Some luxury resorts have much more to offer than the usual comforts. If your idea of a meaningful holiday is to observe big game in Africa or India, release sea turtles in Thailand, mix with wallabies and bandicoots in Australia, or even tour beehives in Canada, one of these properties might just be the great green escape you’ve been looking for.
Zarafa Camp, Botswana
Located on the 320,000-acre Selinda Reserve in northern Botswana, Zarafa Camp is renowned for its wildlife and luxurious tented accommodations. The camp is owned by Great Plains Conservation, which is co-funded by conservationists and award-winning filmmakers Dereck and Beverly Joubert. Zarafa has four 1,000-square-foot marquis-style tents. As a leading provider of “conservation tourism”, the camp offers game viewing in open 4×4 jeep and complimentary use of binoculars and professional Beverly JouBert camera. Selinda Reserve itself is a home to up to 8,500 elephants and they walk freely around the camp. There is also a big predator viewing, where guests might see lions, leopards, cheetahs and African wild dogs. Using a pontoon boat, guests can also cruise on Zibadianja Lagoon, observing hippos and diverse birdlife while sipping on refreshing cocktails.
Address: Unit 19B, Westlake Lifestyle Centre, Westlake Drive, Tokai 7945 – Botswana
Tel: +27 (0)87 354 6591
Kanha Earth Lodge, Madhya Pradesh, India
Kanha Earth Lodge lies in 16 acres of natural forest, tucked away in a small tribal hamlet bordering the Kanha National Park’s buffer zone. Kanha National Park also called Kanha Tiger Reserved, spread over an area of 1,949 sq km, making it one of the best habitats for tigers in India. The lodge features 12 open-fronted, luxury bungalows with en suite bathrooms and large verandas that adhere to high standards of green architecture through the use of recycled, waste wood and local stone in all aspects of construction and furniture design. Kanha sustains large numbers of chital, sambar, barasingha and gaur, which in turn support populations of predators and co-predators like tigers, leopards, wild dogs, jungle cats and foxes. As the best way to experience the wildlife and wild habitat in Kanha, the lodge providing jeep safaris from 11 am until sunrise and from late afternoon until sunset.
Address: Village Narna, PO Sarekha, Off Dhanwar Village, Kanha National Park 481001 – India
Tel: +91 – 124 – 2970497
The Canopy Treehouses, Queensland, Australia
Located in the protected 100-acre area of ancient rainforest on the Cairns Highlands, this resort is designed for comfort in the wilderness. Its six eco-friendly tree houses perched high in the rainforest canopy on the banks of the flowing Ithaca River. The wildlife is a major attraction of the place. Red-legged Pademelon wallabies and coppery brushtail possums visit the balcony every night, while northern bandicoots and other marsupials forage on the evening forest floor. The forest is also home to rare Lumholtz tree kangaroos and endangered green possums. The morning at the Canopy featuring a birdsong serenade from Victoria’s riflebirds or king parrots. The house also boast with a giant spa bath. So while guests soaking in the spa high off the ground, they can watch the birds through its floor-to-ceiling windows.
Address: Hogan Road, Tarzali, Queensland, australia
Tel: +61 7 4096 5364
Le Meridien Bora Bora
The Bora Bora Turtle Centre is located in the resort’s private lagoon. It features a sanctuary, a nursery and an observatory. Guests have a unique opportunity to meet, greet and learn about marine turtles in their natural environment. Even the hotel’s infinity swimming pool is complemented by a large inner lagoon where guests can swim among turtles. Since 2000, Le Meridien Bora Bora has invested in programmes that focus on turtle development and protection of fauna.
Address: Motu Tape, BP 190, Bora Bora – French Polynesia
Tel: +689 40 60 51 51
Tabin Wildlife Resort, Sabah, Malaysia
In 1984, this resort was declared a wildlife reserve on account of the large number of animals inhabiting its forests. These include the three largest mammals of Sabah: the Borneo pygmy elephant, Sumatran rhinoceros and tembadau. In 2014, the Tabin Wildlife Resort was created as one of the best places in Sabah to observe the rich biodiversity of nature and to take part in nature-based activities. Among the popular things to do in Tabin are jungle trekking, night safaris and walks, wildlife spotting, birdwatching and rainforest education.
Address: KM 49, Jalan Tungku, Lahad Datu, Sabah – Malaysia
Tel: +6088 267266
JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa
This resort, along with the Minor Hotel Group, donated US$45,000 to create the Mai Chou Marine Turtle Foundation’s Turtle Shelter and Education Centre. The foundation is committed to protecting the marine and coastal environment and ecosystem for the wellbeing of the sea turtles. Set on Mai Khao Beach, with a view of the Andaman Sea, JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa actively supports the Marine Turtle Nesting Site Conservation and Rehabilitation project and the rest of the foundation’s activities, such as turtle releases.
Address: 231 Moo 3 Mai Khao, Talang, Phuket 83110 – Thailand
Tel: +6676 338000
Fairmont Waterfront Hotel, Vancouver
Fairmont hotels & resorts has been committed to protecting the environment for over 25 years. One example is the Bee Sustainability Program at Fairmont Waterfront Hotel. The hotel has a 2,100-square-foot herb garden with honeybee hives on its third-floor terrace. Around 500,000 honeybees, living in six beehives, produce 600 to 800 pounds of honey per year. Guests also invited to join the daily garden and the hive tour conducted by on-site “bee butler’” Michael King. In 2015, the hotel added a pollinator bee hotel to the garden in partnership with Hives for Humanity, a non-profit that encourages community connections through beekeeping.
Address: 900 Canada Place Way, Vancouver, British Columbia – Canada V6C 3L5
Tel: +604691 1991
Four Seasons Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru
This Four Seasons property is a home for the Maldivian Manta Ray Project, run by the Manta Trust since 2006. Founded by Senior Marine Biologist Guy Stevens, with the support of Four Seasons and Save Our Seas, the project has identified more than 3,000 manta rays. Hanifaru Bay and Baathala, two renowned manta ray hotspots, are located only minutes away from the resort. Between June and October each years, guests might encounter mass aggregations of manta rays.
Address: Baa Atoll, Maldives
Tel: +96066 00888