More and more establishments in South Africa are adopting eco-friendly principles on varying scales. Whether subscribing to “green values”, “sustainable or responsible tourism” or going the whole “eco-tourism” hog, you can support accommodation establishments that are trying to make a difference here in South Africa.
Karkloof Spa (Karkloof, Natal Midlands, KwaZulu Natal)
“At Karkloof Spa we are proud to be custodians of an extraordinarily beautiful piece of land. It is one which reflects changing moods and colour palettes, according to the seasons, and which supports a large variety of plants, mammals, birds, insects, fish and other creatures. Unfortunately, as is the case with most natural areas, it has fallen victim to encroaching plants, most of them alien to this landscape; and to periods in the past, of overgrazing, frequent burning and inadequate environmental management.
For the past seven years, two experts in ecology and wildlife management have provided guidance on correct management techniques. A major component of this management has been the removal of alien plants from the property and it has been most gratifying to experience the restoration of indigenous vegetation which in turn provides …” Continued
Karkloof Spa, Wellness and Wildlife Retreat, located just 24 km from Pietermaritzburg, in KwaZulu Natal’s magnificent Midlands, is a tranquil but uplifting haven for those setting out on a journey to wellness and restoration. It also offers guests an opportunity to absorb the sights and sounds of … more about Karkloof Spa
The Shire Eco-Lodge (Stutterheim, Amatola Region, Eastern Cape)
As refreshing as it is unique; an extraordinary and truly unique space, captivating with its innovative design and magnificent forest setting. The luxury chalets rest on the edge of the indigenous Xholora forest in the Amatola Mountains, just a stream’s hop from the enchanted home of many rare species of plants, butterflies and birds, including the rare Cape Parrot.
From nature-loving adventurous types, to those on business, The Shire promises to soothe, inspire and rejuvenate. We offer either self-catering or B&B accommodation in Stutterheim. Each elegant open-plan chalet contains a stylish en-suite bathroom and fully equipped kitchenette, as well as its own braai / barbeque facilities.
Through the striking curved-glass corner window, you can feel a part of the forest. For the more daring kinds, our two river-side chalets have their own open bush showers where you can soak and steam among the trees Keep a look out for the rare samango monkeys curiously watching from the … more about The Shire Eco Lodge
Teniqua Treetops (Sedgefield, Garden Route, Western Cape)’
“It is not often that one is invited to sleep, eat and wash high up in a wild, indigenous forest canopy, surrounded by mountains, bird song, butterflies and, well not much else really. By all accounts a visit here is ‘quietly life-changing’. It is also one of few truly eco-friendly venues.
The creators of Teniqua Treetops emphasise that they have gone to great lengths to preserve the peace and quiet of the natural environment, have used natural materials in the construction of the tree houses, and have concerned themselves with minimising their energy use and impact on the environment. They have incorporated a dry toilet system, pipe river water from the Karatara River for washing, whilst drinking water is harvested from rain (both sources are tested and potable); they process their own grey and black water and use no chemicals when washing or cleaning …” Continued
Teniqua Treetops invites you to a luxurious, child- and eco-friendly treehouse holiday hideout. The eight self catering treehouses are very private and set in acres of pristine indigenous forest, with comfortable tented bedrooms, fully equipped … more about Teniqua Treetops
Mosaic Farm (Stanford, Cape Overberg, Western Cape)
“We have cleared more that 200 hectares of lagoon front land densely infested with Rooikraans, Port Jackson and Myrtle. This has brought back indigenous plant, bird, and insect and mammal life, and restored the balance of the eco-system. General Manager, Justin Boshoff and Assistant Lodge Manager, Craig Templar, are trained conservationists and wildlife guides. Management along with the owners, Breese and Kathryn Johnson, are passionate about restoring our environment.
Educational activities included in a stay at Mosaic Farm focus on the spectacular natural beauty of the Cape Whale Coast and Cape Floral Kingdom, environmental and community involvement and support, many sustainable building practices and an organic vegetable and herb garden …” Continued
A popular guest retreat and 933 ha conservation reserve on the Hermanus Lagoon, bordering the pristine Whale Coast Walker Bay Beach. Our secluded Lagoon Lodge has 6 private safari style suites. Two cottages are available. Activities include whale … more about Mosaic Farm
Madi a Thavha Mountain Farm Lodge (Louis Trichardt, Soutpansberg, Limpopo)
“We are a Fair Trade in Tourism (FTTSA) certified lodge and we focus especially on supporting the Venda and Tsonga artists and crafters in the area. We have a large shop at the lodge only selling locally produced arts and crafts. We offer cultural tour programmes, creative workshops, visits to performances etc.
Artists and crafters stay regularly at the lodge and we organise inspirational gatherings and training. Everything is focussed on job creation and giving the artists and crafters access to markets. Our latest initiative is to establish a marketing and sales organisation for heritage based arts and crafts fro the north of Limpopo. On the green side we recycle our garbage and work on environmental awareness with our employees.”
