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

Dominated by the hippo-choked Shire River, Liwonde National Park is the crown jewel of the Malawian park’s system and the home of 16-bed Mvuu Lodge, which rather unsurprisingly means ‘hippo’ in the local language.

This Wilderness Safaris lodge – constructed in accordance with the company’s blueprint of low-impact and temporary buildings – has built its sustainability reputation upon an environmentally friendly, low energy sewage disposal system that makes use of reed beds and indigenous plant filtration. The lodge also focuses on forging a link between the safari operation and its surrounding communities by supporting numerous community projects, while close to 1,000 local kids have attended its innovative Children in the Wilderness environmental education and life-skills program. Support of two local schools, scholarships for promising students and local staff recruitment complete a solid sustainability package.

In recognition of its on-going investment in the surrounding communities and local educational initiatives, Mvuu Lodge was selected as one of David Bristow and Colin Bell’s top 50 sustainable safari operations and included in their magnificent coffee table book: Africa’s Finest. This important book is a leading resource in distinguishing truly sustainable safari operations from the host of green-washers that pervade the African safari lodge industry. If you’d like to get hold of a copy then you can order it here.

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