We are pleased to announce that after implementing One Planet Living at its Singita Serengeti wildlife reserve, Singita now has an endorsed One Planet Action Plan for all of its Southern African lodges. Ben Gill, who has worked closely with them over the last four years, warmly welcomes this news and tells the story of a remarkable company…
Commitment to community and conservation
Dedicated to environmentally conscious hospitality, sustainable conservation and community outreach, Singita was founded in 1993. It now manages a million acres of land in Africa with 12 lodges in five regions across three countries in Africa. These wildlife reserves are known for upmarket tourism – with a difference.
The presence of Singita’s operations in these iconic locations protects large wilderness area for future generations. This includes land rehabilitation, maintenance, wildlife monitoring and fencing security, anti-poaching initiatives, research and wildlife re-introduction. These efforts have had impressive results. For example, its re-introduction of black rhino, a critically endangered species, at the Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve has been so successful that several have been sent to repopulate areas in Botswana.
But it doesn’t stop there. Singita is also dedicated to improving the lives of local people through employment, training and community outreach. The Singita School of Cooking has won a range of awards for training local individuals to be chefs in top restaurants and in South Africa Singita supports over 1700 children to get a better education.
Singita has always gone far beyond what is legally required of it, and continues to do so.
One Planet Living
I have been working with Singita’s six lodges in Tanzania, Singita Serengeti, since 2012, supporting the development and implementation of its One Planet Action Plan. Check out its progress.
Singita has always recognised that minimising its environmental impact should form part of its commitment to conservation. Adopting the One Planet Living framework at Singita Serengeti, however, was a test to see if it could be applied to the whole organisation. So it was really exciting for me to start working with them earlier this year to develop a One Planet Action Plan for all its remaining operations in Southern Africa.
This is not to say that Singita hadn’t already started considering sustainability and improving its environmental performance at these sites. Malilangwe in Zimbabwe has an excellent sustainability track record. And in 2015, Singita Kruger National Park installed 385 kWp of PV – enough to power 100 homes. This capacity is being approximately doubled and, coupled with Tesla Powerpacks for energy storage, this should allow it to meet 70% of the site’s energy need.
A positive future
With all the challenges of working for sustainable change, it’s very heartening for us at Bioregional to work with partners who are leading the way. As humanity becomes more urban, I think our longing for a connection with nature grows. One Planet Communities aim to help reconnect individuals with nature, through green spaces, habitat creation and engagement activities.
Singita is able to take this to a new level by helping conserve some of the world’s iconic species and habitat – and while I may not be able to see the rhino, leopard or dung beetles from my window it still makes me happy to know that they are there and that there are people trying to ensure that they continue to be.
With its ambitious One Planet Action Plan for its lodges, we know that Singita’s achievements will only increase – and we look forward to supporting this and sharing the stories with you.
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International Technical Manager of the One Planet Communities Programme