The development of rural tourism gives visitors a unique experience beyond the traditional sites. On the KwaZulu Natal South Coast, the Agri Tourism Route is one such offering, with the farmlands offering a chance for outdoor adventure and home-grown tastes. Now, the KZN South Coast has another addition to its popular Agri Tourism Route with the inclusion of Secret Sithela.
“The KZN South Coast has an abundance of agricultural land that is just waiting to be explored, and visitors will enjoy the beauty and unique farmland attractions of Secret Sithela,” said Phelisa Mangcu, CEO of South Coast Tourism & Investment Enterprise (SCTIE).
Secret Sithela is a 12ha eco-estate in Munster, with seven hectares registered as a conservancy area named Kathleen Kinsey Nature Reserve after the founder’s mother.
Owned by Rod and Jeanne-Louise Kinsey, the farm includes guest units for overnight stays, with the gardens a massive attraction. Since 2016, Jeanne-Louise has developed expansive herb, vegetable, and indigenous Secret Sithela gardens. Within five years she had manifested her dream of creating a flourishing food forest with guests able to request herbs and salad greens from the organic garden.
Jeanne-Louise hosts natural farming retreats including Earth Harmony Retreat, and the annual Farming Organic Food Festival. For those looking to take the farming skills home, there’s the Wild Foraging Workshop and the biannual four-day Natural Farming and Introduction to Permaculture Design Course based on a handbook by John Nzira.
“We are excited to join the SCTIE Agri Tourism route as we believe this will increase our exposure to those tourists and locals who are interested in a nature and climate-friendly holiday experience. Secret Sithela is a living natural library with so much to share about the joys of farming in harmony with nature, and we are passionate about sharing this knowledge with others. We also hope to bring more exposure to our sister project Khula Kanyekanye in nearby KwaNzimakwe consisting of 18 smallholder family food gardeners. We share knowledge, seeds, seedlings, friendship and food,” said Jeanne-Louise.
Secret Sithela’s bookings for December stays are already rolling in: “We hope to encourage more interest from our visitors in the natural, healthy, earth-conscious lifestyle that we promote. Next year we will be looking at introducing shorter, more affordable workshops on all topics related to sustainable, regenerative farming, and lifestyle.”