Lidiko Lodge is situated in St Lucia, KZN South Africa and is surrounded by the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park, an UNESCO natural World Heritage Site. St Lucia is in fact the only privately owned village in the world that is within the boundaries of an UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site.
For more than 30 years, UNESCO and its partners have worked through the World Heritage Centre to identify, assess and protect places of outstanding universal value. To date, 184 countries have adhered to the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, making it one of the most universal international legal instruments for the protection of cultural and natural heritage. Whilst fully respecting the national sovereignty, the States Parties to the World Heritage Convention recognize that the protection of our World Heritage is the duty of the international community as a whole. There are currently 851 properties including 660 cultural, 166 natural and 25 mixed properties in 184 countries.
We at Lidiko believe that being privileged to fall within the boundaries of an UNESCO World Heritage Site; we have an even greater duty towards responsible tourism. St Lucia is also situated in the heart of Zululand an as such have a strong Zulu culture. As important as our 5 interlinking eco systems are our Zulu culture and traditions. We commit ourselves to work with others to take responsibility for achieving the economic, social and environmental components of responsible and sustainable tourism.
Our Zulu workforce and community
Lidiko exercises preference for those forms of development that benefit local communities. Lidiko Lodge was developed in 2004. The lodge was built by Zulu people, all tradesman, carpenters, electricians and plumbers were local Zulu men.
Lidiko maximizes local economic benefits by increasing linkages and reducing leakages, by ensuring that communities are involved in, and benefit from, tourism. Wherever possible we use tourism to assist in poverty reduction by adopting pro-poor strategies. Up to today all maintenance at the lodge is still done by the original Zulu electrician, plumber and carpenter. Approximately 80% of all furniture and fittings were locally made.
Since the lodge opened in 2005 all people employed by the lodge is local people. All employees started without any hospitality experience and had in house training. Today both supervisors at the lodge had once started as cleaners. The workforce at Lidiko consists of 80% Zulu people of which 7 are local Zulu women and 1 a local and disable Zulu man. Lidiko pays fair wages and abide to the relevant labour laws.
Lidiko Lodge is further involved in affording practical experience and training to TEHTA graduates.
Lidiko develops quality products that reflect, complement, and enhance the destination. By using local Zulu craftsman we did not only succeed in contracting and as such making an economic impact on the local Zulus, but also to reflect, complement and enhance the lodge specifically in the functional decorations.
Lidiko provides appropriate and sufficient support to small, medium and micro enterprises to ensure tourism-related enterprises thrive and are sustainable.
Lidiko Lodge sources all the organized activities to local guides and encourages visitors to the lodge to visit not only the cultural village and the market, but the living breathing Zulu village at Khula.
Lidiko Lodge has an in house Art Gallery show casing the best of the local arts and crafts. In this respect we sell products made by the women of Ingwavuma, a deep rural village on the eastern border of Swaziland, in Zululand. Historically Ingwavuma was a recruiting centre for the mines, resulting in broken families, single mothers and an unusually high HIV infection rate. Today 350 women make beautiful embroidery art from home and Lidiko is one of their outlets.
Not only has Lidiko Lodge a strong sense of responsibilities towards their Zulu employees, but also to the whole Zulu Community as such. In this respect the lodge donates all furniture and fittings that have to be replaced to the local Zulu schools, buy all fresh fruit and vegetables from the local small Zulu farmers and have even been instrumental in bringing a Philharmonic Orchestra out to St Lucia to give an educational concert to all the learners of the local Zulu Secondary School, free of charge.
Educating our guests
- We at Lidiko encourage people to:
- Become active and talk about the importance of World Heritage;
- Volunteer in conservation activities at World Heritage sites;
- Travel to the sites to support local economic development;
- Learn about Zululand: learn key words in the local language and be aware of religious and social customs
- Know the appropriate cultural behavior: respect the dignity and privacy of others – ask before taking photos ;dress and behave respectfully especially in villages, religious and cultural areas; be careful giving gifts or money to children and beggars
- Protect the environment: do not buy products made from indigenous wood, endangered plants or animals; do not remove any items from the pristine beaches and indigenous bush
- Support local initiatives: purchase local products, arts, crafts; eat local rather than imported food; support local tour operators and stay in locally owned accommodation
- Pay a fair price: 50 cents may not mean much to you, but it may be a meal for the vendor; pay a price that reflects what something is worth to you
- Minimize environmental impact: dispose of rubbish carefully, recycle where possible, reuse your drink bottles, and say "No" to plastic bags; minimize water and power use; choose environmentally responsible tour operators
- Think about your impact: remember you are a guest – don't do anything you wouldn't do at home; make your trip a positive experience for both you and the people in the country you visit.
Protecting our environment and supporting conservation
We at Lidiko ensure that negative impacts are reduced to the minimum and maximize positive ones.We use resources sustainable, and reduce waste and over-consumption.
We manage natural diversity sustainable, and where appropriate restore it; and consider the volume and type of tourism that the environment can support, and respect the integrity of vulnerable ecosystems and protected areas. We are the hospitality establishment with the lowest building density for the size of our property in St Lucia.
We promote education and awareness for sustainable development – for all stakeholders.
At Lidiko Lodge:
- Indigenous trees are planted;
- The gardens are watered with tanks collecting rain water;
- Only bio gradable washing powders are used;
- All geysers are set at 50 degrees Celsius;
- Guests are requested to switch of air conditioners, lights and televisions on leaving their rooms;
- The staff is trained to shut off lights, air conditioners and electrical appliances when the guests have left the rooms and they are cleaning the rooms;
- Waste is separated into organic, paper, glass and plastic;
- Food and garden waste is compost on site and worked back into the gardens;
- Wood bark is used instead of paving;