Imagine a vacation that can offset your carbon footprint. One that is fully immersive, luxurious but gives back to the reserve at the same time! It’s possible with a trip to Lepogo Lodges in South Africa’s Limpopo Province, Noka Camp.
All too often, we don’t give thought when we travel, about how our actions will affect the area around us. We go, we stay, we leave. But what actually happens while we’re there. We leave bags of trash to be picked up by the local garbage collectors. How much? More than we should? We probably use more water than we would at home or leave the lights on more. I mean, we’re not paying the bills, right? I feel like we’re probably a bit more lax, on vacation, than we are at home when it comes to using resources. I may be wrong, but I feel like when it comes to relaxing, we go full tilt.
I have a press release for you, along with some gorgeous images that give a little more info on this amazing place, what all it offers and how to book your trip!
Lepogo Lodges, one of Africa’s few entirely not-for-profit high-end safari lodges, has opened its very first lodge in South Africa’s Limpopo Province, Noka Camp. Just a short air transfer or a three-hour drive from Johannesburg, Lepogo Lodges is set within the 50,000-hectare, malaria-free Lapalala Wilderness Reserve, home of the ‘big five’.
Lepogo Lodges is the very first luxury camp in Africa to offset the carbon footprint of every visiting guest, from the time they leave their home to the moment they return. Family-owned and operated, the project has been developed as part of a life-long dream to create a sustainable conservation legacy in Africa, with 100% of any financial gains made re-invested back into the reserve for the benefit of wildlife, conservation and the local community.
Noka Camp consists of five stilted villas, including one villa especially designed for families. The villas are joined by a main lodge comprised of dining room, bar, lounge area and sprawling outdoor terrace, all perched atop a 100ft cliff overlooking the winding Palala River below and the endless bush ahead.
The camp is entirely off-grid, with all energy self-generated by a bespoke, 250m solar walkway.
Lepogo Lodges have worked with award-winning Japanese Architect Yuji Yamazaki on Noka Camp and its five stilted villas, designed to offer the highest level of luxury while bearing the lightest footprint on the surrounding environment. A glass-fronted design for the main lodge and villas maximises the incredible panoramic views seen at every turn, while the entire property has been built on small concrete pads, which ensure that no scars are left on the land. Each villa is complete with heated plunge pool, unique ‘sky bed’ with glass floor over the ravine, sunken bathtub and underfloor heating.
Lepogo Lodges have collaborated with Sarah Ord Interiors on the interior design of Noka Camp. Reputed for her use of colour and eclectic designs, Sarah’s vision was to enhance and reflect the natural colours of the reserve. Noka’s light-filled interiors were inspired by the vast horizon of turning leaves on the terracotta-coloured cliffs, where the sky meets Africa. Walls disappear through the use of expansive glass panes, with each vista becoming a framed work of art on a grand scale. Sarah has made use of sustainable and South-African products, crafts and textiles wherever possible
Lepogo Lodges will consist of two lodges, with a second property, Melote House, set to open in 2021. Ideal for multi-generational travel, Melote House will be an exclusive-use property sleeping up to 16 guests.
Making An Impact
Entirely energy self-sufficient thanks to the property’s very own solar walkway, Lepogo Lodges will be the first luxury lodge in Africa to offset the carbon emissions from all guests’ travel, from the time they leave their home to the moment they return. Guests can also participate in conservation efforts, community outreach, school visits and more.
The owning family of Lepogo Lodges is committed to supporting community projects. For example, the Montebello Design Centre in Cape Town was founded by a close relative as a centre to support the disadvantaged, where students can learn valuable crafting skills and generate income to support their livelihoods. It flourishes today and has produced some remarkable talent, some of which Lepogo is proud to be able to showcase. Lepogo Lodges are also working closely with local communities, who have created bespoke soft accessories for the lodges, toys and clothing for the on-site curio shop and custom amenities including hydrating hair oil made from the fabled Baobab and Moringa trees.
The family is particularly passionate about the conservation of cheetah, pangolin and rhino, having been attracted to Lapalala as one of the leading private rhino sanctuaries in Africa. Lepogo Lodges have funded research and are working with Lapalala to establish the reserve as a centre of excellence for the release of wild captured cheetah in conjunction with The Endangered Wildlife Trust. A pangolin re-introduction programme will also begin in the coming months and the family look forward to supporting and working with the world renowned Lapalala Wilderness School.
Lepogo Lodges Experience
Lepogo Lodges offers a truly extraordinary South African wilderness experience for families, couples and groups of friends alike. Lapalala Wilderness has ensured that there will never be more than three commercial lodges in the 50,000-hectare reserve, ensuring the rare combination of accessibility yet extraordinary privacy. Guests are able to try activities ranging from game-drives and water safaris, to yoga and spa experiences and tours of iron-age settlements and bushman paintings in the cliffs below the lodge. Lepogo also offers ‘luxury bush sleep outs’ which allow one to follow in the footsteps of the forefathers of Lapalala.
An unparalleled dining experience will provide ample opportunity to relax and recharge, with a team of world-class chefs headed by the Heston Blumenthal-trained Thapelo Letsogo. Chef Thapelo’s creative African-Asian fusion cuisine takes inspiration from the Asian cooking styles found along the Spice route of the African coast and is made with locally-sourced and grown ingredients, alongside homemade honey, beer and gin, made onsite at Lepogo.
Nightly rates at Lepogo Lodges will start from R10,750 ($707*) per person, per night for a Luxury Clifftop Villa on an all-inclusive board basis, for stays booked to travel before mid-December 2019, and R16,500 ($1,086*) for stays booked to travel before December 2020. For more information or to make a reservation visit www.lepogolodges.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Price in USD accurate according to today’s exchange rate.
The photos are beautiful and, I’m sure, don’t do justice to how gorgeous it all it. I’d love to visit there and experience a vacation that could offset my carbon footprint! Some day, Clay and I will get the chance!
What do you think? Have you ever visited Africa or gone on a safari? Would you like to visit somewhere like Lepogo Lodges?
We are the Martin Family, from Kentucky, and we write about all things travel! We’re so happy you’ve joined the adventure with us! We are excited to share our travels, journeys and adventures with you here on our site. We love experiencing the world one adventure at a time! Be sure to visit us on our YouTube channel and follow us on social media for even more great content! Find us online at Cinnamon Hollow and The Martin Family Adventure.