NEW YORK -- One of the travel companies singled out by Business Enterprises for Sustainable Travel (BEST) is Conservation Corporation Africa, an ecotourism operator with luxury lodges, private game reserves and tour-safari operations.

The company, which hosted a forum sponsored by the Conference Board, the World Travel and Tourism Council and BEST, bills itself as Africa's largest ecotourism group.

The forum, which took place earlier this year, was held at the Bongani Mountain Lodge, set in the foothills of South Africa's Malelane Mountains in the Methetomusha Game Reserve.

The lodge was selected because of CCAfrica's commitment to sustainable travel policies, according to Richard Seltzer of BEST. "CCAfrica, which owns and operates the property, has at its core the principles of sustainable travel.

"It incorporates these ideals in its approach to staff training and its commitment to its surrounding communities through the CCAfrica Foundation, which builds schools, provides health care, assists farmers, builds roads and protects local wildlife," Seltzer said.

The Bongani Mountain Lodge, about four-and-a-half hours from Johannesburg by car, features 20 chalets, nine suites and a presidential suite. Rooms are situated along a mountain ridge, which guests can view from their verandas.

Rooms feature bathrooms with air conditioning and ceiling fans.

The decor of the lodge is a mix of timber, thatch and brightly colored fabrics mixing modern and ethnic designs.

The lodge is open year-round, with the optimal time for game viewing running from the end of March to the end of August. (The rainy season runs from September and April; winter, from May to August, is dry.)

Bongani overlooks a game reserve, with game drives and guided walks available.

The property can accommodate conferences for up to 60 people in air-conditioned meeting rooms.

Per person, double, rates at the Bongani Mountain Lodge range from $95 from May 1 to Aug. 1 to $115 the rest of the year.

For more information, call (011) 27-11 775-0000; fax (011) 27-11 784-7667; e-mail [email protected], or visit

JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI