Star Rating:


Hog Hollow Country Lodge  Hot
Hotels 3 Green Stars
Eco Stars: 3 star
Stars: 4 star
Location: Africa
Country: South Africa

Hog Hollow Country Lodge

In 1993, what was to become Hog Hollow Country Lodge, was an alien wattle plantation set in the semi wilds of a little known area called the Crags. Twenty five years ago, farmers were encouraged to do away with the rare, indigenous forest and fynbos which grow only in this small Tsitsikamma area, to plant the fast-growing, invasive and alien strangling species of Australian Wattle which produced commercially viable tannin and pulp for the leather industry. Andy Fermor, after a six year sojourn in England and South East Asia, decided to use his skills and energy to invest in the fledgling democracy of the New South Africa. With not much financial backing but lots of enthusiasm, what started out as a dream has become a beautiful reality.

While Hog Hollow rose from the wattle wasteland, Debbie Reyneke was considering her options. Years of hard work put her at the top of her profession in the hotel industry, but always at the back of her mind was the idea of being involved in the creation something within tourism in a more meaningful and hands-on manner. A great walker and enthusiastic lover of nature, Debbie invited a friend to walk the Otter Trail ~ a five day trail on the edges of wild coast of the Tsitsikamma. Tired and hungry at the end of a successful walk, her friend suggested they have dinner in a newly created lodge she'd heard about, built on the edge of a gorge ~ a place called Hog Hollow. Thatís when Debbie met Andy ... well, the rest, they say, is history.

Both South African-born and bred, one of their strongest desires was to employ and train local people from the surrounding communities to work at Hog Hollow in the various facets of the tourism industry. People, who had spent most of their lives either unemployed, in menial jobs and overlooked in the fields of advancement, were now on the threshold of a new experience. Itís an interesting journey Hog Hollow has embarked upon, not without itís hiccups, but ultimately, a great natural success.

Green Star Rating Results:
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Overall Rating: ★★★ (3)

Special Achievements:
The Wilderness Foundation: Green Leaf Accreditation
This year, 10 May 2008, we received the Wilderness Foundation Green Leaf accreditation. We were one of the first six properties in South Africa to be accredited by the Foundation who's entry mark is a minimum of 75%. The Wilderness Foundation is a South African conservation and environmental non-profit organization, who, in partnership with Vuselela Management Services (a tourism development company), designed an independent environmental tool whereby ccommodation establishments can measure their environmental footprint thereby enabling us to reduce the effects of environmental consumption and to yearly improve our environmental management & awareness skills. When assessing the establishment it looks at five elements: water, energy, waste, product and innovation. Each category is 'measured' or 'weighed' and totaled for the year, then a target for improvement is set for the following year's independent audit & assessment.

Energy Rating: ★ (1)
Staff Comment - Where possible all lighting is energy-saving, and all rooms when not in use have all the geysers switched off and staff are being educated as to the importance of saving energy, not only at the lodge, but at their staff accommodation and at home. The kitchenís two main cooking areas are gas.

The main house at night is predominantly lit by candles & paraffin lamps. Timer switches are in place for all outside lighting To improve on this system we are getting a centralised system put in whereby we can maximise our control over the lighting/heating of the rooms and the lodge.

Water Rating: ★★★★ (4)
Staff Comment - There are two grey water outlets which are used for irrigation of the gardens at the lodge. There is a total of 2500m2 roof capture area, the waters from which are collected into two dams through a process of stone water channels. The capture capacity is 200000 litres.

There are 15 suites (16th being built) and each bathroom has a water reduction system attached to the shower heads, toilet cisterns and basin taps. Guests are informed about water saving re towels etc and are very supportive in this endeavour. (Wet towels are however removed and sun-dried before being returned to the room) We have an ongoing de-wattling programme. This area was once used as Wattle plantations for the tanin industry and caused enormous damage to the indigenous forest and the fynbos. We have a programme whereby we remove the young wattles from the root in order to impede their growth, as well as cutting down the adult trees and maintaining a watchful eye on their regrowth. But we have a Wattle seedbed which will last for a 100 years, so it's definitely an ongoing project! Indigenous trees are planted throughout the year. Our property is 9 hectares, mainly of indigenous forest, and our main objective is to see that this is preserved from alien vegetation.

Disposal Rating: ★★★ (3)
Staff Comment - We have a robust recycling programme and are assisting others in the area to come on board. The recycling units in this area are rather limited, but there is a gaining in interest since we started the project.

We give our vegetable waste to a local emerging pig farmer.

Eco-Active Rating: ★★ (2)
Staff Comment - Itís not just for guests to be aware of an area, but we as locals also need to be aware of those less fortunate in our community. So as a lodge, we look at various places/people we can assist and our staff are key in helping us decide which project has the most resonance. The Kids of Kurland: where we help pay for an extra teacher at the junior school to assist with overcrowding in the classroom; Sponsor a local soccer team;

Equipment for a local band, who are now cutting their first CD! We also sponsored a young man to study nursing. We also sponsor the local NSRI and the Orca Foundation (Marine conservation) which is instrumental in teaching local communities the importance of looking after our marine heritage.

Protection Rating: ★★★ (3)
Staff Comment - FTTSA - Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa
On the 14th of July 2005 we became the 13th property in South Africa to become Fair Trade in Tourism accredited. FTTSA encourages and publicises fair and responsible business practices through its independent & highly recognizable trademark symbol of fairness in the tourism industry. There are stringent criteria (in-depth forms, self assessment followed up by independent assessments), specifically looking into fair wages and working conditions, fair operations, purchasing and distribution of benefits, ethical business practice and respect for human rights, culture and the environment.

Our staff come from various cultures and backgrounds, and as such we have had to work outside our own comfort zones in integrating ourselves into an homogenous entity. It's a long process, but it definitely has its rewards. We live in a beautiful area, but are surrounded by communities of great poverty. All our staff are sourced from within the area (a radius of 50km). This has a stabilising impact on families within the community as members have secure well paid work. Our staff are trained in-house and are sent on courses in the various sectors of the hospitality industry. This is an on-going programme - eg cooking courses, first aid

Contact Details

Hog Hollow Country Lodge
PO Box 503 Plettenberg Bay 6600 (postal)
Askop Road, The Crags, 6602 (physical)
+27 (0) 44 534 8879
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