Committed To 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 making positive contributions wherever possible.

Umlani Bushcamp has proudly carried the Fair Trade Tourism (FTT) certification for nine years, being the 14th property to receive this accreditation in South Africa. We hereby guarantee that we operate in accordance with 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, please go to

Here 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 with 100% alternative energy sources (using only solar power with a standby generator)
  • Using 100% non-toxic and biodegradable cleaning products
  • Practising a towel and linen reuse programme
  • Low-flow showerheads and toilets for water conservation
  •  Indigenous, water-wise gardens that consist of draught resistant plants, maintained using organic gardening practices
  • Purchasing all fresh produce locally
  •  Using organically grown vegetables in the kitchen, where possible
  • Using no individual packaging in the restaurant (sugar, butter etc.)
  •  Recycling all waste and composting all organic waste on site
  • Using only lead-free paint in the camp
  • Educating our guests and staff on various aspects of environmental awareness
  • Membership of the Timbavati Association, a non-profit organisation dedicated to conservation by maintaining the biodiversity of species
  • Writing policies on environmental practices and regularly measuring our impact in various areas
  • Reducing waste by replacing individual soap and lotions with dispensers
  • Brewing and using EM (effective microorganisms) to manage our fat trap, septic tanks and grey water system, which completely neutralizes any harmful bacteria
  • We plant and maintain five indigenous trees per month in partnership with Greenpop


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

  • Writing 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 careers. Proof of this is that 10 local employees who 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 in and support a number of charities through our work, including:
    • The Timbavati Foundation (
    • A monthly financial contribution and 10% of the conservation levies collected by Umlani are allocated to the foundation
    • The local Phelwana Clinic through the Timbavati Foundation
    • The Timbavati Foundation Bush School Environmental Programme
    • Nourish
    • Greenpop "day of 1000 trees" and "trees for Zambia"
    • StreetSmart
  • We support local business and SMMEs like Ringetani
  • Educating our staff about HIV/AIDs including prevention, living with and managing the disease, and facilitating access to ARVs
  • We give our guests opportunities to participate in and/or contribute towards all initiatives that we are involved in

Plans for 2015 and beyond:

  • Installation of a Bio Digester to produce gas for hot water and cooking in our staff village
  • Developing a permaculture co-operative farm to provide food for the lodge, as well as work and training for the local communities

This list was compiled as a quick overview of 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.