Page - Responsible Tourism
“Treading lightly upon the earth” – our low carbon footprint motto.
Bakwena Lodge is the only lodge on the Chobe River to have been built on environmentally friendly based eco principles.
Bakwena’s design is based on the traditional “rondavel” – it has long been known in Africa that a round building is the most effective use of space! Chalets are built using the eco-beam method, utilizing a pole structure and sandbag infill, this method has been used around the world and has many distinct advantages. The sandbag method is one of the most eco-friendly methods available to us here in Kazungula.
The design and building method is also highly effective when considering thermal regulation, making our rooms cooler in summer and cozier in the winter. As part of our conservation of resources this means we do not have to use excess energy on electric air conditioning units.
LOCALLY SOURCED MATERIALS
We have sourced as much of our building material as possible from local and sustainable or renewable natural sources. This includes the sand for the wall in-fills as well as the thatching grass for the roofing, which comes from nearby Pandamatenga. The close proximity and use of natural materials not only accounts to a financial saving but is an integral part of maintaining a low carbon footprint.
All decking is pine, sourced from sustainable plantations.
Where furniture has been made, for example the beds and tables; these have been made on site using only sustainably sourced wood.
NO HARMFUL CHEMICALS
Treatments on all wooden surfaces are not harmful to the environment as they are made from natural oils and plant extracts.
The walls are treated and finished with ‘green paints’.
All guest amenities are environmentally friendly as we use and supply biodegradable laundry detergents, kitchen products and furniture soaps, oils, waxes etc.
Our upholstery fabrics are sourced in Cape Town from Lula fabrics and are printed on natural linens using non-harmful dyes.
Lighting, heating and power requirements draw from solar technology. We hope our lodge will serve as a model of how simple and easy the relevant technology is as this will help to improve the lives of the surrounding village and rural communities.
As part of our day to day running we have implemented several recycling projects reducing our waste output to a minimum. We also train our staff in recycling principles that they may input this knowledge within their own home and community.
COOKING WITH NATURAL GAS
We will recycle our kitchen waste to create Methane gas to supplement our gas cookers needs,
Food and garden waste is recycled through a composting process and reused in the kitchen’s organic vegetable and herb garden.
Furniture: The Chobe Bakwena Eco Lodge is principally furnished with individual pieces we hand selected from scouring second hand and vintage shops and attending endless auctions. We then personally and lovingly upgraded and refurbished the pieces using eco-friendly methods and products.
Lighting: Aside from the built in wall sconces, we have sourced and commissioned several lighting options thereby contributing to several small businesses economic empowerment. Innovative lighting fixtures include using Madagascan fish traps, handmade wooden beaded chandeliers, and handmade felt spheres for bedside lights – commissioned in Cape Town from “I felt like it”. (Light bulbs used throughout Bakwena are either LED or CFLs in order to use less energy – but please help us conserve our planet’s resources – if you are out of your room please turn the light off.)
The curtains in the bedrooms have been hand-made in Madagascar from white Madagascan cotton using traditional needlework designs and creating employment opportunities.