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Great Plains Conservation’s Zarafa Camp, Botswana, wins coveted Environment Trophy 2014 from Relais & Châteaux

November 22, 2013 Accolades No Comments Email Email

D_and_B_2013_RC_awardAt the Relais & Châteaux 38th Annual Congress in Turin, Italy just one year ago, two award–winning Great Plains Conservationproperties were selected as the first Relais & Châteaux members in Kenya and Botswana.

The renowned ol Donyo Lodge in Kenya and Zarafa Camp in Botswana, considered some of the finest safari properties in the world, received the honors.

On November 20, 2013, Relais & Châteaux announced that the Great Plains Conservation’s Botswana property, Zarafa Camp won the coveted Environment Trophy for its deep commitment to sustainable operations. Dereck Joubert, CEO of Great Plains Conservation, received the trophy on behalf of Zarafa Camp at the 39th Annual Relais & Châteaux Congress in Berlin.

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Zarafa Camp, Botswana ©Beverly Joubert

“This is a great honor,” said Dereck Joubert, “Relais & Châteaux is well known for excellence in fine cuisine and the art of fine hosting, but with 7 billion people in the world we also need to be paying attention to the art of fine living…carefully and sustainably. This award shows that the association does take sustainability and the environment seriously. ‘Green,’ or ‘environmental’ is often associated with homemade or somehow lesser, not ultimate luxury. The Zarafa Camp experience defies that and getting this award from the most prestigious and recognized brands in the luxury accommodation market shows that you can be both: high–end and sustainable. Now, let’s all take this conversation further among master chefs and hotel owners: what fish and meats are acceptable to serve based on population and status, no matter how delicious!”

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Dereck Joubert – ©Beverly Joubert

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© Beverly Joubert

“In the creation of Zarafa CampDereck has respected and preserved the natural state of an immense wildlife reservoir in the depths of Botswana. The property is completely self–sustaining thanks to 170 solar panels, recycled woods, a biogas plant and extensive and innovative grey water recycling. It is definitely a daily challenge but a great success story!” says Relais & Châteaux. “Great Plains Conservation has taken special measures to comply with environmental protection, concrete engagement in the field of sustainable development and positive relationships with clients.”

Chosen from Relais & Châteaux’s entire hotel line–up of 465 properties in 50 countries. Zarafa Camp was a standout winner for the Environment Trophy. Described as follows by Relais & Châteaux: “Zarafa Camp is in the 320,000 acre Selinda Reserve of northern Botswana, and is a very low environmental impact camp with unique luxury facilities. With just four huge 110 square meter tents, the Relais & Châteaux board was captivated the minute they walked in. Sustainable building materials and ecological operations combine with authentic period furniture to create a discerning safari ambience and refinement, set in a private Reserve with thousands of elephants, buffalo and hippo, with prides of lions, leopards and rare wild dogs. This paradise is second–to–none. Guests can choose from day and night game drives, catch–and–release fly fishing, use of the pontoon boat, canoeing and walking safaris.”

As Great Plains Conservation and Relais & Châteaux move forward together, each will continue to harmonize environmentally friendly experiences with the finest hospitality. Great Plains Conservation stewards over a half million acres of extraordinary conservation land in Kenya and Botswana, and its Relais & Châteaux properties embody the heart and soul of its destinations.

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