Eco heaven in swaziland


Eco heaven in swaziland

To say I was overwhelmed when we arrived at Phophonyane Eco Lodge is an understatement. This eco paradise in Swaziland (the autonomous kingdom embedded in South Africa) sits in 600 hectares of pristinely conserved forest and has been beautifully designed to fit around its surroundings (not vice versa...)

After settling into my canopy tent (with full sized double bed!) perched overlooking the Phophonyane Waterfalls, I met up with hotel owner, Rod de Vletter, for a chat about what inspired him to start Phophonyane.

Despite receiving no support from The Swaziland Government, Rod's goal of conserving the biodiversity of this unique habitat has been very successful. But aside from protecting the environment simply by preventing commercial development of it, there are plenty of other things Phophonyane does:

 - the hotel purchases as much of the food as possible locally

- they recycle waste by composting, sending rubbish for processing at the waste dump ina nearby village, and giving glass and tins to members of the local community who sell them on

- they use low energy bulbs and

- they're exploring means of generating electricity using the waterfall

Phophonyane Eco Lodge is doing extremely well on several eco fronts but the experience of staying there is made all the more special because of the hotel’s staff, design and attention to detail. From the classically decorated Swazi interior, to stunning views over the green Swaziland hills and during walks through the nature reserve, there’s a constant reminder of how lucky I am to be there.  The hotel's pool and the  delicious Swazi and European home made meals certainly don’t hurt either...

After a good night’s sleep with the gentle rumble of the waterfall in the background, a family of very cute velvet monkeys came to greet me in the morning. Yet another lovely start of a day in beautiful Swaziland!