Bali Eco Stay Indonesia

Bali Eco Stay Indonesia

Find the Bali of your dreams at Bali Eco Stay Indonesia: villagers that believe in karma and don’t lock their doors; untouched tropical island beauty; vast rice terraces and mountain spring water that tastes far better than anything bottled.

Discover Bali Eco Stay Indonesia: a haven for conscious travelers and nature lovers. Nestled in its own abundant valley, Bali Eco Stay Indonesia endeavors to provide a platform for guests to connect comfortably with nature. It is crossed by a pure mountain stream which cascades down a 12 metre waterfall to a pool of breathtaking beauty; and nourished by naturally occurring spring water. Surrounded by sculptured rice terraces and lush food forest, the resort rests 480 metres above sea level, creating a temperature that is a refreshing 5 degrees cooler than those experienced in Ubud and coastal areas.

Bali Eco Stay Indonesia Waterfall

Bali Eco Stay Indonesia Waterfall

There are so many factors setting this resort apart from the plethoric collection of accommodations on offer in Bali – to name only a few: many of the raw ingredients are grown organically on site in their intensive permaculture food gardens, forest and rice field; filtered spring water is made available to all showers and taps in the resort, thereby reducing plastic bottle waste and the risk of upset stomachs; plus the fact that Bali Eco Stay creates 60% of its energy requirements by harnessing the energy generated by the on site waterfall!

Guests are encouraged to explore the food garden and trek the extensive trails through surrounding food forest, to refresh in the natural rock pools, to practice yoga, or relax with a book from the extensive library. Guided food forest tours, and workshops in carving, weaving, preparing local culinary delights and offerings are available… or you may prefer to simply indulge in a massage or two in the jungle immersed, open air massage bale. Rediscover your sense of harmony, balance and serenity being nurtured by nature.

Submitted by Bali Eco Stay. See their lodging on Eco Tropical Resorts: Bali Eco Stay

Go to all lodging in Indonesia

 

Gorilla Trekking Regulations and Permits

Gorilla Trekking Regulations and Permits Part 3

Gorilla Trekking Regulations and Permits

Reasons for trekking in Uganda

Gorilla trekking regulations and permits in Uganda.  The “Pearl of Africa” is a very scenic country with lush landscapes, flowing rivers, and lots of wildlife. The lakes and mountains of Uganda are covered with dense rain forest. Friendly people and a safe country to travel in make Uganda another good choice. Uganda also has the best game viewing, chimpanzee trekking, cultural and heritage exchange, and of course, mountain gorilla trekking. Uganda’s main tourist attraction is the mountain gorillas in Bwindi impenetrable National park. This African country is also home to many chimpanzees. The chimps are found in Kibale National park, which makes it a great tourist destination as well.

Tourists have been gorilla trekking in Uganda since early 90’s and is well established. The gorilla population is stable and growing  because of the effective management of Bwindi Forest National Park and the conservation efforts. The National Park provides walking trails, beautiful views, bird watching and waterfalls. Tourists can also visit the local villages, like Buhoma, in order to get a taste of life in rural areas of Uganda.

Mountain Gorilla Trekking

Gorilla Trekking Regulations and Permits

Regulations for mountain gorilla trekking

Mountain gorilla trekking regulations are in place to ensure the well being of the endangered mountain gorillas. Regulations are in place to limit the number of people allowed in daily, the amount of time tourists can spend with the gorillas, and the maximum group size. Mountain gorillas are vulnerable to many human diseases and the regulations help with this as well.

Tourists can visit with the mountain gorillas are from 8:00 am to 7:00pm.

A maximum of eight people per day are allowed to visit the mountain gorillas. This reduces the exposure of the primates to disturbances and diseases caused by humans.

Tourists are only allowed to spend 1 hour with the primates.

Tourists must be at least 15 or 16 years old to be able to visit the gorillas.

Rules of gorilla trekking for the protection of the mountain gorillas

Any person who is sick, not feeling well or has an infectious disease will be advised to stay at the lodge so that the gorillas are not exposed.`

If anyone has to cough or sneeze when they are near the gorillas, they need to cover their nose and mouth and turn their head away from the gorillas. This minimizes the chances of the mountain gorillas being exposed to human viruses or bacteria.

