After success at Singita Serengeti, Singita committed to One Planet Living at all its lodges in Southern Africa. These wildlife reserves combine conservation and community outreach with the highest level of environmentally conscious hospitality
Growing the local economy at Singita - David Shilabi’s story
As we launch Singita’s One Planet Annual Review 2018/19, we’re sharing some of the sustainability stories emerging from its work. David Shilabi from Xicupe Farm was born and raised in Justicia, a village just outside Singita Sabi Sand in South Africa.
Singita is a conservation company dedicated to wildlife preservation, community outreach and environmentally conscious hospitality. It’s been using One Planet Living since 2016 to drive its sustainability ambitions.
This self-sustaining enterprise has enabled me to put my five children through school with the two eldest now at university.
I joined the Singita team in 1990 as an admin clerk for the environmental management team. But my passion was gardening, and I started growing vegetables in my spare time. Soon I was selling them to my neighbours.
After 22 years at Singita, I left to pursue a full-time job in agriculture in 2012 and set up Xicupe farm. I was supported by Singita’s Community Partnership Programme, which aims to assist small local business development.
My farm flourished and I now provide vegetables to Singita Sabi Sand’s lodges, as well as the local community. In return Singita has named a salad after me!
Local people get fresh produce from my garden, which would be costly in town. I sell the excess to local pig farmers, and also donate to families who are bereaved and cannot afford food.
I collect all plant residues, apply the decomposition process to improve soil organic matter, and this results in good quality produce for the lodges and community. In the future I’d really like to find a sustainable way to water the garden as I’ve struggled with water shortages in the past.
Through the help of Singita team, my mentor and I are also looking at eliminating plastic in the packaging process. We will be looking at recyclable ventilated containers in different sizes to supply to the lodges this year.
This self-sustaining enterprise has enabled me to put my five children through school with the two eldest now at university. I also share my expertise by mentoring other budding gardeners.
Learn about how Singita is progressing towards its One Planet Living targets with its One Planet Annual Review 2018/19.