30 years ago, we began an adventure into the unknown. Pioneers of a new way of travel. This was the dream of a spirited mix of hoteliers and nature lovers who had a notion that, by enticing those seeking the thrill of new experiences, we could all become the custodians of untouched landscapes, their wildlife and people.
Join us as we celebrate the milestones that helped us become one of the world’s leading sustainable tourism companies.
In 1991, &Beyond (then called Conservation Corporation Africa or CC Africa) was launched with the creation of Phinda Private Game Reserve.
Just like a human one-year-old, in 1992 our developmental milestones were gaining traction. We were flexing our muscles in the tourism industry, walking steadily towards our next goal… working towards the incorporation of Ngala Private Game Reserve into the Kruger National Park.
Phinda was where our pioneering successes all began. From here, a series of conservation firsts were introduced. The reintroduction of cheetah to the reserve in 1993 was remarkable in its integration of big cats. Yet it didn’t stop there, to date we have had numerous conservation successes that we can all be proud of.
Between 1993 and 1996, Phinda undertook the tricky task of introducing cheetah amidst its now thriving big cat population.
2021 marks the 25th anniversary of Africa Foundation’s Community Leaders Education Fund (CLEF), launched in 1996, which has to date awarded 915 higher education bursaries to underprivileged youth from rural areas across five African countries.
1997, what a momentous year to break new ground and expand out of South Africa and into East Africa.
1998 came with a splash! We opened our first lodge in Botswana, our iconic Sandibe Okavango Safari Lodge. That same year, we translocated 10 lion from a now flourishing Phinda Private Game Reserve to Bongani, in South Africa.
1999 saw the launch of the Hippo Water Roller project. One of Africa Foundation’s most famous funding initiatives, this life-giving programme has been making the practice of water carrying easier for the communities surrounding our lodges, for over two decades.
The year was 2000. Whilst everyone was worrying about Y2K, we were taking over the management of Sossusvlei Desert Lodge. This spectacular marvel has undergone many refurbishments, but its latest makeover truly pays homage to the sci-fi era of 2000.
In 2001 we acquired Afroventures. We were no longer a lodge-based company, but a fully-fledged tour operator too.
In 2002, the MunYaWana Leopard Project, a collaboration between &Beyond and Panthera (a USA-based philanthropic association focused on the conservation of the world’s 37 species of wild cats) was launched at Phinda Private Game Reserve.
Initiated in 2003, in an effort to promote preventative health, the Positive Health programme was designed to train staff members to become able counsellors and caregivers for people living with life-threatening diseases including HIV/AIDS.
Celebrating the efforts taken to save a species. The Black Rhino Range Expansion Project (BRREP) was started in 2004 to counter the dramatic decrease in numbers of black rhino, which led to their near extinction in the 1990s.
In 2006, we once again put our explorer caps on and ventured (this time much further afield) into the spectacular landscapes of India.
In 2007, in a pioneering move for land distribution in South Africa, &Beyond and the leaders of the Makhasa and Mnqobokazi communities, which surround Phinda Private Game Reserve, signed a mutually beneficial deal resulting in the restoration of 9,085 hectares (22,460 acres) of wilderness land within Phinda to those communities; its ancestral owners.
2008 solidified our stance of expanding our footprint out of Africa and applying our ethos of Caring for the Land, Wildlife and its People across the globe. We did this, with a name change from CC Africa to &Beyond.
The &Beyond Phinda Homestead at Phinda Private Game Reserve officially opened on 01 August, 2009.
In 2007, &Beyond launched the Goal is Life competitive soccer challenge to inspire and motivate our staff not only to share their passion for the game of football, but to also set meaningful goals in order to live a happy and healthy life. The prize for the competition was a ticket to the FIFA World Cup 2010, to be held in South Africa.
2011 saw two momentous milestones. It was the year that the Maltahöhe Feeding Programme was launched in Namibia and where we played an integral role in the translocation of gaur from India’s Madhya Pradesh’s Kanha National Park to the Bandhavgarh National Park.
From its humble beginnings in 1998 to its official opening in 2012, the Khulani Special School was created to provide education to the special-needs children of the Mduku, Mnqobokazi and Nibela communities of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
Rhinos Without Borders was born out of the first ever donation of rhino from a private game reserve to another country. In 2013, &Beyond translocated six white rhino from &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve in South Africa to Botswana’s Okavango Delta.
After taking over the management of Benguerra Island Lodge, in Mozambique, in 2013; &Beyond immediately set forth refurbishing the property in 2014 so that it could meet the excellent standards we are renowned for. This magical adventure haven on the shores of the Indian Ocean has become a firm favourite with our guests worldwide.
In 2015 we grew in leaps and bounds. After moving out of Africa and creating a sustainable footprint in Asia, our Bateleur took the opportunity to spread its wings and fly to South America.
In 2016, we quickly expanded into other exciting South American destinations. In addition to 2015’s foray into Chile and Argentina, we soon added the bucket list destinations of Peru and Ecuador to our portfolio.
2017 saw us making an impact on land and in the water. We were invited to share our expertise around &Beyond’s proven large scale, veterinary-supported wildlife translocation model; and help with the reintroduction of Jaguar in Argentina’s Iberá Wetlands. Additionally, the year saw the launch of the Oceans Without Borders initiative.
2018, what a fantastic year to share our commitment to leaving our world a better place. And, what better way to showcase this determination than with our first lodge in South America, the beautiful &Beyond Vira Vira!
&Beyond has always favoured the idea of “partnering to make a difference”; a theme that has become crucial – not only in driving our own Impact Platforms but in pioneering change in the sustainability landscape.
Whilst 2020 fast became a “swear word” of sorts for many, we grabbed the year by the horns and turned what was a time of uncertainty into a time of positivity, learning and celebration.
We made it to 2021; 30-years of delivering unforgettable experiences for our guests, creating meaningful and sustainable impact over three continents, and to top it all off launching the &Beyond Academy, an initiative three years in the making.
Follow the world of &Beyond on social media during the month of September as we reveal the rest of the timeline.