Tourists must stay 5-7 meters (21 feet) away from the gorillas. Again, this minimizes the exposure to human illness. If people keep their distance, the gorilla group will be more relaxed.

Visitors must keep their voices low up to a distance of 200 meters from the gorillas and not point or use a flash when using a camera.

Smoking, eating or drinking is not allowed near the mountain gorillas.

Visitors are asked to wash their hands before going on the trek. Again, helping keep the gorillas from exposure to diseases.

People are not allowed to touch the gorillas, even when they come close.

Visitors must carry all trash out. Trash can harbor diseases or other contaminators.

Tips for mountain gorilla trekking

Trekkers are advised to wear long pants, socks, long sleeved shirts, and gloves. These clothing items will keep people safe from bugs, as well as stinging nettle and thorny branches.

Being physically fit is a must because the hike goes through rough terrain and therefore is challenging and tiring.

Hikers should remember to bring enough water, water proof bags for cameras, insect repellent, sun screen and a hat.

People are advised to book an organized trip through a reputable tour company. Tour companies can get permits to visit the mountain gorillas before visitors arrive.

Tourists should try to avoid trekking in the rainy season when the hiking is difficult.

How to buy the gorilla trekking permits

Mountain gorilla trekking permits should be purchased at least 5 months before the planned trek, preferably through a tour operator.  This is especially true during the high season of June to September and December to February, when many travelers want permits. There are a limited number of permits available.

 The price of gorilla permits in Uganda

The gorilla permit price varies between the high season and the low season. High season permits cost $600. Low season permits, in April, May, and November are $450.

How and where to get gorilla trekking permits if not going through a tour company

Visitors can purchase permits for mountain gorilla trekking with cash or traveler checks at Uganda Wildlife Authority. Tourists can go to their central offices in Kampala or purchase permits from abroad. During high season advanced booking is recommended. During low season, visitors can get permits on the spot at Uganda Wildlife Authority headquarters.

Buying mountain gorilla permits online

People wishing to trek can purchase permits online  using EEF (a form of money transfer). Credit cards do not work. Permits can be purchased 2 years in advance by depositing 30% and paying the balance 91 days before the gorilla encounter. Local operators are given priority with 80% of the permits, leaving only 20% for people to buy directly. The Uganda Wildlife Authority is in charge of the permits but authorized tour companies are the easiest way to get a permit. Reputable tour companies do not mark up the price of the permits, so there’s no reason not to go directly to them.

Mountain gorilla permits in Rwanda

Visitors can obtain mountain gorilla permits through the Tourism Board offices in Kigali or Ruhengeri, near Volcanoes National Park. Tourists can also contact the Tourism Board via telephone or email. The permit costs $1,500 and is easiest to obtain from a tour operator. Trekkers are advised to book early. During peak tourist season, from June to October, it is advised that permits be purchased at least 4 months prior to the planned trip.

Gorilla permits in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Anyone planning to trek in the DRC is advised to book with a tour company. The DRC is more stable now, but the tour companies will help insure your safety. Permits cost $400.

When to go mountain gorilla trekking

Trekkers can go gorilla tracking at any time of the year, but during the rainy season the paths are much harder to navigate. The rainy season goes from March to May and October to November. Permits in Uganda during the rainy season only cost $450. The dry season, December to late February and June to late September, makes for easier hiking but more tourists.

This is part 3 in a series about mountain gorilla trekking. See part 1 about mountain gorilla trekking, see part 2 about mountain gorilla safari.

This series of blogs was submitted by Green World Safaris. They arrange mountain gorilla tours in Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). They are based out of Uganda.

 

Mountain Gorilla trekking in Africa’s rain forests Part 1

Mountain Gorilla trekking in Africa’s Rain Forests takes place in their last remaining habitat in Central Africa. Mountain Gorillas are an endangered species and are only found in Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This blog is part 1 in a series of 5 about all the ins and outs of gorilla trekking in Africa’s rain forests.

