Stephen Cunliffe
South Africa ZA

Stephen is a travel writer and avid conservationist whose work appears in prestigious magazines such as Africa Geographic and Travel Africa.

Category: Sustainable Lodge of the week

Rwanda’s Nyungwe Forest is the largest surviving tract of montane forest in East-Central Africa. Built on a reclaimed tea plantation, the Nyungwe lodge blends into the forest fringe thanks to its style of non-intrusive timber chalets elevated on stilts. The main building has been set back from the forest to minimise disturbance and maximise views.

From the planning phase to execution, the lodge construction process was environmentally aware and sensitive to the forest’s fragility. No heavy machinery was used. Instead the lodge developers chose a deliberately labour intensive approach that maximised socio-economic benefit flows to local communities. Nyungwe Forest Lodge is fortunate to draw its power from the utility grid (renewable hydro-power) negating the need for dirty generators. The lodge has also thoughtfully opted for solar water-heaters and built its own sewage-treatment plant with processed water recycled to the gardens.

Nyungwe Lodge

Top-class Nyungwe Forest Lodge features as a proud member of the top 48 sustainable safari operations on the continent, as selected by David Bristow and Colin Bell in their magnificent coffee table book: Africa’s Finest. This important book is the definitive guide to uncovering a handful of truly sustainable safari operations amidst the host of green-washers and eco-pirates that pervade the African safari lodge industry. If you’d like to get hold of a copy of the book, then you can order it here.

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