Community-empowerment programmes

A tapestry of golden heartstrings knits us together

Over the past 29 years, the fabric of our shared Care of the People impact commitment has become a seamless weave of two rich threads: the luxurious yarn of &Beyond’s extraordinary guest experiences, and the vibrant social-development fibre of our not-for-profit partner, Africa Foundation.

Some shared achievements to date


People granted access to water


CLEF bursaries awarded to 604 students as of 2020


Classrooms built to facilitate education


Hippo-rollers transport over 2 million litres of water per month


Staff employed from local communities


Cultures represented through 2,000 &Beyonders

Care in action

Eight individual programmes interlace to form Africa Foundation’s quilted offering to the 73 rural communities across our African operational footprint.

Traditionally, Africa Foundation’s attention has focused around four primary areas: healthcare, education, business development and conservation executed in a slow-and-steady manner – collaboration, relationship-building and buy-in from stakeholders takes time if sustainability is the goal (which it is).

By integrating the threads of empowering methodology, inclusive approach and dedicated focus, Africa Foundation knits long-lasting change into the fabric of life in the rural areas where they operate while carefully weaving the importance of conservation into the bigger pattern of empowerment.


Conservation is in our collective DNA and at the heart of all we do. Operating in communities around the &Beyond lodge footprint, our collective mission to promote conservation has been unwavering.

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That mission involves facilitating the empowerment and development of people living alongside these protected wildlife areas by forging unique partnerships between conservation initiatives and local communities. Phinda Community Conservation & Research Skills Development Course, Rhinos without Borders and other Phinda conservation activities feature under this banner.


Balancing the interests of people, business and wildlife within conservation landscapes often feels like a juggling act, but when the scales settle at that middle sweet spot, the harmony is beautiful.

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Creating environmentally-conscious communities is paramount to achieving this balance. Known simply as ECHO for the resonance it has across people’s lives, this holistic Environmental Education Programme exposes communities to the game reserves that neighbour them through immersive game drives as well as curriculum-based lessons imparted throughout the school year.


The word “hustle” means different things to different people, but whisper it on the streets of a rural village and it means just one thing – opportunity! This programme focuses on micro-entrepreneurs.

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Also known as hustle-preneurs, the programme provides support for inexperienced yet aspirational start-ups, established retailers such as crafters, or contractors that run established businesses and have their own employees. Hustle-preneurs are the foundation of local economies, complementing often limited formal employment opportunities


We have always had ambitions to build – to build bridges, relationships and dreams. Ironically, achieving these goals most often actually takes the form of building physical walls with brick and mortar.

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By constructing structures and services to facilitate access to education and healthcare, the quality of life and the wellbeing of people in rural communities is supported, ultimately helping to underpin economic development. Healthy, educated citizens are then best able to build their own businesses and futures.


To truly break the cycle of poverty in rural Africa, the youth have to access tertiary level education to increase their employability – enter the Community Leader’s Education Fund (CLEF) bursary programme.

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This programme is not only a gateway to the dreams of young leaders in rural communities, it is also an initiative that brings value to generation upon generation. Operating since 1996, CLEF provides both bursaries and psycho-social support to rural youth from South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Tanzania, Zanzibar and Kenya.


Oceans are the ultimate commons, connected by the salty waters that flow around the globe – a fragile blue expanse that connects us all, and on which we are all intimately dependent. This programme is a unique collaboration.

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Oceans Without Borders (OWB) is the product of a partnership between &Beyond and Africa Foundation. Bringing together broad expertise, and working intimately with coastal and island communities, OWB is dedicated to marine conservation and community development at sites where &Beyond and Africa Foundation operate.


Saying “Yes!” to job creation, to giving youth a start in life by getting them job ready, to boosting the economy and to partnerships that make these things happen means saying yes to the Youth Empowerment Service aka YES.

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A joint initiative by the private sector and SA Government, Africa Foundation acts as an implementing partner for YES, making paid, skill-developing work opportunities available in their programmes for youths, currently in the role of Community & Conservation Rangers.


Sustainability has always been at the heart of what we do and in this regard, it is essential to look ahead and identify the bigger issues that threaten the long-term vitality of the communities with which we work.

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Climate change is looming as the primary antagonist in every conservation landscape’s story. Interventions like localised climate-wise agriculture, small scale water harvesting and alternative energy are needed. There are also the virtually untapped economic benefits of the carbon economy to harness.

Travel and support

By immersing yourself in our extraordinary experiences, you support our ability to positively impact the communities around our areas of operation creating a crucial bridge between them and conservation.

Curious to learn more?

A curation of videos, podcasts and stories to feed the enquiring mind along the theme of Care of the People.

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Leaving our world a better place for years

Discover the impact legacy that your travel with &BEYOND is driving. Just as the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals have been a touchstone for our Vision 2020 group-operation sustainability audits, so they continue to guide and underpin our ambitiously scaled Vision 2030 goals.