Walking the sustainability talk at Morukuru Family De Hoop
12 February 2024
Sustainability, minimal environmental impact, community, and conservation are paramount to our operations and form part of our core values. We also believe that these initiatives must take centre stage to enhance your experience and underpin your every touchpoint. With many of you seeking to deepen your connection to nature and make a difference, our properties allow for immersive and meaningful stays with a light environmental footprint.
If you feel drawn to a coastal holiday, and we are sure you do, we feel privileged to have two properties situated along the rugged and untouched De Hoop Nature Reserve coastline. Here we invite you to connect with this fragile ecosystem in an intentional way.
This World Heritage Site comprises 34 000 hectares of fynbos, beaches, dunes and wetlands, set against the backdrop of the Potberg Mountains and flanked by the Indian Ocean. The reserve forms part of the Cape Floral Kingdom, one of only six Floral Kingdoms of the World, and there is a diversity of wildlife reliant on this protected area.
When you visit, you also enter a Marine Protected Area that supports vulnerable reef fish, is a safe haven for breeding whales, an important area for environmental education, and also a critical turtle release point.
Our presence here centres around responsible ecotourism – gently merging with the landscape while drawing visitors from far afield to contribute to its protection. Morukuru Beach Lodge and Morukuru Ocean House were built in accordance with custodian CapeNature’s strict regulations, using local and eco-friendly materials, such as sandstone and reclaimed railway sleepers. The energy-efficient architectural designs maximise natural lighting and ventilation – instead of air conditioners, we rely on the cool air off the surface of the ocean. Fynbos that had to be removed during construction was replanted on the roof of Morukuru Ocean House.
Both properties are off-grid, using only solar power provided through two photovoltaic systems installed at the staff village and Morukuru Ocean House. We can generate 210,617kWh of solar energy per year, meaning that we avoid an estimated 149 tons of carbon emissions annually.
We also source our water sustainably through an underground reservoir. After pumping, filtration, and purification, the water is safe for use, and water-efficient appliances have also been installed. Grey water is recycled for irrigating the surrounding fynbos. Naturally, we also drive an environmentally friendly waste-management system of recycling and composting food waste for the gardens. Whether it’s LED lights, quick dry no-press uniforms, local purchasing within a 120km radius, or eco-friendly products, we believe many small actions lead to big results. We monitor and track all our efforts with Weeva and were recently featured as a case study.
You can be hands on and participate in one of our planned beach clean ups or grab a bag and participate in our Bites Beach Café “Plastic 4 Coffee" initiative.
Conservation & community impact…
Our owners, Ed & Anka Zeeman, launched the Morukuru Goodwill Foundation in 2007 following a natural merging of conservation efforts with community upliftment in the Madikwe Game Reserve. Three years later, the foundation became involved with the De Hoop Nature Reserve, and today, it also partners with the Two Oceans Aquarium Foundation in Cape Town.
Conservation and sustainability come to life should you wish to participate in our Coastal Conservation with a Purpose experience. This immersive opportunity allows you to learn firsthand about our initiatives in the reserve and support critical environmental projects, from the ongoing removal of invasive plant species to turtle rehabilitation. There is a unique opportunity to see behind the scenes with the turtle conservation team at the aquarium. We recently sponsored a satellite tag for Bheni, a green turtle – released with our team in De Hoop, and we are watching his journey with close interest. This option is available to our guests who book a minimum of two nights at either of our properties, and itineraries can also be further customised.
Remember to save a little space in your suitcase too and bring some school or other supplies. We support the global Pack for a Purpose initiative. One of our projects is the Ouplaas EK Primary School that caters for 139 learners and is staffed by five dedicated educators. Most of the students are from the local farming community and are growing up in financially challenged households. Morukuru Family De Hoop co-ordinates education and facility improvement projects at the school. See the list of need here for this and other projects.
By providing ways for you to make a direct impact, we walk our sustainability talk while constantly seeking additional innovative solutions to operate responsibly. We hope we've inspired you and that you'll join us in experiencing and appreciating the pristine reserve we call home, while safeguarding it for the future.
See our previous blog on how we are making a difference at Morukuru Family Madikwe.