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Our sister property, Shambala Private Game Reserve, is located in the picturesque mountains of the Waterberg region of the Limpopo province. Not only an award-winning privately owned game reserve but home to the big 5 and an array of other wildlife. The reserve is a home-away-from-home to many local and international bush lovers and safari seekers throughout the year.

Caring for the community goes hand-in-hand with various ongoing conservation projects which form part of the philosophy of the reserve. These activities are further aided by various employment opportunities that are filled by members of the community as our team works to upskill and professionally develop them with the aim of providing future job security. In order to successfully offer support to the community that lives in the areas surrounding the reserve, the team at the reserve have partnered with the EMS foundation who work with the purpose of alleviating and ending suffering, raising public awareness and providing dignity while promoting the rights and interests of vulnerable groups, particularly children, the elderly and wild animals.

One such project has been the Tutudesk campaign. The Tutudesk, named after the beloved late Archbishop Desmond Tutu, provides a surface for the children to work on, and are made locally – so supporting development and employment. Each desk weighs less than 1kg and replaces the traditional school desk which is often not provided for in some rural school settings. Working alongside the EMS foundation, Shambala has donated thousands of these desks to underprivileged schools in the Limpopo Province to promote and encourage learning in the community.

Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself. Education is the movement  from darkness to light. The foundation of every state is the education of its youth. – Desmond Tutu

The pair have also recently donated six hundred pairs of school shoes to children in the community, many children in rural South Africa do not have the luxury of shoes for the walk to school, often a long journey over rough terrain, through the rain and even cold wintery mornings.

Blessed to have an ideal climate and kilometer after kilometer of fertile soil to grow their own organic vegetables, Shambala has developed an organic vegetable garden which provides fresh produce to the reserve, the local community situated closest to it, and also, us at the Saxon. These vegetables are used in conjunction with what is grown in our own herb and vegetable garden, Sarapana, and are a source of inspiration for our menus.

After rolling out emergency food parcels during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the reserve realized the needs of the community were far greater than they had imagined. The decision was then made to expand on the success of the vegetable garden by helping local schools develop their very own. The establishment of these food gardens has not only provided much needed local employment but most importantly, are providing food security and highly nutritious meals to the children on a daily basis.

We are proud of this association and endeavor to encourage and support the efforts made by both Shambala Private Game Reserve and the EMS Foundation going forward. If you would like to support the EMS Foundation in any way, please click here