Going mountain gorilla trekking in the rain forests of Africa is a once in a lifetime experience that may be disappearing. National Geographic estimates there are 900 gorillas remaining in the world. The current varying estimates are between 780 to over 1,000. The mountain gorillas have lost a lot of their natural habitat for different reasons, including war.

The areas where mountain gorillas are found are heavily forested mountainous areas. The national parks where the tracking of these primates takes place include; Mgahinga National park, Bwindi Impenetrable National park, Volcanoes National park and Virunga National park.

Mountain Gorilla

mountain-gorilla

Mountain gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable & Mgahinga National Parks in Uganda

Bwindi Impenetrable National park has 13 gorilla groups and is located in southern Uganda. Three of the gorilla families are found in the Buhoma region of the park. The gorilla families are named Mubare, Rushegura, and Habinyanja. In the Rushaga region there are 4 gorilla families; Nshogi, Mishaya Businggwe, and Bweza. The Nkuringo family is located in the Nkuringo region. And there are 3 gorilla families in the Ruhinja sector; Oruzogo, Kyaguriro, and Buitukura gorilla families.

Bwindi forest is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it’s in this forest in south western Uganda that half of the mountain gorilla population lives.

Mgahinga National park has one gorilla family that is named Nyakagezi. The Nyakagezi family group moves between Uganda and Rwanda. For the last two years, the group has been staying in Uganda and includes silverbacks in their group. The park covers an area of 33km of thick montane and lowland rain forests. Because of the terrain, the Nyakagezi mountain gorilla family is a hard one for trekkers to access.

Mgahinga National park is located in the western part of Uganda. The Park borders Rwanda near Volcanoes National park as well as the Democratic Republic of Congo near the Virunga National park. Mgahinga National park is also the smallest park that forms part of the bigger Virunga Conservation.

In Uganda, these National Parks are managed by Uganda Wildlife Authority. Trekkers have to drive over 2 hours to get to both of these National parks. Tourists get the real picture of what this beautiful area looks like during the drive. Tourists can access this area more quickly by taking a domestic flights from Entebbe Airport by Aero Link to the Kayonza airstrip. From there it is a short drive to the National Parks.

Mountain Gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National park (Rwanda)

Volcanoes National park covers an area of about 125km and is covered with the mountains and the six volcanoes. Because of this, Rwanda is called the land of a thousand hills. Around 480 gorillas are found along the border of the Virunga Conservation Area, which is in the Virunga Mountains. This is where primatologist Dian Fossey lived and worked with the mountain gorillas. Because of this the gorillas living here are more habituated to humans than any of the other mountain gorilla families. The national park has 10 gorilla families and these include, by name; the Susa, Karisimbi, the Sabyinyo, Agashya, Amahoro, Umubano, Hirwa, Kwitonda, Bwenge and the Ugenda gorilla family.

The National park is located in northern Rwanda and it is 80km away from the city of Kigali. Accessing this National Park is easier and quicker than getting to Bwindi Park in Uganda. The park is a 2 ½ hour drive from Kigali. A mini bus goes from Kigali to Rushengeri town, located at the park entrance. Taxis are also available to get visitors to the park from Kigali.

Tracking the gorillas in this national park is more popular than in Bwindi forest. The mountain gorillas in this area tend to move around less, so easier to track. Visibility and photo taking is much easier because of the open terrain in the bamboo forests that lets more light penetrate.

In Rwanda, the mountain gorilla permit lets visitors track a particular family. There are many dependent factors that decide which family group visitors are assigned. After a briefing about gorilla trekking, the tourists are divided into groups according to their fitness level and age, as well as the location of the gorilla family.

Mountain Gorilla trekking in Virunga National park in Democratic Republic of the Congo

Mountain gorilla tracking in the DRC is done in Virunga National park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The National Park borders both Rwanda and Uganda. Virunga National park covers an area of 7800km and is also home to about 200 of the mountain gorillas. The mountain gorillas live in the southern part of the Park. The Park is managed by the Congolese National Park authorities along with the institute Congolias pour La Conservation de la Nature (ICCN). The Africa Conservation Fund is also a partner. Ruthless attacks in the Park killed 10 gorillas, but their population has increased since the attack and is more stable now. The efforts of the rangers who live within Virunga National park has seen to that.

