Elundini Backpackers

 In solutions

A Belgian-South African (Xhosa) couple who started a backpackers, volunteer program and NPO in a small, African rural village in the homelands of the Xhosa people in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. The aim of their initiative is to empower people’s lives in the community and to give guests a genuine culture experience while respecting mother nature. Activities offered are organised by people from the community through their 100 procent self-owned businesses. Local people are stimulated to make local art and craft to generate an extra income. Through the NPO local projects are set up in agriculture to stimulate Agritourism. For example a bee project produces organic honey which is sold at the backpackers.

Elundini Backpackers is an eco friendly backpackers. When it was started in September 2012 there was no electricity in the whole area. Since Easter 2014 they connected the village to Eskom, but they decided to depend mostly on renewable energy. Electricity is generated from solar panels. Solar geysers and a hot water ‘donkey’ are warming up our water. This brings the electricity bill down to R50/month. Rain water is harvested from the roof and stored in 5000 liter tanks. They do not have fushing toilets but use compost toilets instead. A composting toilet is a type of waterless toilet that uses a predominantly aerobic process to treat human excreta.

All rondavels are build in the traditional way with cow and dung walls and floors and thatched roofs. All the grass for the thatch is locally harvested by local people. In the main building they use natural finishes such as cane for the ceiling and natural stone for flooring and the deck, all found in the area.

In the bar they use only drinks in bottles that can be recycled and in the kitchen they try to buy in bulk to reduce waist. In this way they try to minimize their carbon footprint.

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