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Renosterveld: Building a Learning Hub

Funds Raised:
R 323 110
Fundraising Target:
R 700 000

Personal message

Help save this Critically Endangered habitat called Renosterveld: With your support, we’re developing a conservation learning hub for school children.  


Renosterveld is a unique and diverse habitat found only in South Africa. Today, only 5% of Renosterveld found in the Overberg remains, rendering it Critically Endangered. Habitat degradation and conversion for agriculture have led to vast losses.

In the Western Cape of South Africa, the Overberg Renosterveld Conservation Trust (ORCT) works to protect the remaining Renosterveld. The ORCT is a non-profit organisation and a public benefit organisation.

Renosterveld is translated as ‘rhino veld’. It may be on the verge of extinction, but it’s one of the RICHEST ecosystems in the world – due to its extraordinary plant diversity. It is also the richest bulb habitat on Earth.

You’ll find part of the largest, most connected stretch of Renosterveld left on the planet at our Renosterveld Reserve, called Haarwegskloof Renosterveld Reserve. The reserve was bought by WWF South Africa, and we manage and protect it.


Through a crowdfunding campaign in 2014, we converted the old farmhouse at Haarwegskloof into a student research center. Dozens of Doctorate and Masters’ students have undertaken their Renosterveld research here.

NOW we want to convert an old shed into a learning hub – mostly aimed at school children.

The aim? To teach young children NOT ONLY about Renosterveld, but about threatened ecosystems and wildlife around the world. It’s a space to be reminded that WE CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT NATURE!

We’ll be developing Haarwegskloof Renosterveld Reserve in 3 phases:

Phase 1: Turn the old shed on the reserve into a learning space. It will become a ‘common room’ for scholars and under-graduate students. It’ll be a place to teach and learn. We’ll include a kitchen area to cater for visiting groups.

Phase 2: Turn a small room on the reserve into a living space for a caretaker. This person will live on the reserve and host visiting groups.

Phase 3: Create an accommodation unit for 12 beds for visiting children and students. The reserve is a bit off the beaten track. So we must have appropriate accommodation here so visiting groups can experience this incredible and unique nature.



WHAT YOU GET: (Select a perk)

Branded material shopping bag:


For a donation of R1000, you get an ORCT-branded material bag (these are ideal for shopping).


Bottle of Sijnn wine:


Donate R5000 and you’ll get a bottle of Sijnn Red 2011 (you must be 18 years of age or older to claim your perk).


Stayover in our Guesthouse:


Stay for 1 night in our Haarwegskloof Renosterveld Reserve Self-Catering Accommodation (for 2 people). (It’s subject to availability).


Guesthouse stay and our new Field Guide:


You get the FIRST and most complete Renosterveld Field Guide ever written (due date for publishing: July 2020), and stay for 1 night in our Haarwegskloof Renosterveld Self-Catering Accommodation.


The person who donates the most:

You get the FIRST and most complete Renosterveld Field Guide ever written (due date for publishing: July 2020), and stay for 2 nights in our Haarwegskloof Renosterveld Self-Catering Accommodation. Also enjoy a lunch for 2 at Sijnn Wines (charcuterie platter), a bottle of Sijnn Red 2011, a wine tasting, and Renosterveld trail walk.


  • Jan 14, 2020 - R 200.00 Fees covered
  • "I strongly support this important project, and hope you manage to raise all the funds you need." - Anonymous

  • Jan 13, 2020 - R 500.00 Fees covered
  • "Keep grooving" - J and M Reed

  • Dec 19, 2019 - R 1 000.00 Fees covered
  • "All the best with this addition to the Trust's work and facilities. Education is key." - Lesley Richardson

  • Dec 11, 2019 - R 5 000.00 Fees covered
  • "This donation is in loving memory of our son Stephen Cousins who loved and was dedicated to preserving the Renosterveld" - Arthur & Averil Cousins

