National Geographic has put together a list of hotels/lodges that embody the values that National Geographic and fellow travelers hold close to their heart. Those values consist of innovative approaches to sustainability, commitment to protecting natural and cultural heritage, and providing meaningful experiences.
Nat Geo sent out their best travel researchers to each lodge (must be nice) and had them spend time there to evaluate operations, mingle with all staff members and see if all their high standards were met. Evaluations were also based on their commitment to sustainable tourism, authenticity and excellence in service.
Simply put: the lodges are destinations are in themselves.
If you are looking for a once in a lifetime travel experience book a trip to one of the lodges either independently or through National Geographic. There are four ways you can book your trip:
1. United Military Travel (travel now pay later).2. Book your reservation directly through the lodge.3. Create a private expedition through National Geographic.4. Join a Nat Geo expedition that features one of the lodges.
National Geographic has chosen the lodges in all the different regions of the world. Lets take a look at my favorites from each region.
AFRICASayari Camp, Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
Here you will find one of the only camps permitted in the park and comprised of 15 tented suites. What makes this camp special is it is in the direct migration route of the wildebeests and fills with more than a million creatures each year.
Just imagine “the Great Migration”.
The suites here are built of canvas and designed to keep you close to nature yet still safe. Even being surrounded by the bush you are wrapped in luxurious amenities that let you enjoy the Serengeti in style.
National Geographic loves it so much for their long standing efforts in ecotourism. What better place to use solar energy than Africa. The entire camp is run on solar panels for both electricity and to heat water. They also employ a “Eco-Warrior”, which is a member of the staff who monitors the consumption of water very closely as it is scarce and also manages the recycling. But the most impressive sustainability trait is that they give to the local villages by supporting schools, orphanages, offers training programs for guides and creates conservation-based employment opportunities.
Zhiwa Ling is located just outside the town of Paro in the foothills of the Himalayas and appears to be ancient old yet it was just built in 2005. You will find all the modern amenities all while being immersed with traditional Bhutanese Buddhist traditions as guests are encouraged to join the monks at the Meditation House for a true lesson in meditation. And of course they offer a Tea House where you can soak up not only the tranquility but enjoy some of the finest tea on the Earth. If you rather get pampered spend a day in their spa where all treatments include spiritual symbolism.
This lodge really is for the spiritual traveler who yearns to learn more about meditation and Buddhism.
It met National Geographic’s rigourus expectations of sustainable excellence through its design, recycling programs, gardens, and philanthropic work in the community. The architecture embraces the Bhutanese culture through the sustainable wood construction, textiles and artwork both on the exterior and interior. The lodge also supplies almost all of its own produce from their gardens and greenhouses using the compost they create while managing wastewater by monitoring energy and water use. In the community they lead many projects like cleanup campaigns, tree-plantings and yoga classes.
Australia and the Pacific
Southern Ocean Lodge, Kangaroo Island, Australia
15 miles off the coast of southern Australia is Kangaroo Island which is commonly referred to as “Australia’s Galapagos” because of its unspoiled landscape and plethora of wild species. The lodge boasts 21 luxurious glass-fronted suites that show off the spectacular panoramic views of the Southern Ocean. Directly south of the lodge lies Antartica.
Luxury does not really even begin to describe this lodge. The cheapest room starts at $950 per night per person – so you better have saved up your monies for a quite some time to stay here.
But to me, making this a trip of a lifetime is worth it.
Their commitment to sustainable tourism comes from their solar farm. They created a farm that harnesses the sun’s energy through 225 panels that change position depending on the suns direction.
Central America and the Caribbean
Lapa Rios is a global role model for sustainable tourism as it has helped protect some of Costa Rica’s most valuable biodiversity while creating professional opportunities to the remote location. The peninsula is part of a lowland tropical rainforest that skirts the Pacific Ocean adding marine life to the jungle life.
Lapa Rios has 16 bungalows nestled on the natural ridge of Earth inside the jungles canopy so you can wake up to spectacular views of the ocean while the birds sing you sweet morning songs.
“It would be hard to find a more authentic rain forest experience than this. You awaken to the sounds of the jungle, watch scarlet macaws glide by from your private outdoor shower, and set off into the trees to explore with local guides whose knowledge of the area’s ecosystems runs deep. And yet the experience is relaxing too—there are secluded beaches at the end of many a jungle path, delightful meals served al fresco, and a luxurious bungalow awaiting you at the end of the day.” National Geographic
Sounds absolutely amazing doesn’t it????
As you can imagine Lapa Rios is deep in sustainable tourism. They work with a local non-profit organization called Earth Equilibrium to build classrooms, dining rooms, playgrounds, and provide school supplies, water pumps and solar panels for clean water and electricity in the local communities. Their conservation effort has protected over 1,000 acres of land from being deforested for forever.
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If you want to book a trip to any of these places now call United Military Travel for a travel now pay later deal!