Opportunity for volunteers in South Africa
Working holiday opportunity
This 1.7 ha property is situated in Rheenendal, Knysna bordering the
indigenous forests of Knysna. The forest is approximately 70 000 Ha making
it the largest in Southern Africa. The Drupkelders hiking trail starts at
the corner of the property giving the visitor immediate access to a path
leading to an unspoilt gorge.
The property currently has no usable structures on it and is in essence a
In response to the threat of global warming, peak oil, etc. we intend on
developing a self-sufficient, eco-friendly settlement/community. This means
the design and planting of an organic permaculture garden for fruit and
vegetables, building of natural dams, and construction of eco-friendly
dwellings using renewable natural resources (e.g. straw bale, cob, rammed
earth, timber). The dwellings will incorporate solar power, biogas digesters
and passive water treatment systems. It will be completely "off the grid"
harvesting rain water and supplying its own electricity.
The proximity of the forest poses natural challenges such as the fact that
baboons tend to forage and destroy the fruit trees and vegetables in the
area. Solutions for peaceful co-existence with the wild animals will
therefore have to be sought.
Eco-building is still a new concept within the South African building
industry and as such very little guidance and support is available regarding
the use of natural building materials. Part of the vision of this project
would be research and education in this regard.
The project requires a number of skilled and unskilled, enthusiastic
labourers with a love and appreciation of nature.
Wooden deck structures will be provided and visitors will have to bring
their own tents. One meal per day will be provided. Working hours will be 6
hours per day (consisting of two 3 hour sessions), Monday to Friday.
The project will be extensively photographed and filmed for use as
educational material and documentary film making. Visitors will need to sign
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