IT’S TIME TO BE A RESPONSIBLE TRAVELLER
Kurisa Moya Nature Lodge has been selected as one of the Rough Guide to Green Holidays, ‘Clean Breaks 500 new ways to see the world’. Clean Breaks is an inspirational guide to the world's best green and socially responsible travel experiences and places to stay (Jeremy Smith and Richard Hammond)
Kurisa Moya has a 5-star ranking with the Top Eco Hotels of the World, (Eco Hotels of the World) and is featured in 'Africa's Finest - The Continent's Most Responsible, Sustainable Safari Destinations' www.greensafariafrica.com which showcases the 50 places or operators who best espouse safari sustainability and the spirit of greenness in sub-Saharan Africa and the associated islands.
It is also one of a handful of Birder Friendly Establishments which have been assessed as environmentally and socially conscious and responsible by BirdLife South Africa. www.birdlife.org.za.
Kurisa Moya practises Responsible Tourism by:
Kurisa Moya separates and recycles all tins, bottles, cardboard and plastic from organic matter to be turned into compost which is used on the gardens.
Kurisa Moya is completely off-the-grid and has been since 1999. Each of the lodges has solar lights or candelabras and have solar or gas appliances (fridge, freezer, stove, hot-water geezer).
Water is precious at Kurisa Moya, so we use only showers with low-flow showerheads and post notices to our guests asking them to conserve water wherever possible. We wash full loads of laundry using cold water and dry everything in the sun. Our grey water runs onto the gardens which have indigenous plants.
Our new-built venues have a small footprint and we have used existing buildings and roads. Kurisa Moya’s venues have been built or renovated using local builders and building material. We have hosted two Cobbing Workshops at Kurisa Moya to demonstrate how to build with clay, grass and water, mixing the material with your feet and making cob ‘bricks’ with which to build creatively and in an eco-friendly way.
LOCAL COMMUNITY SUPPORT:
David, Grace, Johanna, Jack, Ledile and Paul live in local villages and towns. Kurisa Moya supports local entrepreneurs and cultural enterprises including local wood carvers, artists and craftspeople as well as Limpopo farmers and producers of goods. We pay fair prices for goods and services sourced locally.
Our Carbon Offsetting Programme benefits local schools and crèches. Kurisa Moya’s Donation Programme has various options for supporting local schools. Guests can choose from a various ways to help; volunteering time or expertise or buying necessary goods from stationery to solar panels, fencing or computers.
The Birds In Trees Programme provides opportunities for school children to experience and learn about issues such as litter, conserving water, alternative sources of energy, peace gardens and conserving habitats, birds and animals. This programme was started by the Limpopo Bird Guides to inspire young conservators and bird / nature enthusiasts. Our Greening Project is run in conjunction with the education programme and has planted hundreds of trees in local schools.
Kurisa Moya offers Real-life Village Tours and Home-stays where visitors have the unique opportunity to connect with new friends in a modern Sotho village. The rich culture and heritage of the Pedi people is celebrated in everyday life at the nearby Ga-Malahlela village. You will join in the daily rhythms of village life at a creche, spaza shop or tavern and collect firewood and mielies from the field and cook a meal together around a cooking fire. You may attend a wedding or funeral or join in a soccer match and play games with the kids … you may arrive on the day when a lekgotla or traditional meeting is being held. A consultation with a Sangoma (traditional healer)is a fascinating experience and you may even choose to get the bones thrown. The tours provide an income for villagers supplying products and activities but also connect visitors with people who have pride in their community and culture. We have also supported the local recycling crafts centre near Ga-Malahlela which produces crafts for sale using recycled materials.
We have supported the Masia Bjdladi Lama Youth Centre which is based in our closest village. Programmes at this centre empower children by enabling them to learn new skills (marimba-playing, sports, music, literacy) and have a lot of fun in a supervised environment. The Bopihemelo Marimba players have cut a CD and are performing all over the province.
ALIEN INVASIVE PLANT MAINTENANCE:
We have a 3-phase alien plant removal programme and are clear-felling the pine and gum plantations planted by previous owners, in order to restore the indigenous forests, grasslands and bushveld. Local wood-cutters make a living from cutting invasive Black Wattle trees for firewood which they sell in nearby villages. We use only organic herbicides.
