Ecotourism, sustainability and responsible travel may be current ‘buzz words‘ but Malawi’s tourism operators have always taken their responsibilities to the local environment and local communities very seriously – long before it started to become common practice. They are behind a very wide range of conservation initiatives and projects, as well as introducing practices within their own operations designed to minimise environmental impact. Never ones to rest on their laurels, new initiatives are being undertaken all the time.
The new owners of Kaya Mawa, Green Safaris have invested heavily this year in the ‘greenification’ of the lodge, installing a large solar plant that now means the lodge runs entirely on sustainable energy, bringing in eQuad bikes and supporting numerous conservation and local community projects on Likoma – all of which is set to continue in to 2020, including the addition of electric mountain bikes for guests. Just over the water, Nkwichi Lodge is working with local communities to clear up plastics from the lakeshore. Up at Luwawa Forest Lodge, an environmental educational centre for local children is being built that will also run purely on renewable energy. As well as renewable energies, tree-planting has been something of a focus recently. Zomba Forest Lodge runs a tree planting and conservation project, TREEZ and now has annual fund-raising events firmly established in the Malawi calendar, whilst Blue Zebra Lodge on the Marelli Islands has begun a re-forestation project alongside other environmental projects (and lodge solarisation). At Game Haven they have been responsible for the planting of no less than 1500 trees in 2019, with a similar number planned for 2020.