Sustainability is at the heart of the Great Plains Conservation ethos and sustainable technologies and systems are in place throughout our camps. With the opening of Zarafa 2008, we pioneered the concept of providing a luxury safari experience sustained completely on solar power. A decade later, we continue to innovate with, for example, the state-of-the-art Tesla solar battery system in place at Mpala Jena Camp. Other best practices in our camps include the bio-digesters that convert vegetable scraps in methane cooking gas, rainwater harvesting and recycling water for wildlife waterholes, using recycled hardwood in camp construction, on-site glass bottling plants for still and sparkling water and the elimination of single-use plastic. Our camps are built to minimize their environmental impact and ensure that all trace of them would disappear within two years of being dismantled.
Numerous international and local ecotourism ratings systems have recognized our commitment to sustainable practices. Selinda, Selinda Explorers and Zarafa have all achieved the Botswana Tourism Organisation’s highest rating – “EcoTourism” and the Selinda Reserve has been named as one of the world’s Top 100 Sustainable Destinations every year since 2016. In Kenya, Mara Plains and Mara Expedition each have a Gold rating from EcoTourism Kenya while ol Donyo Lodge is Silver. Mara Plains, Selinda, Zarafa and Selinda Explorers Camp are all Fair Trade Tourism Certified. In addition, Mara Plains, ol Donyo Lodge, Duba Plains and Zarafa are National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World. Every lodge in the Unique Lodge collection is thoroughly vetted by a sustainable tourism expert who does in-depth, on-site evaluations based on the pillars of sustainable tourism.
At Great Plains Conservation, we demand excellence and innovation from ourselves and are committed to conservation, sustainability, luxury and transformative travel experiences, compromising nothing while maximizing each.
GREAT PLAINS FOUNDATION
Great Plains Conservation exists to conserve and expand natural habitats; using sustainable eco-tourism protect and restore critical habitats, conserve wildlife and benefit local communities. We have conserved nearly one million acres of land for Africa’s wildlife across community conservancies, former hunting concessions, and key wildlife migratory corridors. Every time Great Plains Conservation expands its sustainable tourism operations it does so with the explicit goal of benefiting wildlife and expanding conserved land.
In addition, we have founded the Great Plains Foundation to lead innovative initiatives with a long-term commitment to the environment, wildlife, and local communities in Botswana, Kenya, and Zimbabwe. Great Plains Conservation supports the Foundation’s administrative costs and provides in-kind contributions such as transportation, supplies and staff time so that more resources can be directed to the communities and protected areas we serve.
By staying at Great Plains Conservation’s camps, you are directly helping to protect Africa’s wild spaces. In addition, a Conservation Levy is added to each stay with Great Plains Conservation as a contribution to the Great Plains Foundation. Through this levy, every traveler who stays with us is not only helping to conserve and expand natural habitats, but also contributing to conservation and community development. These projects include: conservation education; the distribution of solar lanterns; expanding wildlife migratory corridors and, of course, saving and trans-locating endangered species through programs such as Rhinos Without Borders.