We're excited to have set up a meeting today with Iain Harris of Coffeebeans Routes, Cape Town's most highly awarded tour company: we're meeting him at the Lynedoch Sustainability Institute which is located between the airport and Stellenbosch.
Lynedoch is a very interesting and most unusual development: it describes itself as an 'ecologically designed, socially mixed community built around a learning precinct'. There is the village, in which you can apply to live and then can build a house according to strict environmental guidelines set by the community, is completely off-grid. It harvests rainwater and processes its own sewage on site, as well as using solar energy to heat water and generate electricity. The villagers undertake to be personally involved in the maintenance of these systems.
But that's not all: the site also houses the Sustainability Institute which is a teaching and learning centre around issues of sustainability. They offer Diploma, Masters and PhD programmes in Sustainable Development, so it's a top level site of learning.
In addition to that, there is a primary school and creche which obviously espouses the values of the Institute and the vilalge in the way the children are taught to value and also work with their natural environment.
You can stay in the village at its very own guesthouse, the Drie Gewels Eco-Lodge, which is based in the old farm house. There are en-suite rooms which start at a very reasonable R600 per room per night and the on-site cafe does a great coffee and breakfast.