Safari and sustainability, a duo that works: 6 ecolodges for responsible tourism
Dernière mise à jour : 15 sept. 2021
Lions, elephants, baobabs, white sand beaches... All these sights make us want to book a flight to Africa. A safari is great, but a safari that respects the environment is even better! For those who love sustainable travel and don't want to compromise on comfort, here are 6 ecolodges that will surprise you...
1. Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp, Namibia
A lodge ...
Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp and its 8 luxurious and secluded tents reveal themselves to travelers in the Kaokoveld Desert, Namibia. This arid expanse is home to a multitude of animals such as giraffes, chameleons, ostriches and many others. You will have the opportunity to observe the local wildlife, and learn more about the conservation of local predators such as the brown hyena and the lion.
The reputation of the Wilderness chain, which manages Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp, is well established. It has already established itself as a benchmark in ecological safaris. The primary objective of its camps is the protection of wild animal and plant species against the negative impacts of man. Its motto: "ecotourism".
Everything at Hoanib Skeleton Coast is sustainable, from the collaboration with the locals to a 100% solar powered electricity system and eco-friendly detergents. Ecology is a true philosophy of life in this camp!
2. Matetsi Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
A lodge ...
How about a water-themed safari? In Zimbabwe, Matetsi Victoria Falls offers you a chance to stay on the banks of the Zambezi River, not far from the famous Victoria Falls! Imagine yourself lying on your terrace with the gentle lapping of the river in the background. Had enough of it? Go to the foot of the Victoria Falls for a guided tour on foot or... by helicopter! The aerial view of this natural wonder is breathtaking.
In addition to the sumptuous day and night safaris, Matetsi offers short river cruises that are the perfect opportunity to learn how to fish or to watch an enchanting sunset. Do you want to sail on the water in an original and gentle way? Canoes are a great option to observe the active birdlife.
Respect for the environment is reflected in the lodge's focus on recycling, limiting the use of plastic, using solar energy and involving local communities in the creation of the lodges. When the territory allows it, Matetsi is also committed to cultivating its land and offering its own crops on the menu.
3. Time + Tide Luwi, Zambia
A lodge ...
Direction Zambia, at Time + Tide Luwi camp! This is a walking safari paradise. What more could you ask for in a sustainable trip? Time + Tide are the pioneers of the concept, so you can be reassured: the guides are excellent and very well trained.
This camp will pleasantly surprise you with its typical and comfortable straw bale houses. From your terrace, you can watch hippos and elephants attracted by the mahogany grove that overlooks the place. A magical moment guaranteed.
A responsible organization through and through? Yes, the Time + Tide Foundation works for several causes: women's rights, health, homeschooling, student sponsorship and wildlife protection. So many projects that will make you want to stay a few more days at this ecolodge to learn more.
4. Feline Fields Lodge, Botswana
A lodge ...
After a busy day on safari, Feline Fields Lodge offers a range of sporting activities if you have any energy left. The choice is likely to be difficult between a guided bike tour of the estate, a friendly match on the tennis court, a workout on the treadmill in the outdoor fitness room, or a game of golf in the middle of the African bush. If you're lucky, elephants may even join your daily swim in the private pool. But don't worry, at all times you and your family will be surrounded by the caring staff.
Very concerned with green energy and ecology, Feline Fields manufactures its own solar energy using the latest technology and keeps a close eye on its water consumption. On the social side, the Feline Fields Trust ensures a good relationship between the neighboring communities, the trade and the animal species.
Responsible sportsmen and women, welcome to your home!
5. Virunga Lodge, Rwanda
A lodge ...
Do you know what animal we haven't talked about yet? The impressive and imposing gorilla! A night in the Virunga Lodge is THE place to sleep close to this species. The lodge is located in the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, a true sanctuary for mountain gorillas. Depending on your room, you can enjoy a view of the Bulera and Ruhondo lakes or the Virunga chain of volcanoes from your terrace. After a good night's sleep in the comfort of your room with the bright colors of Africa, you will be ready to leave on the tracks of the gorillas and chimpanzees of Rwanda.
This meeting will be done in the strict respect of the animals. The small chain Volcanoes Safaris, which manages the lodge, has made it a point of honor. To preserve the serenity of the monkeys, we move in small groups and we keep our distance. In addition to its efforts to preserve the wildlife, Virunga Lodge has implemented water tank projects, mushroom planting, handicrafts, and social projects. At Virunga Lodge, you'll have comfort, wildlife, beautiful scenery AND you'll be participating in active responsible tourism!
To discover our trip to Rwanda, read our article Rwanda - Unforgettable journey in the country of a thousand hills.
6. Unembeza, South Africa
A lodge ...
In a refined style, Unembeza consists of charming rooms and villas nestled in the Hoedspruit Nature Reserve in South Africa. What attracts us to this lodge? Without a doubt, the bush spa! We discover there the African massages with the calabash or the rungu wood stick, for a real moment of relaxation out of time. A small plus, the oils used are natural and local.
In this region, you can expect to encounter the leopard on a safari by foot, bicycle or even on horseback. In addition to this environmentally friendly transportation, Unembeza reduces, recycles, reuses, supports tourism with the locals, uses local products and controls its water consumption. The lodge also works on various projects to support women in collaboration with the charity Hlokomela.
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