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Top Green Hotels in South Africa

Ecotourism and green hotels are growing in popularity in South Africa as the green movement continues to go mainstream. This trend has seen travellers increasingly choose hotels and restaurants with strong sustainability credentials.

What does this mean for the eco-conscious traveller looking to reduce their carbon footprint? Look for accommodations that take a sustainable approach to all aspects of hospitality, from the food they serve, the experiences they offer and how they engage with local communities.

Some of the sustainability practices you can expect at a green hotel are LED light bulbs and renewable energy alternatives, eco-friendly cleaning products, recycling, and no single use plastics.

Whether you are looking for a luxury bush experience, a seaside escape or a big city adventure, we explore the top Green Hotels and look at what makes them the top sustainable destinations in South Africa.

Name: Sibuya Game Reserve & Tented Camps, Kenton on Sea,  Eastern Cape (

Sibuya Game Reserve is a well-known eco tourism destination on the Sunshine Coast. This award-winning safari destination offers accommodation in two luxury tented lodges located on the banks of the Kariega River Estuary.

Sibuya offers a one-of-a-kind nature experience and is one of the few travel destinations that offers travellers ocean, forest and bushveld. Guests can make the most of its unique setting and abundant wildlife and birdlife by partaking in the game drives and river cruises on offer.

The destination’s passion for conserving its natural surroundings is evident from its sustainability initiatives. The camp is run exclusively on solar power, to limit energy consumption they prohibit the use of aircons and hair dryers. Additional interventions are low-energy light bulbs, on-site recycling and composting. Guests are also encouraged to make use of reusable water bottles.

All goods and services at Sibuya are sourced locally and their staff is hired from the local community. They also conduct regular river cleanups.  

Jaci’s Lodges, Madikwe Lodge, North West  (

Set in the Madikwe Game Reserve, Jaci Lodges is ideally suited for guests looking for relaxation and nature.

A real nature-lovers paradise, all activities are tailored to take full advantage of the natural surroundings. As part of their luxury safari experience guests sleep in tented-style tree houses and can enjoy activities such as game drives in the Madikwe Game Reserve, bird watching and river walks.

This green hotel takes its commitment to sustainable tourism seriously. They have implemented glass, paper and tin recycling programmes, have a vegetable garden and make use of non-toxic cleaning products throughout the lodge. They minimise waste by buying in bulk work to conserve water.

The destination also seeks to contribute to the long-term sustainability of the local community. Staff members who have been employed at Jaci’s Lodges for more than five years have the opportunity to become shareholders.

Thaba Eco Hotel (

The Thaba Eco Hotel is proof that it’s possible to go green in the concrete jungle. Located in the heart of the city of gold in the Kliprivier Nature Reserve, the hotel offers luxury accommodation and is well-regarded for its world class facilities for both the business and leisure traveller.

This is one of the more popular green hotels in South Africa and is an attractive option for the sustainability-minded traveller. It is well regarded for its bold efforts to save water through xeriscaping, which is a system that conserves water through creative landscaping. On the energy consumption front, guests enjoy hot showers courtesy of solar-powered geysers.

On the activity front, even in the middle of the bustling city guests can still enjoy what they call, ‘Eco-drives’, which are game drives that focus on the ecology of the area.

Hotel Verde, Cape Town, Western Cape (

Hotel Verde has the top honour of being rated the greenest hotel in Africa by the US Green Building Council. This modern and stylish four star hotel is perfectly suited for Cape Town’s cosmopolitan setting and is popular with travellers wanting to be close to the airport and city centre.

Hotel Verde offers a 100% carbon-free stay and sustainability is built into the design of the hotel.

Some of the hotel’s eco-friendly measures include energy-efficient and water-saving devices such as energy-saving LEDs and the use of rainwater. They employ a zero waste to landfill policy by reusing, recycling and composting.

Guests can also get in on the action by earning Verdinos which is their in-house currency that rewards guests who help the hotel save energy and reduce waste during their stay.

Oyster Box Hotel, Durban, Kwa-Zulu Natal (

An institution in South African hospitality, the Oyster Box Hotel is a five star luxury hotel overlooking the Umhlanga beach and iconic lighthouse.

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Lebohang Thulo is a writer and editor with over 15 years journalism experience. Her areas of focus are entrepreneurship and sustainability issues. She is also the founder of Digital Wingwoman, a digital marketing agency that helps small businesses build powerful and profitable online brands.