Earth Day 2020

Earth Day 2020

We’re just three and a half months into 2020 and already we know this is a year that humanity will never forget. The threat of a worldwide pandemic raps at the doors to our housebound hearts, one that is not characterised by a living organism, but rather a virus which doesn’t  seem to stem from nature. This brings into question our own true nature and the way in which we engage with the world – with Earth. What ‘environment’ have we as humans created, that allows for disease to thrive?

When death creeps into our quarters we start to look towards all that is living. To identify with that which breathes, grows and evolves so that we might better understand how to draw more breath into our own lives. We unearth a reverence, curiosity, appreciation and gratitude towards life and nature. We notice the leaves that are moved by the wind. And we feel how even when the body is brought to stillness, life continues to move, both inside us and around us. Maybe we start to question ourselves, our actions; how am I supporting my own life and the living organisms which unquestionably support my experience on Earth?

2020 marks the 50th anniversary of International Earth Day. This year’s Earth Day has been appropriately themed ‘climate action’ by the Earth Day Network. Earth Day is widely recognized as the largest secular observance in the world, marked by more than one billion people every year as “a day of action to change human behavior and provoke policy changes.”

CCFA shares the Earth Day vision, which is to “diversify, educate and activate the environmental movement worldwide.” In February, our team, together with Wilderness Foundation Africa, hosted a short education class for 48 grade 8 students at Coselelani Secondary School in Motherwell, Eastern Cape. Learners were educated on the importance of recycling and the ways in which every person can contribute to protecting and preserving our planet. The class was followed by a mass clean up in the area surrounding the school, to solidify the teachings (the waste was collected from Coselelani Secondary School by the Waste Trade Company, for appropriate recycling and disposal).

The CCFA team recognises Earth Day as a reminder that the Earth supports human growth each day and so we too should pool our efforts to support her in our daily lives. It comforts us to know that our beehive project goes a long way to supporting nature’s activities. The re-homing of 9 million bees in the Eastern Cape means that cross-pollination is supported in those areas and flora and fauna can thrive while farmers enjoy nature’s assistance in the growth of their crops. To read more about other CCFA carbon offsetting projects, visit our projects page

Lockdown Reading

We recommend this extra reading for you on Earth Day.

6 Lessons Coronavirus Can Teach us About Climate Change





Our Covid-19 Shout Out To Everyday Heroes

Our Covid-19 Shout Out To Everyday Heroes

Our Covid-19 Shout Out To Everyday Heroes!

The world as we know it has changed. Just over three weeks ago the coronavirus severely disrupted life in South Africa.  As we saw the pandemic spread swiftly around the world, we realised it was inevitable that we would not escape the traumatic and profound effect COVID-19 would have on our country and its people.

With half the world in lockdown to #flattenthecurve of the infection, business, the economy and industries globally are being negatively impacted… this includes tourism and conservation.  Yet guides, rangers and communities within conservation areas are still working, where they are able to, to protect our environment and wildlife. Some are redirecting their energy and resources to help fight the pandemic.

We are living in unprecedented times, each day brings new developments as the COVID-19 situation evolves but one thing that is consistent, is the incredible resourcefulness of people.  From the sacrifice and dedication of our essential services personnel who are the frontline of activities critical to saving lives, through to organisations that, through action and unity, are changing people’s lives.

We support a number of projects aimed at improving the environment for people as well as nature.  Over the next 14 days we will be doing a daily ‘shout out’ to projects and organisations doing amazing work under extremely difficult circumstances.  Three of these are projects we support but the others are organisations we admire. There are so many great causes and organisations that are working hard to help those in need, we have selected a few we feel have gone beyond the call of duty to support humanitarian and health efforts during the COVID-19 crisis. Those that are helping mitigate the impact of the virus on our country’s most vulnerable citizens.

Join us in paying tribute to these everyday heroes. Follow the ‘shout outs’ on our Facebook and Instagram pages. Read more about what is happening ‘on the ground’ and offer support, if you are able to.

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Thuma Mina (stronger together) moment is upon us, as never before. In his words, ‘This too shall pass. We shall overcome. We are South Africans.’

We salute those who are making and being the difference.

Remember: Stay home, stay safe and healthy.

Naming of CCFA Gorilla Mascots

Naming of CCFA Gorilla Mascots

Kwita Izina  – to give a name

CCFA Gorilla Plush Toys Receive Honourable Names

If you’ve been lucky enough to stay at one of the Mantis Accor luxury lodges, you might’ve enjoyed a cuddle from a gorilla, in the comfort of your room. These gorillas are the kind that fit onto your bed and can even be ‘adopted’ and taken home with you. They’ve each been given names that pay homage to the gorillas who roam free in Rwanda as well as Uganda, thanks to the efforts of the CCFA supported CTPH (Conservation Through Public Health) programme.

