According to recent data by BloombergNEF, in 2021, renewable energy took up the largest share of new investments, with a total of $368 billion globally.
It’s no secret that investments in green technology are increasing every year, most significantly within the travel and tourism industry. One company leading the charge within this sector across Africa is Green Safaris which has successfully incorporated renewable energy technologies to heighten its guest experience.
The Green Safaris experience
Established in 2016, Green Safaris is committed to conserving the local environments in which each of its luxury properties operates. With ethically-motivated camps and lodges located across Zambia and Malawi, the company is pioneering the ‘Silent Safari’ through the use of non-intrusive technology.
A bold and notable milestone is their development of the first electric game drive vehicle in Zambia powered by the sun (the e-Cruiser) at Ila Safari Lodge. This flagship property also proudly stands as the first and only lodge in the country to operate solar-powered safaris on land and on the water. The Ila eBoat provides silent river cruises, inviting guests onto the Kafue River with only sunshine to power their sunset or sunrise cruises.
But Ila does not stop at a sustainable fleet: the property itself runs completely off-grid, using energy from a solar farm on site. Even the physical lodge was built using the environmentally-friendly sandbag method, where the earth is excavated during levelling and reused in construction, resulting in longevity and natural insulation.
Green Safari guests can also use electric mountain bikes to explore Zambia’s Busanga Plains from Chisa Busanga Camp, or to explore Likoma Island one Lake Malawi with Kaya Mawa. A notable development at their Shawa Luangwa Camp is the signature e-Cruiser and Silent Safari experience within South Luangwa National Park.
Understanding Green Technology
The sense of urgency in the travel sector is palpable – 53.3% of travel businesses are already integrating sustainability features, according to Euromonitor International’s Voice of the Industry Survey: Sustainability (2021).
With this in mind, it’s crucial to remember that estimates of green tech vary widely. For example, solar, wind, and hydropower are widely considered ‘green’ even though these technologies do still carry varied environmental consequences.
Before adopting green technology, tourism stakeholders must fully understand the potential risks associated with investing in any new technology and partnering with unknown and emerging suppliers. It can be easy to fall into the trap of greenwashing, so be sure to do your research and ask the right questions.