Two SA eco-lodges listed as 'the Best in Africa' on CNN

2015-04-09 14:29
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Cape Town - Africa has become the hub of green holidays it seems, and eco-lodges are not only the most responsible way to stay on the continent, but also the most luxurious. 

In a bid to find the best of these eco-lodges, and to test their 'green' credentials, South Africans David Bristow and Colin Bell travelled the length and breadth of Africa to find the continent's best eco-friendly hotels and safari camps.

Bristow, a writer, and Bell, a former safari firm owner, documented 50 of the best findings on their travels across the continent in their book, 'Africa's Finest'. The book gives a comprehensive guide to the term 'eco-lodging', and lists only places that have passed the test of being absolutely green

After the successful release of their book, Bristow and Bell also compiled a shortlist of 15 of their absolute favourite eoc-lodges for CNN. In here Bristow and Bell lists two of South Africa's finest eco-lodges among 13 other exquisite eco-lodges in Africa.  

Have you ever been to any of these?

Grootbos Private Nature Reserve

Located just outside Hermanus (and about 2 hours from Cape Town), Grootbos Private Nature Reserve is a five-star eco-paradise where you can rediscover discovery itself. 

The name Grootbos, an Afrikaans word meaning Big Forest, is derived from the presence of our ancient Milkwood Forests. Milkwood trees are known to grow over 1 000-years-old and their gnarled branches and mossy beards create an enchanting atmosphere of deep soothing tranquility and rejuvenation.

Grootbos is also involved in the upliftment of the communities surrounding the estate, which is a major role-player in Bristow and Bell's eco criteria.

Torn between wanting to take a nap in this bed with a view and exploring @grootbos #VSCOcam #GrootbosMagic

A photo posted by Traveller24_SA (@traveller24_sa) on

Leshiba Wilderness 

This retreat in the Soutpansberge of Limpopo province in the northern part of South Africa is a lodge that is, as described by CNN, "for, of and by the people" of the area, which explains why it is held is such a high regard by Bristow and Bell. 

The lodge has a fitting Venda theme running throughout, with everything from the people, art, food and decor being prepared in and inspired by this proud cultural strand in South Africa. It is this true inspiration and influence that make it one of the most original eco-lodges in Africa.

Venda Art by Noria Mabasa#Leshiba Lodge#Limpopo

A photo posted by Morgane (@morgananunu) on

My next bed tonight we are #Leshiba tonight

A photo posted by Taryn Miles (@tazz_mil) on

Trip to Limpopo #Leshiba

A photo posted by Deidra (@deidra147) on

It's not only CNN that claimed SA's eco-lodges worthy of a mention. The National Geographic Society also announced its newest foray in world-class travel experiences, namely the National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World, and here three of SA's top eco-lodges were listed. 

South Africa's three listings in NatGeo's list also included the highly-acclaimed Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, as well as Sabi Sabi's Earth Lodge near the Kruger National Park and Tswalu Kalahari relatively close to Upington. 

See: SA lodges listed on elite NatGeo list

Other eco-lodges listed by Bristow and Bell for CNN are:


Serra Cafema Camp  

Desert Rhino Camp

Wolwedans Private Game Reserve 


Greystoke Mahale

Singita Grumeti


Little Makalolo 

Singita Pamushana Lodge 


Mano A Kwena 

Mombo Lodge

Central African Republic 

Sangha Camp


Camp Nomade 


Tafika Camp

Zambezi River

Natureways Canoe Trails 

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