'A culture of non-dependence coming through own experience, dignity and self-respect' - that's the mission of Another Way Trust, a tourism empowerment scheme on a property in the Baviaans Mountains in the Eastern Cape. Skills transferred so far include restaurant management, top-end cooking, eco-friendly lodge building and general hospitality.

Did you know?

Cob housing is an environmentally friendly way of building, used for centuries around the world.

 

Lamplight and candlelight in a long narrow old barn beside the Cedar Guesthouse in the Baviaanskloof. An inviting bar, made out of clay, wood and natural materials. A cosy table, shining in the lamplight.

Supper is served - venison pie, baked vegetables and salad. Your chef is Marta Jumat, a shy woman who never dared dream she would one day run her own restaurant.

That night, you sleep in Cob Cottage, a brand new addition to Baviaanskloof accommodation. It's an intriguing dwelling made of hay bales and cob - an eco-friendly blend of clay, water and straw.

Marta's husband Willem Maganie used to be a farmworker, employed on various properties for a few years before he'd move on. But when he started working at Baviaanskloof's Cedar Guesthouse, bought by Jeanne and Linden Booth, everything changed.

The Booths set up Another Way Trust. With an eye on eventual partnership, they asked Willem and Marta what their dream was. Willem's eyes shine as he remembers how they talked until late with the Booths, discussing a guest house of their very own.

And so began Cob Cottage, Marta's new career as a chef, and another chapter in Baviaanskloof social upliftment.

Another Way Trust has also helped set up other tourism enterprises. Vero's Restaurant and Takeaway on the main road is probably one of the most iconic.

Young Veronica Maganie (a distant cousin of Willem) noticed how many mountain bikers were stopping at her mother's shop and asking for tea and a sandwich. After applying for funds from Another Way (and any grants come with slow, patient mentoring in how to run a business), Vero had her own restaurant, serving simple food.

Linden speaks of their ultimate vision: ‘We need to build a culture of non-dependence. This comes through experience, dignity and self respect.'

Another exciting project that is well under way is a five-day Leopard Hiking Trail which is still in the process of being finalised.

Travel tips & Planning info

Who to contact

Another Way Trust
Tel: +27 (0)82 878 3688

Cedar Guest House
+27 (0)44 923 1751
Email: cedartourism@baviaan.co.za

How to get here

The nearest town is Willowmore, on the N10 highway. The info centre will direct you to the Baviaanskloof road. The roads are gravel, but mostly in fair condition.

Around the area

A labyrinth, beautiful mountain walks, rock art, a permanent display of eco-friendly building methods, and occasional courses in yoga and massage.

Tours to do

Enquire at Baviaanskloof Tourism Information in Willowmore about custom-made tours to surrounding attractions.

Get around

Most attractions are within walking or cycling distance. Local tour companies can take you further.

Length of stay

Set aside at least two nights, more if you can.

Where to stay

You can stay in the Cedar guesthouse, Just for Two cottage (R700 a night) or Cob Cottage (R700 a night)

What to eat

Don't miss the roosterkoek (griddle-baked bread) at Veros Restaurant and Takeaway. Good just with cheese and tomato, or boerewors.

What's happening

A five-day community-run hiking trail, called the Leopard Trail, is in the process of being developed.