Sustainable Tented Camp in the North of Mafia Island

Imagine vacationing in complete isolation from any other tourist facility, fishing village, or any other human disturbance…just solitude, untouched nature, and complete relaxation. Sound good? Check out Lua Cheia Beach Camp in Bweni Village.

This gorgeous tented camp located on Mafia Island, just off Tanzania in Eastern Africa. It has only nine tents, all located right on the beach.

It’s also an excellent example of a sustainable boutique hotel that makes use of a variety of eco practices that you can adopt at your hotel, too. Take a moment as you read the rest of this post to jot down ideas on how you can apply these techniques at your hotel.


This hotel’s community involvement is strong and forms a part of its every day life . Lua Cheia has been working with a group that organizes fundraising for a children’s playground in the nearest town. This group also receives clothes for the local orphanage, as well as additional supplies for teens in the high school. Guests are encouraged to participate by bringing clothes and school supplies on their trip to help the local community.


All tent posts were obtained from sustainable eucalyptus forests. The hardwoods that were used for door and window frames were purchased from government managed allocated supplies.


The beach camp supplies guests with 24 hour electricity, provided by solar panels and aeolic power. All lights and ceiling fans are energy efficient, to maximize energy use.

Food & Beverage

All fruit and fish are obtained locally, though most vegetables must come from the mainland.

Ground & Landscaping

Sea grass regularly washes up on the beach at Lua Cheia, and after three years of decomposition, it has found a new use in improving holes in the beach road. The sea grass is also used for composting and gardening.

As far as the grounds are concerned, all natural vegetation has been maintained, including the forest surrounding the camp. All landscaping is natural, with no imported plants or soil.


The spa uses organic oils for their treatments.


Aside from the sea grass recycling mentioned above, food scraps are saved for both compost and duck feeding. Bottles are re-used when possible, and boxes are also reused for the transportation of goods.

Water from the showers and sinks supports constructed wetlands, providing controlled nutrition to a variety of plants. Toilets are low-flush, reducing water usage. Waste is filtered into composting units, eliminating the need for septic tanks. Excess water is returned to the earth via dry wells, or soakaways.

Keep in mind that this is a small tented camp located in a very remote part of Africa. Having a hotel located in a remote location can make being sustainable easier in some ways (alternative energy sources are often the only option), and more difficult in other ways (such as obtaining locally grown foods). Think about how you can adapt some of these practices to your hotel.

For additional information, check out Lua Cheia Beach reviews on TripAdvisor, or add them on Facebook or Twitter.

Author: ECOHOTELOLOGY-Holly Worton (@zahirah )



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