05 Dec Meet Cape Recife’s new Assistant Operations Manager -Nash Groenewald!
Joining the Behold Group of companies in November 2022, Nash has hit the ground running as the Assistant Operations Manager and Head Guide at his new base within the Lighthouse building cluster at the Cape Recife Nature Reserve on the outskirts of Port Elizabeth (Gqeberha).
Together with Behold owner Loodt Buchner and a hardy team of builders, Nash is overseeing the steady restoration of old military quarters into a five-star luxury escape to be launched in December – the Cape Recife Villa. Here, couples or small family groups (maximum 4 in two bedrooms) will enjoy the height of exclusivity on the rocky promontory overlooking Algoa Bay: being catered for by a butler, in the company of thousands of sea birds and marine mammals, and almost 360 degrees of sweeping ocean and dune views.
Along with trail maintenance and development and the removal of encroaching alien plants, comes the opportunity to polish this natural gem to its full potential. Nash, with the assistance of a young junior guide who will shortly join the team, is in charge of creating a host of incredible activities and experiences that go hand-in-hand with this unique experience.
Harking from the Western Cape, Nash grew up in the historic settlement of Elim, then honed his soul in the ocean community at Gansbaai as he studied Nature Conservation with additional qualifications in Marine Guiding, Fynbos botanical specialist and FGASA Level 2. He is accredited as a South African Guide and has shared his knowledge of the wild on television and print media, including a cooking show involving foraged sea plants.
“The marine environment is my forte,”
With deep Khoisan roots and an embracing love for the culture and traditions of his forefathers, Nash brings this understanding and passion to the fore in his chosen profession. “The marine environment is my forte,”, he says, and one that he thoroughly enjoys sharing with visitors. Eight years as an Assistant Manager at the renowned Grootbos Conservancy afforded him the growth and experience to impart a world class experience to guests seeking to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the coastal landscape. When offered the opportunity to move on to several diverse destinations, Nash found a fundamental understanding in the Owner, Mr Buchner, recognising a common goal of creating a unique product at the historic Cape Recife, which has been quietly waiting for the right developer to realise the vast potential of this pristine destination. Being based at the lighthouse complex has been a revelation to Nash. “Living here, right on the edge of the sea, is so unbelievably peaceful, there just isn’t a word to describe it”. Guests are in for the most amazing experience!
“Living here, right on the edge of the sea, is so unbelievably peaceful, there just isn’t a word to describe it”.
A keen and knowledgeable birder, Nash intends to place a strong focus on hosting niche birding trips to scout out the 100 or so species that have been recorded here – among them, several types of tern and gannets that flock to the rocks around the lighthouse. Algoa Bay is both a dolphin and whale Mecca, along with penguins and the SANCCOB marine bird rehabilitation headquarters. Birders will not be disappointed in the variety!
Botanical trips, night-time star gazing, historical information, lighthouse tours and much more are on the menu. Says Nash: “I have learned that it doesn’t matter how much knowledge you personally have, but the way that you interact with and impart this to guests in a way that they understand and appreciate it.” In doing so, Nash promises to curate exceptional experiences and memories for guests to Cape Recife.