Three amazing South African eco-lodges are on National Geographic‘s elite collection of properties that makes up its first-ever travel portfolio.
Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, situated just inland from Gansbaai, and Sabi Sabi’s Earth Lodge near the Kruger National Park and Tswalu Kalahari with the closest town being Upington, are all part of the collection made up of 24 properties on six continents.
“We share and appreciate the values and high quality standards of National Geographic,” said Michael Lutzeyer, part-owner and founder of Grootbos Private Nature Reserve.
Two more African countries are featured. Tanzania has two lodges on the list, while Morroco made it on to the list with one lodge.
Selected through a rigorous evaluation process, each lodge offers an outstanding guest experience while supporting the protection of cultural and natural heritage and embracing sustainable tourism practices.
The initial collection serves as the starting point for National Geographic’s travel portfolio, which includes National Geographic Expeditions, Traveler magazine, travel books, photography courses and the @NatGeoTravel digital and photography community.
National Geographic deployed experts to each site to evaluate operations, meet staff at all levels, scrutinise the lodge’s impact on the local environment and community.
“By creating this carefully curated group of hotels, lodges and retreats that meet internationally recognised sustainable tourism criteria while providing top-notch guest experiences, National Geographic opens a new chapter in the power of travel to protect our planet,” said Costas Christ, a world-renowned sustainable tourism expert and editor at large for National Geographic Traveler magazine, who coordinated an international team to inspect each of the lodges.
“Travellers can feel confident when they stay in one of these lodges that they are helping to safeguard cultural and natural treasures in some of the world’s most incredible places.”
National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World charter members are:
Fogo Island Inn, Canada
Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, South Africa
Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, Peru
Kapari Natural Resort, Greece
Kasbah du Toubkal, Morocco
Lapa Rios Eco Lodge, Costa Rica
Lizard Island, Australia
Longitude 131°, Australia
Mashpi Lodge, Ecuador
Nimmo Bay Wilderness Resort, Canada
Pacuare Lodge, Costa Rica
Rosalie Bay Resort, Dominica
Rubondo Island Camp, Tanzania
Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge, South Africa
Sayari Camp, Tanzania
Southern Ocean Lodge, Australia
Sukau Rainforest Lodge, Malaysian Borneo
The Brando, French Polynesia
The Ranch at Rock Creek, Montana, United States
Three Camel Lodge, Mongolia
Tierra Atacama Hotel & Spa, Chile
Tierra Patagonia Hotel & Spa, Chile
Tswalu Kalahari, South Africa
Zhiwa Ling Hotel, Bhutan