Jan Bester - Owner of True South Travel and founder of the H.O.P.E Foundation.
When Jan shares his passion for nature and the Swartberg Mountains with you, your perception of the Klein Karoo will be changed forever!. He has been a specialist guide
in the Swartberg Mountains for more than 10 years and his passion for this pristine World Heritage Site is contagious. His passion for nature is only surpassed by his
compassion for the disadvantaged people in the poor rural communities. Through sheer faith and determination Jan believes that the H.O.P.E Foundation will leave a legacy
of hope in the hearts of these "hopeless" communities.
How did it all start?
Since I can recall, people have always been the centre of my life. When I left the corporate "rat race" I discovered my true passion for nature and the desire to aid the needy.
Through True South Travel I offer extensive Eco guided tours and, with the help of my excellent team and through the H.O.P.E Foundation, we ensure that we leave a legacy
through encouraging responsible tourism practices.
What is special about the Swartberg Mountains?
The Swartberg Mountains forms part of the Cape Floral Region protected areas. In 2004 the Swartberg Complex was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site being included in the
Cape Floral Region. Nearly 65 % of all the various "fynbos" species, found within the Cape Floral Region, are endemic to this region. We are privileged to be given the
responsibility to protect and conserve this unique Natural treasure. The Swartberg Pass is a must see for all travellers who appreciate nature and are inspired by majestic
and breathtaking vistas. A visit to the Gamkaskloof, also referred to as "The Hell" is a life changing experience! One cannot but admire the tenacity and perseverance of this
small community that stayed here for more than 100 years secluded from the outside world. For the outdoor enthusiast and adrenalin junkies there are various activities to
enjoy. Some of these are: Swartberg Hiking trails (mountain huts available), 4x4 Routes, downhill Mountain biking, adventure caving, abseiling, rock climbing, etc.
What is lekker about the area?
The open spaces, friendly locals, slower pace and beautiful landscapes, starlit night skies and meandering mountain passes, to name but a few. The Klein Karoo is the place to
"rediscover your Soul". Within a 100 km radius you can enjoy the warm Indian Ocean shores or explore the Great Karoo. Don't forget to learn more about the intriguing Ostrich or
to visit the majestic Cango Caves!
How would you describe yourself?
I have a Zest for life and am blessed to be able to appreciate the small things in life. I find fulfilment in introducing my guests to the simple things in life which not only
restores purpose in life,...but are also the things you can't buy with your VISA card...
It's a choice to live each day to its fullness!
What do you see happening in the community?
Through the H.O.P.E Foundation I'm blessed to be in the fortunate position to partake in life changing initiatives in our region. Please visit: www.hopefoundation.co.za and get
involved with us !