Celebrating 18 Years of Milestones for Morukuru Family
24 October 2023
Anniversaries celebrate the unique journey of one's life, a day to reflect on the past, cherish the present, and anticipate the exciting possibilities of the future. Over the course of 18 years, Morukuru Family, has had some important milestones, many of which have been deeply intertwined with the transformative power of nature.
Of course, the love story for South Africa goes beyond 18 years – dating back to 1992 when owners, Ed and Anka Zeeman, from the Netherlands, went on their first safari.
“We are grateful to every one of our team, our travel partners and our guests that have been so very much a part of our story. If you ever wanted to know who we are and what excites us, then here are out top six pivotal moments.” – Ed Zeeman
Pioneering Exclusive-Use Luxury: 2005
The Morukuru Family story began in 2005 when we first introduced the concept of exclusive-use properties in Madikwe Game Reserve, with dedicated hospitality teams and freedom to set one’s own schedule – our Morukuru Freedom Concept.
Nestled on the banks of the Marico River, surrounded by the serene Tamboti trees, our location inspired the name "Morukuru," derived from the local Tswana name for the Tamboti tree.
We started as Morukuru Lodge with the 2-bedroom Morukuru Owner's House and the 3-bedroom Morukuru River House. Here our guests could be immersed in the beauty of the South African wilderness in complete privacy. It was in 2009, that we added our 5-bedroom exclusive-use Morukuru Farm House.
Commitment to Conservation and Community: 2007
Following our heartfelt passion, Morukuru Family took a significant step in 2007 by establishing the Morukuru Goodwill Foundation supporting conservation and community.
Nature conservation in the Madikwe Game Reserve is a prime focus, with a strong emphasis on rhino protection, anti-poaching, and predator management, including relocation of lions. Over the years, guests have been part of this work by sponsoring numerous rhino notching’s and collaring’s for elephants, wild dogs, and cheetahs.
By 2010, we started supporting De Hoop Nature Reserve, and in 2021 we appointed two full-time workers focused on removing alien vegetation, contributing to the preservation of the natural habitat. Our conservation efforts here include beach clean-up weekends, and as of 2023 we are sponsoring the Two Oceans Aquarium Foundation, specifically their Turtle Conservation Centre, as De Hoop Nature Reserve is a key location for turtle releases.
We are committed to improving education and life skills and partnered with our local communities - the Molatedi Primary School, situated in Molatedi Village, around 10km from the Madikwe Game Reserve; and Ouplaas EK Primary School, situated 8km from the main gate of the De Hoop Nature Reserve. We are aligned with 'Pack for a Purpose' so guests can bring with much-needed supplies, such as stationery and clothing for these students.
Guests can experience some of this work first-hand through Safaris with a Purpose’ (est. 2018) and ‘Coastal Conservation with a Purpose’ (est. 2023).
Coastal Immersion and Sustainable Living: 2014
We opened our first property, Morukuru Ocean House, in De Hoop Nature Reserve in 2014. Fully off-grid on solar power, and dedicated to the rehabilitation of the natural fynbos, our coastal immersion journey began.
Subsequently, in 2018, the 5-suite Morukuru Beach Lodge in De Hoop Nature Reserve was introduced. We built this lodge, entirely dependent on solar power, with a strong commitment to minimising its ecological footprint, mirroring the sustainability efforts of Morukuru Ocean House.
Embracing the Urban Oasis: 2015
We secured our presence in Sandton, Johannesburg, in 2015, with the addition of AtholPlace House & Villa, for the lovers of this vibrant city, and the perfect stop in-between sea and safari.
Bites Beach Café: 2023
We introduced Bites Beach Café in De Hoop Nature Reserve, in February 2023, offering a beautiful place for day visitors and our guests to socialise and enjoy great food, all with a gorgeous ocean view. Doing our bit for this coastline, we introduced our ‘Plastic 4 Coffee’ project - in return for a bag full of collected rubbish/plastics our guests will get a free cuppa.
The Future of Sustainability: 2023 and Beyond
In January 2023, we further formalised our sustainability journey by appointing a dedicated Conservation & Sustainability Manager, Shane Kloeck, at Morukuru Family Madikwe. Solar power is a focus area for us and from June 2023 all three houses in Madikwe operate on solar power, fully off-grid.
We have also partnered with Weeva to track our conservation and sustainability efforts and goals.
Morukuru Family is dedicated to preserving the natural beauty of South Africa and we feel privileged to share this beautiful world with our guests. We hope you’ll visit soon!