There is nothing more rewarding than knowing your holiday is geared towards saving the environment. Today, there is a growing awareness amongst people when it comes to ‘going green’ and doing small albeit meaningful things that positively contribute to the environment in which we live. Even travel companies and hotels are starting to utilize green practices that work towards conserving the environment. Some of these practices may be as small as encouraging hotel guests not to send their towels in for cleaning every single day. Other green practices may go as far as using solar power to generate warm water for the hotel.
Here are our Top 5 Eco holiday ideas in South Africa:
1. Eco Lodging in the Cederberg
The Cederberg is one of those magical, indescribable destinations in South Africa. Accommodation in the area is focused on preserving the beautiful natural surroundings. Opt for an eco lodge when booking your accommodation - these are usually lapas or very basic sleeping facilities that offer large open areas for barbeques and night dining under the stars. Many have solar powered water heating due to the wonderful, warm weather experienced in the area during the summer months. Eco lodges usually offer adventure experiences such as hiking, scenic walks, cave exploring, canoeing, fishing and a variety of other eco activities with the aim of both understanding the beautiful environment but also importantly protecting it.
2. Tree House Living in the Kwa-Zulu Natal Midlands
Living in a tree house for your holiday enables you to experience life in a completely new way. Tree house living offers a nature-oriented holiday that allows you to take in the beautiful, mountainous KZN midlands. Tree house accommodation also importantly focuses on utilizing sustainable raw materials and draws on locals for food supply and other artisan goods. Nearby arts, crafts and food markets are aplenty in the midlands as are the opportunities for rest and relaxation.
3. Supporting Rhinos while on Safari
If you want to do something good, support the rhino cause by visiting a game farm like Aquila that breeds and protects these magnificent creatures. Your contribution by visiting such a game farm will help put in place certain practices to protect and conserve these animals. In addition to supporting this worthy cause, game farms offer spectacular safari trips as well as a myriad of activities including hiking trails, cherry picking, fishing, golf and other sporting activities for the entire family. Ensure you do your research thoroughly with regard to the eco-activities of your accommodation before making the booking.
4. Bush Camps
Bush camps are by far one of the richest experiences you can have in South Africa. Why? Because these camps offer a truly natural, raw way of living. If you aren’t afraid of roughing it then a bush camp should definitely be on your to-do list. Bush camps situate you right in the heart of nature. In fact, you may shower in the open, eat by the fireside in a communal family environment and best of all, observe and admire the beauty of the natural habitat.
5. Green City Hotels
Nothing wrong with opting for luxury as opposed to camping! And if you do decide to spend your holiday at a hotel make sure it is an eco-friendly one. There are a number of hotels that ensure eco practices within South Africa. Hotel Verde (opening in Cape Town in August 2013) is one such hotel and in fact it is set to be Africa’s greenest hotel. Every aspect of this hotel will be green-oriented, from the electric airport shuttle buses to the organic shampoos and use of solar powered roof panels.
What is your ideal eco holiday? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below this blog post.