Articles

Green Safaris - Best Eco Hotel of the Year

On Friday 29th October Jacques and Linda van Heerden, General Managers of Ila Safari Lodge, attended the Zambian Hospitality Awards Gala Dinner in Lusaka with the hope that Ila Safari Lodge wold win its nominated category of Best Eco Hotel of the Year.

They were not disappointed and we are delighted to announce that Ila Safari Lodge has now been recognized as 'Best Eco Hotel of the Year'.

Thanks to our parent company Green Safaris' commitment to investment in green technology it has been possible to set Ila Safari Lodge up as a true eco-lodge.

BUILDING
Ila was built using an eco friendly sandbag building method combining eco-beams and excavated earth for our main boma area. By inference this means we used a minimum amount of concrete and avoided the transportation of building materials to site.

Beyond this we used locally sourced hardwood where possible because of its beneficial carbon dioxide absorption properties as compared to soft wood. During construction we built around the local flora, and wherever possible, incorporated it into our finished product. Where impossible, we uprooted small trees and plants and repotted them out of harms way.

OPERATIONS
Ila Safari Lodge runs on 100% solar power (we do have a back up generator for emergencies) and has an on site biogas plant. Ila also runs its own water treatment plant on site for both grey and black water recycling, as well as using eco friendly amenities and cleaning products throughout the lodge. Our black water recycling captures methane produced when human organic waste is broken down. Biogas production reduces the need for bottled gas to be transported into the lodge.

Parent company Green Safaris are the proud owners of Zambia’s very first electronic Land Rover (eLandy) and electronic boat (eBoat). Both of these amazing vehicles are based at Ila Safari Lodge and this means that our guests can experience emission free ‘silent safaris’.

Refuse is sorted on site and returned to Lusaka for responsible disposal. Biodegradable waste is composted and redistributed. All of our appliances are A-rated for energy efficiency and we have LED lights installed throughout the lodge. Even our beds incorporate recycled scrap metal for their springs!

SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
Green Safaris are in the process of setting up a community farm that will provide further local employment and training opportunities. We will purchase our fresh produce as much as possible from the farm and hope other lodges will follow suit.

We supported and continue to support local businesses for the sourcing of materials and interiors, from thatching to furniture, via décor and curio shop stock. We also support local conservation initiatives such as GRI and international initiatives such as Pack for a Purpose.

As much as possible all of our workforce is employed from our immediately surrounding communities. We run a comprehensive in-house training programme in conjunction with Lobster Ink, an internationally recognized hospitality-training platform. Lobster training develops individuals and teaches skills for life.

Overall a safari with us is not only about experiencing unspoiled wilderness but also about protecting it for future generations.

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