South Africa’s top green hotels

Posted by Janine Avery on 26 March 2013

Locals and internationals alike are now very aware of the ever-changing environment. Many consumers are now keeping in mind environmentally friendly alternatives to ordinary products. The hotel market has seen this need by travellers to minimize their carbon footprint and thus many of South Africa’s hotel owners are stepping up to the mark and utilizing green practices. These are some that are getting it right:


Phantom Forest Eco Lodge, Knysna Forest

You can’t talk about green hotels in Africa without mentioning Phantom Forest Eco Lodge . This exclusive getaway offers accommodation in the cutest tree-top suites which were built using the most eco-friendly practices, from using alien vegetation in the construction right down to recycling the water.

Contact:[email protected], Tel +27443860046


Karkloof Safari Spa, Pietermaritzburg

Karkloof Wellness Retreat, eco hotels, South Africa

The up-market and green-conscious Karkloof Wellness Retreat

Often seen as South Africa’s top spa, Karkloof Safari Spa was also built with conservation in mind and a number of wildlife and ecological expert were consulted.  Located in Pietermaritzburg , the spa is also home to a rich diversity of flora, birdlife and wildlife.

Contact:, Tel +27335691321


The Oyster Box Hotel, Umhlanga

The Oyster Box Hotel, eco hotels, South Africa

The over-the-top Oyster Box Hotel in Umhlanga

The Oyster Box Hotel, located on the beach in Umhlanga, may not look very environmentally friendly but in fact when the hotel was re-built a lot of effort went into ensuring the hotel was as green as possible. The hotel makes use of sustainable water and electricity techniques while a number of smaller practices are performed at the hotel including recycling and the planting of indigenous vegetation.

Contact:,  [email protected], Tel +27315145203


Shire Eco Lodge, Stutterheim

The Shire Eco Lodge is a small self-catering lodge situated on an indigenous forest in Stutterheim, Eastern Cape. On the property is also a nursery that goes indigenous bulbs and trees and stunning eco-furniture made from black wattle and Australian blue gum can be found throughout the lodge.

Contact:,  [email protected], Tel +27436832452


Kololo Game Reserve, Vaalwater

Situated in the rural Limpopo town of  Vaalwater, Kololo Game Reserve has dedicated a lot of time and energy to sustainable tourism. Some of their practices include wildlife management and contributions to anti-poaching funds. Guests are also encouraged to bring old clothes for donation at the lodge and to plant a tree during their stay at Kololo.

Contact:[email protected], Tel +27147210920


Mashovhela Lodge, Makhado

This lodge was uniquely built on an abandoned settlement and all roads and pathways to and around the lodge are on already established trails. Located in Makhado( formerly known as Louis Trichardt), Mashovela Lodge is not connected to the Eskom grid and the majority of the lodge’s power is generated through solar practices.

Contact:[email protected], Tel +27129916930


Grootbos Nature Reserve, Hermanus

Grootbos Nature Reserve, eco hotels, South Africa

Stay in environmentally friendly luxury at Grootbos Nature Reserve in the Cape

The owners of the lodge at Grootbos have a true passion for the environment and this beautiful part of South Africa. They also are passionate about developing youngsters from the surrounding communities and are constantly training up new staff through a college programme set up by Grootbos.

Contact:[email protected], Tel +27283848000


Hog Hollow Country Lodge, Plettenberg Bay

As with many small lodges in South Africa, the majority of the staff at Hog Hollow Country Lodge is supplied by the impoverished communities surrounding the property. The hotel also has an on-going recycling programme, as well as a de-wattling programme which aims to increase the indigenous flora in the region.

Contact:[email protected], Tel +2744534887


Phinda Forest Lodge, Maputaland

Phinda Private Game Reserve, eco hotels, South Africa

Feel at one with the forest at Phinda Private Game Reserve

Although an up-market lodge, Phinda Forest Lodge in Maputaland, Kwa-Zulu Natal, still has their heart in the right place. Phinda is raised on stilts so as not to disturb the unique forest ecosystem that lies below. This light footprint was evident in the construction where not one tree fell.



Hotel Verde, Cape Town International Airport

This new hotel is set to open in July 2013 at the Cape Town International Airport is one of Africa’s greenest hotel projects. Hotel Verde is set to have an amazing array of green elements including wind turbines, a vegetated green roof, an electric airport shuttle, a grey water recycling plant, occupancy sensors in the rooms and a regenerative drive on the elevators.

Contact:, [email protected], Tel +27213851181

Also read: 15 of the best eco hotels in Southern Africa


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