Our Impact – Conservation Projects
Supporting and protecting our planet
Our conservation priority is preserving the natural environment and biodiversity for future generations. This includes projects focusing on the protection of endangered species, habitats and meaningful environmental awareness campaigns.
Creating a Buzz in Africa
Project name: Bees and Biodiversity
Property involvement: The Mantis Collection
Strategic partner: Honeybee Heroes
Location: Mantis properties and other location across across South Africa
The future of this species, on which so much biodiversity depends, is uncertain. We need to play an active role in ensuring the future of these tiny little miracles of nature that not only pollinate our flowers but are largely responsible for our crops and food. If there were no bees, there would be no more pollination, plants, animals or man.
Apiaries have been set up at The Honey House on Willowdale Farm in Stanford, at Hazendal and Mantis Founders Lodge. These provide additional jobs and income for the local community, while helping to preserve the future of this globally important species.
Creating an environment where bees can prosper while empowering the community to start their own beekeeping businesses. Once installed, the hives and bees belong to the community, with the honey produced sold through Mantis properties and local businesses.
This project aims to set up micro-apiaries, assisting rural South Africans with set-up requirements such as hives, bee suits, basic tools and training.
Project name: Rhino conservation
Property involvement: Mantis Founders Lodge
Strategic partner: Self implemented by Mantis Impact
Location: South Africa (Eastern Cape)
Rhino poaching is rife in Africa and to protect them we need to manage and watch over them intently. If we don’t put every resource we have into protecting them, this iconic animal will not survive. Beyond their safety, we must ensure space and adequate welfare to encourage natural breeding to increase rhino numbers.
At Mantis Founders Lodge, our rhino population is intensively managed and protected. It is home to the Southern White Rhino. Considerable resources are invested to maintain the safety and welfare of the rhinos in our care. This means that, in addition to setting up high-tech security surveillance cameras, empowering anti-poaching rangers on the ground and providing supplementary feed to maintain optimum condition, we need to de-horn our rhinos at certain intervals and keep them fitted with active tracking collars.
Being in an intensive breeding program, our White Rhinos receive regular scheduled health check-ups to ensure they are in top condition for probable future breeding of their species. Check-ups include blood sampling, ultrasound if pregnancy is suspected, dental checks, checking of tracking devices and de-horning if necessary. We know that every rhino matters.
Our Southern White Rhino are thriving and are breeding to the point that we are able to rehome some of the offspring in other protected areas where they can form a new breeding nucleus. Our enthusiastic efforts, to ensure their survival, are succeeding. Join our Rhino Conservation Experience
Creating a haven for biodiversity
Project name: Alien vegetation removal
Property involvement: Mantis Akagera Game Lodge
Invasive alien plants are a significant problem in many parts of the world as they have a negative impact on the environment. This includes decreasing both surface water runoff and groundwater recharge, causing direct habitat destruction, intensifying flooding, increasing the risk and intensity of wildfires and displacing indigenous vegetation best suited to the ecology of an area.
During a recent refurbishment, the team at Mantis Akagera Game Lodge tackled this issue by removing all alien vegetation from the garden area and the rest of the premises, replacing it with indigenous species.
These indigenous plants will help eliminate the negative impact on the environment while supporting biodiversity in several ways including attracting local pollinators back into the area.
Saving our smaller species
Project name: Wildlife rehoming
Property involvement: Pearl Valley by Mantis Hotels and Mantis EPIC hotels and suites
Strategic partner: Val de Vie Estate
Location: South Africa and Rwanda
Due to widespread destruction of flora in many areas, certain species have lost vital habitats and places to nest and breed which constitutes a dire threat to their future.
Several of our hotels support rehoming projects for species such as owls, other birds of prey and bats through the provision and hosting of specially constructed ‘homing’ boxes. This is couple with a welcoming attitude that allows certain endangered species to take up residence on the premises. These ongoing efforts for owls and bats will soon be supplemented by efforts to provide suitable breeding habitats for the Cape Clawless Otter.
In Rwanda, our Mantis EPIC Hotel and Suites provides roosting boxes for bats and, heartwarmingly, became ‘home’ to several birds of prey during the lockdown, including kestrels and the rare Verreaux’s Eagle Owl.
By rehabilitating the area and creating opportunities for these species to nest or breed, the local population has increased and will hopefully no longer be on the danger list. An added benefit of rehoming bats is that they help to control mosquito populations in an ecofriendly way.
The rehoming boxes also provide the opportunity for monitoring and data collection for ongoing conservation research. By providing safe spaces to breed, it ensures the population remains buoyant.