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Sustainable Safaris To Plan Ahead

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As green as the wildernesses you’re there to explore

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Treading lightly has never been more important when it comes to tourism, particularly when you’re visiting the most delicate eco-systems and racking up the air miles to get there. Going green now means going further than carbon-offsetting (although that’s a good place to start), with the best in class investing profits into their local community, utilising renewable energy and putting conservation at the heart of everything they do. Start planning your dream safari and check out the best eco-friendly safari lodges and community-conscious camps with our roundup of sustainable safaris for 2021.

Sustainable Safaris and Eco-Friendly Lodges

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the conservancy fee which is channelled directly to local Maasai communities

Hemingways Ol Seki Mara, Kenya

Ol Seki Hemingways Mara is a member of Mara Naboisho Conservancy, running with the aim of conserving the biological resources and the socio-cultural heritage of the area. Naboisho limits the number of tourists permitted to enter, to reduce the crowds of vehicles and leave the plains free for wildlife to thrive; indeed research indicates that Naboisho has one of the highest densities of lion in Africa. Camps are created with a semi-permanent structure designed to leave the smallest possible footprint on the land, and there is total reliance on solar power to provide 24 hr electricity and hot water. Community projects mean that 80% of staff originate from surrounding communities and the conservancy fee is channelled directly to local Maasai communities. There are also education, healthcare and access to water initiatives in place, as well as projects championing female empowerment.

BOOK: hemingways-collection.com

Lepogo Lodges Noka Camp

Lepogo Lodges Noka Camp, South Africa

Lepogo Lodges’ Noka Camp is one of Africa’s few entirely not-for-profit safari lodges and is now working with local and global charity organisations to offset their guests’ carbon footprint, calculating the carbon emissions resulting from each guest’s journey from the time they leave their home to the moment they return. This figure is converted to a monetary value to be donated to a community charity of the guest’s choice.

BOOK: Nightly rates at Lepogo Lodges start from R16,500 per person, per night for a Luxury Clifftop Villa on an all-inclusive board basis | For more information or to make a reservation visit lepogolodges.com or email [email protected] 

Xigera Safari Lodge

Xigera Safari Lodge, Botswana

Xigera Safari Lodge, a member of Beyond Green, sits at the heart of the Okavango Delta, a delicate ecosystem requiring constant protection to safeguard it for future generations. The lodge has a state-of-the-art energy centre which runs on the latest Tesla solar-hybrid system, supplying 95% of the required power. Using renewable energy will save an estimated 16,060 gallons of diesel and also prevent the release of about 190 metric tonnes of carbon emissions per year. The lodge also plans to use solar energy to power the game-view vehicles and they already have charging points at the camp. The camp uses sustainably sourced/recycled furniture throughout the property and partners with several foundations and trusts committed to community, sustainability and conservation.

BOOK: Rates start from £1,847 per night. To book, please visit theluxurysafaricompany.com |  01666 880 111

Shambala Private Game Reserve

Shambala Private Game Reserve, South Africa

The main objective at Shambala Private Game Reserve is to maintain the most favourable natural conditions for the wildlife to thrive. The world’s largest land animals – the African elephant – remain under severe threat from poaching, habitat loss and human-wildlife conflict and the reserve’s rehabilitation programmes are designed to help elephants used for elephant-back safaris return successfully to the wild. The camp also serves as much cuisine as possible grown in its sustainable gardens on site.

BOOK: Rates: All-inclusive stays at Zulu Camp at Shambala Private Game Reserve start from R 11,750 / £630 | shambalaprivategamereserve.co.za

Borana Lodge

Borana Lodge, Kenya

Located at the heart of Borana Conservancy, Borana Lodge is the newest GER Accredited Member of The Long Run. This is one of the most rigorous sustainability audits in the industry, based on performance to support community, conservation, culture and how commerce can be used as a force for good. This goes beyond solar power and plastic recycling and takes into account staff member’s happiness, male to female ratio in the workplace, conservation initiatives and how the lodge is supporting local cultures.

BOOK: borana.co.ke

Photo by James Lewin

Meliá Serengeti Lodge

Meliá Serengeti Lodge, Tanzania

This camp offers stunning views of the savannah, with a location next to Lake Victoria and terraces facing the Nyamuma hills, allowing views over the Mbalageti River valley. The hotel uses energy-efficient systems and generates half of the energy it consumes and has composting and water bottling equipment to reduce plastic waste. The hotel employs several members of the Masai community, who are able to provide valuable advice thanks to their unique understanding of the Serengeti.

BOOK: Meliá Serengeti Lodge is currently available to book from £3,900 for a seven-night stay on a full-board basis in July 2021 | melia.com

Zannier Hotels Omaanda

Zannier Hotels Omaanda, Namibia

Zannier Hotels Omaanda is a vast conservation project within a 7,500-hectare natural reserve, privately owned and managed by local NGO, the N/a’an ku sê Foundation. The reserve strives to preserve, rescue and reintroduce local endangered species such as elephants, lions and rhinos and works to protect critically endangered black and white rhinos. Their unique Rhino Rangers volunteer programme for those staying at Zannier Hotels Omaanda offers travellers the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in the challenging world of anti-poaching in Namibia, studying navigation skills, tracking techniques, and identifying the sounds of nocturnal animal activity.

BOOK: zannierhotels.com

Wilderness Safaris DumaTau

Wilderness Safaris DumaTau, Botswana

Wilderness Safaris DumaTau and Little DumaTau, a member of Beyond Green, is brand new for 2021, and aims to be an example of how a luxury safari camp can have a light ecological footprint without compromising the guest experience. The camps also strive to make a positive contribution to local conservation initiatives. The camp makes a meaningful contribution to conserving the vital migration and dispersal routes that delineate the Linyanti, and make it a safe haven for a diverse range of species.

BOOK: wilderness-safaris.com

sea safari at La Sultana Oualidia, Morocco

La Sultana Oualidia, Morocco

For something a little different, check out La Sultana Oualidia’s Educational Bird Safari. Situated on Morocco’s Atlantic coast, the fisherman’s village of Oualidia is home to a long sea lagoon sheltered by a barrier of dunes, protected for its ecological importance as a stopover for migratory birds including pink flamingos. La Sultana Oualidia’s educational Bird Safari guides guests to explore Oualidia’s lagoon, a site of ecological importance for conservation in Morocco that extends over 12km with birds including pink flamingos, grey herons, big cormorants, storks and spatulas. The hotel is home to an organic garden and is 100% sustainable in its use of water.

BOOK: Rates at La Sultana Oualidia start from £354 per night for a Panorama Room for two people | lasultanahotels.com

Eco-Travel Trends & Sustainable Destinations

Featured image: by sutirta budiman