  • Dec 11, 2019 - USD $ 106.50 Fees covered
  • "Good luck!" - Herbert Raffaele

  • Dec 09, 2019 - USD $ 71.94 Fees covered
  • "Haarwegskloof is a great place to be - now it wil become a great place for learners to experience nature! Thank you so much, Odette and all for the great work! " - Ute Schmiedel

  • Dec 06, 2019 - USD $ 14.34 Fees covered
  • "I strongly support this important project, and hope you manage to raise all the funds you need." - Anonymous

  • Dec 05, 2019 - R 1 000.00 Fees covered
  • "Very happy to support the crucial work of the OLCT" - Robert McKenzie

  • Dec 05, 2019 - USD $ 108.46 Fees covered
  • "How can we not donate to a cause such a this? Renosterveld has a special place in our hearts. Keep up the good work, Odette!" - Cornelia and Rainer Krug

  • Dec 03, 2019 - R 1 000.00 Fees covered
  • "I am passionate about the Fynbos, and am keen to learn more about Renosterbos and conserve it for future generations. All the best of luck." - Linden Morris

  • Nov 25, 2019 - R 10 000.00 Fees covered
  • "This is an amazing cause which we are so happy to support!" - Cathryn & Judith

  • Nov 22, 2019 - R 1 500.00 Fees covered
  • "Woof,woof,woof!" - Gunner, Ranger and Rafa

  • Nov 22, 2019 - R 500.00 Fees covered
  • "Wishing you all the best, Dr Curtis :)" - The Sweets

  • Nov 21, 2019 - R 500.00
  • "Good luck guys. I really would love to visit one day soon. " - Stuart Prior

  • Nov 19, 2019 - R 1 000.00 Fees covered
  • "It is an honour to be associated with ORCT. Keep up the good work, Odette" - Amelia Genis

  • Nov 16, 2019 - R 500.00 Fees covered
  • "Love my NPO" - Odette

  • Nov 15, 2019 - R 1 000.00 Fees covered
  • "Your consistency is amazing!" - Nic Bladen

  • Nov 15, 2019 - R 200.00 Fees covered
  • "All the best on your campaign Odette!" - LoveGreen

Donate to this charity


Fundraising target

R 700 000.00

Donations to date

R 323 110.00

Funds raised offline

R 295 010.00

Overberg Renosterveld Conservation Trust

Overberg Renosterveld Conservation Trust Logo

There is quite simply something so magical about watching a Black Harrier swoop gracefully over the landscape. But Black Harriers are in deep trouble, with fewer than 1 300 mature individuals remaining on Earth. If nothing is done, they’re facing a likely extinction. 

My name is Odette Curtis-Scott. The NPO that I established in 2012 is known as the Overberg Renosterveld Conservation Trust. We focus on conserving the remainder of one of the world’s most threatened habitats: Renosterveld. We are now working with our partners at BirdLife South Africa, the Endangered Wildlife Trust and the University of Cape Town to protect Black Harriers.

We recently discovered one of the largest-known breeding colonies of Black Harriers – situated in a fragment of Renosterveld in the Overberg, right next to a wind farm. The threats to these birds are immense. In 2021, we experienced this first-hand when two of six satellite-tagged Black Harriers were killed in the Overberg, in the space of a single day. One was killed in a collision with a wind turbine, the other with a grain-cutter at night. If a mortality rate of over 30% is representative of what is happening to the species’ population, then this beautiful and charismatic bird is in even deeper trouble than what we had originally thought. 

Now we urgently need to fit satellite tags on more Black Harriers, to track their movements, so that we can understand how they move and forage, and can mitigate for threats against them. 

We have tagged six birds to date. In this campaign, we’re asking for help to buy three satellite tags. We need to buy the tags by August, so that we can fit the tags on the harriers during their breeding season in late spring. The Black Harriers are looking to us to help find solutions to these man-made threats, to help prevent an otherwise likely extinction. 

Please help us to protect these birds within one of their most important breeding hotspots.