Madi a Thavha, meaning “water from the mountains”, is set in a beautiful and quiet valley of the lush Soutpansberg mountain area of Limpopo, only 10 km drive from the centre of Louis Trichardt. Enjoying farm life and nature, the stylish and bright accommodations, and the rich culture … more about Madi a Thavha Mountain Farm Lodge
The Mountain House (Clovelly, Cape Town False Bay, Western Cape)
“The Mountain House, situated against the slopes of Trappieskop mountain in Cape Town, with superb views of the ocean, Silvermine wetland and up the valley overlooking Clovelly golf course, was designed and built with ‘eco-consciousness’. Sandstone excavated during the construction was used for the retaining walls and the building sits very comfortably, on a minimal footprint, in its surroundings. A rainwater collection system was installed during construction as well as a solar hot water system.
Taking inspiration from the natural fynbos of our surrounds Miles has established and maintains a beautiful indigenous garden, attracting a prolific variety of local birdlife. Guests have commented on the peacefulness and tranquillity and you’d have to spend some days here to enjoy and appreciate it yourself.”
Situated in one of the most beautiful parts of Cape Town. Nestled against the slopes of Trappieskop Mountain, bordering the Table Mountain National Park, The Mountain House is uniquely designed to take in the most spectacular views. 2 to 4 people can be comfortably … more about The Mountain House
iKhayalamafu (Monks Cowl, Drakensberg, KwaZulu Natal)
“We are totally green. We generate our own power with solar energy and a hydro generator. We do not have any Eskom power and no power lines are visible on our property. We have also eradicated all alien plant vegetation from our property (such as pines and wattles). We get fresh mountain water from the stream and I try to encourage city folks to leave their plastic bottles of water at home (it is a bit difficult because somehow people cannot believe that un-bottled water is safe to drink). If only they knew how bad all the plastic is for the environment they would soon stop.”
High in the Monk’s Cowl Reserve of the beautiful central Drakensberg Mountains and closer to paradise than anywhere else in the Champagne Valley. Step from your cabin into the Ukhahlamba / Drakensberg World Heritage Site. You will love the seclusion and peace … more about iKhayalamafu
Ocean View House (Camps Bay, Cape Town Atlantic Seaboard, Western Cape)
“We use solar geysers and created a succulent garden with a constantly growing variety of succulents which is not only beautiful to look at but also very “water-friendly”. Our new whale sign board was installed a month ago. An information sign approximately 1.2 x 2.5 m in size which gives details about the whales visiting in our area and how to identify them!”
A luxurious guest house nestled between the Twelve Apostles mountain range and overlooking the beautiful Atlantic Ocean. The rooms and suites, including the presidential suite, are all sea facing, ensuring breathtaking views, particularly of the sun setting … more about Ocean View House.
The Peech (Melrose, Rosebank, Johannesburg)
The Peech Hotel in Rosebank is committed to operating a sustainable hotel & wants a stay at The Peech to have as small an impact as possible on the environment. By renovating an existing structure and introducing eco-friendly solutions like solar water heating, and grey water recycling, The Peech hopes to set an example for other hotels and industries in South Africa.
The Peech does Green: 90 square meters of green space per hotel guest; solar water heating; grey water recycling; energy-efficient lighting; double-layer insulation to reduce heat in summer and heat-loss in winter; ecological detergents and cleaning agents; organic herb & vegetable garden supplying ingredients for the bistro; recycling (as much as is possible in South Africa) – cans, paper, cardboard, glass & kitchen oil. Visit The Peech Hotel
Oudrif (Clanwilliam, Western Cape)
Oudrif is a collection of cottages built using renewable resources. The specially chosen sites were leveled by hand with little plant loss or other damage. The cottages are built of straw bales making them very well insulated and wood for construction came from the clearing of aliens in the area. Doors, windows and sanitary ware are all recycled from demolition sites. Oudrif has no connection to municipal services, power for lighting and pumping water comes from solar energy and waste water is treated with micro organisms and put through a septic tank system.
The site chosen for the building of Oudrif was badly degraded from over grazing and erosion. Over time we have been filling in dongas and rehabilitating the soil and the site is slowly returning to its original state. During the building process local labour, some former prisoners and parolees, were used thus transferring valuable skills to them. We now employ staff from the surrounding farms and assist them through training to improve their skills. Our aim at Oudrif is to show that it is possible to decrease our negative impact on the earth without sacrificing comfort. Visit Oudrif
Chartwell Guest House (Umhlanga, KwaZulu Natal)
Chartwell Guest House is an eco-friendly establishment. We are doing our bit to reduce energy consumption and impact on the environment but never at the expense of guest comfort, hygiene or care. All our light bulbs are energy saving, we use heat pumps to heat our water instead of conventional geysers, we catch and store rain water to irrigate our mostly indigenous garden, our food products are free range and organic where possible, we seperate and recycle our waste and have a wormfarm for leftovers. Visit Chartwell Guest House
This is an ever growing list, so accommodation establishments please contact us with details about how you’ve gone green, and visitors please come back often for other eco-friendly accommodation options.