Sustainability at Ngala Safari Lodge
At &Beyond we seek to maintain a low impact on the land while deriving high yield for our conservation initiatives by creating very small luxury lodges that support enormous tracts of biodiverse land, which remains untouched.
At every lodge we seek out small (and sometimes not so small) but meaningful ways of putting our values into action every day. Each &Beyond lodge supports the conservation of wildlife and contributes to its neighbouring communities in one way or another. In addition, we seek to limit our impact in terms of fossil fuels, the use of renewable energy, water and waste management, and recycling.
At &Beyond Ngala Safari Lodge, innovations in lodge electrification allow guests to remotely shut down all the energy used in their suites when they are out on game drives, resulting in a 60% drop in energy consumption.
Bohlabela Craft Market
One of the exciting projects that is going along so well is the construction of the new craft market at the new boom-gate on the Orpen Road which is off to a flying start!
Conservation Lessons at Welverdiend
School children from the nearby Welverdiend community are given informative game drives and entertaining lessons which teach them about nature and demonstrate the value of ecotourism. Trained &Beyond rangers and trackers lead these lessons during off-peak times at the lodge.
Craft Market to Generate Income for Local Communities
Africa Foundation, &Beyond's social development partner, is building a craft market at Kruger's Orpen Gate near &Beyond Ngala Private Game Reserve. The goal is to empower unemployed crafters in the area, giving them the opportunity to earn an income. The project will provide the crafters with skills and business training and includes the construction of the market itself. Three weeks of training kicked off in December and the construction is set to start in early 2008.
Expansion of Protected Areas in South Africa
Over the past decade, &Beyond Ngala Private Game Reserve's annual lease fees have contributed over R20 million to the SANParks Trust. This has helped to finance the expansion of the West Coast, Karoo and Mountain Zebra National Parks, which protect unique communities of plants and wildlife in some of the country's most important areas for biodiversity.
Getty Green Lodge Award 2005
The &Beyond Ngala Private Game Reserve Green Team won first prize in the 2005 competition as the &Beyond lodge that has made the greatest progress in terms of environmental issues. A specially constructed recycling station that sees 90% of all waste removed and recycled is a key aspect of the lodge's responsible tourism.
Guest De-light! Energy Saving in the Palm of your Hand
&Beyond Ngala Tented Camp at &Beyond Ngala Private Game Reserve is experimenting with a remote control with a bright future. Two of the six tents now have remote control buttons so that guests can switch off their electricity when they go on game drive (everything from lights and air conditioning to geysers, except for the plug points so that guests are still able to charge cameras, etc.). It also means that when staff ‘turn down’ the rooms, the lights don’t burn for hours before the guests return. This handy tool ensures guests are “de-lighted” and they are still able to take a hot shower when they return, as the power is not off long enough for the water to get cold.
Mdluli High School Celebrates the Opening of Two New Classrooms
&Beyond and Africa Foundation officially handed over two brand new classrooms to Mdluli High School in the Hluvukani community surrounding &Beyond Ngala Private Game Reserve. In attendance were prominent community members and enthusiastic students, along with staff (and several guests) from &Beyond Ngala, Africa Foundation, Djuma Game Reserve and Buffelshoek Trust. The school principal gave a heartfelt speech and said that he could not properly express his gratitude and happiness for the new classrooms. Instead, he asked the DJ to put on some music so that he could dance - he felt this was the only way he could show his true happiness! From the speeches that were delivered, it is clear that the members of the Hluvukani community truly value &Beyond's support and recognise the benefits that conservation is having on their lives.
Sing for Life Competition at &Beyond Ngala Private Game Reserve
The Sing for Life competition brought about a fierce competition between the &Beyond Ngala Safari Lodge and &Beyond Ngala Tented Camp choirs. Our star judge, Brandon October, along with Melicent from Welverdiend critiqued the performances, and Lotus from Africa Foundation organised for a choir from Welverdiend to perform for guests in between performances. The &Beyond Ngala Safari Lodge choir was crowned the overall winner, and they will move on to the Mpumalanga regional competition. The "Sing for Life" competition is aimed at inspiring &Beyond's staff and communities at over 44 safari camps and lodges to have goals to work towards, and to instill a sense of pride in their African culture through showcasing their talents and voices.
&Beyond Ngala Private Game Reserve has a programme to expose rural people with no previous work experience to participate in lodge operations. After an internship period of three months, these individuals are presented with a certificate which affords them employment opportunities in the industry.
World AIDS Day at Ngala
World AIDS Day on 1 December 2006 was an exciting day for 60 AIDS orphans from &Beyond Ngala Private Game Reserve's nearby Welverdiend community. The excited children were treated to a wonderful day of feasting, face painting, jumping castles and presents at the Welverdiend Clinic.