10 beautiful eco-lodges around the world

Posted on 3 August 2016

There are so many beautiful eco-lodges around the world. From a tipi forest in New Zealand to an underwater room in Zanzibar, this is my pick of eco-lodges that are as easy on the earth as they are on the eye.

When Al Gore’s documentary was released in 2006, to educate the world about global warming, I vividly remember being exceptionally bored at what was then called Geography class. It was only much later in life, that I began to grasp the importance of being environmentally aware. Going green is a personal choice, and supporting environmentally-friendly and sustainable tourism destinations is a great way to protect the earth.

These are the eco-lodges around the world that I’d love to visit: add yours in the comments!

1. Phantom Forest Eco Reserve

Location: Knysna, South Africa
Contact: phantomforest.com

Captivating views from the bathroom at Phantom Forest Eco Reserve

Captivating views from the bathroom at Phantom Forest Eco Reserve.


The 2015 Nominee for Africa’s leading Green Hotel and Africa’s Leading Luxury Green Resort was built using alien trees from the surrounding areas. They use bio-degradable cleaning products to keep the water process as pure as possible. Once the water is checked and tested, it could be bottled and sold as fresh new water!

Also read: Dreamy treehouses for a faraway break


2. Urnatur Eco Lodge

Location: Ödeshög, Sweden
Contact: urnatur.se

Tree house nestled in the forest.

The word Urnatur can be translated as either ‘you are nature’ or ‘made of nature.’ Perfect fit, wouldn’t you say? Nestled in the woods, these tree houses use light from kerosene lamps and heat from solar power. Most of the items on the menu are locally produced.


3. Pure Pods

Location: New Zealand
Contact: purepods.com

PurePod, New Zealand

Solar and biofuel power is provided, with a gas hob for all the cooking. Organic body wash and hand cleansers are supplied for guests. As you can see, it’s mainly made out of glass – including the floor of the shower!


4. The Underwater Room at the Manta Resort

Location: Pemba Island, Zanzibar
Contact: themantaresort.com

Underwater room, Manta Resort Zanzibar

Imagine being in a floating structure underneath the water, no oxygen tank or wetsuit required? This underwater structure has a fully-functioning marine toilet system that is 100% environmentally friendly – and they only use biodegradable shower products.


5. Hotel Verde

Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Contact: hotelverde.com

Famous for being the first hotel in Africa to offer carbon-neutral accommodation, Hotel Verde could just be the greenest hotel on the continent. Guests are encouraged to use the gym, to generate power for the hotel whilst squeezing in a workout at the same time. The roof panels have a solar reflectance and insulation layer to reduce the heat load and the noise in the building.


6. Song Saa Private Island

Location: Cambodia
Contact: songsaa.com/

Song Saa, Cambodia

Song Saa Private Island is responsible for the creation and management of Cambodia’s first Marine Reserve. The private island also recycles driftwood and timber from old Cambodian fishing boats so furniture for the villas is created.


7. Swell Eco Lodge

Location: Transkei, South Africa
Contact: swellecolodge.com

Swell Eco Lodge, in deep rural Transkei, ‘upcycles’ discarded materials such as wood, tins and glass into useful household items for the lodge. They only use eco-friendly cleaning products, and have water tanks to conserve as much rainwater as possible.


8. Mombo Camp

Location: Okavango Delta, Botswana
Contact: wilderness-safaris.com

Mombo Camp, Botswana

Mombo Camp, one of Wilderness Safaris’ Premier Camps, is 100% powered by solar panels. Aside from many wildlife conservation projects, this eco-lodge also treats all waste water in an Above Ground Sewage Plant, ensuring that the water is clean before re-entering the environment.


9. Kagga Kamma Nature Reserve

Location: Cederberg, South Africa
Contact: kaggakamma.co.za

Cave dwellings made of sandstone

Cave dwellings made of sandstone.

Also read: Photos from our covershoot in the Cederberg

The Flintstones would be green with envy if they knew there were cave dwellings better than their home. Made of sandstone formations, the resort was awarded a prestigious RCI Green Award for installing a Solar Photovoltaic Energy system. Kagga Kamma has hybrid energy systems that provide environmentally-friendly power to the whole resort.


10. Tipi Forest

Location: New Zealand
Contact: solscape.co.nz

Tipi Forest, New Zealand

These lovely rustic campsites are something special: they’re completely powered by solar and LED-light, and use composting toilets (which is a smart way to fertilise the soil by natural decomposition.) 90% of human waste is water, which is evaporated and taken back into the atmosphere through the vent system.

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