Eco Vegetarian Forest Backpackers Retreat - Volunteers & Interns - Peace of Eden, Knysna, South Africa

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  • Description


    We are a magical peaceful Vegetarian , Vegan eco Traveler's Lodge & Backpackers Retreat and Music Studio - outside Knysna on the beautiful and magical Garden Route, South Africa

    We are a beautiful country smallholding on the edge of the forest and we have an award winning music studio. We are just 15 kms from the beaches and just outside of Knysna on the Garden Route, a very safe and protected national Reserve with forests and lakes.

    We are looking for Workaway volunteers all year round and we ask that you stay for a minimum of a month. Currently we feel 2 months is ideal as it takes both Host and Volunteer a while to settle in and make headway with projects.

    Should you be looking for work experience in hospitality and Vegan catering, specifically, we are offering Internships for Graduates 3 - 6 months. Please let us know what your strengths are and what you are keen on applying for.

    We have various practical, creative and eco projects, and often need assistance in our music studio when there are projects running, plus assistance on many levels with weddings, retreats and workshops TO organic veggie planting and weeding and 'damage control' after baboons have raided it ;-( horse care feeding and grooming, creating forest pathways, building timber decks and walkways in the forest, clearing dead scrub and bush from forests for fire protection, liaising with and taking care of Guests needs, Reception duties, Bookings, internet marketing, social media update, blogging, assisting with cleaning, cooking, plus sustainable initiatives and building initiatives and maintenance.

    We are offering a varied experience and welcome assistance on some or all of our projects.


    1. Organic veggie Garden - weeding, preparing beds for summer, planting
    2. Reception - Quoting, Bookings and general correspondence
    3. Marketing, Social media, blogging
    4. Cooking Vegetarian and Vegan only
    5. Helping with functions like weddings, retreats and workshops- only a few per year
    6. Forest pathways - clearing and marking out - building steps and timber decks & wood walk ways
    7. Horse care, feeding & Stable and Paddock cleaning and management
    8. Cleaning and overseeing the help in the Cottages and Tents
    9. General Maintenance - painting, fixing etc
    10. Building - forest kitchen, timber decks, forest shower, tables, benches - helpful to know power tools
    11. Gardening - lawn mowing, general weeding and tidying plus re planting

    We are involved in adhoc musical Outreach projects in the 'Townships'
    We do Vegan catering for Guests plus Vegan Cooking lessons - to be organised and promoted
    During the year we host and cater for Holistic workshops, creative, healing and yoga retreats

    Recordings and Events - Help may be needed adhoc if you are interested in music, we do specialist project recordings and host a few small musical events during the year -


    You work 5 days on and 2 days off, if there is weekend work, days off will be in the week.
    Work hours: 6 hrs per day ( After breakfast ) 8 - 1 and 3 - 4.30pm - If we busy with an important project you may be expected to work a full day with extra time off another day.

    We offer volunteers Tented accommodation to share, and sometimes a Cabin if we are not fully booked and if very cold.

    FOOD AND MEALS: on Working days only. We try and find a balance between being communal and each of us having some private space and time. This we find important especially for 'Workawayers' who are here for longer than a few weeks.

    BREAKFAST: On working days we supply Meusli or Oats porridge and toast and Marmalade / Peanut butter for breakfast for you to make yourself in your Forest Tent or Cabin kitchen.

    LUNCH: Own supplies with some from us: TO be cooked in your own Cabin/Tent kitchen with some of your own basic supplies plus salad or veggies from our organic garden (there is a shop a 5 minute walk away for supplies)

    EVENING MEALS: We will share and cook some communal dinners together or each of us takes a turn. If we do not cook communally, we supply the basics like brown rice and potatoes, pulse/ beans plus you can pick veggies from the Garden ( or supplied by us if none ) to make your own meals

    DAYS OFF: NO MEALS FROM US: All your meals are with your own supplies in your own kitchen.

    WE ONLY MAKE VEGAN MEALS (however you are welcome to buy your own Dairy products for your own Cabin / Tent kitchen)

    NO ANIMAL MEAT PRODUCTS: Please note we prefer that no animal meat products to be cooked in the kitchens whilst you are here


    - We are on a taxi Route and we do go to Town a few times a week.
    - Bicycle, we have a bicycle available for you to use

    Laundry: You will have to do your own laundry - we have a machine available. If there are water shortages as we run on rain and dam water, we have to use a laundromat in town, they charge R50 a load wash, dry and fold.

