Sunrise at Founders Lodge. Picture: Supplied

Cape Town - AccorHotels has entered into an exciting partnership with the South African-based Mantis Group. The partnership brings together an international hotel chain with 4 300 hotels, resorts and residences around the globe and a collection of award-winning, privately owned, managed and branded five-star properties and lodges located across all seven continents.

While Accor is no stranger to the African continent, it has only four hotels in South Africa and this partnership will see it add some fantastic experience-based local holiday destinations to its offering. These include the breathtaking Shamwari Game Reserve and its neighbour Founders Lodge as well as a number of privately owned luxury homes.

The new venture, however, is about so much more than just growing the reach of two leisure industry visionaries. 

Mantis owner Adrian Gardiner and AccorHotels CEO Sébastien Bazin, the two men at the heart of the deal, share a passion not only for the leisure industry but for conserving the earth's natural resources as well.

To this end, the new partners also announced the formation of the Community Conservation Fund Africa, a non-profit, grant-giving organisation which will be registered here in South Africa.

The NPO is unique in that it has brought together three highly-respected conservation bodies, The Wilderness Foundation, Tusk Trust and African Parks, as its founding members.

With an initial budget of $600 000 (around R7 million) the Fund will be a welcome boost to conservation efforts and will help drive the debate and engage local communities.

The fund will officially be launched at the Conservation Lab in Cape Town on Friday, May 11.