Bartholomeus Klip Farmhouse
BK is a beautiful 5 room guesthouse on a large wheat & sheep farm & reserve in the Swartland, and when it first started in 1997, it hadn’t heard of Responsible Tourism. But even so, its values, ethos & mission statement all spoke to the triple bottom line of economic growth, environmental integrity & social justice, and continues to do so today.
BK was started as a way of providing meaningful employment to the wives & family members of our farm workers. The guesthouse provides an environment, along with training & mentorship, for the ladies (and the occasional gent) to explore their different talents, help contribute financially to the household & use as a platform to launch their careers. Mina & Daniel have worked their way up from scullery & waiter to Sous Chef & Head Ranger in just a few years whilst Vicky now runs our reservation office instead of cleaning rooms.
At the heart of our business is our commitment to the environment, with the Elandsberg Private Nature Reserve, on which BK is situated, being declared a Natural Heritage Site as well as having signed up with Cape Nature’s Stewardship programme to safeguard the reserve in perpetuity. Besides doing educational nature drives for our guests, our rangers are also involved in the reserves Geometric Tortoise headstart project – a means of providing protection & ensuring the survival of this critically endangered tortoise after the devastating fires of 2012. For fun they also get to help with the feeding & care of our disease free buffalo herd.
But BK wouldn’t work without the support of the surrounding community. Besides employing local staff & using local suppliers wherever possible, BK is also actively involved in the local primary school, with our coins for kids initiative bringing in welcome funds, & our assistance over the years with the Eco Schools programme having seen them achieve their green flag along with a greater understanding of the importance of the environment. Our reserve days are always well-received by the kids but I think the time they spend in the kitchen with Louise & Mina making milkshakes & bread are by far the best.
Our little, unknown business has grown over the past 18 years into a bustling luxurious guesthouse with fantastic staff, an award winning cook book & guests that have formed their own BK Appreciation Club for the times they can’t be with us. We will continue to work hard to ensure the business remains sustainable, the staff motivated & empowered, the environment safeguarded & the community support growing, so that our guests can continue to enjoy the amazing experience of great service, friendly smiles, delicious food & refreshing activities that they have come to know & truly appreciate.
Twitter Handle: @: BartholomeusK
Facebook URL: https://www.facebook.com/Bartholomeusklip
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