In honour of the work that the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International carries out in Rwanda, we have chosen to name some of our CCFA plush toys after the gorillas named in the traditional Kwita Izina naming ceremony, in Rwanda each year.  The Kwita Izina ceremony is based on a Rwandan cultural practice for naming human infants.

Historically, the Kwita Izina (for gorillas) was introduced in the 1960s by researchers that were led by Dian Fossey, founder of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International. Gorillas were given names for study purposes; to accurately track and monitor these giants in the jungle in Volcanoes National Park. In 2005 Kwita Izina was established as an official Rwandan event. Rwandan and international conservationists, sports personalities, renowned philanthropists and diplomats are invited to name the gorillas under protection by the Fund.


CCFA founder, Adrian Gardiner, was invited by the Rwanda Development Board, to name a gorilla at Kwita Izina, in September 2019, in honour of his lifelong commitment to conservation. The ceremony was a memorable experience for Adrian, who feels as though he has gained another child.

The 13th Kwita Izina was themed “conservation for life” and who better to be invited to name a gorilla than Adrian himself.  Dressed in Rwandan traditional attire, Adrian addressed a crowd of a few hundred people and announced his name of his young gorilla, Irebero, who was born in April 2018.

Irebero which means “symbol” has four siblings already and is the infant to the famous Mahane, one of the remaining gorillas born while Dian Fossey was alive.


The CCFA team holds the memory of Kanyoni close to heart. Kanyoni was like a family member to the Conservation Through Public Health Programme team, which CCFA financially supports. The CTPH programme educates communities in Uganda by exploring ways in which they can live in harmony with the gorillas.

TUSK finalist in the 2019 conservation Tusk awards and CTPH team member, Gladys Kalema Zikusoka, who works closely with the gorillas, says Kanyoni was her favourite gorilla. Gladys is dedicated to researching and protecting the gorillas; it is her life’s work and she holds these mountain giants close to her heart.

Kanyonyi was a living testament to the achievements of gorilla conservation efforts at Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. During Kanyonyi’s five year tenure as lead silverback of the Mubare Gorilla Group, he kept the group united and enabled it to thrive and grow, through attracting numerous females.

Kanyonyi’s lineage called for him to step up as lead silverback of the Mubare Gorilla Group in 2012 (the first group habituated for tourism at Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, in 1992), after his father Ruhondeza, passed away. When Ruhondeza passed, the Bwindi community came to pay their last respects to Ruhondeza, signifying the improvement in their relationship with park management, while also demonstrating the dynamic of their relationship with the mountain gorillas – one of value and respect.

Tragically Kanyonyi fell off a tree and developed an infection in his hip joint. Following this injury, he became embroiled in a fight with a lone silver gorilla that wanted to take over his group. Kanyoni never fully recovered from these incidents and died in December 2017.


This adult male gorilla acquired his name when Dian Fossey was asked about his identity and, seeing him for the first time, replied “Beat’s me!”

Beetsme remains unique as the only known case of an adult male gorilla joining a breeding group (unknown males are not tolerated because of high competition among males for females.) In fact, for a time researchers thought he was a newly acquired female. One researcher noted early on that “this female sure does chest-beat like a male.” His true gender was determined when he began to grow and develop a silver back. While in Group 4, Beetsme played a largely peripheral role, perhaps to avoid aggression from other males in the group. He has illustrated the importance of not only male-female relationships, but also bonds between males. Beetsme has also informed one piece of the life-history puzzle of mountain gorillas: longevity. He was first observed as a blackback (10 years old), and though his exact age remains unknown, it’s estimated that Beetsme was about 36 years old when he died.


Poppy was born into Fossey’s Group 5 on April Fools’ Day in 1976. It was an auspicious birthday for the playful young gorilla, who was full of personality. Poppy, the oldest known gorilla, was born in a group of gorillas studied by Dian Fossey and stayed in that group until November 1985, just a few weeks before Fossey was killed.

Fossey wrote about Poppy many times in her journals, calling her the group’s “little darling … winsome and appealing. She could do no wrong.” Poppy was a member of one of the mountain gorillas’ ‘royal families’. Her mother, Effie, was the legendary matriarch of a family whose members are spread across many gorilla groups in the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda.

In her later years, Poppy moved on to ‘Susa group’ where she quickly rose in status among the females, reaching the top level of dominance. She gave birth to many infants and stayed in the same group for years. She then split from the Susa group to join another. In August 2018, Poppy was part of Lyambere’s group during a stressful period that caused the group to travel quickly over long distances and enter into deep ravines. When the group was clearly seen again, Poppy was not with them. Despite a long search, she has never been seen again.


