An overview of Responsible Tourism

At Umlani Bushcamp, everything we do is influenced by our commitment to responsible tourism. This means that we take great care to treat people and the environment with respect by actively minimising the negative impact on our surroundings and make positive contributions whenever possible.

Umlani Bushcamp proudly carries the Fair Trade Tourism (FTT) certification for 9 years now, being the 14th property to be accredited. We hereby guarantee that we operate in accordance Fair Trade criteria such as fair wages and working conditions; fair distribution of benefits; and respect for human rights, culture and the environment. To qualify for this trademark, Umlani Bushcamp goes through a stringent assessment procedure once a year. For more information about this trademark, please go to Fair Trade in Tourism logo Fair Trade in Tourism logo The following is an overview of initiatives that we have in place, as well as some planned for the future.

we are committed to minimising the footprint we leave in our natural environment. This is reflected through:

  • Operating without electricity (using only solar power – backed-up by a stand-by generatorr)
  • Cleaning products are, whenever possible, non-toxic and biodegradable
  • Towel and linen reuse programme is practiced
  • Low-flow showerheads and toilets ensure water conservation
  • Our gardens are indigenous, water-wise, consist of draught resistant plants and we only use organic garden practices
  • All fresh produce is bought from local producers
  • Where possible organically grown vegetables are used by the kitchen
  • No individual packaging is used in the restaurant (sugar, butter etc.)
  • All waste is recycled, and all organic waste is composted on site
  • Lead-free paint is used on 100% of the camp interior and exterior painted surfaces
  • We educate our guests and staff on various aspects of environmental awareness
  • We are a member of the Timbavati Association, a non-profit organisation dedicated to conservation by maintaining the biodiversity of species
  • We have written policies on environmental practices, and regularly measure our impact in various areas
  • We have replaced individual soap and lotions with dispensers
  • We committed to using 100% non-toxic and biodegradable cleaning products
  • Brew and use EM (effective microorganisms) to manage our fat trap, septic tanks and grey water system which completely neutralizes any harmful bacterias
  • 100% of all energy produced through alternative energy sources

Our FTTSA-certification is a third-party stamp of approval that we operate in accordance with strict socio-economic guidelines. Below are specific initiatives:

  • Written policies on local recruitment; internal skills development and promotions; and employment equity
  • At least 80% of our staff are from the local community
  • We proudly build capacity within our local community by training our staff in such a way that they can grow and develop their career. Proof of this is that 10 local employees that started at Umlani as apprentices are now working as rangers, trackers, chefs and in management roles at other neighbouring lodges
  • We run an in-house Ranger and Tracker Apprentice programme
  • We source most of our products locally, and have a programme in place to constantly monitor and improve this
  • We are involved and support a number of charities through our work such as:
    • The Timbavati Foundation (
      A monthly financial contribution and 10 % of the conservation levies collected by Umlani are also allocated to the foundation
    • Support the Local Phelwana clinic through the Timbavati foundation
    • Support the Timbavati Foundation Bush School Environmental Programme
    • Nourish ( through sponsoring golf day prizes of accommodation vouchers for fund raising
    • Greenpop ( 2x accommodation prizes in order to support their "day of 1000 trees" and "trees for Zambia"
    • StreetSmart ( Accommodation prize for fund raising
  • We support local business and SME's like Ringetani (
  • Educate our staff about HIV/AIDs, its prevention , living with and managing the disease by living healthy and where to access treat ARV's
  • We give our guests opportunities to participate and/or contribute towards all initiatives that we participate in

Future Plans:

  • We are planning to form a permanent partnership with Green Pop in October 2014
  • Installation of a Bio digester to produce gas for hot water and cooking in our staff village 2014
  • The development of a permaculture co-operative farm to provide food for the lodge and work and training for the local community's planned for 2015/2016

This list was compiled to give a quick overview to our initiatives. Should you require further information, or if you would like to see our full policy document, please do not hesitate to CONTACT US.


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Fair Trade in Tourism Member Member of Southern Africa Tourism Services Association Green Leaf Environmental Standard 3 Star by SA Tourism Grading Council

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