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Biogas from Elephant Dung: Rhulani solves the load shedding challenge

  • April 01, 2023 | Rhuklani Safari Lodge

We often get questions from concerned guests about how secure the power supply is during a safari stay in Rhulani, mainly because South Africa is now shut down for a few hours every day and the word "load shedding" has become known worldwide. In Rhulani, however, we have ensured safety and stability through an amazingly simple method: electricity thanks to biogas on the basis of elephant dung.

Ranger Dean: collecting dung with guests on game drive

Assistant Manager Sean: proudly presenting our new energy source

Barman Aurthur: life is not just made for preparing cocktails

It is an old technology. Biogas a renewable fuel that's produced when organic matter, such as food, animal waste, or now in our case elephant dung, is broken down by microorganisms in the absence of oxygen.

"Our elephant population in Madikwe has grown so large that we now find elephant dung everywhere in the reserve, and in large quantities, which is absolutely fantastic!" says Rhulani's owner Rolf Steiner. Thus, the elephants, which destroy many things and are considered as a problem, suddenly become our suppliers of energy.

Whether barman, manager or ranger of Rhulani, everyone is busy collecting elephant dung. On our safaris, even our guests who support clean energy initiatives are delighted to find a pile of elephant dung to pick up and take back to the lodge. Every dropping counts.

Nothing else is needed for energy production than a relatively inexpensive biogas plant, which was installed in Rhulani a few weeks ago.

"We can't generate a lot of electricity with it, but it's enough to bridge the hours of load shedding," says Dean, Rhulani's ranger, proudly displaying a collected elephant dropping.

Do you also support lodges that work with renewable energy sources? Visit Rhulani and help collect elephant dung!

Deputy Manager Tom-Hendrik: Welcome to Rhulani Safari Lodge!