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Chelinda Lodge, Malawi, East Africa

Chelinda LodgeLocated in the middle of the Malawi’s Nyika National Park at an altitude of over 7500 feet on the Nyika Plateau, the Chelinda Lodge is a remote eco and game resort. Serviced only by aircraft and almost 50 miles of tortuous backroads. This elevates the cost of diesel to power their generators resulting in electricity costs of over $.50 cents USD per kilowatt hour, and promising to do nothing by go even higher. This meant they could only afford to run their generator four hours a day on diesel. But working in partnership with the group Total Land Care and funded in part by USAID, they installed a 20kW power pallet in late 2013.Local supplies of waste wood are abundant, and even with operational costs, they are now producing power for a fraction of what their diesel bill was, and keeping the costs right there in thier community.

Eco and game tourism are vital industries in East Africa, and Chelinda is in a beautiful and unique location with a fragile alpine biome, where renewable power can even serve as a selling point for their well-heeled guests.

The lodge is adjacent to the Chelinda Pine Plantation planted in the sixties as an agricultural experiment. But these pines are not indigenous and, under more advanced ecological management techniques, are slowly being cut back via a government program that aims to restore the endemic grassland plant species. Since these pines are not invasive and do not threaten to overall health of the ecosystem, areas of forest are being preserved around the Nyika National Park headquarters, the lodge, and nearby Chelinda Camp. chipping crewThis restoration effort promises to supply our Power Pallet with an inexhaustible supply of carbon-neutral feedstock.

Wilderness Safaris, who operate Chelinda Lodge, are committed to sustainable operation and work closely with Malawi’s Department of National Parks and Wildlife collaborating on local conservation efforts. APL is pleased to be able to be part of another effort to help promote responsible and sustainable economical development in Africa.