Kaingu Lodge Environmental Standards and Policy

Like everything about Kaingu, when it comes to the environment, we tend to be a bit understated – no huge halo products such as electric game drive vehicles. Instead, we prefer to take a cumulative and step-by-step approach (which, realistically is what most of the world population can do), doing what we can and where we can. International travel and the environment are a contentious topic, but our own stance on it is as follows:

While international air travel is a major climate contributor, we firmly believe that the negative effects are offset by the advantages that tourism brings to protected areas in developing countries. Only through tourism can protected areas generate the revenue required to justify their existence. Only through tourism can communities surrounding protected areas see a direct economic benefit from protected areas. As a country, Zambia also needs tourism revenue to diversify from what has been (until now) an almost exclusively resource-based economy (with all the problems and pitfalls that entail with such economies).

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So let us look at what we have done to date and what we do on a daily basis to play our part as a responsible tourism operator to reduce our environmental footprint and help protect the pristine environment in which we operate:

  • We use entirely solar power generation for all guest accommodation.
  • The main area, kitchen and office areas are completely solar in normal use. However, on cloudy days or when there is an exceptionally high-power demand, then a diesel generator is used to supplement the solar power generation. Realistically, with operating in cloudy months, there is no way around this  However, generator use is reduced by careful monitoring and planning.
  • The entire water needs of the lodge are met with a high-capacity solar water pump.
  • All four boats use low-emission four-stroke motors.
  • Game drive vehicles use fuel-efficient common rail diesel engines that use half of the fuel that older technology (mechanically injected) engines do.
  • All toilets and kitchen wastewater (grey and black waters) are then fed into septic tanks and field drains to avoid any dangers of river pollution.
  • Glass waste and metal cans are returned to Lusaka for recycling/disposal.
  • Burnable waste is burned in our passive flow incinerator.
  • As many drinks as possible (beer and soft drinks) are sourced in refundable and reusable glass bottles.
  • All food waste is composted in a wildlife-proof caged area.
  • As much local produce is purchased as possible from our neighbouring communities. This includes herbs, tomatoes, peppers, carrots, and spinach et   Weekly supplies of these items are now part of our purchasing strategy.
  • Eliminating all charcoal use in camp (unless it is guaranteed sustainably produced).
  • Tracking carbon emissions through careful recording of fuel and gas use.

But things can always be improved.  As part of our policy, we also want to commit to improving our practices and going further down the sustainability path.  So, moving forward, we want to do the following:

  • Expand our record keeping to be able to track in detail the carbon footprint of each bed night at Kaingu in order to target areas of improvement.
  • Make a conscious decision of how to address the emissions – e.g. through tree planting. We are not interested in pursuing carbon credit or offsetting schemes as we have serious questions about such schemes.

Come out with an action plan at the beginning of 2023 to detail how we will make further investments and behaviour changes in order to further reduce our carbon footprint.