We also work with local communities, training young people to develop their skills, and we fund several initiatives…
Sustainability is a big thing for us at Chobe Game Lodge and as we’re the only camp inside the national park, we try to minimise our impact on the natural environment as much as possible. We were the first camp in Botswana to launch electric-powered safari vehicles, and our boats are also electric as well as solar-powered. On top of that, around 95% of all waste at the lodge is recycled, and our boardwalk overlooking the Chobe is built from recycled timber-plastic.
Our recycling processes include glass crushing to manufacture bricks on-site, which we then donate to the local community to be used for housing. We also crush plastic bottles to be recycled by the supplier, and reuse greywater to keep the grounds green.
We run informal behind-the-scenes eco-tours for guests wanting to learn more about all this. Our head guide, Vivian, normally guides the tours, taking guests to the back-of-house kitchen, which runs on gas made from biodegradable waste at our biogas plant. We also show them our recycling plant, our greywater facility and our workshop.
We get a really positive reaction from guests on the tours. Sometimes they get to meet Albert Ndereki, who helped build the lodge back in 1971 and is behind many of the eco processes we have in place today.
Of course it’s not just the environment we need to protect. We also work with local communities, training young people to develop their skills, and we fund several initiatives, including the Turning Heads Beauty Salon, which employs vulnerable women. I’m also proud to be part of Botswana’s first all-female guiding team – in fact, two thirds of all staff at the lodge are women.
For guests wanting to learn more about the local community, we run private trips to the nearby village of Mabele, located around an hour and a half’s drive away. We visit the Lwaavo Cultural Group, a community group and cultural centre that showcases local crafts and customs.
The visit begins with a traditional song and dance performance, before guests are invited to take part in a basket-weaving demonstration and play a few games. They then have the chance to buy souvenirs hand-crafted by the group and to try local dishes such as seswaa (a traditional shredded beef dish), boiled morogo (similar to spinach) and pap. The excursion is really popular – it gives guests a chance to support the community while learning more about rural Botswanan culture, and to get an insight into the people as well as the animals that inhabit our surroundings.
Your journey will start with one of our UK team – someone like James, who's travelled extensively in Botswana. They’ll shape your ideas into the trip of a lifetime. But they won't do it alone. They'll draw on the expertise of our contacts on the ground, connecting you to the people who'll make your holiday one you'll always remember - the rangers who'll ensure you'll spot the best wildlife in Chobe, the village chiefs who'll give you an insight into local life and the helicopter pilots who can land you on an island in the Delta never visited by humans before.
Freephone an expert 01306 744 656