Environmental & Social Responsibility

Hannes Feuth, Owner of Arathusa: “Employment is an extremely scarce commodity in our area. We have an unemployment rate of up to 90%! If you consider that most lodges procure artisans, electricians, plumbers, thatchers etc from Nelspruit and even further afield, over the years we have made a huge direct contribution to the extremely poor communities around the Sabi Sand. We are part of the community. We know the people, their children and families and provide a living to them through employment. This is something I have taken a personal interest in, and consider it my responsibility as a lodge owner in the reserve.”

Arathusa Safari Lodge has focused its social responsibility initiatives on the impoverished communities surrounding the Sabi Sand Reserve, and has been dedicated to the upliftment of people for a number of years through:

  • Direct Employment & Skills Development
    40 staff members are from the local community, and when positions open up, Arathusa has committed to approaching the local villages for suitably skilled personnel first. Where possible, Arathusa has provided training for unskilled people and subsequently provided employment opportunities.
  • Procurement of services and product from local businesses only, including (but not limited to);
    – Ordering of supplies – Vegetables are purchased from the Utah Gardens; Ice is purchased from the village hotel; Bread is sourced and purchased from Utah Bakery.
    – Labour is outsourced to local businesses – Tyre punctures are repaired by Mhiti Tyres; The qualified electrician contracted for all projects is from the community; and all casual labour is from local communities.
  • Funds are donated to the Buffelshoek Trust, which is allocated to schools, soccer teams, school holiday initiatives and general upliftment programmes for the local communities.
  • The Sabi Sand Wildtuin has a community investment project, Pfunanani Enterprise Development Project, that all lodges are actively involved with, and invest in.

In terms of its environmental responsibility;

  • Before focusing on commercial initiatives, Arathusa subscribes to sound conservation management of its land and natural inhabitants. This includes a strict vehicle/ hectare and vehicle/ sighting ratio control.
  • The Sabi Sand Wildtuin (and as a consequence, the lodges making up the Sabi Sand Wildtuin) invest significant resources of both money and time towards rhino poaching awareness and prevention.