December 2017 – Wilderness Safaris Kulala Desert Lodge, situated in the private 27 000-hectare Kulala Wilderness Reserve in Namibia, was awarded the prestigious Five Flower status from Eco-Awards Namibia at the Hospitality Association of Namibia’s (HAN) 30th anniversary gala dinner on the 24th of November.
“We are proud to have received such incredible endorsement from Eco-Awards Namibia to showcase our ongoing dedication to driving authentic and sustainable ecotourism in the country”, said Wilderness Safaris Namibia MD, Alexandra Margull. “Kulala Desert Lodge is now the sixth Wilderness Safaris camp to be certified with the highest recognition of Five Flowers, joining Damaraland Camp, Damaraland Adventurer Camp, Desert Rhino Camp, Doro Nawas and Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp. Receiving this prestigious accolade continues to fuel our passion to operate according to our 4Cs sustainability ethos of Commerce, Community, Culture and Conservation, and we look forward to receiving more Five Flowers in the coming year”.
Eco-Awards Namibia is a certifying organisation that grades tourism accommodation establishments in accordance with their practice of sustainable tourism. Five Flowers is the highest grade that can be awarded to an organisation. To receive the top grading a company has to perform outstandingly well in four critical categories: Effective Sustainable Management, Social and Economic benefits for local communities, Benefits to Cultural Heritage (and the ability to minimise negative impact) and benefits to the environment including the conservation of biodiversity, ecosystems and landscapes.
Kulala Desert Lodge is a rustic Wilderness Safaris Adventures camp situated at the foot of the majestic Sossusvlei dunes in Namibia. It comprises 23 thatched and canvas "kulalas" built with an extremely light eco-footprint to ensure minimal impact to the sensitive and fragile desert environment. In an ongoing commitment to keep up to date with the most innovative environmental standards, various projects have been implemented to contribute to sustainable conservation of the arid Namib Desert.
Some of the initiatives in place include the ongoing replacement of all conventional geysers with evacuated tube solar geysers; the use of LED lights throughout the lodge; a solar hybrid system that produces 75% of the lodge’s energy which is operated for six hours a day; the use of water efficient dual-flush toilets; the separation of all waste produced at the lodge for recycling; and the use of environmentally friendly detergents and chemicals. The use of bottled water at Kulala has decreased by 27% over the past five years following the successful implementation of Wilderness Safaris’ reusable water bottle policy, coupled the installation of a Reverse Osmosis filter at the lodge.
“Wilderness Safaris has been involved in the Eco-Awards since its inception in 2006. Before 2017, we had only received Five Flowers for two camps: Skeleton Coast Camp (now closed), and Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp. This additional recognition for Kulala portrays our continued efforts to operating with an extremely light eco-footprint. We are proud of our operations and sustainability teams for achieving this long-awaited for and well-deserved award, and will continue to strive to get all our camps recognised with Five Flowers”, concluded Jack Chakanga, Wilderness Safaris Namibia Environmental Coordinator.