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Top eco-friendly hotels and lodges in Africa

KaggaKamma

An African safari is a unique adventure holiday you should experience at least once in a lifetime. There are several luxury hotels, boutique hotels and budget hotels in Africa, and more coming up every day.

African hotels have increased the number of green features, so that you enjoy an adventure while staying at some of the best eco-friendly hotels in Africa. Check them out:

Top 12 eco-friendly hotels in Africa

1. Phinda Private Game Reserve, South Africa

Phinda Private Game Reserve, South AfricaImage Source : andbeyond.com

Think of luxurious sustainability, and Phinda comes to mind. The forest reserve is situated in eastern South Africa, in the midst of breathtaking, rugged beauty. LED lights, timers on the pumps as well as water heaters and energy efficient air conditioners make the hotel sustainable. It also features water filtration systems, and replaced plastic bottles with reusable glass bottles, thus eliminating approx. 11,800 plastic bottles a month!

If you ever visit Phinda, you would have the rare opportunity to accompany researchers to locate and help conduct health check on Pangolins, via the Pangolin Conservation Experience. All of these steps have made this lodge one of the top African eco-lodges.

2. Kicheche Bush Camp, Kenya

Kicheche Bush Camp, KenyaImage Source : kicheche.com

This African lodge won the gold ration from Kenya’s Eco Tourism. The lodge’s team is incredibly proud of this achievement as they have introduced several environment friendly measures such as solar powered lights for each of their tents, serving only fresh organic produce from their vegetable garden, and with a well-established waste policy in place based on reduce, reuse, repair and recycle.

A medical centre and local school is supported by the Kicheche Community Trust and you can visit these in the Aitong village. The concern for the environment as well as the local people has earned it a lot of respect and has made it one of the top African eco-lodges, you must visit.

3. Grootbos, South Africa

Grootbos, South AfricaImage Source : grootbos.com

This is a lodge which offers unmatched views of the scrublands in southern Cape. Lutzeyer family had bought it years ago when it used to be a dairy farm and converted it into a five-star private forest reserve. Its proximity to the ocean and the mountains makes it a perfect getaway. The reserve resort is famous for being home to over 100 endangered species and approx. 20 mammal species. There are various social and ecological projects ongoing at Grootbos. It is a sustainable resort which offers a unique experience.

4. Bisate Lodge, Rwanda

Bisate Lodge, RwandaImage Source : south-african-lodges.com

Bisate Lodge is located close to the Volcanoes National Park. It is magnificent and stunning, and its eco-friendly innovations have won it accolades. The water filtration system eliminates the need for plastic bottled water. Other disposable plastics such as cling wrap, plastic bags and straws aren’t used here either. The lodge relies on earth-friendly wrap such as bee-wax wrap, and the coffee cups offered to guests are reusable, as they are made from bamboo fiber.

The food is made from an on-site garden, and the organic waste produced is donated to the community for compost and stock feed. The most commendable of the lodge’s eco efforts is the reforestation program, which sees over 100,000 seedlings that are planted every year. This has led to the increased abundance of the flora-fauna in the surroundings. This could be the sustainable resort that you might consider visiting in the future.

5. Nsolo Bush Camp, Zambia

Nsolo Bush Camp, ZambiaImage Source : southluangwa.com

The chalets here are constructed using the traditional building materials of the region, namely, grass, timber and reeds. The rustic buildings completely blend into the wild countryside. They’re cooled by the shade of the tall evergreen trees, and the power is derived completely from a renewable source.

The number of visitors are restricted so you may have to plan and book your trip in advance. The leopard, lion and wild dogs are hardly afraid of humans, as they see few of them at a time, so if your idea of a safari is to gaze at the animals, there are great viewing opportunities here. A green hotel in the midst of greenery would be perfect for your safari.

6. Mombo Camp, Okavango Delta, Botswana

Mombo Camp, Okavango Delta, BotswanaImage Source : mombo.co.uk

Considered to be one of the top hotels with the best game viewing in Africa, this camp is located in Okavango Delta. The camp follows the strictest eco standards in order to protect the iconic natural surroundings, is 100% powered by solar electricity. Waste-water is treated and returned, and reverse osmosis done on site reduces the requirement for bottled water.

