Watt on EARTH is happening?
Well this is exciting to see; green, sustainable energy being utilised within tourism. It’s a sign of more things to come and Better Safaris 💚 to see this.
What is green energy and why we should invest in it?
Safari camps across Africa have for many years, been eco-conscious and orientated towards sustainable practices. The latest uptick we are seeing is within the green energy market, more solar panels and more electric game drive vehicles making their way to the plains. Electric cars are predicted to be the next market force for transportation and technology. They have the potential to revolutionize how energy is used, created and redirected!
It’s recycling on a large scale, reusing materials of existing safari vehicles, and removing the motor and replacing it with an electric one, along with the speed drive and batteries. Various companies are already doing this across Africa, including Botswana, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia.
Companies such as Swedish company Opibus, are leading the way with their approach to switching from gas-based vehicles to all-electric. The company focuses on all-electric conversion kits for fleet vehicles such as those you see on safari. Kenya was chosen as the location for the headquarters as it is the fastest growing nation in sub-saharan Africa. Kenya also has a growing amount of used vehicle imports, which means electric conversions really make sense, replacing expended combustion engines with electric systems, leveraging the existing chassis and implementing proven technology creates a cost effective second life for buses, trucks and fleet vehicles.
Who’s Gone Green?
South African company Freedom Won has also implemented their green model, with the conversion of game drive vehicles to electric at Chobe Game Lodge. Freedom Won’s LiTE technology incorporates the highest quality LiFePO4 cells with an advanced battery management system (BMS) and protection features, ensuring an ultra-safe battery with high power capabilities. Currently, Chobe Game Lodge has four boats (three of which are fully solar powered) and four electric vehicles.
Elsewhere in Kenya, Asilia’s Ol Pejeta Bush Camp utilises the same system provided by Opibus in their conversion to electric game viewing vehicles. Ol Pejeta Bush Camp is a fantastic safari camp within the renowned conservancy of Ol Pejeta, a conservation focussed safari destination that continues to sustainably progress. Asilia Africa, management company behind Ol Pejeta Bush Camp have a wonderful sustainable ethos behind their safari camps in Kenya and Tanzania (which travellers may book with Better Safaris) that helps drive eco-tourism benefits to the environment and local people.
Makanyi Private Game Lodge was the first lodge in South Africa’s Timbavati Game Reserve, to receive an electric vehicle. Makanyi’s Head Ranger commented: “The silence is tremendous, and has totally transformed the safari experience. We can communicate more easily with our guests and the tracker without shouting over the sound of the engine, and we can better follow more sensitive or elusive game – leopards, bull elephants in musth, or mothers and babies for whom the sound of the engine can spark a negative reaction. All this whilst knowing we are protecting the environment we care so passionately about.”
Shawa Luangwa Camp‘s parent company Green Safaris, pioneers “silent safaris” in South Luangwa National Park and Kafue National Park in Zambia, and Shawa Luangwa Camp is the only camp in this region that uses electric Land Cruisers to explore this sensitive ecosystem gently and quietly.
Then there’s Ila Lodge in Zambia’s remote Kafue National Park that is run by our friends at Green Safaris, which is another fantastic sustainably focussed safari property utilising Zambia’s first electric game drive vehicle. The e-Cruisers are fully electric, silent game drive vehicles that are charged on solar farms at the main camp. Ila Lodge also makes use of a solar powered boat for wildlife viewing on the Kafue River.
Benefits of an electric safari?
Renewable energy resources make up 26% of the world’s electricity today, but according to the IEA its share is expected to reach 30% by 2024. By converting fuel-powered engines to electrically charged engines eliminates harmful emissions from the atmosphere in environmentally sensitive areas. One of the most powerful ways in which we can change our impact on the environment is to reduce fossil fuels, and so for every engine converted to electric, the greater the safari industry becomes for the planet.
SENSORY: better sensory experience both for the traveller and the animals, with lower noise levels to hear and appreciate the noises around you, those lion cub growls, the fluttering birds and more!
BEHAVIOUR: electric vehicles are much less likely to disturb animal behaviour, which is exactly what you want when on safari, as animals become undeterred by vehicles and will act more naturally in their presence.
COMMUNICATION: talking between other travellers and importantly your guide is improved significantly, a whisper is all that is needed to ask your guide questions or to request them to stop for sightings (or toilet breaks!).
COMFORT: for enjoyment overall and especially for photography, gas-fuelled vehicles can often create unwanted vibrations that can affect your image quality, electric vehicles help reduce this grievance and ensure a smooth ride for all.
Want to try a green safari?
We’re ready to plan the most special trip of a lifetime for you. A safari takes a lot of planning, and Better Safaris are here to help you every step of the way. We create budget safaris, luxury safaris and special offers with our added touch of MAGIC!
All the camps featured in this blog are available to book with Better Safaris. Try us today!
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Electric Safari Vehicles? Yes please ⚡ … via @bettersafaris Featuring: @Opibus1 @makanyilodge @AsiliaAfrica @chobegamelodge #africa #sustainability #ecotravelTweet