• Bitten by the whale watching bug Bitten by the whale watching bug We don’t realise how lucky we are in South Africa, and in particular the Western Cape, to have the mightiest of the marine mammals visit our coastline between every year ...
  • The Whale Trail The Whale Trail The Whale Trail is not a new trail, having been around since about 2002, but it has become extremely popular. It is truly a unique experience, perhaps comparable with ...
  • 10 Pamper-Perfect Spas in South Africa 10 Pamper-Perfect Spas in South Africa Combine your trip to South Africa with a relaxing, revitalising visit to a health spa and experience Africa at it's finest. Our favourite 10 Pamper-Perfect Spas in South Africa are ...
  • Locals share their favourite getaways Locals share their favourite getaways We ask 30 local South Africans to share their favourite holiday destinations and getaways with us. From the more popular destinations like Knysna and the Kruger Park to ...
  • The Oude Skip hike The Oude Skip hike The Oude Skip walk shares portions of its hike with the larger Karbonkelberg Traverse, which is roughly seven hours of hard walk from Hout Bay harbour to Llandudno ...
  • 10 Amazing Game Lodges 10 Amazing Game Lodges South Africa is world renowned for her game reserves and wildlife. The lodges which allow us to experience these in luxury are no less awe inspiring. Our favourites are ...
  • 101 Things to Do with Kids in Cape Town 101 Things to Do with Kids in Cape Town As much as your kids will tell you they can’t wait for the school holidays, the words "I’m bored" inevitably cross their lips. Our "101 things to do with kids in Cape Town" will ...
  • "World's most beautiful Cities" "World's most beautiful Cities" Open space makes Cape Town special. Renowned English sea navigator Sir Francis Drake once referred to Cape Town as the fairest cape in the world. The city houses the ...

Find Accommodation in South Africa
Subscribe to our Feed
Posted on: Tuesday, 28 July 2009
Eco-Tourism in August

South Africa Eco-Friendly Accommodations

Send to Kindle

Booking eco-friendly accommodation in South Africa doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice on comfort (though South Africa does offer a number of camping options should you want to “rough it”).

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 Spa

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)

The Shire Eco Lodge

The Shire Eco Lodge

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

Teniqua Treetops

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

Mosaic Farm

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

Madi a Thavha

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

Paperbark Bush Retreat

Paperbark Bush Retreat

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

Kololo Game Reserve

Kololo Game Reserve

Kololo Game Reserve (Vaalwater, Waterberg, Limpopo)
“On 9 July 2009, Kololo began the construction of the new all green chalets. These will set the trend for the rest of Kololo. We will start with implementing solar panels, solar geysers and grey water systems. During this process and while more funds become available the green resources will be implemented for the rest of the lodge too. ”

Kololo Private Game Reserve (neighbouring the Big 5 Welgevonden Game Reserve) offers a choice of full board or self catering accommodation in 12 upmarket, self-contained chalets positioned in the pristine bushveld. Privacy and relaxation are guaranteed … more about Kololo Game Reserve

Bellevue Guest Lodge (Ramsgate, South Coast, KwaZulu Natal)
“We have rehabilitated an area of our property into a Botanical park with over 200 indigenous tree species and a variety of habitats – forest, wetland, ponds and stream – and home to magnificent bird life, blue duiker, bushbuck, porcupine, otters, leguaan, genets, monkeys and the rare tree hyrax. Selection of indigenous plants for sale. The park also features an eco-play area with interactive play apparatus and educational signage, ideal for kids.”

Bellevue Guest Lodge is a charming and comfortable retreat, set in 11 hectares of lush forest and spacious gardens. We are situated midway between Ramsgate and Southbroom, near safe sandy beaches, spectacular coastline and magnificent … more about Bellevue Guest Lodge

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

The Peech

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

Oudrif, Clanwilliam

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

Chartwell Guest House

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.

Green Weddings
Thinking about having your wedding in South Africa? You can choose an eco-friendly venue. Wedding Wizz has acquired a very exclusive historical forest / beach Estate called Forest Hall, nestled in a prisitine indigenous forest in the Crags near Plettenberg Bay in the Garden Route – all eco friendly with sun energy, recycled water and carbon footprint of functions balanced out with planting of indigenous trees and supplying of certificate to verify all.

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.

Useful Links:

South Africa Accommodation
South Africa Hotels
South Africa Honeymoons
South Africa Wedding Venues

The SA-Venues.com Team


Photographs, posts and articles filed under "The SA-Venues.com Team" are either very old articles (this blog has been going since 2005!), are a combined effort or have been submitted to us by a third party, the name of which is/should be displayed in or below the actual article. Special offers and general event posts are also found here as they are generally a team effort.

Related Posts:

What Others are Saying

2 comments about South Africa Eco-Friendly Accommodations
  1. May 3rd, 2010 at 13:51
    kris says:

    Awesome articles.. i really would like to go to the treetops as i have heard only good things.. where else could you recommend that is simlar or maybe even better?

  2. October 7th, 2010 at 19:21
    Tumi Chiloane says:


    I run a guest house and I plan to expand. I am interested in the whole solar running of the geysers and lights. Can you advice who i can contact further clarity or a place to visit to experience how it works….

Have Your Say

Tell us what you think ...
required (will not be published)
 Notify me of follow-up comments (via e-mail)