Diary Archive: January 2014

Africa’s Finest…

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Out of choice we prefer to run what is called these days a “green” or at least reasonably socially responsible camp. Mostly this is a deal of common sense combined with a clean and tidy operation.

Hardly earth shattering stuff but as more and more people share the same ethos, it becomes more and more important.

Game Drive in Meru National Park, Kenya
Game Drive in Meru National Park, Kenya

We were happy to welcome a couple of guests who seemed to have a more than superficial interest in the ‘back of house’ goings on at camp and I am always happy to show interested guests how it all works.

Colin Bell and David Bristow later told me that although many African safari lodges and camps sell themselves as being eco-friendly they had found that some merely “green wash” the nuts and bolts of responsible management.

In 2013, the two released “Africa’s Finest”, a comprehensive guide of the 50 finest, most eco-friendly accommodations throughout sub-Saharan Africa, the Seychelles and Madagascar.

Africas Finest Book Cover
Africas Finest Book Cover

The pair had spent two years visiting over 1,000 properties, before narrowing it down to 170 finalists. They then invited nine environmental specialists to travel with them for another two years, as they extensively evaluated those properties. Each property was also graded on a scale of ten, based on operation, conservation, and community effort.

It shouldn’t have come as such a surprise when we found we were at the top end of the best in Kenya. This is what they had to say about us:

As the sole lodge in Meru National Park, Elsa’s Kopje reduced its environmental footprint by running on LED and energy saving bulbs, solar power and dead or renewably sourced wood for timber. Elsa’s Kopje also supports local schools; in the past year alone the camp raised $10,000 to support the 340 children and teachers at Ura Gate primary school through textbooks and school repairs.

Students at Ura Gate receiving school books by Elsa's Kopje Guide
Students at Ura Gate receiving school books by Elsa's Kopje Guide

Winner of the Good Safari Guide’s ‘Best Safari Property in Africa‘ Elsa’s Kopje is renowned for being one of the most elegant lodges in Africa, with an award winning design with stunning views from every room, Elsa’s Kopje is almost invisible. It blends into the rocky crags of the hillside and every sumptuous cottage is the ultimate ‘room-with-a-view’.

and that’s what they said…come and see for yourself.

Phil & Charlie