The widely acclaimed Lapalala Wilderness project in the Limpopo
Waterberg has developed its first off grid lodge within this 45,000
hectare conservation area.
A tented camp has been designed around the site of a
grand weeping boer-bean tree (Schotia) which looks out onto plains
in the core of the reserve.
The 4 accommodation units are linked by raised wooden boardwalks
which have been constructed with radiata plantation pine.
The tents and the main lodge are all based on suspended wooden
decks and the entire energy reticulation is through a solar
energy system. Solar energy is converted through a panel system
of photovoltaics to an inverter which in turn converts the energy
into 8 KvA of 220volt power.
All of the lighting, appliances and electrical equipment have
been sourced through an energy saving process to establish lowest
utilistion of power through low wattage systems.
The fridges and freezers are AAA appliances which use 100 watts
each, as an example, and pathway lights use 1 watt globes.
The swimming pool makes use of a low wattage pump and filtration
system which is set to cycle for a limited time and thus reducing
the energy demand.
Special care was taken in the construction of the main lodge to
build the structure around a large tree. This was an "organic"
design which evolved as work continued without any damage to the
The growth of habitat around the camp, after the first good
rains, has now seen the camp being well disguised within the canopy
of trees and shrubs on the site.
The tents are quite unusual in that they have been designed
with fireplaces for some of the colder winter months. The
fireplaces will make use of wood that has been collected from the
habitat enhancement project of bush clearing that has taken place on
Lapalala. This project has supplied the wood resource that is set to
provide the wood for a number of years.
Not only have the plants begun to grow around the camp but the
animals have moved into the camp area.