Phantom Forest ~ Has once again, been nominated by the World Travel Awards™ 2015 for the World’s Leading Luxury Green Resort and Africa’s Leading Green Hotel.
So what makes Phantom Forest so green?
The appeal of this reserve is its sublime co-existence with the forest realm in which it sits. The human footprint is small and subtle and it is this harmonious balance between man and nature that makes it so extraordinary.
The lodge is set within a private nature reserve of 147 ha which contains three different biospheres: Afromontane Forest, Cape Coastal Fynbos and Estuarine Wetland.
The project began in 1997, based on a concept of conservation funded by limited sympathetic development.
An ongoing program of conservation is run and funded by a trust that is a model for the preservation of areas of natural beauty. Trustees include Phantom Forest and a professional member of Cape Nature Conservation, thus guaranteeing the future of the reserve.
Alien vegetation was cleared by hand; large Australian gum, Blackwood and Wattle trees, felled, planked and kiln-dried to create flooring, doors and furniture for the lodge.
Pine and Poplar were used for roofs, decks and supports. Water-hungry Poplars were bought from farms in the little Karoo and used for roof beams. Poplar wood can be used green and grows harder by the year. End-cut wavy pine planks, usually regarded as throwaways, were made into roof shingles
No indigenous trees were removed for the buildings. The tree suites were built around them and all small plants were removed from under the decks for later replanting.
A grass-block track was laid for Land rover pick- ups which transported building materials to the site, again minimising impact.
More than a kilometre of boardwalks minimises impact on the environment. All electrical cables and water pipes run under the boardwalks.
Water is recycled through our own sewage plant, pumped up to reed beds and filtered naturally back into the ground.
The construction team were trained in innovative green building methods, sending these new skills out into the community.
We maintain the continual clearing other areas of alien vegetation by buying in baby wattle and Blackwood to replace the untreated cladding on our suites, which helps them ‘disappear’ into the forest.
Buying in organically grown produce from local small growers is another aspect of our empowerment program.
Over the past 15 years of our existence, the forest is expanding and our on-going Fynbos management program is bearing fruit of a prolific spring!
Please support the WTA™ (and us)! No matter how small a contribution to our fragile planet, a difference can be made!
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