Eco tourism and carbon-neutral are all buzzwords we’ve grown accustomed to. No, they’re not sexy, not in the least. But then again neither is wiping out an entire species or coming to terms with the idea that our consumerist nature has some unforgiving consequences.
But more and more we’ve seen the collective social media waves galvanise sentiment into action. It’s become impossible to ignore how deforestation is affecting primate populations or how shafts of polar ice are just smelting away. They’re all just a distracting 1-minute video lurking in your feed.
And at its heart is the hashtag search that bubbles up eco-tourism in crisp, clear greenness.
But how important are sustainable tourism practices to you, do you seek out authentic experiences, where the protection of cultural and natural heritage is prioritised?
After all, there are many things to consider.
Is an establishment’s effectiveness at being at one with its environment and enhancing the surrounding landscape and cultural heritage crucial? Do you care if they have a grey-water system in place or if the activities on offer are equally mindful of its footprint.
Or do you find it all a bit overwhelming; the idea that conservation needs to be more than an afterthought as it uplifts communities and consistently gives back?
Being an eco-traveller, a mindful traveller doesn’t mean intense activism and trying to change the world in one fell swoop.
To us here at Traveller24, it’s all about making simple changes. Better choices.
With this in mind here are a few spots we think are making a good effort to strike a balance on some of these fronts…
1. Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, Western Cape
You cannot choose a more exciting place to have an eco-adventure. Nestled between mountain and sea, this private nature reserve is an eco-paradise that lets to enjoy the surroundings made up of spectacular fynbos and some of the best marine life sightings in the world.
Tel: +27 28 384 8008
READ: Grootbos - it demands your full attention AND 7 Secrets to uncover during a weekend at Grootbos
2. Rocherpan Lodge, Western Cape
This is an ideal eco-friendly road trip up the West Coast. The reserve, with its array of wildflowers and beautiful birds is situated adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean and draws hundreds of local and international visitors to the area every year - which means it is perfectly suited to bird watching, fishing, braaing and just walking along the beach. But that’s just one of the great CapeNature offerings – take a look
READ: 4 New eco-cabins launched along the West Coast
Tel: 27 021 483 0190
3. Hotel Verde, Western Cape
Everything is green from the ground up when it comes to this hotel. Located in the airport industrial area of Cape Town, it is hard to miss with its wind turbines on show. A grey water recycling plant and an electric airport shuttle, Hotel Verde is one of Africa’s greenest hotel projects.
READ: SA hotel's revolutionary green approach sees it awarded as world leader
Tel: +27 21 380 5500
4. Tswalu Kalahari, northern cape
“Tswalu” meaning “a new beginning”, prides itself on being eco-driven to restore the Kalahari to its raw beauty as guests are given the opportunity to get involved with its sustainable initiatives at the reserve.
READ: SA lodges listed on elite NatGeo list
Tel: +27 53 781 9331
5. Phantom Forest Eco Lodge, Knysna Forest
Phantom Forest Eco Lodge is a tree-top escape that offers guests an enchanted eco-experience. These guys have gone to great lengths to preserve their surroundings, set in the Afromontane Forest, just seven kilometres from Knysna.
Tel:+27 44 386-0046
6. Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge
Set on the western boundary in the first private concession within Africa’s oldest proclaimed Game Reserve Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park, its 96 000 hectares offers you spectacular scenery and excellent safari opportunities within the heart of Big 5 territory.
READ: New eco-friendly lodge opens in KZN
7. Shamwari Game Reserve
Shamwari Game Reserve is situated in the Eastern Cape of South Africa, an area that was historically rich in wildlife. Many species were eradicated by means of hunting or indiscriminate farming practices. During the past twenty five years, 25, 000 ha of pristine and agricultural land was consolidated and rehabilitated. Remaining wild animal species were allowed to increase in numbers and species extinct to the region were reintroduced.
Tel: +27 (0) 42 203 1111
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