We are grateful for the opportunity to share our passion and dreams for the H.O.P.E Foundation with you. In 2005, Jan Bester initiated a social upliftment program within the community of the Cango Valley (Oudtshoorn) under the banner of ‘Friends of Voorbedacht’. The primary focus was to address the needs of the children of Voorbedacht Primary School as well as a job creation initiative to deal with the high level of unemployed in the local community. In partnership with Swartberg Country Manor Guest house, more than 30 members of the local community have been trained and employed at Swartberg Country Manor Guest house.

In 2005 Jan also established Swartberg Eco Explore which focussed on developing Guided Eco Tours within the Swartberg Reserve. Various specialist Tourist Guides were trained to deliver this service to local and foreign travellers. In 2007 the activities and services offered by Swartberg Eco Explore were extended to include national guided tours and this lead to the founding of True South Travel. Being actively involved with CapeNature and the promotion of environmental responsible tourism, as well as the expansion of the social programs within the Cango Valley and a school project in Karatara (Knysna), Jan consulted with long-standing, like-minded friends and the concept of the H.O.P.E Foundation was conceived. Collectively, the H.O.P.E Foundation will therefore focus on social upliftment programs as well as various conservation initiatives.

In August 2009, True South Travel was awarded a concession to manage the ‘Ou Tol’ Building (located on the Swartberg Pass) and the opportunity was then presented to the members of the H.O.P.E Foundation to initiate their social awareness and environmental conservation programs and initiatives from the ‘Ou Tol’.


To bring hope to impoverished rural communities in our country through sustainable social upliftment programs and to increase environmental awareness through sustainable conservation initiatives.


To initiate social upliftment programs and conservation initiatives through the involvement of local communities and collaboration with public and private enterprises.