Water is a precious resource in the desert and semi-arid areas, especially in times of drought as Namibia is facing now. This also applies to the Gondwana Collection’s parks in Namibia.

Even though Gondwana prides itself in using water very carefully and do everything to keep consumption as low as possible. We installed waste water treatment plants at nearly all of our lodges.

Canyon Lodge Gondwana

Beautiful gardens made possible by the recycled irrigation system. Photo : Judy and Scott Hurd

How they work:

The waste water is filtered to such an extent that it can be used for irrigation. Since the processed water conforms to the norms, surpluses may be discharged into the environment. Only 20 percent of the waste water is lost through evaporation. The sewage sludge which remains is dried and disposed of on a regular basis.

A plant consists of several components: a twin chamber septic tank separates raw solids from the water. After that organic compounds are removed by a trickling filter. Dead micro-organisms are disposed of in the settling tank and finally the clarified water is disinfected with chlorine.

The trickling filter is the heart of the plant. Micro-organisms settle on the filling material like a biological lawn. As the waste water is sprinkled over the filter it feeds the micro-organisms – this is purification the natural way. The biological lawn forms within a few weeks after the plant is taken into use. Once it is properly established, this bio-filter is easy to maintain. Controls are unnecessary. Only chlorine has to be refilled every month, and the twin chamber system needs to be cleaned about every two years.

The treated water is used for the lodge garden. The flora at our lodges largely consists of species which are indigenous to Namibia. The only remaining alien plants are the lawns and palm trees at the swimming pools – and our kitchen gardens, of course, for fresh fruit and vegetables.

All of this is well worth it. Indigenous plants are water-wise: they have adapted to the aridity and need less moisture. They also provide food and a habitat to native birds. And they lend character to the atmosphere. Therefore they contribute to making our guests’ experience as authentic as possible – right up to their doorstep.

Chalet at Damara Mopane Lodge

The vegetable gardens made possible through the recycled irrigation system at Damara Mopane Lodge. Photo : Michael Spencer

How do you save water? Send us an email to pr@gondwana-collection.com or write a comment below to let us know how you are saving water.