Sunrise, looking out at the horizon and watching Mother Nature paint perfect pictures, and then sunset and moonrise, to see the sun fading away and the moon making its appearance over the mountains, the stars starting to shine in their own time and the sounds of night life filling the air.

4. How do you bring a taste of the region to your dishes?

I grew up on a farm in South Africa, working with game meat and nature’s produce, and I add this experience and influence to what we create at Esiweni, which is modern gastronomy using and celebrating local and fresh produce.

5. Describe the cuisine at Esiweni Luxury Safari Lodge…

It is nothing you will find in South Africa. We infuse French and South African cuisine on one plate. We are inspired by the unique flavours, methods, presentations and deliciousness of both countries and love merging the two in unique ways.  We are motivated by this and by that Michelin star and what it represents in the rest of the world.

6. Most unusual dish on the menu?

The zebra tartare, for sure. And all the wild game meat we use in our dishes.

7. What five things has working at Esiweni taught you about yourself, life and love?

– To be calm, to enjoy life and to connect with nature

– The beauty of the produce we get here in South Africa and how to work with it in special ways

– Our small dream team is like a family and we help each other a lot, enjoy each other’s company and help to lift each other’s spirits. It has shown me great love and joy.

– To love Mother Nature even more, to use what she offers, but most importantly to give back and look after her… planting trees, saving water and reducing pollution in our air and water

– Keep people around you that share the same dream.

8. What inspires you – in life and work?

I drive all my energy and positive thinking into my creations and get a lot back from seeing guests happy when dining with us and enjoying safari life… To take on a challenge and let the guest have an experience of a life time – that is what I strive for. They don’t have to remember every taste, but I’d like them to remember how we made them feel, wherever they are in the world – to just look back at the good times they shared with us and smile.

9. Favourite ingredient right now?

We have amazing cuts of meats from our local butcher. I love working with these organic natural meats and creating something beautiful with them on the plate, a taste of South Africa.

10. Your three fantasy dinner party guests?

The Michelin star chefs, the Roux brothers – to hear all about their stories and experience first-hand

My mother – she is always by my side, my rock, my supporter

The President of Ambassador from France  – so that he can experience how we use modern French food with our special African flair