Hello indigenous, goodbye invasive!

Results of the first visit to Hibon Lodge

biodiversity_large_no_fill_ecoHibon Lodge is one of the biodiversity leaders in the GeePee #RTChallenge. It’s located in a rural area and has pretty, landscaped grounds meaning that weddings are often held outdoors. We like that Hibon uses indigenous plants in its landscaping and even though they know that the blue gum trees on the property are an alien species, they are actively working to remove them and other invasive species.

Blue gum trees are widespread in South Africa but are harmful because they compete with and replace indigenous trees. They’re also very thirsty, absorbing more water than local trees, and they pose a higher fire hazard risk as their sap is an accelerant (working a bit like “Blitz” firestarter on your braai).

Many people visit the Magaliesberg for its beautiful scenery, flowers and bird life. Hibon Lodge keeps information on areas of interest in terms of biodiversity and makes it available for interested guests. When both businesses and visitors value an area’s biodiversity, this is just one step in the right direction towards protecting it.

There are many more steps that Hibon Lodge needs to take on its responsible tourism journey, but there are signs around the property of positive changes having been made.

Most lighting is energy efficient, as in this case in which a Compact Fluorescent Light is used for outdoor lighting.

Some of the toilets have dual-flush mechanisms, helping to reduce the amount of water that gets flushed away.

We used a technical sheet to record what responsible practices Hibon Lodge  were involved in when we did the first site visit. You can view the full results of this first visit here.

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