Victoria Fall Safari Lodge, Zimbabwe
Distinction Winner - New Member
Developer of the award-winning Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, Mr Dave Glynn, said: "We are absolutely delighted with the award. The Victoria Falls Safari Lodge has led with many simple but benchmark conservation concepts from its inception. It is wonderful to have them recognised by Green Globe. Hopefully this will raise awareness that it is not difficult to care for your surroundings."
Ross Kennedy, director of the resort's management company and responsible for the entry, added: "What has been particularly rewarding is the 'buy in' and commitment of our staff to all aspects of our environmental awareness and conservation programme. To hear a member of staff in conversation with a guest about the activity around the waterhole, be it game, trees or birdlife, - speaking with confidence and knowledge, is a very satisfying feeling, and enhances the guest experience, too. Whilst we have entered and won an award, I think you will find that many operators in the Zimbabwean tourism industry practice similar philosophies."
Victoria Falls Safari Lodge is a privately owned lodge set in 160 acres of natural bush veld with a natural game waterhole on site. The Lodge has 61 standard rooms, including one for disabled access, five deluxe rooms and six split level suites.
The Lodge has been built with no expense or effort spared to ensure that the site remains as undisturbed as possible, using thatch, local hard woods and commercially grown Eucalyptus poles. Its intricate split levels and indigenous trees, some even growing through the roof structure, give the impression of a vast, open-plan tree house.
Prior to commencement of any work on the Lodge, an environmental impact assessment was carried out which included identifying mature trees, natural features and rock formations. An ongoing policy is that no tree may be cut down without the express permission of the Chief Executive.
In an excellent example of sustainable development partnerships, the Lodge has a sister project over the border in Zambia known as Songwe Point Village. Working with people and Chief of the local Mukuni village, a traditional village was created as authentically as practicably possible. This operates as a tourist experience incorporating accommodation, culture, archaeology, history, music and traditions of the Mukuni people. Funds received also benefit the Mukuni community at large via health, education and social services.
All the stakeholders in the Lodge, including employees, suppliers and the local community, are committed to following ethical business practice in respect to the environment including projects that benefit the local community, through education of employees, guests and local residents, and working with local and central government to protect the environment.
q Waste Minimisation, reuse and recycling
- Concerted effort to separate glass, plastic, cans, paper for recycling with many containers returned to the supplier
- When the opportunity exists, plastic bottles are used for water containers in the rural villages
- Guest amenity bottles used for shampoo, insect repellent etc are returned to the supplier for re-use
- Unfinished guest toiletries are donated to a local home for the aged
- Towels, sheets and linen are cut down and utilised as rags for cleaning and old uniforms are donated to charities
+ Energy efficiency, conservation and management
- Maximum Demand Tariff System is operated by the electricity supplier, which requires management to be vigilant and aware of demand peaks, wastage and abuse
- The laundry operates heavy load factor machines from 11pm - 5.30 am when other demand is low
- Energy management panels installed in guest rooms to control air conditioning units
- Key cards for guest rooms controls wastage of electricity by guests
Ø Management of fresh water resources
- Estate covers 160 acres, including a natural game waterhole
- Negotiated with the Town Council water treatment plant to capture some of the excess from their weir and pump it via a pipeline to an onsite reservoir (1.2 kms) (the costs of this is one third of the cost of using potable water)
- Raw water from the reservoir is used for water irrigation, instead of potable water, which reduces demand on the Town Council, whose capacity is overstretched
Û Waste Water Management
- Interested in developing a wetland project using waste water during 2000
H Land use planning and management
- Prior to development in 1992, the owners commissioned Price Waterhouse to carry out an Environmental Impact Assessment on the project including an aerial survey to identify mature trees, natural features and rock formations
- All contractors and consultants are bound by contract to adhere to laid out criteria regarding movement, destruction, damage to trees, identified features and the general environment on site
- All trees over 1m high are marked with a ribbon and enclosed in individual fencing to protect them
- Grass seed collected from the central construction areas was transferred to the nursery, and used for rehabilitation once construction was complete
- 2000 young indigenous trees were purchased and brought onto site to replace all those removed or damaged by a ratio of over 2:1
- Architects made several adjustments to the design and setting out of buildings to accommodate existing mature trees
- Ongoing policy set to ensure that not a single tree may be cut down without the Chief Executives permission, which would normally require a situation of potential danger or hazard to guests, staff or property
- Operate in a natural wildlife area where game moves freely on the estate. Damages are accepted as being natural events in the environment within which the Lodge operates
- Non indigenous plants, trees etc are not permitted on the site in order to maintain the natural attributes of the location
- Own estate nursery operated on site with a landscape contractor, which grows grass seed, turf and saplings to ensure that the damage created by warthogs and elephants can be repaired and replaced
" Involving staff, customers and communities in environmental issues
- All staff undergo a basic environmental awareness training course during their first 6 months employment
- Support and motivate a Victoria Falls Safari Lodge sponsored environmental clean up team which operates in conjunction with a local scout group to collect litter from the town and local environs
- Comprehensive nature library for guests and employees
- Resident professional guide informs and educates visitors and employees
- Operate and support the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge anti-poaching team, led by the resident professional guide, and consisting of ex National Park Scouts. Over past 8 months they have made 250 arrests and collected 600 snares, saving many animals from a prolonged and painful death
Y ' Partnerships for sustainable development
- Involved with a sister project outside Livingstone, Zambia, known as the Songwe Point Village. The project created a traditional village as authentically as practical which operates as a tourist experience incorporating accommodation, culture, archaeology, history, music and traditions of the Mukini people
Funds received are intended to benefit the Mukini Community at large via health, education, social services and local infrastructure
O Noise Control
- Campaign for a reduction in the number of schedules of fixed wing, helicopter and ultra light aircraft tourist flights over Victoria Falls
- No televisions or radios in rooms
Victoria Falls Safari Lodge