A safari is one of the best ways to travel sustainably on your trip to Africa. Most safari lodges are sensitive to their impact on the surrounding environment and have sophisticated policies in place that contribute to conservation efforts. They also employ locals from the community, creating jobs and income in places where there might otherwise be very little opportunity. Many lodges have created their own programmes that give back to both the people and the wildlife who form the backbone of their business.
These are some of our most popular green safari lodges.
Singita Safari Lodges (South Africa, Tanzania, Zimbabwe & Rwanda)
The name Singita is synonymous with conservation. Meaning “Place of Miracles”, the Singita brand is committed to protecting large areas of African wilderness for future generations in the four destinations in which it operates. Their fifteen luxury lodges run in partnership with non-profit funds and trusts who implement conservation projects in each region that focus on biodiversity, community and sustainability. They are committed to helping create economic independence within communities that live alongside the reserves. When you leave a Singita safari, you do so knowing that your stay has contributed to the legacy of Africa.
Stay at Singita Boulders or Ebony Lodge in the Sabi Sand on a Romantic Cape, Kruger & Luxury Rail journey
Mfuwe Lodge (Zambia)
South Luangwa in Zambia is known as the birthplace of walking safaris. Inside the park is a very special lodge, Mfuwe, that is best known for its celebrity guests: a family of elephant who wander through the reception area on their way to eat wild mangoes that fall from a tree on the other side. The Bushcamp Company, who owns Mfuwe as well as other camps within the park, have instituted a number of community efforts, such as a school feeding programme where they feed 2000 pupils a day at two schools in a remote area close to their bushcamps. Their “Commit to Clean Water” project drills deep boreholes that provide safe, clean drinking water to villages in the local area. They also partner with Conservation South Luangwa, an NGO whose goal is to stop poaching and to eradicate wildlife trafficking in the Zambian region.
Visit Mfuwe Lodge on our Zambia South Luangwa & Victoria Falls itinerary
Camp Okavango (Botswana)
Camp O, as this eco-sensitive lodge is affectionately known, is situated on remote Nxaraga Island and is one of the best water camps in the Delta, offering boat, canoe & walking safaris in the lush surrounds of the water wilderness. It has a variety of green initiatives, from raised suites and walkways that allow vegetation to flourish unhindered to an off-grid solar plant that provides electricity for hot water and lighting. All of the waste water is recycled through a state-of-the-art system to be reused on the grounds and all timber and furniture comes from renewable plantations.
Slide down the waterways in a zero-impact mokoro (dugout canoe) on our Botswana Highlights tour
Wilderness Safaris Lodges (Botswana, Kenya, Namibia, Rwanda, Zambia & Zimbabwe)
Wilderness Safaris has over 50 eco-friendly luxury camps in sub-Saharan Africa including Xigera Island Lodge in Botswana, Segera in Kenya and Damaraland Camp in Namibia. Their trademark is a private safari experience with a low ecological footprint – in fact, their goal is that if they had to move any of their camps in the future, they could restore the site of the camp to its original natural state, leaving no sign of their presence. Their award-winning conservation efforts include the protection of 2.5 million hectares of land across 8 biomes, including 33 IUCN Red List species, and pioneering community partnerships, such as in the case of Damaraland Camp where they pay a leasing fee to the community-owned conservancy who run the camp.
Visit the mystical Damaraland on our Highlights Of Namibia itinerary
Bushmans Kloof (Cederberg, South Africa)
Bushmans Kloof is a South African National Heritage Site and wellness retreat 270km from Cape Town. It’s an ecological oasis and a sanctuary for more than 130 ancient San rock art sites, connecting you with the spiritual legacy of these very private people. It’s also home to the Cape leopard, one of the world’s most threatened big cats, because local farmers kill them when trying to defend their flocks. The lodge has introduced the Anatolian Sheep Dog project after learning that these shepherd dogs instinctively protect livestock from predators. By donating these majestic canines to local villagers, they have dramatically reduced the poaching of Cape leopards.
Take a look at our Western Cape Highlights itinerary to read more about the Bushmans Kloof experience
Tips to go green on your safari
1. Say no to plastic
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a swirling mass of human trash stretching across thousands of miles of the ocean wreaking havoc on marine ecosystems. Most of the trash pile consists of plastic bottles and bags that will take hundreds of years to break down, if at all. Be a part of the solution by carrying recyclable glass bottles and shopping bags that you can use while shopping at local markets.
2. Give the right way
You may have seen travellers handing out sweets, used clothing and stationary to villagers in developing countries – maybe you’ve done it yourself. However well intentioned, this kind giving can have unintended consequences in sowing community conflict and encouraging a culture of dependency and begging. It is better to give money or goods to reputable local organizations who run social welfare programmes.
3. Never buy fauna or flora
Most of us would never knowingly purchase an ornament made from elephant tusk, but we might not think twice about buying beautiful sea shells from a street vendor. Wildlife and natural flora should remain where they are – in their untouched surroundings. Removing or purchasing products made from trafficked or unethically removed materials contributes to habitat destruction and animal exploitation. Just say no.
Let us help you plan an ethical safari where your money can make a real difference. Our consultants know all of these lodges and many more and will guide you in choosing places that give back to their communities. Get in touch and ask us anything!