A Responsible Choice – Umlani Bushcamp
Blended in with the Timbavati environment is Umlani Bushcamp. Emphasising responsible tourism, their operations are fully committed to doing what is best for the environment. They are heavily focused on minimising their footprint and as a result, the traditional African style camp is built from natural materials.
The Umlani Team
The staff at Umlani Bushcamp set high standards and expectations as they carry out their duties in a professional manner, ensuring the guests are comfortable and relaxed. The management, trackers, rangers, and general staff all possess high-quality skills and knowledge, continuously contributing to a memorable safari experience.
Umlani Bushcamp provides optimum comfort with their unique African safari accommodation in the form of thatch huts and Eco Rondavels. There are four double huts with double beds, four family huts with doubles beds and two single beds, and one Eco Hut. All accommodation options are beautifully set up for a star-gazing experience and fully equipped with en-suite facilities and an open-air bush shower.
Other value-adding facilities include a gift shop, boma/dining area, bush bar and deck overlooking a waterhole, refreshing pool and an exclusive treehouse for bush sleep-outs.
Umlani’s commitment 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 www.fairtrade.travel.
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
- Practicing a towel and linen reuse programme
- Low-flow showerheads and toilets for water conservation
- Indigenous, water-wise gardens that consist of drought-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 greywater 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 Timbavati Foundation.
- The local Phelwana Clinic through the Timbavati Foundation.
- The Timbavati Foundation Environmental School Environmental Programme
- Greenpop "day of 1000 trees" and "trees for Zambia"
- 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.
Experience the magic of the bush at Umlani Bushcamp. Their incredibly designed huts are authentic and off the grid. The camp certainly provides a special and action-packed wildlife experience. The chefs prepare award-winning meals that adds extra value to your stay, knowing you'll be spoilt with every dish being served. Take the time to escape with nature and view the beautifully unspoiled African landscapes and wilderness, while enjoying the Timbavati's rich wildlife responsibly.