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

Recognised by BirdLife International as an Important Birding Area, Cousine Island is the setting of both an idyllic Seychellois island paradise as well as home to some critically endangered endemic birds.

Since the lodge’s establishment, the numbers of nesting birds have increased dramatically in no small part thanks to the eradication of all alien invaders and the replanting of around 4,300 indigenous trees on the island. The human footprint is also extremely light with just 10 guests, 16 service staff and two full-time conservation officers who implement the environmental projects on Cousine and its neighbouring islands.

The water used by the lodge comes from rainwater collection, while drinking water is pulled from the atmosphere by ingenious hi-tech machines. Diesel generators currently provide all the power, which seems almost negligent if you consider the region’s abundant sunshine, but plans are thankfully now on the table to introduce wind turbine generators and solar.

This necessary sustainability upgrade will ensure idyllic Cousine remains on the cutting edge of Africa’s eco-renaissance.

The admirable conservation work (guests are encouraged to join in), reforestation efforts and light human footprint on Cousine have ensured the island’s inclusion amongst the top 50 sustainable safari operations in Africa, as selected by David Bristow and Colin Bell for inclusion in their exquisite book: Africa’s Finest. If you’d like to get your hands on a copy of this eye-opening coffee table book, then you can order it here.

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