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

Little Makalolo lies within the sprawling 14,500km2 Hwange National Park. Despite decades of political strife and government cutbacks, both the park and Little Makalolo have managed to weather the Zimbabwean storm surprisingly well.

The lodge – owned and operated by Wilderness Safaris Zimbabwe – has been instrumental in assisting the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority with anti-poaching activities, de-snaring operations and pumping water during the dry season. The company’s Children in the Wilderness programme has focussed its community outreach on schooling in the villages located along the park boundary with rainwater tanks, borehole upgrades, educational improvements and school meals at the centre of their efforts. Old diesel-powered borehole pumps are also being phased out in favour of new solar technology.

Back at the lodge, solar-heated water and low-flow showerheads conserve water and energy, while rainwater is harvested for camp use. Water usage is monitored on a daily basis. Further solar upgrades are planned to replace the firewood-hungry donkey boilers currently being used in the staff camp.

Little Makalolo Camp stands tall amongst the top 48 sustainable safari operations identified by David Bristow and Colin Bell in their magnificent coffee table book: Africa’s Finest. This important book scrutinises and discerns a handful of 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 their book then you can order it here.

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