The Cardamom Tented Camp – a glamping experience in the heart of the Cardamom Mountains – has won a sustainability award for its efforts to conserve precious rainforest.

Cardamom Tented Camp has scooped a top award for sustainability and its climate action efforts, helping to preserve a precious 180 sq-km of lowland rainforest in Botum Sakor national park.

On 12 October, the camp won the 2022 Hotel Investment Conference Asia Pacific (HICAP) Sustainable Hotel Award for Climate Action. The panel of seven judges said Cardamom Tented Camp’s ability to work with partners to preserve the patch of rainforest in southwest Cambodia made it stand out.

Cardamom Tented Camp
Cardamom Tented Camp’s luxury tents

It is estimated that the forest the camp helps protect sequesters about 108,652 tons of carbon per year, according to Wildlife Works.

Cardamom Tented Camp opened its doors in 2017 as an initiative between YAANA Ventures, and Wildlife Alliance Minor Hotel Group’s sustainability arm, the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation. Under the motto, “Your Stay Keeps the Forest Standing”, the camp ensures all profits are pumped into protecting the rainforest and the wildlife that calls it home.

It supports the wages of 10 Wildlife Alliance rangers who patrol the area to protect it from illegal poachers, loggers, riverbank sand dredgers and land encroachers. Thanks to this often-dangerous work, elephant, leopard, python, sun bear, otter, pangolin and other wildlife populations have increased.

A Pileated Gibbon

“Despite setbacks during the two Covid years when tourism income greatly disappeared, Cardamom Tented Camp persevered in its environmental mission,” said Willem Niemeijer, CEO of YAANA Ventures. “We are grateful to HICAP for recognising our staying power and ability to work with partners to keep the forest standing, with all the benefits that brings.”

Judges also recognised the camp for its sustainability efforts that include 100 percent onsite solar power for its electricity, low impact cooking and heating, and natural wastewater filtration processes. All of the personal care products are also 100 percent natural.

The camp has also outlined future plans to power its boats with an electric battery, increase local food sourcing and engage in more community activities for conservation.

Cardamom Tented Camp funds Wildlife Alliance rangers, who patrol the area

As with all tourism-related businesses, the camp was hit hard during the pandemic, which saw Cambodia suspend tourism visas for nearly two years. YANNA Ventures predicts the camp will close 2022 with about 80 percent of 2019’s occupancy. By 2023, it expects to return to a profitable level and will increase contributions to forest rangers in the area.

Read about Mark Bibby Jackson’s adventures staying at the Cardamom Tented Camp, when he went Wild in the Cardamoms.

For more information on Cardamom Tented Camp and why it won the sustainability award, click here.