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An African Safari is the quintessential travel dream for nature lovers – and staying at eco-friendly lodges makes the experience even more meaningful. Jumbari Family Safaris has listed the top 8 recommended Eco-Lodges in Africa, places to enjoy nature in style and in a respectful manner while you cross this dream trip off your bucket list!
A truly immersive experience, an African safari invites you to reconnect with nature and come face to face with the wildlife and people that call the African wilderness home. Eco-lodges play a crucial role in protecting these unique ecosystems and can choose to have a direct positive impact on the natural surroundings and local communities.
Responsible family travel company, Jumbari Family Safaris, creates ethical itineraries for families who want to make a positive impact while on vacation. Using eco-lodges that adhere to strict ethical tourism practices, Jumbari ensures that each client that travels with them leaves the smallest possible footprint while travelling in Africa. Jumbari Family Safaris has put together their top 8 recommended eco-lodges in Africa to help you choose the best accommodation option for your family eco-safari.
1. Tswalu Kalahari, Eco-Lodge South Africa
Located in the northern reaches of South Africa, in the heart of the Kalahari Desert, lies Tswalu Kalahari. This luxury lodge makes its way onto Jumbari’s list of Africa’s top eco-lodges for their commitment to the conservation of the Kalahari and sustainable eco-tourism practices. In support of ecological research on the eco-systems of the Kalahari Desert, The Tswalu Foundation was established to make more informed conservation management decisions on the property. Guests staying at Tswalu have the opportunity to accompany researchers studying fauna and flora and witness conservation in progress. In addition to Tswalu’s active practices in conservation, both lodges on the property (The Motse and Tarkuni) were built from organic materials without compromising on luxury. This eco-lodge in South Africa is an ideal location to introduce children to the principles of conservation through a variety of fun and interactive activities offered at the lodge.
2. Jaci’s Safari Eco-Lodge, Madikwe, South Africa
Eco safaris come to life at Jaci’s Safari Lodge in Madikwe Game Reserve. Here, your family will stay in luxurious tented suites featuring only eco-friendly amenities. In support of rhino conservation, your booking fee at Jaci’s Safari Lodge automatically incurs a Guest Contribution fee which is donated to a proactive anti-rhino-poaching organization, Stop Rhino Poaching. A fee of R150 is charged per person per day and children 13 years and under are charged at R75 per day. For guests who would actively like to contribute to conservation efforts at Madikwe, conservation safaris are available which gives them the opportunity to help in safeguarding the reserve and its wildlife.
3. Chobe Bakwena Eco-Lodge, Botswana
Travelling to Botswana with your family? Bakwena Lodge is one of Jumbari’s top recommended stays for eco-travellers who are serious about sustainable travel in Africa. This privately owned eco-lodge is located on the banks of the Chobe River and has been built to tread lightly on the environment. The lodge’s eco-credentials include their natural swimming pool filtered entirely by plants – the perfect place for your children to cool down after a hot day in Botswana – as well as their employment policies, the source of their food and building methods. In their efforts to conserve water and the use of electricity in the area, the rooms feature fans as opposed to air conditioning and showers rather than bathtubs. Activities offered at the lodge encourage guests to explore on foot or by bicycle, whether it is visiting a local village or partaking in a walking safari, ‘green’ practices are at their core!
4. Jack’s Camp, Eco-Lodge Botswana
Jack’s Camp made it onto Jumbari’s list for their ability to be the epitome of luxury and exclusivity, while maintaining an eco-lodge mentality. The authentic 1940’s style tented safari camp is located in Botswana’s Kalahari Desert and welcomes children of all ages. The 10 tented suites at Jack’s Camp have been kitted out with indoor and outdoor showers in their efforts to minimize the camps use of natural resources as well as fans as opposed to air-conditioning.
*Please note that Jack’s Camp will be closed from 01 October 2019 to 30 April 2020.
5. Little Makalolo, Eco-Lodge Zimbabwe
Located in Hwange Nationals Park, one of Zimbabwe’s most ecologically-diverse areas lies eco-lodge Little Makalolo. Consisting of only 6 tented suites, the camp ensures a lighter environmental footprint through the use of solar power for lighting and hot water. In addition to their energy-saving initiatives, each tented suite features both indoor and outdoor showers as opposed to bathtubs. Little Makalolo is also an active participant in the conservation of Hwange’s wildlife through their partnership with conservation organizations such as the Scorpions Anti-Poaching Unit, Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZPWMA).
6. Sindabezi Island Lodge, Eco-Lodge Zambia
Sindabezi Island Lodge sits at the forefront of sustainable travel and accommodation in Zambia. This eco-lodge on the banks of the Zambezi River strives to minimize their noise pollution, carbon footprint and their impact on the local flora and fauna. The lodge is entirely solar powered with no grid dependency – wastewater is pumped with solar energy, cooking is done with gas cookers and paraffin lamps are used as supplements. In addition, all cleaning products and room amenities used in the lodge are biodegradable. The lodge is also committed to supporting local businesses and communities through ordering the bulk of their wood supplies from sustainable forests in the Copper belt near Ndola. When it comes to food, the kitchen at Tongabezi is supplied with fresh, organic vegetables from its very own garden! And what about plastic? The lodge has their own Vivreau still and sparkling bottling system that is saving 20,000 plastic bottles and 2,000 tin cans a year.
7. Zambezi Expeditions, Eco-Lodge Zambia
What more does one want from an eco-lodge than a camp which is entirely mobile and can be packed up in a matter of hours? Zambezi Expeditions Camps are a dream come true to eco-travellers who are serious about sustainable tourism. This luxury mobile camp comprises of 6 twin bedded Meru style tents which offer the ultimate eco glamping experience on the banks of the Zambezi River. The tented suites include flush toilets and al fresco bucket showers.
8. Lemala Ewanjan Tented Camp, Eco-Lodge Tanzania
Ewanjan Tented Camp, Eco-Lodge Tanzania
Located in Tanzania’s central Serengeti lies Lemala Ewanjan Tented Camp. Finished with 24-hour solar electricity, safari-style bucket showers and a mobile set-up, this is our recommended eco-lodge for your family safari in the Serengeti.
We have interviewed Jumbari Family Safaris and they tell us all you need to know about eco-tourism in Africa here!