    Animals: we have 2 horses and 2 cats, plus a fierce alpha female Guinea Fowl who runs the show. We are surrounded by nature and welcome the wild life that come visiting like monkeys and baboons.


    INTERNET: There is free internet for emails and FB

    ADVENTURES: We get free adventure activities form time to time which Volunteers can make use of.

    SOCIAL: We do go out to eat in the Town from time to time and you welcome to join us (Restaurant meals are for your own account)

    SIGHTSEEING: We also take Volunteers on sightseeing trips in the area every now and agai

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    Cooking / shopping
    General Maintenance
    Help with Eco project
    Help in the house
    Animal care
    Helping with Tourists
    Language practise
    Art project
    Help with Computers / internet

  • Help


    upkeep and planting of organic veggie garden
    mark out and clearing of forest pathways
    clearing dead brush and scrub from forest
    building timber decks and walkways in the forest
    maintenance of buildings, painting roofs
    reception / guests/ bookings, internet and social media marketing
    horse & stable care and mucking out
    music studio assistance
    small time building and maintenance
    gardening - mowing, weeding, and raking
    cooking meals
    cleaning and washing up after dinner meals

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken


  • Accommodation


    Accommodation for workaways will be shared and dependent on accommodation bookings.

    They will be either in Cabins or Forest Tents, all have beds and linen plus shared kitchen and communal bathrooms.

    In the high season times, it may be in small camping tents not the forest tents.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    As we are in the Country having your own transport is a plus, however we are on a 'local taxi' Route, which takes you to Knysna for general sightseeing of the town and lakes, plus all the shops and restaurants, the last Taxi back to our way is around 7pm.

    We will collect and take Volunteers into Town when we have errands to run which is almost daily or every second day.

    Any special pick ups or drop offs will incur a petrol fee to cover costs of fuel.

    We often get free adventure experiences and offer this to Staff and Volunteers, as the area is well known for the myriad of Adventure activities like hiking, forest walks, mountain biking, kayaking, surfing, swimming, kite surfing, abseiling, forest canopy zip line rides, animal sanctuaries, bungy jumping etc. Though some of these are a half hour to an hours drive away, many are 10 - 15 km's from us

    We are 15 minutes away from 2 of the most beautiful pristine beaches and the main town of Knysna which is surrounded by forest and huge lakes.

    Locally ( near us ) there are yoga lessons and horse riding (though our own horses are retired) and you can paddle on our lily pond and go for magical forest walks. We also host adhoc meditation and inspirational breath sessions on the property.

    Within walking distance there are farm stalls, an arty cafe, country road walks and forest pathways.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

  • ...

    Volunteering hours expected

    25 hours per week ( 5 hours per day for 5 days ) some will be weekend days


Click images to enlarge

The forest Kitchen
A forest Tent used for Volunteers
Back veranda for communal dinners in summer
dusk on a summers evening
Deep forest Tent for Guests
Forest Shower for Guests and Volunteers
Forest Loo for Guests and Volunteers
Interior of a Volunteers tent
recycled bottle top wall curtain
Bilbo Baggins, the recipient of Volunteers and Guest attention - loves a carrot or apple
Forest paths
Jessamine, our daughter and bass player and part time organizer at the farm
gorgeous sunsets
sacred healing spaces in the forest and on the property - something we want more of, and one of the projects
One of Cabins for let to Guests
Mushroom picking for dinner - Forest foraging is one of Howard's creative past times
Christina from Germany weeding the garden - she did an amazing job of it too!
Christina chopping red and yellow peppers for a wedding feast
Barbara and Landon from the USA on kitchen duty.
Christina planting a herb garden near the back of the kitchen.
Monkey time!
Yummy Vegan meals
Veg and chick peas curry - we take turns to make communal Vegan meals.
Pinny ( Pinstripe) our resident Guinea Fowl and sometimes 'Guard dog/bird' she runs and pecks everyone's shoes/feet as part of an initiation ceremony ;-)
Nienke from Holland brushing the horses - Thank you so much for your love and care of the horses.
Nienke from Holland trimming the horses tails.
Host ref number: 8529297944cb










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