Conservation & Community at Exeter River Lodge
At &Beyond we seek to maintain a low impact on the land while deriving high yield for our conservation initiatives by creating very small luxury lodges that support enormous tracts of biodiverse land, which remains untouched.
At every lodge we seek out small (and sometimes not so small) but meaningful ways of putting our values into action every day. Each &Beyond lodge supports the conservation of wildlife and contributes to its neighbouring communities in one way or another. In addition, we seek to limit our impact in terms of fossil fuels, the use of renewable energy, water and waste management, and recycling.
Each fortnight rangers from &Beyond Exeter River Lodge host rural children whose villages border the reserve, and take them on conservation lessons and game drives to see their natural heritage.
Exeter River Welcomes Spring
Exeter welcomed Spring this year with a fantastic conservation message. They showed their commitment to community greening by planting 45 trees at nine local primary schools.
Inspiring Young Leaders
Launched in 1995, Africa Foundation’s Community Leaders Education Fund (CLEF) scholarship programme offers partial funding to students from the communities that border &Beyond conservation areas. The broad objective of the CLEF programme is to grow leadership in communities by offering matriculating students the chance to improve their career opportunities by studying at tertiary level. During their holidays, students give back to their communities by conducting activities that involve and uplift those around them (e.g., career guidance at high schools, community clean-up campaigns, or helping at local clinics). Decide Makhubele, from the Lillydale community, is a CLEF bursary recipient who recently completed his BA LLB. In a thank you letter to Africa Foundation, Decide wrote: “Nelson Mandela said that ‘education is the great engine to personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mine worker can become the head of the mine, that the child of farm workers can become the president of a great nation.
Pangolin Research at Exeter River Lodge
Johnathan Michael Swart, Ecologist for the Sabi Sand Game Reserve in which Exeter River Lodge is situated, recently completed an in-depth study of the Pangolin and its foraging behaviour. Through his research, Johnathan has provided valuable information to the conservation world about the behaviour of these intriguing animals. The project revolved around 15 Pangolins, tagged with radio transmitters. Their activity, diet, foraging behaviour and habitat selection were studied over a 14-month period. Johnathan also took the opportunity to study the composition, diversity, and activity of epigaeic ants and termites in conjunction with his findings on the Pangolins.
Working closely with Africa Foundation, Exeter River Lodge works with lodge staff and communities to follow a wellness programme geared towards developing and maintaining a healthy immune system. Diet, natural vitamins and minerals, and the cultivation of a positive attitude are among the key factors in fighting chronic illnesses, including HIV/Aids.