Top 5 sustainable safari experiences in Africa

Top 5 sustainable safari experiences in Africa
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Going on safari in the continent where humans are said to have begun is an awesome experience in the true sense of the word. Most safari companies flag their sustainability credentials, but who is really delivering? We have done our research and in our view, today, these are five of those who are actually walking their talk…

1.

Ila Safari Lodge, Zambia

Awarded the Zambian Best Eco Lodge Award, this remarkable eco-luxury property by Green Safaris on the banks of the Kafue River right on the threshold of Kafue National Park offers great wildlife sightings and features trailblazing eco technology that enhances your overall safari experience, such as the very first ELANDY, an electrical game-drive vehicle, and a solar powered EBOAT for silent safaris, so you can get so much closer and make minimal disruption to the wildlife. The property is almost fully powered by solar, has invested heavily in sustainable water reticulation systems, and has a community farm run by only women workers to provide daily fresh vegetables for the lodge and other organisations nearby. Green Safaris also has its own Conservation Foundation to support projects such as innovative anti-poaching technology developed by HackThePlanet. Read more.

2.

Bisate Lodge, Rwanda

Set in the Volcanoes National Park and offering an exceptional gorilla tracking experience, this lodge by Wilderness Safaris is set on 42 hectares of land that is reforested regularly to expand the habitat of Rwanda’s endangered gorillas and other species. Clever mountain gorilla conservation and research projects are ongoing, and the lodge works in close cooperation with the local community, employing mainly local staff, using uniforms, fabrics and other materials made in the local area, buying its coffee and fresh produce from local farmers and funding ongoing community projects such as Children in the Wilderness, which equips local teachers with environmental knowledge and interactive teaching methods so they can teach children about sustainability. Combine it with a stay at Magashi Camp, opening in December 2018 in Akagera National Park, where the core purpose it is to help conserve Rwanda’s last protected savannah ecosystem and species such as shoebill and Black Rhino. Read more.

3.

Segera Retreat, Kenya

Owned by The Long Run’s inspired founder Jochen Zeitz, Segera is a remarkable retreat covering 50,000 acres of once overgrazed land that is now home to elephant, lion, buffalo and eland and the endangered Grevy’s zebra, patas monkey and African wild dog. Stay in a lodge with views of Mount Kenya and the plains of the Laikipia Plateau and get plenty of hands on experience, from helping to plant indigenous trees to joining a patas monkey foot patrol and helping to track animals. The company does everything it can to continue an impressive sustainability record, from training rangers in conservation issues to running a 20-acre agriculture plot at a local primary school and empowering local elders to take control of the issues that concern them. Contemporary African art from The Zeitz Collection scattered around the ranch offers a refreshing cultural safari too. Read more.

4.

Belmond Savute Elephant Lodge, Botswana

Belmond Savute Elephant Lodge in the Chobe National Park is in a region long associated with great explorers such as David Livingstone. Surrounded by lush flora and fauna, it has 12 tented rooms, a spa, an open deck with pooland a wonderful wildlife viewing hide overlooking a watering hole so you can see lions, elephants, cheetahs, hyena and antelope dramatically close from dawn to dusk. The restored lodge has impressive sustainability credentials – all buildings are constructed on timber-based platforms, bamboo has replaced all cement, guest tent roofs are thatched with grass purchased from communities in Northern Botswana, the lodge is powered by a Tesla Photo Voltaic Solar system and all lighting is LED-based. Guests are given reusable water bottles and encouraged to fill them from a water cooler in the dining room, while a thermodynamic geyser supplies hot water and a bio-digester turns kitchen waste into compost for community-based farming projects. Read more.

Belmond Savute Elephant Lodge, Botswana

5.

andBeyond Oceans without Borders Small Group Journey, Mozambique

This inspirational 6 day experience in a marine conservation area off the coast of northern Mozambique will give you a fascinating insight into marine conservation and help to leave our world a better place. Privately-guided by Dr Tessa Hempson, one of the leading Marine Biologists in East Africa, the sea safari enables guests to see turtles, grey reef sharks, coconut crabs and several species of the reef fish as well as thousands of species of pristine coral. You’ll be based at a privately serviced beach villa at andBeyond’s Vamizi Lodge on Vamizi Island in the Quirimbas Archipelago, a sanctuary for mangrove forests and with one of the healthiest coral reef ecosystems in the world. Diving on Neptune’s Arm, stand up paddle boarding and snorkelling, and plenty of relaxation time on the pristine beaches. Next trips run 14-19 March 2019 and 9-14 October 2019. Read more.

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