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Africa has been Finessing the Community-based Lodge Model for Years

Odzala Discovery Camps, in the Republic of Congo; Kasbah du Toubkal, in the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco; and Sundy Praia and Roça Sundy, two lodges on the tiny island of Príncipe, off the west coast of Africa. The gold standard is Il Ngwesi, in Kenya, owned and run by Maasai. In 1996 the locals set aside land and built a lodge. The tourism income—divided up by the residents—pays for health, education, and conservation. Through his nonprofit Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust, lodge owner of Volcanoes Safaris’ Mount Gahinga Lodge has opened a new Gahinga Batwa village in 2018: 18 homes and a community center constructed on a 10-acre plot. The Batwa were being visited weekly by a nurse and had access to a rainwater tank. Four Batwa worked at Moman’s lodge, and a full-time Batwa coordinator had also been employed. The majority of guests were now visiting the village as part of their stay, and regular guest donations were ensuring the continuation of vital initiatives.