The National Park is 32km west of Goma, which is the capital city of North Kivu province. Transport from Goma to Virunga National park can be arranged with Virunga National park. The roads to the National Park are very bad and it’s best to travel with someone who knows the area. Another option would be a guided tour from Rwanda or Uganda since tourism infrastructure is not well developed in the DRC. The guided tour operators out of Uganda and Rwanda can find the best border crossings into the Democratic Republic of Congo and into the Park and take care of all the details.

Submitted by Green World Safaris. A tour company based out of Uganda but also doing tours in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. They specialize in Mountain Gorilla Trekking and can be contacted to arrange any of the tours mentioned above.

Cardamom Tented Camp Site view

Your Stay Keeps the Forest Standing

Cardamom Tented Camp – Your Stay Keeps the Forest Standing.

Visitors might think this is just a fancy slogan for our eco tourism project, Cardamom Tented Camp.
The Camp’s slogan is quite the opposite and very true. Most importantly, a certain percentage of our revenue goes to one of our partners in this project, Wildlife Alliance – an international non- profit organisation.  The tended camp in Cambodia supports them and their very important work in the national park. Their rangers are protecting Botum Sakor National park from illegal logging activities and poachers.

Rangers and our Tented Camp

The Tented Camp has already assisted Wildlife Alliance by supporting the building of new ranger towers. The rangers are too often making confiscations of weapons and other equipment found inside the park. These weapons are used to hunt and catch some of the unique animal species, as well as destroying some of the indigenous flora and fauna. Therefore, having ranger towers and other equipment helps in preserving the forest.

                           

Most of the activities that guests can participate in during their stay involve activities with the rangers from Wildlife Alliance. Guests join them on patrols and also help rangers set up camera traps. Visitors also learn more about our work on sustainability and wildlife protection and nature conservation. 

Recent Activities at the Tented Camp

Recently Cardamom Tented Camp in Cambodia hosted a stay for a small group from  Sam Vesna Centre (SVS). SVS is a an non profit organisation that works with ethical birding and wildlife tours in Cambodia. The guests stayed 4 days and managed to record over 55 unique species in and around the camp. This shows Cardamom Tented Camp is indeed a real paradise for wildlife and nature lovers.

Cardamom Tented Camp tents                               Inside Cardamom Tented Camp tent

About Cardamom Tented Camp & Sustainability

Cardamom Tented Camp opened  at the end of 2017 in western Cambodia. The Camp is a completely unique project created mainly to be able to protect the 18,000 hectare forest through eco-tourism. Cardamom is only accessible by boat because of its remote location. Cardamom Tented Camp is powered completely by solar panels. The tented camp has also created its own waste water management system.

Our tented camp is constructed mainly with natural materials from the Koh Khong area. The Camp is incorporated into the environment. Cardamom Tented Camp is designed in a way so that we could,  if we wanted to (but we don’t), remove the whole camp with absolute minimum effect to the environment. Thereby leaving only footprints on the land.

Cardamom Tented Camp works closely with the Trapeang Rung Community. The goal is to help educate and promote sustainability throughout Cambodia. Hoping that our model can become an example of how to combine wildlife and nature conservation with (responsible) tourism.

See Cardamom’s listing on Eco Tropical Resorts

Staying at Cardamom Tented Camp is a meaningful stay because, as a result –
Your Stay Keeps The Forest Standing.

By:
Jakob Waern
Director of Marketing
YAANA Ventures

 

How Eco Tourism Has Saved the Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda

How Eco Tourism Has Saved the Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda

According to the 2011 gorilla census, there are only 880 Mountain Gorillas left in the wild worldwide. Making it a critically endangered species of ape. Half of this population is found in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in south western Uganda. The other half is found in the magnificent Virunga Mountain ranges. These are shared by Rwanda (Volcanoes National Park), Uganda (Mgahinga National Park) and Democratic Republic of Congo (Virunga National Park).

The mountain gorillas are endangered and at risk of extinction. There are many International and regional bodies working hard to protect the gorillas and their habitat. These include the International Gorilla Conservation Programme (IGCP), Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International, Rwanda Development Board and Gorilla Doctors, among others.

