Did you know?
Cob houses are natural, recyclable, sustainable structures built from straw, earth and water.
Increasingly, eco-friendly rooms are the choice of green-minded travellers, but guests need to know what to look out for when choosing a ‘green’ room. An establishment's approach to water and energy saving, waste and resource management, product procurement and sustainable innovation, are all good indicators of a sincerely earth-friendly stay.
At Mashovhela Lodge in Limpopo Province, rooms are naturally ventilated, run on solar power, toiletries are biodegradable, and furniture is made from exotic trees removed as part of an ongoing effort to rehabilitate the natural wetlands.
Community empowerment and recycling are the backbone of efforts by De Noordhoek Hotel to provide genuine green rooms for their guests. All rooms have solar geysers, low flow showerheads, dual flush toilets, and toiletries are recycleable, biodegradable and refilled from bulk containers. Even the toilet paper is bleach-free and biodegradable. Housekeeping uses environmentally friendly cleaning products and materials, and pheromones, not pesticides, to keep potential creepy-crawlies at bay. Art in the rooms is sourced from local artists, and towelling and linen only changed on guests' request.
In Muizenberg, Samhitakasha is an urban cob house B&B, built from gum poles culled from alien vegetation, on a brown-field site. Energy-conscious facilities include recycled water, a solar geyser and wind generators. All towels, linen, and soft furnishings are from natural, organic, recycled materials and timber is sustainable. Slate floors, natural fibre carpets, environmentally friendly wall paint, and biodegradable, natural toiletries complete this über-organic establishment.
At Kurisa Moya Nature Lodge, rooms are built from local stone, or invasive black wattle trees harvested by the local woodsmen, and operate on solar power. Toiletries (made from indigenous baobab oils), lamps and candelabra are sourced from local women’s empowerment projects. Water is conserved through water-saving fittings and grey water is used wherever possible. The lodge is self-catering, and all guest waste is separated and recycled.
Other accommodation providers with authentic eco-friendly rooms are Spier Hotel, in Stellenbosch, Three Tree Hill in KwaZulu-Natal, the Radisson Blu in Cape Town, and selected Mercure hotels in South Africa, that subscribe to Accor Groups Earth Guest Programme.
You can also opt for a stay at the brand new 4-star Gateway Hotel in Umhlanga, KwaZulu-Natal. This luxury hotel uses green building materials and the latest energy-efficient technologies to reduce resource consumption.
Eco-conscious visitors travelling with children might also want to consider the Drakensberg Sun Lifestyle Resort, which won an Imvelo Responsible Tourism Award in 2010, for its outstanding energy management programme. This 'green' resort offers a range of family-friendly facilities, services and activities in the heart of the central Drakensberg.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
De Noordhoek Hotel
The Cob House
Three Tree Hill
Radisson Blu - Waterfront
Kurisa Moya Nature Lodge
Green Leaf Environmental Standard
Drakensberg Sun Lifestyle Resort