Be part of the inside story of Wasteland – Graced land

Going truly local in Melkhoutfontein – Welcome!

The story of Wasteland – Graced Land, experience is a fun, educational, participative and interactive local community based experience offered in Melkhoutfontein, Stilbaai, in the Hessequa region of the Garden Route. Dreamcatcher has been working in communities across South Africa to help improving self-sufficiency, quality of life and environmental rehabilitation.

With special focus on women and youth. Dreamcatcher has re-imagined the way international visitors travel in South Africa and over the years has deliberately re-designed itineraries to facilitate geographical spread, channelling visitors into the communities to engage with, experience the culture immerse themselves in day to day lifestyles in the communities on routes across South Africa called ‘Go truly Local’ ™ .

With growing numbers of tourists contributing towards community and environmental well-being on their visits, Dreamcatcher has developed unique destination -and sustainable tourism experience development skills and is addressing 14 of the 17 UN2030 Development Goals.

What can you do at Wasteland – Graced Land?

Developed with the community of Melkhoutfontein, over a period of 20 years, the experience was named ‘Wasteland – Graced Land’ because the community was situated between 2 waste dump sites with significant impact on health -and the local environment.

On a typical day, tourists are met by qualified local guides called ‘Walkabout Kamammas’, they embark upon their tours and experiences which range from one, to a few days, weeks or even months, in the community. On intra-cultural encounters they learn about the history, meet the locals, get involved in activities around social engagement -and environmental rehabilitation project, education and skills transfer.

Experiences also include the opportunity to plant indigenous plants at the botanical garden ’La Bloemen’ they have redeveloped on a former waste dump site, and which is today part of the UN declared Gouritz Biosphere Reserve. Joining in to PaintUp with Kamammas and local residents, is ever popular. This projects adorn homes with stunning murals depicting the history and cultural legacy of the community. Visitors also engage and transfer life skills and knowledge to youth on the Dreamcatcher Future kids development programmes.

The experiences are further complemented by healthy, wholesome food experiences and the option to stay overnight in the community. ‘CookUp with Kamamma is an interactive, fun local food-making -and sharing experience. Homestays with Kamamma‘ both legally branded accommodation services, which Dreamcatcher conceptualised and set out to develop over 2 decades ago with women living in South African townships across South Africa.

Lately the pioneering ‘Waste is Mine its Yours‘ crafting workshop, has launched where visitors meet the crafters, to view and purchase unique, beautiful crafts locally made and designed from recycled waste by a group of women and youth. They have been empowered with skills and knowledge in waste management, re-use waste materials, design and crafting. Some visitors choose to go ‘Walkabout’ into the community, with the Recycling Collectors’ dropping in at residents, to collect their recycling and share knowledge, often hilarious, fun exchanges the order of the day.
Visitors experience directly how this pioneering multi-dimensional integrated programme of local enterprise empowerment is contributing to address the global challenges of poverty health – and environmental impacts, emotional, social and economic well-being one visitor at a time at ‘Wasteland – Graced Land’ Melkhoutfontein.

LISTEN HOW ONE ENTERPRISE SHARES HER MOMENT OF ENTREPRENEURIAL ENLIGHTENMENT AND A NEW FUTURE

Where Wasteland – Graced Land is

  • Geographically situated in the Hessequa region in South Africa, Melkhoutfontein lies within The Gouritz Biosphere Cluster Reserve, a UN declared biodiversity region. It is also in one of the top 4 tourist destinations in South Africa, namely the Garden Route, in the Western Cape.
  • Situated close to the N.2 one of the major visitor travel routes linking Cape Town with the Garden Route and Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape. It’s also situated close to where the Blombos cave was discovered in 1991 sharing significant insight into the expression of humanity through art and artefacts found in the cave.
  • Some residents of Melkhoutfontein through DNA testing, have been found to be descendants of the Hessequa KhoeKhoen, the first nation living in the South West Cape. The KhoeKhoen were the first people with whom pioneers engaged and bartered for cattle, grazing and food.

More information

Waste innovation project turns tide

The South African community taking ownership of waste

World Heritage Sites within the Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve – Wasteland Graceland

Biosphere reserve – Gouritz Cluster

Dreamcatcher Experience – Crafting with Bhuti and Sisi