African Jungle Adventures in Rwanda and Uganda

Man is the main threat to the mountain gorilla population in Africa. This threat is through activities of poaching and encroachment to their habitat. Therefore, Eco tourism is the way forward towards the protection of the mountain gorillas in Rwanda through the following ways;

In the first instance, Volcanoes National park Rwanda today has 10 habituated gorilla groups available for ecotourism purposes. Mountain Gorilla trekking is the main tourist activity in the park. A maximum of 8 persons are allowed to visit each gorilla group per day. And tourists are only allowed to stay with the gorillas for a maximum of one hour. Man is a visitor in small groups for a short period of time. This promotes responsible travel and protects the gorillas and their natural setting.

Additionally, gorilla trekking rules have been put in place and clients are briefed before starting the trek. The rules aim at protecting the mountain gorillas and their habitat. These rules include;

  • Not to litter in the gorilla habitat
  • Not to make noise in the forest
  • Not to smoke, drink or eat near gorillas
  • No taking pictures with flash cameras
  • Keep distance of 7 meters from the gorillas
  • Not to touch the gorillas
  • Dig a hole in case you want to ease yourself and bury it after
  • Cover your mouth when coughing to avoid transmitting diseases to the gorillas.
  • If a person has flu or cough, they are not allowed to go gorilla trekking

Other tourist activities in Volcanoes National Park Rwanda include golden monkey tracking, adventurous hikes to Dian Fossey tombs and Iby’Iwacu cultural village tour. The latter is where tourists learn about the ways of life of the local people. Tourists also learn about their cultures and actively participate in local music, dance and drama.

Iby’Iwacu cultural village’s main object is to demonstrate the ways of life of Rwandese to tourists. The Rwandese earn a living from their activities. Through goats for gorilla project, tourists to Iby’wacu cultural village donate US $25-50 to purchase a goat for an ex-poacher’s families, thus saving the gorillas in Rwanda.

Many Eco-lodges and resorts have been constructed around Volcanoes National Park for nature lovers. Such lodges are constructed from local/natural materials such as volcanic stones, bamboo and wood to blend with the environment. Such Eco-lodges include Virunga Lodge, Mountain Gorilla View Lodge, Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge and Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge among others.

Through Eco-tourism around Volcanoes National Park, the local communities are sensitized about the value of gorilla tourism, and they directly benefit from gorilla tourism revenues. For example, during this year’s Kwita Izina (Gorilla Naming ceremony in Rwanda), Rwanda Development Board and Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund launched 12 classrooms at Gatebe Primary school. During the 2015 Kwita Izina ceremony, Bisate Learning centre in Musanze was launched and today has over 2300 students. Many other schools get support from eco-tourism revenues around the park. Additionally, the local communities are rewarded with medical centers and piped water from gorilla tourism revenues.

Furthermore, ex poachers have been employed in different sectors of tourism such as eco-lodges and in the park. Most porters and park rangers were ex-poachers, now fighting poaching and saving the Mountain Gorillas. Because they now benefit from the gorillas, they can no-longer go back to poaching, thus saving the mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park Rwanda. How Eco Tourism Has Saved the Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda

This post was submitted by Paul Basudde, who works with African Jungle Adventures in Rwanda and Uganda.

Sustainable Business Model

Sustainable Business Model of Eco Tropical Resorts

September 16, 2016
Eco Tropical Resorts was started in 2003. It has taken me 13 years to create my own business model and much thought has gone into it in the last year.

Here’s some background to show you how this sustainable business model came about. This part might be a little technical, so skip a few paragraphs to get beyond that if you have no interest. I tend to let things evolve on their own. The word came up through the jungle drums that Google, the major search engine, was going to start penalizing websites that didn’t do well on mobile phones. WordPress seemed like a good alternative because it is mobile friendly.

Start the big move to WordPress in 2013. It took a while to get all the work done and suddenly it was 2014 and was finally done. Now it was time to evaluate the new web site.Turns out it’s not optimized for the keywords (the words by which a web site is found through search) that drew in so much traffic. I got busy and created new pages for some of my previous keywords but it has taken a while to build traffic back up.

