Top 10: Responsible Tourism game lodges and guesthouses

Protect nature and communities through responsible tourism. Responsible Tourism Game Lodges - blissful nature

1 Shiluvari Lakeside Lodge

Beside the scenic Albasini Dam in Limpopo, Shiluvari was one of the first destinations to be certified by Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa. The staff have equity in the lodge, and the owners promote the local sculptors and potters in the area. Expect locally procured food, beautifully prepared. more

2 Leshiba Wilderness

Atop a plateau in the Soutpansberg Mountains in Limpopo is Leshiba Wilderness. Here you can stay in one of three camps, including the jaw-dropping and photogenic Venda Village, the restful Hamasha Bush Camp or the eco-model Indigenous Knowledge Centre. Go hiking among 400 tree species or explore ancient rock art. more

3 Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve

Very few top luxury game lodges have managed to combine unadulterated refinement for guests with care for the environment and community like Sabi Sabi. Waste water is purified through a natural wetland and the lodge has developed strong links with the local community through environmental education facilities. more

4 Motswari Private Game Reserve

Accredited by Green Globe and Fair Trade in Tourism, Motswari embodies an authentic approach to a bush lodge. It is respectful of the environment, and the lodge is fully engaged with the local community. Within the context of four-star, elegant accommodation, this is where you can reconnect with nature. more

5 Thakadu River Camp

One of the very few 100% community-owned game lodges in South Africa, this elegant tented camp on the Marico River in Madikwe Game Reserve offers the Big Five in style. The camp is owned by the Molatedi community, and is a source of income, jobs and great pride for its people. more

6 Tswalu Kalahari Reserve

This is the largest private game reserve in South Africa, and is owned by the Oppenheimer family. They have taken a number of overgrazed livestock farms, allowed time and nature to restore them to their former game-rich splendour and have created an inspiring experience. more

7 !Xaus Lodge

This beautiful Kalahari lodge was established by the Khomani San and Mier people in land that was restored to them. !Xaus means ‘heart’ and is symbolic of the healing of relationships and the return of dignity to the two communities. more

8 Bartholomeus Klip

Bart’s Klip, as it is better known, is a gloriously comfortable guesthouse within a particularly rare kind of fynbos – renosterveld. But this is also a working farm, with sheep and crops. Renowned for its sumptuous foodie spreads, Bartholomeus Klip offers the best of both worlds. more

9 Grootbos Private Nature Reserve

Set in a remarkable area of fynbos in the Western Cape’s floral kingdom, Grootbos offers luxury amid a remarkable ecosystem and commitment to its conservation and people. more

10 Amakhala Private Game Reserve

This sprawling park in the biodiversity-drenched Eastern Cape has four luxury game lodges that have teamed up on conservation initiatives, and to help support small community-based local businesses. more