From even the earliest days of our imagining, we were absolutely certain that Rhino Sands would be an eco safari camp. By putting the environment first from the very start, we transformed our dream into a reality that we get to share with like-minded, eco-conscious travellers.
Inspired by our careers in conservation, we fell in love with the Zululand bush many years ago and it still amazes us every day. As an eco-friendly safari camp, we do our best to limit our impact on the natural environment and gently encourage our guests to be aware of their consumption of resources. By caring for nature in this way, we hope that our team and our guests get to connect with it more deeply and take this thoughtfulness home with them to implement in their day to day life.
Purpose-built eco-friendly safari camp
Sustainable design and building principles guided construction of the camp so that it continues today to preserve the riverine forest that surrounds it and the wildlife that thrive in this habitat. Each structure of the camp, from the camp itself to the staff accommodation, was painstakingly located with minimal impact on the surrounding forest. The forest itself largely dictated the layout you observe with the camp today. In fact, you will see many places throughout the camp where the trees themselves remain intact and the camp and decking has been built around them.
Unlike the design of so many safari lodges today, Rhino Sands was designed to complement the natural surroundings rather than dominate them. The camp is tucked into the forest, and in fact when viewed from above at a distance, the only visible structure is the solar panels.
Powered by the sun
Zululand basks in sunshine for most days of the year, which is not only great for the safari experience but also means that running Rhino Sands using solar energy was an easy choice. The camp is entirely off-grid, all heating elements (which require the most electricity) are run off of natural gas, and we do our best to conserve electricity when and where possible. This significantly reduces our – and by extension your – carbon footprint.
Environmentally-friendly safari operations
Many of the smaller details around the camp have been sourced specifically because of their eco-friendly nature. Our towels, for example, are made from locally grown cotton, woven in a design that minimizes the amount of water and electricity it takes for us to wash them. The toiletries provided in the tents are organic and biodegradable. In order to reduce singe-use plastic in the camp, each guest gets a stainless steel drinking bottle to use throughout their stay.
All the printing we do in camp is done on recycled paper. These are all examples of conscious choices that we make in the day to day running of the camp aimed at minimizing our impact on the environment, and our hope is that sharing these choices with our guests encourages them to start making similar decisions at home as well.
From the delicious cup of coffee you have around the campfire before the morning game drive to the wine you enjoy with dinner, we have sourced local and environmentally friendly wherever possible. You will find that the time of the year is reflected not only when you look out into the bush, but also when you look down at your plate. This is because we create our menus based on local and seasonal fresh produce to reduce our carbon footprint from transporting food.