South Africa Eco Tourism Destinations
Our country’s untouched natural areas are conserved in a series of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, private game reserves and national parks -putting South Africa on the map as one of the 17 most megadiverse countries in the world.
Take a look at our top picks for ecotourism destinations in South Africa.
What is Ecotourism?
Ecotourism is the idea of responsible travel to protected areas or especially fragile regions with the intent to have as low visitor impact on the environment as possible.
South Africa is one of 170 countries to sign Article 6 of the Convention on Biological Diversity which requires that they integrate biodiversity conservation and sustainability into economic planning.
Since the late 1990s, South Africa has utilised ecotourism to sustain and improve its immense biodiversity, as well as invigorate its economy. Tourism is the fourth largest generator of foreign exchange in South Africa.
Madikwe Game Reserve
Madikwe Game Reserve covers roughly 75 000 hectares of bushland stretching all the way up to the Botswana border, and is one of the largest game reserves in South Africa.
Once farmland (up until 1991), the Reserve has now been restored to its former natural environment with 86 mammal species, 420 bird species and 104 tree species.
Dominated by grasslands and bushveld, intermingled with rocky outcrops, the reserve is home to cheetahs, wild dog, leopard, hyena, lion, elephant, rhino, buffalo, zebra, giraffe and various antelope.
At Madikwe Hills, we are all passionate about our magnificent environment, and are spoilt daily living in this special wilderness. At Madikwe Hills, we try to be as green as possible and have have undertaken the following:
- Our Suites have low energy-using heat pumps to ensure that we use less electricity (about 1/4 of normal geyser elements).
- Swimming pool pumps run on timers to save electricity.
- All the light bulbs are LED low energy ones.
- All cleaning products are SABS approved and environmentally friendly.
- We have a carbon filter to remove all the chlorine out of the water after it has gone through the water treatment plant.
- We treat our septic tanks with environmentally friendly bacteria as well as ozone to ensure the bush and animals are not harmed.
- We have auctioned safari experiences and donated to anti rhino poaching. If guests are interested they can make a difference by donating a rhino notching exercise (they will be able to partake in this activity) or make a donation for equipment needed by anti poaching teams.
- We give each guest a brand new, aluminum, BPA free water bottle. We have water purifiers in the room. With guests filling up and re-using the aluminum bottle for game drives and gym, they help us to save on average 2000 plastic bottles per month.
If you’d like to learn more about our conservation efforts within Madikwe Game Reserve or how you can participate, please follow this link.
The Greater Kruger Area
The Greater Kruger National Park refers to more than 20 private reserves to the west of the Kruger National Park which add 180 000 hectares to the reserve.
In total, the whole area covers 20 000 000 hectares of unfenced, wild reserve with free movement of animals across this spectacular land.
In the not too distant past, these private reserves got together and established the Associated Private Nature Reserves – a non-profit aimed at upholding the principles and values of conservation, sustainable land use, and local community development.
In the early 1990s, the fences were dropped between Kruger and the private reserves, increasing grazing area for wildlife, extending their potential gene pool and visitors.
Our ecotourism options in South Africa are environmentally responsible, allow travellers to appreciate the natural beauty of the landscape, promote conservation, and provide beneficial involvement of local communities.
If you’re interested in visiting one these ecotourism destinations in South Africa please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to assist you in curating your perfect eco-friendly safari.
Monique de Caro
Gerrie Janse van Vuuren