Top 5 Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Stays in Namibia
Namibia has long championed environmental protection and sustainability, becoming the first African nation to establish community-based conservancies following the creation of the Namibian Community Based Tourism Association (NACOBTA) in the 1990s.
Today, these sustainability efforts continue, and local communities are increasingly encouraged to learn from each other and work together in order to provide sustainable tourism that protects wildlife conservation and improves local livelihoods. In fact, there are now 80 private wildlife conservation areas across Namibia, all owned and managed by local people, whilst significant areas of the country have been earmarked as national parks and protected areas.
This continued sustainability drive, accelerated by greater demand from eco-minded tourists, has led to a wave of eco-friendly camps and lodges springing up throughout this stunning nation. In this article we bring you the lowdown on five incredible eco-friendly accommodation options in Namibia.
Hakusembe River Lodge
Situated in the Caprivi region lies a spectacular eco-friendly lodge that’s burrowed amongst lush lawns and dappled trees that overlook the famous Okavango River.
Visitors to the area are drawn to the beauty of the river itself and the abundance of game and near-endemic bird species that fly close-by. The lodge comprises of twenty quaint bungalows that are spread out across the river, each boasting gorgeous ensuite bathrooms, air con, hot water, and there’s even a sparkling swimming pool.
Sustainability-wise, the lodge has committed heavily to funding a local nursery and water dispensing facilities have been installed to deter the use of plastic water bottles.
We head to the Skeleton Coast for our next eco-entry, the magnificent and truly unique Shipwreck Lodge. The name derives from the many shipwrecks that lay stranded across the Skeleton Coast and the lodge’s ten individual eco-cabins are set against the arid desert landscape, surrounded by huge dunes and rolling plains.
From an ecological and sustainability perspective, the lodge is powered exclusively by solar energy and bio-digesters for sewers have even been constructed to completely minimise the effect on the environment.
A popular destination for those looking for interactions with local Himba people, Shipwreck Lodge also serves as a great base for exploring Walvis Bay.
The Dune Camp
Nestled deep within the glorious NamibRand Nature Reserve lies Dune Camp at Wolwedans, a luxury camp boasting opulent tents, wide viewing decks and all the lavish amenities you could wish for. It’s open-fronted construction allows for full views of the spectacular desert horizon, and you can spot an abundance of wildlife in the distance, all from the comfort of your elegant tent.
With strict policies in place to protect against water wastage, eco-friendliness and sustainability is at the heart of the camp’s ethos. Vegetarian food is also provided.
Dune camp is the perfect place to stop off at if you’re venturing on a self-drive safari through the Namib desert.
The ultimate peaceful retreat, Hoada Campsite is a haven for Namibia eco safari travellers. Located in the Kunene region, which is home to a variety of exotic animal and bird species, there are numerous exciting hiking trails to explore nearby.
The complex itself features six luxury campsites that can house up to 8 people comfortably and there is plenty of space for vehicles with roof-top tents.
As a community-owned campsite, eco-friendliness is at the heart of everything and innovatively the barbeque, or braai, area is hooked up to the hot water system meaning that your shower is being heated as your dinner cooks. In recognition of their eco-friendly efforts, Hoada has received several awards and certificates from Namibia’s sustainable tourism body.
Chameleon Backpackers and Guesthouse
For our final entry on this list, we head to the nation’s capital Windhoek. Chameleon Guesthouse is famous amongst backpackers and offers an eco-friendly, as well as budget-friendly, place to lay your head.
Within walking distance of many of the capital’s incredible bars, restaurants and shops, Chameleon Guesthouse comprise of a number of well-proportioned rooms decorated in African-chic style. There are also three roomy self-catering flats to stay in if you’re looking to bunker down for more than a few days.
In terms of sustainability, Chameleon employs active water and waste recycling systems, and all the power is supplied by solar energy. Chameleon Guesthouse also have a reputation for investing in the local area, helping to fund many local community initiatives.