While this was happening, I realized that I wasn’t comfortable charging new lodges/tours to be on the directory. I started adding free listings and telling lodges/tours that they would not be charged until they started getting traffic. The lodges that have been with me for a while are getting other benefits by listing on Eco Tropical Resorts. To see the benefits go here: Benefits of listing a lodge/tour on Eco Tropical Resorts.

A sustainable Business Model is one where everyone benefits, no harm is caused, and it is self sustainable. This is the direction we’re going. All listings are free until such time as they are receiving enough benefit to warrant paying minimal dues. By approaching it in this manner it becomes a win/win situation.

As usual, please feel free to comment on my post.

Costa Rica Retreats at Ojo Del Mar Ecolodge

Retreats in Costa Rica at Ojo Del Mar Ecolodge

Upcoming Retreats in Costa Rica at Ojo Del Mar Ecolodge

January 23 – 30, 2016 – 7 nights – Yoga Adventure – Led by Basia Going
Enjoy yoga in the morning on our newly constructed yoga deck under the palm trees overlooking the ocean. Another session for breathing and meditation is held in the evening. Spend the rest of the time surfing, hiking, riding horses, or just chilling in the hammock doing absolutely nothing.

Retreats in Costa Rica at Ojo Del Mar Ecolodge

January 31 – 8, 2016 – 8 nights – Advanced Therapeutic Thai Massage – Led by Christopher Ray and Kate Lewandowski
This is an intensive workshop for bodyworkers that includes training in That massage in the incredible environment of the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica. The Thai massage training is 45 hours. This leaves lots of time for other natural pleasures including yoga.

February 8 – 14, 2016 – 6 nights – Wild Yoga Journey – Led by Rebecca Wildbear
This is a daily yoga journey that is playful, gentle and invigorating. It is a daily morning asana practice. Open to all levels of physical ability.

February 13 – 20, 2016 – 8 nights – Goddess Within – Led by Sara Hilgendorf and Stacie Finucan
This is a woman only yoga and massage therapy retreat. Enjoy something special and spiritual as you journey towards better self awareness.

April 9 – 16, 2016 – 7 nights – Two Feet One Word Yoga – Led by Tami Ellis
Begin the day with meditation and Vinyasa Flow Yoga and every evening with Yin Yoga.

April 16 – 23, 2016 – 7 nights – Yoga Retreat – Led by Ame Wren
We will begin each morning with a rockin’, sweat-inducing and muscle-loosening Vinyasa yoga class. The evening practice will serve to cool you down (think yin, restorative, meditation) and prepare you for the best sleep you’ll ever have.

All retreats include food and lodging and the amenities offered by Ojo Del Mar Ecolodge. For more information on any of the retreats please go here: Retreats in Costa Rica at Ojo Del Mar Ecolodge. Information about each of the teachers is also available through that link.

Retreats in Costa Rica at Ojo Del Mar Ecolodge

Yoga and Macaw Bank Lodge in Belize

Yoga and Macaw Bank Lodge in Belize

Macaw Bank Lodge in Belize now offers an 18 by 18 foot yoga platform Macaw Bank Lodgeder the large ancient tropical trees found in the jungle of Belize. Our beautiful sunrise will be over the mountains for a truly relaxing session, silent except for the exciting sounds of the tropical birds waking up.

We offer yoga classes either done by our trained leaders here in San Ignacio or by your own group leaders. We are able to accommodate the beginner or advanced classes. We will be offering individualized group packages to suit your needs. Your groups can arrange meetings on site with our local naturalists or traditional Mayan shaman. We also have acupuncture and therapeutic massage treatments available. Riverside bathing is available in the most natural setting alongside native flora with the sounds of parrots nearby. You can relax in a float tube or, just cool off in the river.

The lodge has 6 cabanas in the jungle setting of the mountains of Belize. Each cabana can sleep 2 to 4 guests. There is a restaurant on site with all meals made using the most natural ingredients found in our organic farming region. We are prepared to do vegetarian or vegan meals or any special diet restrictions. Macaw Bank is known for its eco feeling and off the grid lodge. We have put years of work into the tranquil gardens and sitting areas.

