Elsa’s Kopje

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Name of the facility Elsa’s Kopje
Certification Achieved Gold
Year opened 2002
Tourism region North Rift
County Meru
Address Meru National Park
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Telephone/Mobile 0722 509387/0710 740020 254
Email [email protected]
Website elsaskopje.com
Facility Notes Elsa’s Kopje is located In Meru National Park which form part of the Meru Conservation Area (MCA) along with Bisanadi National Reserve and Kora National Park. The region has acquisitive rocky outcrops known as kopjes. It has more than 13 perennial rivers fed from Nyambene Mountain Ranges, northwest of Mount Kenya. The lodge is specifically located on Global Positioning System (GPS) Coordinates (Latitude 0.1016449 and Longitude 38.204870). The Meru Conservation Area is famously known for hosting the enthusiastic world-renowned conservationists George and Joy Adamson, who lived with orphaned lions and rehabilitated other large predators back into the wild and documented their exhilarating experiences in books such as, Born Free. The lodge is open throughout the year and has fifteen (12) guest tents with a bed capacity of 28 visitors and a total work force of 48 employees
Energy management Solar is the main source of energy for the lodge. The energy is supplemented by two (2) backup generators with an output capacity of 40KvA each. The system is fixed with three (3) main power inverters.
Water heating for the camp is conducted through solar water heaters. The facility has installed twelve (12) solar water heaters with a capacity 300 litres each for water heating. Liquefied Petroleum gas (LPG) is used for guests cooking. The facility runs on LED (Light Emitting Diodes) and energy saving bulbs only. In addition, the facility has a charcoal fridge for storing fruits and vegetables.
The staff is also sensitized on energy conservation through departmental briefings as are visitors who are briefed on arrival and room information pamphlets.
Environmental management Elsa’s Kopje has a clear environmental policy to guide in its operation. The policy is committed to best management of the environmental, health and safety aspects as an integrated part of their business; and it is aimed at protecting the fragile Meru ecosystem. It has specific principles based on compliance, relevant government legislation, stakeholder communication, environmental management and monitoring for continued improvement.
Chemical use The facility uses biodegradable shower products from Cinnabar Green. There is an organized operating procedure for the swimming pool chemical handling Material Safety Data Sheets – MSDS for the chemicals are available.
Conservation Criteria
Community Criteria
Solid waste management Waste separation at the facility is conducted at source. The bins are clearly labelled and strategically placed for waste separation and management at source. Additionally, the waste is put in a waste management centre – separation chambers for further segregation before transporting via the management company’s central stores for recycling in Nairobi. Organic waste is given away to a local pig farm in Kiotene just outside the park. The lodge has made efforts to reduce plastic wastes by offering guests reusable aluminium water bottles which they can also keep as souvenirs.
Water management Main source of water for the facility is a borehole located within the premises. The water is pumped using solar power and distributed via gravity to the entire lodge. The lodge has installed a reverse osmosis water treatment/filtration plant for purifying drinking water.
The lodge sensitizes its staff during daily meetings and guests during briefings on water conservation. Guests are also encouraged to re-use their towels and linen through room information sheets
Visitor communication & education Visitors are briefed upon arrival. Room information sheets are provided in the guest rooms with detailed information on Elsa’s Kopje Lodge environmental conservation and activities and the Meru National Park ecosystem. The lodge is equipped with a reading resource area located at the restaurant with information materials on biodiversity of Meru National Park. Nature walks and Game drives are offered as awareness creation /education platforms to the guests with the help of the guides.
Pollution For the purpose of minimizing light and noise pollution, lanterns are used to illuminate paths at night and the generator is also well serviced, insulated and uses a muffler system.
Environmental conservation The facility contributes to environmental conservation through a tree nursery project implemented at the lodge and at one of the schools supported by the lodge-Ura primary school. So far approximately 500 seedlings have been planted with a 90% success rate.The lodge also participates in local conservation efforts by supporting the local authorities (KWS) in projects such as the carnivore census. The facility is also involved in the Grevy Zebra Project- a privately funded project aimed at improving the potential for the threatened Grevy Zebra in Meru National Park.
Waste water management Effluent from the guest kitchen flows through a grease trap to filter out oils and grease before draining into a soak pit. Grey waste water from the laundry, guest rooms and staff quarters is managed via soak pits. Black water within the facility, guest area, public areas and staff quarters is managed through septic tanks; the facility has a total of twelve (10) septic tanks.
Purchasing and supplies Purchasing of supplies is done in an environmentally friendly way, re-usable packaging material is utilized and bulk purchase done where possible. Some fresh vegetables are picked from the kitchen garden reducing the need for packaging.
Employment and remuneration/staff welfare The facility has a staff welfare committee that meets regularly to deal with staff issues with the management.
Staff education, communication and awareness training The lodge has in house training per department on skills development, conservation issues and health and safety. There is a notice board in place for staff communication on policies, fire safety and emergency procedures. The facility through its parent company established a staff reward scheme i.e. ‘employee of the month’ aimed at recognizing outstanding efforts achieved by staff. This initiative is aimed at motivating the staff.
Cultural preservation and promotion/protection of local sites The guests are sensitized on the local culture by the lodge guides. There is adequate information regarding local culture and cultural sites included in the room information folders aimed at raising guest awareness.
Benefits to local community/community empowerment The lodge supports various schools through a scholarship program where two students are granted bursaries to cover their entire secondary education annually. The basis of this scholarship is based on academic abilities and an ability of the students engaging in the facility’s Wildlife Warrior Scheme. Other projects in the local schools include creating awareness on conservation, reequipping the nursery school and rehabilitating classrooms.
About 50% of the employees are from the local area, however, all casual work job opportunities are given to the locals. Staff benefits include; sponsored training, health care, insurance covers, uniform, food, entertainment, accommodation and transport
Cultural Criteria
Health and safety Guest cottages are equipped with fire evacuation plan – facility plan – and emergency response equipment such as a radio call, rechargeable torch and whistle. In addition, first aid kits are available.The lodge has a detailed and clearly communicated Health and Safety Policy in place which acts as a comprehensive guide on safety procedures at the facility. In addition, the facility has an environment, health and safety Committee that spearheads environmental, health and safety issues
Child labor, abuse and human rights The facility does not employ any person below the legal working age of 18 years.
Business Practises Criteria
Entry Date 13th March 2018

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