Five Best: Green retreats

Get back to nature in these beautiful, remote and electricity-free hideaways


Sindabezi Island Lodge, Zambia

This lodge may not be hi-tech but it comes with its own pet hippo Horace. The camp, only 10km above the Victoria Falls on an island in the Zambezi River, has five thatched chalets. Each has one side open to spectacular views of the river. Ten guests is as busy as this tiny, private island gets. Off the grid, candles light up rooms, morning showers are from a bucket and toilets come "with a view". By day, there are game drives, canoe trips into the forest and picnic walks; and by night, guests can gather round the fire listening to the roar of distant lions.

Sindabezi Island Lodge, Zambezi National Park, Zambia (00 260 3 327 450; www.tongabezi.co.za). Doubles start at US$670 (£372), all-inclusive.

Adrère Amellal Oasis, Egypt

Within the famous Saharan oasis at Siwa, nine hours from Cairo, Adrère Amellal (white mountain) is quite a sight. The 39 rooms have been built by local tradesmen using the traditional "kershef" method, from rock salt, straw and clay. Its informal, minimal feel (no telephones, electricity or reception) is done in style with Bedouin furnishings, an infinity pool fed by a Roman spring and delicious dinners on balconies and terraces; it is more of an experience than a hotel. But one of the greatest pleasures is spending an evening by the glow of the oil lamps, candles, fires and stars, overlooking Siwa Lake.

Adrère Amellal Oasis, Sidi al-Ja'afar, Siwa, Egypt (00 20 2736 7879; www.adrereamellal.net). Doubles start at US$400 (£222), all-inclusive.

Feather Down Farm Days, UK

Luite Moraal (the man who brought Center Parcs to the UK) came up with the concept of luxury 'tented cottages' on working farms, and the first opened in August. Now nine franchises operate across Britain, from Somerset to Scotland, each with five tents sleeping up to six guests. We're talking canvas, but with wooden floors, real beds and down duvets, and even flushing loos. There's no electricity - instead, a wood-burning stove is stoked for warmth and cooking, and dinners are lit by hurricane lamps and candles. You can join the farmer going about his business, fetching eggs and milking, and there's a 24-hour (mostly organic) on-site shop.

Feather Down Farm Days (01420 80804; www.featherdownfarm.co.uk) has nine sites across the UK. Weekly rental starts at £345, long weekends from £195, self-catering.

Aspros Potamos, Greece

This settlement of 300-year-old olive farmers' cottages, tucked into a hillside on Crete's south coast, offers a peaceful back-to-nature experience. With a romantic cave-like feel, the rooms are spare: stone-paved floors, old country-style furniture, built-in beds and patios. And forget charging up your iPod: you won't find a socket. Candles and oil lamps provide lighting, and there are gas heaters for hot water and cooking. An award-winning photovoltaic solar power system is a new addition - generating enough energy to power a light in the bathroom and small fridge. If you go slightly stir crazy, a 1km walk through the olive grove brings you to Makrigialos (town, tavernas and lovely beach). Myrto, the owner, has lived here since she was eight.

Aspros Potamos, Makrigialos, Crete, Greece (00 30 284 305 1694; www.asprospotamos.com). Cottages start at €40 (£29), room only; minimum three-night stay.

Posada Amazonas Lodge, Peru

The only way in is by motorised canoe - an hour up the River Tambopata from the port of Infierno (which means "Hell") in south-east Peru. Posada Amazonas was established by Rainforest Expeditions but built on the Ese'eja Indians' territory, so they receive 60 per cent of the profits and co-manage the lodge. Torches illuminate wooden walkways to 30 candlelit rooms with private bathroom, one side open to the primary rainforest. There's a lounge with a library and dining room, serving tasty local and Creole dishes. Jungle walks give you a chance to see some of the planet's rarest creatures.

Posada Amazonas Lodge, Reserva Nacional Tambopata, Peru (00 51 1 421 8347; www.perunature.com/lodges). Three nights' stay from US$325 (£181) per person, full board.

News
Disruption at Waterloo after a person was hit by a train
newsCancellations and disrupted service after person hit by train
Arts and Entertainment
music
Arts and Entertainment
The almost deserted Liverpool Echo Arena on Monday
tvCan X Factor last in the face of plummeting numbers auditioning
News
Kirsty Bertarelli is launching a singing career with an album of songs detailing her observations of “real life”
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Content Assistant / Copywriter

    £15310 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity has arisen for a...

    Recruitment Genius: Operations Manager

    £24000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Situated in the heart of Bradfo...

    Recruitment Genius: Hotel Reception Manager

    £18750 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Hotel in Chadderton is a popular ch...

    Guru Careers: Marketing and Communications Manager

    £Competitive (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing and Co...

    Day In a Page

    Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

    Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

    How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
    Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

    Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

    Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
    Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

    Aviation history is littered with grand failures

    But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
    Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

    Fortress Europe?

    Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
    Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

    Never mind what you're wearing

    It's what you're reclining on that matters
    General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

    Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

    The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
    Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

    Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

    Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
    Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

    Marginal Streets project documents voters

    Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
    Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

    The real-life kingdom of Westeros

    Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
    How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

    How to survive a Twitter mauling

    Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
    Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

    At dawn, the young remember the young

    A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

    Follow the money as never before

    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

    Samuel West interview

    The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
    General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence