our story a journey with purpose
A 29 year legacy of conservation and communities
The founders and owners of Isibindi Africa Lodges, Brett and Paige Gehren, both come from a conservation background. This family owned and run luxury safari, island and beach collection of wilderness lodges is positioned in exceptional ecosystems in Southern Africa. Twenty-nine years of pioneering sustainable wildlife lodges, that is built on the bedrock that they include and empower our neighbouring communities.
“We aren’t just offering the safari of a lifetime, we’re offering a future”
The Isibindi Family
A family business, we don’t operate lodges that we don’t own, every one of our camps we have built and we run. It starts as an Isibindi vision, it evolves and unfolds into somewhere special, an exceptional location with considered spaces, which we would have chosen for our honeymoon or wanted to take our children to holiday. Having happy staff is an integral part of our business, we have a lot of fun at Isibindi doing what we do and we want to share that with you. We live by the motto courage & fun.
“Our natural responsibility,
JOURNEY WITH PURPOSE”
The Isibindi Foundation
The Isibindi Foundation was established in 2019 to consolidate our 23 years of community and conservation projects, and to also create a purpose driven entity to assist these initiatives. The Foundation allows our guests to be philanthropic travellers and to journey with purpose.
“ Travel is powerful when it connects us to a purpose and a community.”
- Tom Brown Jr.
Connecting to our eco-conscious community
Our purpose drives us all at Isibindi Africa Lodges, and so we are committed to incorporating eco-conscious systems and initiatives wherever possible, this includes:
Removing single use plastics which includes replacing plastic water bottles with a reusable bottle for each guest
Investing in large solar energy farms
Creating micro-economies in neighbouring communities to supply our lodges
Recycling unused lodge food into feeding schemes for neighbouring creches
Refusing to serve seafood that is not ethically harvested
Some fun facts about Isibindi
We nearly turned down Tsowa Safari Island because we thought it may not have enough trees! We also then found out Brett slept directly opposite the island on a 21st camping trip 32 years ago…
During the rush to finish Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge, with our first guests due in a week, nobody missed a beat when a pack of wild dogs took down a nyala between rooms 1 and 2, painters painted, builders built and stylists styled.
The first sighting of a green turtle laying her eggs was witnessed by us on a turtle drive one night at Thonga Beach Lodge, George Hughes (South Africa’s foremost turtle expert) was in camp giving talks to guests, and we raced back to fetch him, and he was able to verify.
At Kosi Forest Lodge 23 years ago, our Kosi Bay Lakes mouth activity started with a 10km walk and then a 12km canoe self-paddle. And then all over home again. Over a five-year period, before we brought in boats, we didn’t receive a single complaint!
The Legendary Isibindi Bandana Party was held annually at the Indaba travel show, due to high demand we will be hosting one again soon, watch this space!
Our claims to our insurance company include hyena eating leather couches, hippo’s charging into game viewers, elephant walking over deck to swimming pool, elephant playing with guy ropes and pulling down guest tent and lion chasing kudu into swimming pool.
explore the natural space we call home
A legendary river, the meeting of three countries, the Zambezi National Park, spectacular wildlife and the iconic Victoria Falls - a true African adventure!
About Tsowa Safari Island
Tsowa Safari Island is surprisingly easy to reach - situated almost equidistant from 4 access areas: Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, Livingstone in Zambia, Kasane in Botswana and the Namibian border. This makes it an ideal point from which to start a once in a lifetime southern African safari, with easy airlinks to the world famous Kruger National Park in South Africa, and the glorious beaches of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Site situated on the eastern seaboard of South Africa), and of course gorgeous Cape Town, voted as the most beautiful city in the world.
The Zambezi National Park
The road to Kazungula goes through the middle of the Zambezi National Park, dividing it into a northern riverine side and a southern “Chamabonda vlei” side. Most of the park is within the eco region of Zambezian and Mopane woodlands, which is characterized by the rough-barked mopane tree, and consists of tropical and subtropical grasslands, savannas, and shrublands, including thorny acacia trees and huge baobab trees which can live as long as 1000 years!
A small portion in the south of the park is within the eco region of Zambezian Baikiaea woodlands, consisting of dry deciduous forest dominated by Baikiaea plurijuga (or African Teak) trees.