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

Built using local materials, know-how and labour, Nkwichi is a genuinely low-impact lodge that blends seamlessly into the natural landscape. Establishment of the Manda Wilderness Community Trust sits at the heart of Nkwichi Lodge’s sustainability drive on Lake Niassa in northwestern Mozambique.

In addition to a $5 bed night levy, the trust fundraises extensively to enable it to offer support to a 20,000 strong community spread across a 120,000ha area. This is no small undertaking for one dedicated lodge. The Trust is making great strides in encouraging locals to convert to renewable resource use practices and desist with cutting down mature hardwood trees.

An experimental farm set up by the lodge also teaches local farmers about rotational planting, soil conservation and other sustainable agricultural practices. Rather than handing over money to the communities, the Trust instead pays for materials and services in order to accomplish its projects. To date 10 schools have been built in this way with the government then stepping in to provide the necessary teachers.

Green Nkwichi and its dedicated Manda Wilderness Community Trust are both proud to be associated with the top 50 sustainable safari operations, as selected by David Bristow and Colin Bell in their magnificent coffee table book: Africa’s Finest. This important book identifies the mere handful of truly sustainable safari operations from amidst the many eco-pretenders 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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