Traditionally game reserves have been managed as “island fortresses” protecting the wildlife from the predations of the local community. Somkhanda is unlike a traditional game reserve, it was proclaimed by the community with the vision of job and wealth creation for the community. The Mission and Vision of Somkhanda is aligned with establishing the reserve as the hub of a local biodiversity based economy. This vision includes:
- Sustainable biodiversity management of both the protected area as well as the community landholding surrounding it.
- Development of sustainable economic development through jobs and businesses related to biodiversity, wildlife, ecotourism and agriculture and food security.
- Development of social benefits related to health (human and animal) and education at all levels. Current Community Projects
Authentic Cultural Experiences The aim of this programme is to provide an authentic insight into contemporary rural Zulu Culture. There is no better way of experiencing this tan living and working alongside a community. Visitors are able to spend 2 - 5 nights living with a Zulu family. During the day they are involved in various aspects of daily life or working on a community project.
Early Childhood Development With the aid of donations and physical labour of clients visiting Somkhanda one Preschool was built in 2017. The aim is to build one each year for the next 3 years. In conjunction with ECD specialists Sengwenza a tried and tested sustainable curriculum developed using recycled materials to produce educational toys and games. By prior arrangement visitors to Somkhanda can get involved in supporting our ongoing ECD programme.
Cattle Dipping Excessive tick loads on livestock has a direct negative impact on their health and welfare. Access to the government cattle dipping programme is a challenge. In partnership with the State Veterinary Department, the African Insight Academy on Somkhanda offers a free dipping service. Guests staying at Somkhanda on a Saturday can participate in this programme.