7. Elsa’s Kopje, Meru, Kenya

Elsa’s Kopje, Meru, KenyaImage Source : chaloafrica.com

This is an elegant boutique hotel which has won many green awards including the prestigious Silver Level Rating with Sustainable Travel International. It has also been awarded the Gold Level Eco rating Certificate by Kenyan Ecotourism, recognizing the high environmental responsibility. The lodge has strived to conserve resources by using low energy consuming bulbs such as LED bulbs, solar water-heaters as well as solar power to supplement generator power.

Produce is sourced from farmers near the lodge, and the staff is hired from the community, at least 50% of it. The timber used is disposed of responsibly and the glass is separated and sent for recycling. The green hotel is involved in multiple conservation and community projects.

8. Camp Kalahari, Botswana

Camp Kalahari, BotswanaImage Source : andbeyond.com

If living in tents and roughing it out is more your style, then you should stay at Camp Kalahari. There are absolutely no permanent structures, no electricity and at night you can see by the light of a lantern. Showers are with hot bucket. Modern day amenities are minimum but you do get a taste of the original safaris. You go on the safari on horseback or by walking. Meet the San bushmen and have a completely spellbinding experience of starlit night across the Makgadikgadi Pan.

9. Serra Cafema, Kunene, Namibia

Serra Cafema, Kunene, NamibiaImage Source : images.wilderness-safaris.com

This is one of the most remote camps in the south of Africa. It is home to the Himba people, and boasts of eight villas which are elevated. Made of wood, thatch and canvas the villas blend with the natural landscape, nestled amongst the albida trees which provide ample shade.

The Himba are the last semi-nomadic people on Earth, and the Serra Cafema’s guests get to experience a respectful and authentic cultural trait of the Himba. The camp does its best to conserve electricity.

Serra Cafema supports initiatives such as The Sea Turtle, which aims to secure the beaches in Angola. The turtles are slaughtered by the local fisherman, so when they are in the Namibian waters, they are monitored carefully. Serra Cafema is involved in Crocodile Research Project and supports the non-profit which focuses on providing guests with the information about the supplies which are required for the community.

10. Underwater Room, Manta Resort, Pemba Island, Zanzibar

Underwater Room, Manta Resort, Pemba Island, ZanzibarImage Source : cdn.homecrux.com

The Underwater Room at Manta Resort is a masterpiece of engineering which has a minimum impact on marine life. The three storey floating structure allows for different viewing experiences. The topmost level has been constructed using beautiful hardwood.With underwater spotlights and 360-degree viewing, you would be stunned by the beauty of the marine life.

Manta Resort is involved in marine life conservation activities. The Kwanini CSR initiatives supplies the community with the tools to help them create a good life. The resort hires team members from the locals, thus establishing a relationship between the resort and the community.

Crown of Thorne is another project which aims to eliminate the several hundreds of crowns of thorn starfish which preys on coral and disrupts the marine ecosystem. As these starfish are heavy and big, as well as venomous, but with the help of experienced divers, the project has made significant progress.

Seles School was built with Manta Resort assistance so that the children might attend school. The guests are involved in the building process or they can meet the children. Shamba project is an initiative by the resort providing land for the farmers to cultivate herbs, vegetables and fruits which are then bought back by the resort. And the Curio Shop at the resort sells pretty handmade ‘makele’ bags and hand carved ‘Ungalawa; dhows and so on.

The Manta Resort is an amazing example of how an enterprise can make a positive change in the surrounding environment as well as the local community.

11. KaggaKamma

KaggaKammaImage Source : kaggakamma.co.za

KaggaKamma is unlike any tent or lodge in Africa or anywhere else in the world, for that matter. The accommodation is in ten cave suites, which completely integrate in the magnificent sandstone formations, offering unparalleled views. There are five thatched huts which resemble the dwellings of the San people who were the inhabitants of the reserve.

The open-air room is the one which is outstanding, providing the true wilderness experience. Lie under the canopy of stars, and take in the spectacular sunrises and sunsets. As for sustainability, the lodge displays the practice of green living, closer to nature, with a minimum impact on environment.

12. Elephant Watch Camp, Samburu National Reserve, Kenya

Elephant Watch Camp, Samburu National Reserve, KenyaImage Source : isafari.s3.amazonaws.com

This eco-lodge has elephant conservation at heart. Green buildings made from fallen trees, sun

hardened earth plaster, and sustainably harvested thatch from palms. The style is boho chic -bush camp adventure, decorated in cotton drapes and colorful cushions. Run by renowned conservator/TV presenter Saba Doughlas-Hamilton, the camp offers amazing sightings of the gentle animals as well as learning about the Save the Elephant foundation.

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