Our lifestyles are responsible for excessive carbon in the atmosphere, resulting in global warming. As responsible world citizens, we can reduce our carbon emissions and plant trees to offset our carbon footprint. Staff and directors staying at Kurisa Moya make sure they are living a carbon-neutral life. Guests can offset their carbon footprint from their journey or that of their annual household’s usage in an environmentally and socially responsible way. Bolamahlo Community Nursery provides Kurisa Moya with indigenous trees on a bulk-buy basis and these trees are planted in local schools and crèches in nearby villages as part of a greening project.
Eight tons of carbon is being fixed by the Black Wattle growing on the farm per annum. By utilizing this wattle for firewood, we are saving indigenous forests. This provides Kurisa Moya with Carbon Credits in order to offset our gas usage and fuel usage of vehicles and the generator used for the washing machine.
We use fantastic green cleaning and hospitality products from the website Faithful to Nature.
ECO–FRIENDLY AT KURISA MOYA NATURE LODGE:
Kurisa Moya Nature Lodge is committed to running an environmentally and socially responsible tourism operation. As the custodians of this 422 hectare Eco-lodge, we strive to make environmentally sound, eco-friendly decisions regarding land use and construction of new buildings. We have run two Cobbing workshops at Kurisa Moya, to learn how to build with grass and clay as well as consciously using the resources on the farm and surrounds. By restoring existing buildings and using local materials and builders for anything new, we minimise our impact on the property. Although farms and villages around us have Eskom power, we have consciously decided to stay off the grid since 1999 and we use solar power as much as possible. We are systematically restoring land to the original grasslands or indigenous forests. By making environmentally-responsible policies and decisions, we hope to encourage a sustainable future for this beautiful natural environment.
In line with this commitment to eco-tourism, we care for our environment in the following ways:
- All water used on Kurisa Moya is sourced from springs on the property and filtered for consumption. No chlorine or chemicals are added to the water
- Water used in the laundry, gardens and elsewhere on Kurisa Moya is strictly monitored to avoid wastage.
- The gardens rely on natural or ‘captured’ rainfall and indigenous plants and trees are favoured above exotics.
- Chemical fertilizers or pesticides are avoided.
- A solar system provides energy for lights in all venues and solar geezers provide hot water in most venues
- All metal cans, glass bottles, plastics and cardboard are recycled.
- The consumption of gas is kept to a minimum
- We aim to remove all exotic plants and trees, ultimately returning the land to its indigenous state. We hope that the government programme, Working for Water will eventually assist us with this task since we only have 5 staff members and make slow-progress on our own.
- New buildings are constructed so as to cause the least possible impact on the environment. Existing buildings and roads have been used.
- Kurisa Moya has an ongoing commitment to developing tourism and business opportunities in the area.
- Our staff are local members of the community who continue to be trained in various ways and who support family members from their salaries.
- We value any input in order to make Kurisa Moya more Eco-friendly.
Please feel free to contact us with ideas and inspiration.
By offsetting your carbon footprint though planting trees, you are contributing to a better world. By planting those trees in poor, rural schools and crèches, you are providing children with shaded areas to sit, as well as beautifying these often barren places.
By donating just R500.00 per person to Kurisa Moya’s Carbon-offsetting Fund, we will plant five trees in your name and maintain them at the schools or crèches where they are planted. This will offset your carbon footprint for a trip for 2 from Johannesburg. Double that for the return visit.
Of course, any contribution to this Greening Project is welcome, so give whatever you can afford to offset the carbon footprint of your own lifestyle and travel.
We also support our local rural schools, crèches and orphanages with other donations, such as paper, toys, clothes, stationery, art supplies, vegetable gardens etc. With bigger donations, we contribute towards fencing or solar panels via our Community Donation Programme.
There is a great excitement in receiving basic school supplies or toys. If you would like to experience this, you are welcome to join us on a trip to one of the schools, crèches or orphanages we support.
Krisa Moya also tries to make a difference by supporting the Birds In Trees and Masia Lama Bjdladi Youth Centre and the Cape Parrot Educational Programme, by encouraging learners to take an interest in their environment through financial and logistic support, but also with talks, projects and outings. If you have any expertise in these areas and would like to contribute an hour of your time, the learners are excited participants.
Speak to Lisa or David for more information.