 Before his passing in 2017, Cantsbee was the last surviving silverback that Fossey knew. At 38 years old, he set the record as the oldest silverback The Fossey Fund has monitored from birth. Cantsbee also holds the record for longest reign of dominance the Fossey Fund has ever observed, serving about 21 years as dominant silverback for Pablo’s group. During his long reign, Cantsbee led the largest gorilla group recorded with 65 individuals in 2006 – a third record for this impressive historic gorilla.

Along with being a strong leader, Cantsbee was known as an active and responsible father. Fossey Fund President and CEO Tara Stoinski, Ph.D., remembers seeing Cantsbee “babysit” five or six infants at a time while their mothers were off foraging.

Plectrum Musiek features Wilderness

Plectrum Musiek features Wilderness

Trots Suid-Afrikaanse Bottomless Coffee Band nou amptelik CCFA-ambassadeurs

In hierdie chaotiese tyd van ‘n wêreldwye pandemie, raak ons nog meer bewus van die sinergie tussen planeet en mens; dat ons na ons omgewing moet omsien sodat ons omgewing na ons kan omsien” – Lourens en Esté Rabé

Die Suid-Afrikaanse musiekduo Bottomless Coffee Band het hul nuutste enkelsnit en video getiteld WILDERNESS laasweek uitgereik. Dít hetgeval saam met die aankondiging dat hulle as amptelike ambassadeurs van die Community Conservation Fund Africa (CCFA) aangewys is.

Lourens en Esté Rabé, huweliksmaats en lede van die duo Bottomless Coffee Band, het onlangs kragte saamgesnoer met die internasionale inisiatief CCFA as amptelike ambassadeurs van dié maatskappy sonder winsoogmerk.

CCFA is die geesteskind van twee vennote in die gasvryheidsbedryf, Accor en Mantis, wat besef het dat toerisme ’n aktiewe en direkte rol in gemeenskapsopheffing en natuurbewaring kan en móét vervul. Die droom? Om ’n ‘groendruk’ vir alle gasvryheidstoerisme in Afrika te skep.

Die vennootskap tussen Bottomless Coffee Band en die CCFA het ontstaan ná ’n konsert in die Oos-Kaap verlede jaar. Adrian Gardiner, uitvoerende hoof en voorsitter van die CCFA, was in die gehoor. Hy het die duo ná die tyd genader en behoorlik aan die dink gesit met die vraag: “Wat doen julle, as musikante, vir natuurbewaring?

Die gedagte dat hulle moontlik deur hulle musiek by natuurbewaring betrokke kon raak, het Lourens en Esté so geïnspireer dat hulle dadelik hand op papier gesit het. En so het hulle enkelsnit WILDERNESS die lig gesien. “Die liedjie vertel die verhaal van ’n renosterkalf wat van sy ma geskei word nadat ’n stroper haar vir haar horing skiet. Dit dien as ’n metafoor vir die groter omgewing- en bewaringskrisis; ons is almal geskep om in harmonie en sinergie op hierdie planeet te leef – om daardie natuurstelsels te beskerm wat ons nie kan herskep as ons dit eers kwyt is nie,” verduidelik die twee.


Soos baie ander, is Bottomless Coffee Band terdeë bewus van die huidige stand van ons planeet en die dringende behoefte daaraan om ons omgewing te bewaar, veral in samewerking met die gemeenskap. Hulle was oorgehaal om ’n verskil te maak met wat hulle het – musiek. Hulle sterk oortuiging en inspirasie vir WILDERNESS was ook die dryfkrag agter hulle vennootskap met die CCFA. “Vir ons gaan musiek daaroor om mense bymekaar te bring en stories te vertel. Ons bydrae is om die fakkel na verskillende gehore op alle vlakke van die samelewing uit te dra, die bewaringsboodskap te versprei en geld in te samel vir die saak.”

Op die vraag oor wat hom na die duo aangetrek het, verduidelik Adrian: “Lourens en Esté se talent het my geïnspireer. En toe ek verlede jaar ná die konsert met hulle gesels, het ek besef dat hulle passie en musikale vermoëns hulle kragtige agente vir verandering kan maak. Hulle is die perfekte keuse om die bewaringsboodskap deur musiek uit te dra.” En dis presies wat die twee doen noudat hulle die rol van amptelike CCFA-ambassadeurs aanvaar het.

Boonop het die duo ’n vennootskap met Fairview gesluit, wat onderneem het om R1,00 aan die CCFA te skenk elke keer as iemand die musiekvideo op sosiale media deel. ’n Gedeelte van die liedjieverkope sal ook aan die CCFA geskenk word.

