"What is Clara Anna Fontein all about?" I asked Justin Basson, the owner of this beautiful private game reserve and country lodge which is situated just outside Durbanville, 20 minutes from Cape Town.

"Well, what do you think we are all about?" he countered.

I enthused on about the scenic setting of the farm, the game drives,  the largest free roaming herd of Wildebeest in Cape Town, the 5 function venues,  the team building events, the Tented Camp, the African Huts and popular film shoot location, the self-catering farm cottages and more.

As I spoke, I watched the light die in his eyes.  Clearly not the right answer!

 I then found out what the true passion of his heart is, and what the driving force is behind all that is done at Clara Anna Fontein.

It's all about saving the Renosterveld!

Justin spoke about the fact that here in the Western Cape we are home to the smallest Plant Kingdom in the world.  It also contains the largest variety of plants.  There are over 5 400 endemics (plants that are only found here).  To put this in perspective – the UK has only 51 endemics.

Sadly, the Renosterveld has shrunk to small pockets of vegetation, found mainly on farms and in nature reserves.  "This is the most endangered habitat in Africa and probably in the world, with only 4% still remaining."

Justin's mission in life is to rehabilitate the Renosterveld on their farm, allowing it to spread back into the areas previously farmed.  The agents of change for this long, slow process are the game on the farm, as well as birds and the wind!  Through carrying the seeds from the endangered veld into the areas that were previously farmed, gradually the Renosterveld is starting to reappear and spread.

With saving this plant kingdom, all the creatures that only survive in this environment are being given a new lease of life, and rescued from the brink of extinction themselves.  These include the Cape Dwarf Chameleon, the Geometric Tortoise, the Parrot Beak Tortoise and many more.

I wasn't wrong about any of the delightful attractions of this interesting farm, but the heart of the matter is that Clara Anna Fontein is practising land restitution of a different kind.  Back to Nature!

For more information go to www.claraannafontein.com or visit www.capecountrycalls.co.za for other places of interest to call on in the area.

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