Planning a trip to Africa? It you go to Namibia, make it a sustainable one by staying in these eco lodges!
By Sean O’Connor
According to recent research, Africa has one of the fastest growing tourism industries in the world. Visitors come here mainly seeking a luxury safari holiday.
However, with more and more tourists flocking to the continent, sustainability is becoming an issue. How can these nations attract tourists, whilst minimising their impact on wildlife, natural resources, and local communities?
Fortunately, one country is leading the way when it comes to sustainable African travel: Namibia. The land of sprawling desert landscapes, striking coastlines and spectacular National Parks is a true leader. It has become the first African country to incorporate the sustainable management of its natural resources within its constitution.
Namibia recognised that to safeguard its precious resources, they’d have to make some collaborative efforts. Today, the government, private sector, and local communities collaborate to protect ecological resources here.
With this vision in mind, sustainable tourism and localised initiatives are now commonplace. These initiatives have helped to preserve endangered wildlife and land. Additionally, they ensure local livelihoods are protected and even enhanced.
So, if you’re considering a trip to Namibia, check out some of the country’s most popular eco-friendly hotels, below!
From remote desert lodges to luxury hideaways, the following eco lodges in Namibia proudly advocate sustainable travel.
4 Sustainable Lodges To Stay At In Namibia
Championing sustainable tourism ideals doesn’t mean compromising on luxury. And nowhere does that statement ring truer than Damaraland Camp.
Nestled in the heart of the Torra Conservancy in north-western Namibia, Damaraland Camp is encircled by some of the most dramatic and stunning landscapes in Southern Africa. Many visitors are drawn to the camp owing to its remote location. This allows for more peace and quiet reflection. Especially wonderful under star-strewn skies!
After a quick scan of the arid landscape, you could be forgiven for thinking nothing ever grows here. However, that’s the beauty of Namibia: expect the unexpected. Look closely, and you’ll find an abundance of desert-adapted animals and plants that are absolutely thriving.
Satisfying the needs of the luxury safari traveller, the camp boasts ten stunning adobe-style chalets. Each of these come with a range of modern amenities. These include free wifi, tea and coffee makers, and blow driers.
Feeling the desert heat? Guests can dive into the huge, sparkling swimming pool during their stay. They’ll also enjoy first-class cuisine in the magnificent dining area. But that’s not even the best part. Get this: guides here can lead you to families of elephants that live in the desert!
Since the camp’s inception in 1996, it’s been instrumental in championing eco values and supporting both education and conservation in the local area. In fact, all this work culminated in a Sustainable Travel Award in 2017.
One of the best eco lodges in Namibia for: Food! The full English or vegetarian breakfasts here are famous.
Set against a jaw-dropping backdrop of rocky mountains lies Desert Homestead. This eco lodge blends into its natural environment of grassy plains and sprawling sand dunes perfectly.
Guests will find accommodations that boast natural linens, stylish wooden furniture and huge windows. And of course, views of endless desert scenery! Other features guests love include: a cosy library, fully-stocked bar, spacious lounge and refreshing pool. The staff at Desert Homestead are super-professional and friendly. You can rest assured they’ll go above and beyond to make your stay extra special.
Location-wise, Desert Homestead lies in the Namiba Tsaris Conservancy. This a 150,000 hectare private reserve adjacent to NamibRand in the west. Wondering what to do? Try a trip to the famous Sossusvlei. There, visitors can take photographs of some of the world’s largest sand dunes. Hot air balloon rides, as well as sundowner game drives, are other popular activities.
In line with the lodge’s commitment to sustainable tourism, all amenities are powered by solar energy. As well as producing their own electricity, Desert Homestead ensure that all the produce they serve is sourced from nearby farms. This helps to support local communities.
But there’s more! All profits earned by the lodge are invested in the maintenance of the Ondili Nature Reserve. Which means by staying here, you’re essentially promoting the survival of local flora and fauna.
One of the best eco lodges in Namibia for: Viewing wildlife. You’re likely to see everything from lions to gerbils! You can also tailor-make your own safari tour.
3. Serra Cafema
Located close to the magical Kunene River, Serra Cafema Camp is widely considered as one of the best places to stay during a luxury Namibia safari. A magical oasis situated on the Marienfluss Conservancy, here guests can escape reality, indulge their every luxury whim and experience life-changing excursions.
Guests stay in one of ten canvas-and-thatch villas. Each one boasts a large private lounge, elegant beds, and intimate viewing decks complete with sun beds. The privacy here makes it the perfect place for a honeymoon!
Bush walks, relaxing boat trips and sunset drives give you a flavour of just some of the incredible activities you can experience. Uniquely, Serra Cafema is also one of a select few camps that offer guests the opportunity to engage with the semi-nomadic Himba Tribe.
Emphasising their commitment to sustainable initiatives, the camp runs on a hybrid power system. Owing to Serra Cafema’s work supporting the local Himba, as well as tireless wildlife conservation efforts, the camp is recognised as being extremely sustainable travel friendly.
One of the best eco lodges in Namibia for: Luxury accommodation, getting to know the local culture
Namibia’s Skeleton Coast is vast and desolate. It’s also famed for the ships that have perished attempting to charter treacherous stretches of the Atlantic. In homage to these stricken ships, the magnificent Shipwreck Lodge comprises ten charming chalets. Each features a design clearly inspired by fallen vessels.
All the chalets come with a luxury private bathroom and viewing deck. Guest rooms also feature a wood-burning stove, which is handy as the Skeleton Coast region regularly experiences cooler temperatures. In the communal area, visitors can socialise at the charming bar and enjoy some world-class cuisine in the lodge’s dining room.
Thrill seekers can go sand boarding or hot air ballooning, and of course, safaris are available. At Cape Cross, guests will marvel at the sight of over 200,000 Cape Fur seals.
One of the best eco lodges in Namibia for: Strong sustainability efforts. In fact, the Shipwreck has received the Green Flower Eco Award in recognition of their waste management, conservation and energy practices.