Eco-friendly safari lodges are built to be sustainable either by using recycled materials for the building itself, or by incorporating 'Green' elements into the lodge such as solar powered water heaters, grey water utilisation watering systems for gardens, recycle bins within all the areas of the lodge and the use of energy efficient light bulbs.
© Solar collector at Mombo Camp. Okavango
Responsible Travel and Eco-friendly Accommodation
These have become 'buzz words' within the travel industry and it is understandable that you may wish to know what steps these lodges take to preserve the environment and reduce your travelling carbon footprint.
Botswana as a country has implemented a governmental code of conduct ensuring environmentally friendly practices are used by all safari operating companies. Officials regularly do checks on the lodges and safari companies to ensure these practices are being adhered to.
Many lodges and tour companies also have their own policies and procedures as well. If you are looking for an environmentally conscience accommodation option during your stay in Botswana, here are a few tips on how to choose an eco-friendly lodge:
Benefits to the Community in Area
An Eco-friendly lodge will usually aim to hire local people as their staff providing not only income to the community but also increasing their skills. This in turn allows the employees to better educate their children, improving their futures and the futures of those around them.
The use of locals as guides and staff within the lodges also instils a sense of pride for the property in the community. Guests may also enjoy being able to chat to their game drive guide or a member of the staff about the area, their cultures and beliefs, providing greater insight into the country or area there are visiting.
The use of local produce is another indication of an eco-friendly lodge. Many lodges choose to either grow their edible produce themselves or purchase it from nearby local farmers. This not only supports the local community but also reduces the carbon footprint of the produce as there is less distance to transport the goods and less petrol or diesel consumed.
The use of local produce extends beyond the edible goods as some eco lodges have chosen to use locally crafted soaps, blankets and handmade products in their rooms.
Most eco-friendly lodges will have a manifesto or written policy that outlines their plans and procedures regarding their eco-conscience. When you are booking into an eco-friendly lodge always ask for a copy of the manifesto, if it isn't available the chances are that the lodge is not as serious about their environmental footprint as they appear to be.
An eco-friendly lodge that is working hard at being as sustainable and environmentally friendly as possible will usually be extremely excited to provide measurable statics and percentages relating to how much they have reduced their kitchen waste, water waste and other consumables.
If you are looking for an eco-friendly lodge, ask the manager of the lodge or travel agent you are enquiring through about how the lodge measures their conservation and what they have done recently to help protect the environment, grow the skills in the local community or help a local charity.