We can pick you and your party up at the international airport or bus station in San Ignacio. If you want more ease of movement here, we suggest that you rent a 4 wheel drive vehicle at the Airport. We have tours set up to see Maya Sites, caves, tubing down the river, or just relaxing in our 50 acre paradise. We have walking trails where you can enjoy beautiful birds and wildlife found only in the jungle of Belize.

Yoga and Macaw Bank Lodge in Belize, we look forward to making your yoga holiday the most relaxing it can be.

Namaste. To see their listing on Eco Tropical Resorts, please go here: Yoga and Macaw Bank Lodge in Belize. Or go directly to their website: Macaw Bank Lodge.

Our online eco rating exam explained

What difference does an Online Eco Rating Exam make?

In this day and age every time you turn around there is another “eco” lodge popping up. As “ecotourism” is moving more mainstream, more hotels will try to ride on the sustainable bandwagon. In some ways this is wonderful. It’s really good that hotels are wising up and trying to improve their best practices. I applaud that and it’s good for business.

But what about those places that will pretend they are “eco” when really they are doing the minimum. We have even created a word for this problem that is cropping up: “Greenwashing”. It seems clear that we need some way to differentiate between hotels that are committed to sustainability and those that just use if for publicity purposes.

Our online eco rating exam explained

One way to insure that a place really is sustainable is to get certified by someplace like Green Globe, http://greenglobe.com/. They send someone out to do a hands on rating. The only problem with their rating is that it is expensive to have someone travel out to a lodge, etc. and personally evaluate them. Last time I checked it cost the lodges around $1000 (US) to become certified. For many lodges, this keeps them from joining. By definition, it’s the smaller lodges that are more “eco”. Should they be penalized because they can’t afford the fee?

The next best alternative is to have some kind of check and answer system that doesn’t need a hands on visit. I’ve tried to develop just that with the “Online Eco Rating Exam”, https://www.eco-tropicalresorts.com/ecorating/. It’s a way for lodges to respond to a series of questions and come up with a score that shows exactly how “eco” they are based out of a total of 5. In order for a lodge to get a perfect score, they have to have Policies and Procedures as well as a way of monitoring their consumption of water and energy and send it for authentication. The online rating covers energy, water, recycling and waste, community, and land and nature conservation.

There is no charge to members to take the Online Eco Rating Exam and it is a way for them to prove that they are not “greenwashing”. The Exam is always being improved on as new things come to light or as many people express their opinion.

Right now I’m grappling with water issues. Should lodging that is in a wet area of the world be penalized for not using water saving techniques? I’m leaning towards yes because water is a global issue and I see “eco” lodges as ways to open up people’s eyes to conservation in all its aspects. Please feel free to share your opinion by answering here or contacting me directly at lise @ eco-tropicalresorts.com.

In summary, an Online Eco Rating can make a big difference, especially for small establishments. It helps add credibility to hotels.

Tembo Ki9jani and Ecotourism

Tembo Kijani and Ecotourism

Tembo Kijani and Ecotourism in Tanzania

Tembo Kijani sits right on the coast of Tanzania in Africa. Here you will find secluded, white sandy beaches. The owners are passionate about ecotourism and their philosophy is to take what nature gives and to give back to nature. This post is about Tembo Kijani and Ecotourism in Tanzania.

The buildings at Tembo Kijani are made from local materials and designed to blend into the surrounding nature. They use Makuti roofs on all their buildings. This type of roof can be seen throughout Tanzania and is accomplished by using coconut leaves. What’s great about these roofs is that they help with constant air flow, thereby keeping the heat from building up. Below is an image of these roofs.

Tembo Kijani in Tanzania

Being far off in the bush, Tembo Kijani uses only solar and wind power to generate their electricity. Each bungalow has it’s own controller and guests can see exactly how much electricity they are using.

Waste management is done with the goal of zero waste. Water is filtered instead of purchased in plastic containers. All kitchen waste is composted. Waste water is reused to water the bush.

Ecotourism is at the heart of Tembo Kijani and Ecotourism in Tanzania.