Toka Leya has a most impressive “going green” project that most guests investigate during their stay to get a good sense of the conservation aspect of Wilderness Safaris.
From each of the 12 guest rooms wastewater is drained, separated and funneled through to an aboveground filtering plant that uses natural bacteria and reticulation to purify the water through various tanks until the end product is clean and free of any harmful pathogens. This clean and filtered water is then used in the nursery to sustain the greening project from seed to sapling to super-tree!
Seeds are collected from the surrounding bush and are then soaked in water until their husks soften and the seed starts to germinate. A single tap root shoots out and is planted root downwards into a seed tray where it grows further and can be moved from the greenhouse to the nursery. In the nursery, the plants are grouped according to age and are left to grow more sturdy under cover of shade-cloth until they are approximately three months old, at which time they are ready to be planted.
Guests who take the back-of-house tour are able to plant a tree in a pre-designated spot that is carefully selected by Histon, the custodian of this whole project. He has a carefully hand-drawn map that he has marked with different coloured pins representing the various tree species and placed these on the map in the areas where the new trees have been planted. In this way, the landscaping of the species can be carefully monitored.
The good grounding that the young plants have is based on their nutrition, which is supported by compost generated through a worm farm. Certain organic waste from the kitchen is fed to worms that are housed in plastic trays layered about four or five deep, one on top of the other. The trays have a mesh bottom and the earthworms migrate from the bottom tray to the top creating manure in the process. As the whole system has to be kept moist, the “juice” that collects at the bottom of the tray is then siphoned off and diluted as a booster for the young plants.
During July 2013, Toka Leya nursery donated over 1,000 trees to an organisation called Greenpop who planted them throughout the communities in and around Livingstone.
The support of guests visiting Toka Leya makes the nursery possible. Just by being there, they have a positive impact on the landscape of the site.