Not-for-profit luxury safari opens in Lapalala Wilderness Reserve

Posted on 30 September 2019

Noka Camp, a new not-for-profit lodge, has opened in in Lapalala Wilderness Reserve. Run by Lepogo Lodges, it is the very first luxury camp in Africa to offset the carbon footprint of every visiting guest and 100% of the financial gains made will be re-invested back into the reserve for the benefit of wildlife, conservation and the local community

From beginning to end, the camp is designed with sustainability in mind. It’s entirely off-grid and all energy is self-generated through the bespoke 250m solar walkway. All the interiors of the five stilted villas are made from sustainable, South African products, crafts and textiles where possible. The villas and the main lodge are all perched on top of a 31-metre cliff overlooking the Palala River below. Each villa is complete with heated plunge pool, unique ‘sky bed’ with glass floor over the ravine, sunken bathtub and underfloor heating.

Guests can enjoy activities ranging from game-drives and water safaris to see the big five, to yoga and spa experiences and tours of iron-age settlements and bushman paintings in the cliffs below the lodge. Lepogo also offers ‘luxury bush sleep outs’ where guests can experience sleeping out in the open without compromising comfort. Guests can also participate in conservation efforts, community outreach and school visits. 

An unparalleled dining experience is offered with a team of world-class chefs headed by the Heston Blumenthal-trained Thapelo Letsogo. Chef Thapelo’s creative African-Asian fusion cuisine takes inspiration from the Asian cooking styles found along the Spice Route of the African coast and is made with locally-sourced and grown ingredients, alongside homemade honey, beer and gin, made onsite at Lepogo.

Lepogo Lodges works closely with local communities, who have created soft accessories for the lodges, toys and clothing for the on-site curio shop and custom amenities including hydrating hair oil made from the fabled baobab and moringa trees.

They also contribute to conservation and are working with Lapalala to establish the reserve as a centre of excellence for the release of wild captured cheetah in conjunction with The Endangered Wildlife Trust. A pangolin re-introduction programme will also begin in the coming months. 

Nightly rates will start from R10,750 per person, per night for a Luxury Clifftop Villa on an all-inclusive board basis, for stays booked to travel before mid-December 2019, and R16,500 for stays booked to travel before December 2020.

Image source: Supplied

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