Alle betrokkenes sal hulle sosialemediaplatforms gebruik om mense aan te moedig om die liedjie af te laai en so tot die saak by te dra: Hoe meer mense die liedjie bereik, hoe meer geld word vir bewaring ingesamel. “Ek dink musiek is die beste wêreldwye kommunikasiemiddel, en as daar ’n boodskap is wat juis nou op ’n wêreldverhoog oorgedra moet word, is dit bewaring,” sê Fairview-eienaar Charles Back. “Die twee werk so goed saam dat dit lands- en kultuurgrense kan oorsteek en mense oor die hele wêreld kan raak.


  • Bottomless Coffee Band was in Oktober verlede jaar die gaskunstenaars by die eerste CCFA-fondsinsameling, waar hulle “Wilderness” gesing het. Daardie aand is R700 000 ingesamel. “Ons glo die krag van musiek kan op voetsoolvlak gebruik word om steun vir bewaring te werf en mense van alle agtergronde aan te spoor om betrokke te raak.
  • Op 27 Maart was die “Wilderness”-liedjie en -musiekvideo amptelik uitgereik.
  • ’n Fondsnsamelingsgeleentheid word vir Junie in Port Elizabeth beplan.
  • In Oktober vind ’n boomplantkonsert by Fairview plaas.
  • ’n Konsert en fondsinsameling word ook vir Oktober in Londen beplan. Fairview en ander Suid-Afrikaanse handelsname sal saamwerk om hierdie storie na die VK te neem.
    Vir meer inligting oor die CCFA se huidige projekte, gaan na

Om op hoogte te bly van Bottomless Coffee Band se deurlopende projekte, besoek gerus


Die grootste uitdaging waarvoor Accor en Mantis, twee internasionale gasvryheidsgroepe met eiendomme in Afrika, te staan gekom het, was hoe om ongerepte wildernisgebiede en wilde diere te beskerm. Toerisme maak staat op omgewingsbewaring, maar bemagtig, integreer en hef terselfdertyd ook plaaslike gemeenskappe op.

Hieruit is die Community Conservation Fund Africa (CCFA) geskep om die wanbalanse die hoof te bied en na ’n haalbare oplossing vir die toenemende bewaringskrisis in sowel Afrika as die res van die wêreld te soek.

Die CCFA is nou reeds 18 maande lank betrokke by projekte om na die welstand van mense én die natuur om te sien. Die projekte help verlig armoede, bevorder persoonlike en maatskaplike transformasie, verander en hef gemeenskappe op, help verseker meer volhoubare leefstyle en werk koolstofvrystellings teen.

Suksesvolle projekte word tans met welslae in sewe lande in Suider-Afrika ondersteun. Dit wissel van inisiatiewe vir gorillagesondheid in Rwanda tot die voorsiening van skoon drinkwater aan gemeenskappe in Namibië, die beëindiging van die onwettige handel in bedreigde gryskroonkraanvoëls, die skep van groen landskappe, steun vir olifantbewaring, ’n mens/olifant-konflikbeheerprogram in Namibië, en die skep van ’n visseryprojek wat tans sowat 120 gesinne onderhou.

Lou en Esté het as twee ambisieuse studente by die Universiteit Stellenbosch ontmoet – Lou ’n stadsjapie van Durbanville, en Esté ’n Karoomeisie van Graaff-Reinet. Na ’n vinnige draai in die korporatiewe wêreld het hulle getrou, hulle gewone werke vaarwel toegeroep en hulle droom nagejaag om ander deur musiek en uitvoering te inspireer.

Bottomless Coffee Band se styl bestaan uit sterk folk-rock-invloede met ’n moderne kinkel, voetestampritmes, treffende lirieke en ’n sweempie drama. Hulle doel is om musiek te maak wat hulle verskillende ontwikkelingsfases as musikante en skeppers weerspieël, en om deurentyd ten goede te verander. Hulle glo musiek is ’n instrument wat verenig en verkwik, en skryf dus lirieke en liedjies wat van plesier getuig, emosie ontlok en liefde, hoop en verandering verkondig.

Bottomless Coffee Band het al drie albums en ’n paar enkelsnitte uitgereik. Hulle het voor gehore in bykans elke dorp in Suid-Afrika opgetree en etlike suksesvolle toere na Namibië, België en die Verenigde Koninkryk onderneem. Hoewel hulle reeds die afgelope tien jaar besig is om hulle in die musiekbedryf te vestig, weet hulle ook daar is nog baie werk wat voorlê om meer mense te bereik en die res van die wêreld aan Suid-Afrikaanse musiek bekend te stel.

Click below link to read feature

Plectrum Musiek features Wilderness