Top 10 Eco-Friendly Hotels in South Africa


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‘Green’ is the word in 2015 and everywhere, people are trying to make a positive impact on the earth and the environment to preserve its future. Travellers are also getting eco-conscious and are taking measures to reduce their carbon footprint during their vacations.

Hot Salsa Media

South African hotels are making efforts to preserve and protect the planet by utilizing and promoting green practices. To help you get your green 2015 started, here is a list of the best eco-friendly hotels in South Africa.

1. Go green in Cape Town

Cape Town is pioneering eco-tourism and has a number of ‘green’ accommodation options to suit every budget. For a luxurious green vacation, stay at the Grootbos Nature Reserve in Hermanus. Grootbos is involved in a number of environmental projects and is invested in protecting the natural flora and fauna of the surrounding areas. If you are looking for affordable accommodation in Cape Town, book your stay at The Backpack. This trendy backpackers is located in the heart of the city and uses a range of eco-friendly practices from solar heating, to aerated taps and worm farms!

2. Enjoy the best of the Wild Coast

Bulungula Lodge is an exceptional eco-lodge / backpackers located off the beaten track along the Wild Coast. The lodge is not only invested in eco-friendly practices, powered entirely by solar energy, but is also owned and managed by the surrounding Nqileni village. The lodge overlooks one of the most spectacular remote beaches in the Wild Coast and nature lovers should not miss the chance to stay here.

3. Hideaway in the mountains

Located high in the Monk’s Cowl Reserve of the Central Drakensberg, iKhayalamafu (meaning House in the Clouds) offers you a slice of heaven. This eco-estate generates all its power from solar energy and hydro-generation; there isn’t a single electric line in sight to spoil the seamless views of the mountains. iKhayalamafu is dedicated to protecting the surrounding indigenous forests by removing all alien plants from the property. The estate is self-sufficient in honey and vegetables and has no fences on its boundary with a World Heritage Site, meaning that wildlife is free to roam.

4. View the world from tree tops

View the world from up among the trees at Teniqua Treetops. Situated in the foothills of the Outeniqua Mountains along the Western Cape’s Garden Route, Teniqua Treetops is a tented tree house resort offering eco accommodation. Surrounded by indigenous forest, the self-catering tree houses use natural products and materials in their construction and functionality. The lodge harvests rain water and uses dry toilet systems to ensure minimum impact on the environment.

5. Go eco-chic in Gauteng

The Peech is a boutique hotel in Johannesburg that aims to have as small an impact on the environment as possible. The Peech is Fair Trade Tourism certified and its eco-friendly practices include recycling, energy conservation through solar water heating and green design to ensure that the hotel’s carbon footprint is kept to a minimum. The hotel also supports a range of community organisations, including Little Eden and Pack for a Purpose.

6. Tread gently in Kruger

Rhino Walking Safaris has two camps, Plains Camp and Rhino Post Safari Lodge, that lie within a private wilderness concession just north of Skukuza in the Kruger National Park, offering exclusive walking trails and game drive safaris. The camps are built on stilts using natural materials of stone, wood, thatch and canvas and use absolutely no concrete to minimise the environmental impact. Rhino Walking Safaris has an ongoing recycling system and uses a special indigenous Reedbed System to process bathroom waste.

7. Go off the grid in Umlani

The Umlani Bushcamp is another classic African safari camp that is situated in the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve in the Kruger National Park. The comfortable eco-lodge is Fair Trade Tourism certified and is powered by solar energy. Each hut in the camp is lit by candlelight and oil lamps and the open-bush showers are fuelled by wood fires. Getting back to nature has never been more romantic.

8. Experience green efficiency in Umhlanga

Overlooking the iconic Umhlanga lighthouse, the Oyster Box Hotel was built with a lot of care to make the hotel as green as possible. The hotel has implemented a number of green practises including solar power generation, grey water recycling and rain water harvesting. The hotel also reuses heat expelled from the air conditioning system to heat its swimming pools. The hotel has everything from energy efficient lights to a sophisticated building management system for maximum energy efficiency at all times.

9. Have an eco-treat in Plettenberg Bay

Situated on the edge of the Tsitsikamma Forest and surrounded by valleys and mountains, the views from the Hog Hollow Country Lodge are a treat to the senses. The lodge not only protects the environment with its ongoing recycling programme and responsible energy consumption practices, but also supports the community by filling all staff positions locally from Kurland Village.

10. Get carbon-neutral

Located in the airport industrial area of Cape Town, Hotel Verde has an impressive green stamp, which is why this hotel just had to be on our list. The hotel is located between car rental parking lots and industrial warehouses, but goes above and beyond to reduce its carbon footprint. With wind turbines, a grey water recycling plant and an electric airport shuttle, Hotel Verde is one of Africa’s greenest hotel projects.

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