Solar power was the natural next step for eco-friendly resort family Singita, located in South Africa. The tourist destination is built lightly into a 33,000-acre concession on the eastern reaches of Kruger National Park near the border of Mozambique border. Singita's Sweni and Lebombo lodges are dedicated to respecting and protecting the spectacular local area.
Starting this month, Singita will move from diesel generators to solar parks designed by New Southern Energy to power about 52 percent of its energy needs in Kruger National Park. The transition will reduce its diesel consumption by some 80,000 gallons. The solar farms were positioned around protected trees and are game-proof with solar powered electric fencing.
Kruger National Park is one of the world’s oldest conservation areas inducted in 1898. It’s famous for a remarkable concentration of ‘Big 5’ game animals, especially a few formidable prides of lions. Four different eco-zones are home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. The third pillar of Singita’s conservation ethos, on top of protecting the landscape and wildlife, is partnering with the local community to promote education, independence, and sustainability. The Singita School of Cooking, for example, trains youth in the skills necessary to become a chef.
Singita Sweni Lodge features six intimate suites stilted along the Sweni River. The dark timber decks were constructed around the bursting euphorbia trees and seemingly float beneath their branches. The proximity to the river makes this lodge a fantastic place to see wildlife come down for a drink. Singita Lebombo looks more like a collection of 15 eagles’ nests set against the rugged cliffs overlooking the N’wanetsi River. Wood, steel, and glass combine to give the loft-style suites a contemporary feel. Both properties offer guests the option of sleeping under the stars. If that’s not eco tourism, we don’t know what is.
Images via Singita