Every day we make choices that impact other species, our climate and ultimately our environment. Sustainable tourism and conservation mean that this impact is sensitively managed and kept to a minimum, underpinned by a commitment to preserve the majestic bushveld that surrounds us and in doing so ensure that this experience is here for generations still to come.
Our emphasis on sustainability and world-class experiences is evident through our inclusion in the National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World, a collection of like-minded lodges committed to sustainable tourism, who invite guests to discover some of the planet’s most treasured places, while helping to protect and be part of our efforts. All four of our five-star lodges are proud members and our association with National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World is our pledge to sustainability, authenticity and excellence. Each lodge underwent a rigorous evaluation process, and was selected based on an outstanding experience while supporting the protection of cultural and natural heritage and embracing sustainable tourism practices.
Sabi Sabi’s belief in the philosophy of “conservation in action” means that a great many conservation green policies are part of the natural operation on a day to day basis, ensuring that our activities are holistically managed and in harmony with nature.
The elixir of life
The management team of Sabi Sabi conducted extensive research into the use of plastic bottled water and the alternatives that are possible. Findings showed that our only option would be that of reverse osmosis, however this would entail wasting 8 litres for every 1 litre produced, and in our current climate this was a system we felt would not be responsible in the management of natural water resources in any wilderness environment.
Bottled water is provided to our guests in all suites, on game drives and on request while dining or lounging in the communal areas at the lodges. Unfinished water bottles are taken to a central point where the remaining content is used for laundry and watering plants, ensuring that not one drop goes to waste.
We have pledged to support the “Planet or Plastic” campaign where we use plastic bottled water made from PET (polyethylene terephthalate) that is globally recognised as a safe and 100% recyclable material. Our aim is to be mindful of the use of plastic and the harm it can do to the planet if not discarded responsibly. We work with our suppliers to ensure that this process is not only done responsibly but also educates and assists our local communities on the importance of responsible recycling.
All plastic bottles and lids used at Sabi Sabi are used to create employment opportunities and play an educational role against littering and are donated to a local empowerment group of ladies who recycle the lids and bottles. We are also committed to supporting local business where possible and all our water bottles are supplied locally – packaged in corrugated cardboard (which is made from the recycled bottle caps) and are specifically provided with no stick-on labels so that the bottles can be fully recycled.
No Water Wastage
A greywater system at Bush Lodge that recycles water from baths, basins and showers is used to irrigate the lodges, saving on precious underground resources. All waste water is pumped into a series of gravitational dams and a natural filtration process takes place ensuring a pure water deposit back into the underground river systems.
In all suites, notices serve as gentle reminders to guests to save water, for instance choosing a quick shower over a full bath and / or reuse towels etc. to minimise the waste on laundry.
Very little goes to waste and with our guests’ participation – this can only improve.
Biodegradable and 100% compostable straws made from PLA (polyacticacid), which is a fancy name for starch made from mealie corn cobs and other plant sources, are served with all our drinks that require the usage of a straw. These straws are coloured with fruit and vegetable extracts and when thrown away, feed plants because of their naturally organic properties.
Minimising our carbon footprint
Our best environmental practices are further implemented through crafting buildings, furniture and décor used in and around our lodges from local materials and sources. Environmentally friendly construction materials are used in the building and upgrade of our lodges. Our attention to the smallest detail, like using toothpicks that are wrapped with paper and not plastic, is an indication of our commitment to the little things, that really make a difference on a bigger scale.
Our marketing collateral production further adds to our green credentials and we are a proud, future-focused marketing department that has replaced printed brochures with digital versions.
As a company invested in the integrity of our surroundings, we are guided by our commitment to look after our treasure here on planet earth, and to preserve this wildlife sanctuary for many decades to come. With some 47 large mammal species, 300 species of birds, 57 species of reptile, a myriad of smaller animals, over 90 species of trees and many more shrubs and grass species, these life forms are dependent on us to honour this commitment.