The festival is happy to have Cornell as a first-time speaker at our festival this year. His talk will be about some of his recent work expeditions to Pellaberg and Aasvoëlberg. Telling about what we came across on the mountains and why we went to these mountains specifically. Cornell works at Babylonstoren with Ernst Van Jaarsveld to whom we are grateful for the introduction.

Expert Talk – Cornell Beukes

Friday, 15 September 2023 at 11:00

This is a free event. No booking required.


Cornell grew up on a farm close to a small town (Op-Die-Berg, Koue Bokkeveld) in the Western Cape of South Africa. Since a young age Cornell have had a very keen interest in nature and spent a lot of my time climbing mountains on the farm trying to see what animals and plants he could find. Cornell is just 25 years of age and still love to spend his free time out in nature, whether it is diving, surfing or mountain climbing.

Now a trained horticulturist that focusses on Southern African indigenous succulents, Cornell matriculated at Paarl Gimnasium in Paarl which is also his current hometown. Cornell did his horticulture diploma through CPUT and have a higher certificate in conservation ecology through AEL and is currently full-time employed at Babylonstoren where he tend to the succulent collection, indigenous gardens, rock gardens and often going out in the field on expeditions to look for specific plants.

Cornell don’t only focus on succulents but also have a huge passion for aquatic life and our local Fynbos plants. He have kept fish for several years and spend his free time looking after local fish species as well as cichlids from Lake Malawi and Lake Tanginika. Before his permanent position at Babylonstoren, he farmed with Proteas and also spent some time in Graaff-Reinet where he designed a few gardens, did some veld restoration and helped out when extra hands where needed handling any of the big 5.


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