Saruni Mara Camp

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Name of the facility Saruni Mara Camp
Certification Achieved Gold
Year opened 1990
Tourism region Masai Mara/South Rift
County Narok
Address Mara North Conservancy
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Telephone/Mobile +254 (0)735 950 903 / +254 (0)202 180 497
Email [email protected]
Website sarunimara.com
Facility Notes Saruni Camp is located in Mara North Conservancy in the Mara Ecosystem. The camp is specifically situated on Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates, 36M 0754883 on UTM 9873035. It is uniquely built on Kileleni-hill and blends in with the local environment. The camp was established in 2003 owned by Old Boma Ltd and operated by Saruni Camps. It has 5 cottages, 1 family villa, a private house & 3 tents with total guest occupancy of 21. It employees a total work force of 31 employees. The camp’s uniqueness can be attributed to its mountainous location within the Masai Mara ecosystem and its instrumental role in establishing, management and operations of Mara North Conservancy.
Mara North Conservancy covers an area of approximately 74000 acres (30,000 hectares) of land, bordering Masai Mara National Reserve to the north therefore forming a critical part of the Masai Mara ecosystem. The conservancy is a partnership between 12 member camps (tourism operators) and over 800 land owners; where land has been leased from individual Masai land owners. The aim of this conservancy is to create a best practice, world class conservancy with long term commitment to the environment, wildlife and local communities. The conservancy supports the one bed per 700 acres policy so as to minimize impact on the environment.
It is managed by a board of directors elected by the camp owners, which works in partnership with Masai land owner committee to meet long and short term conservation objectives for the future. Together the conservancy and the Masai community are implementing sound land management policies which include; controlled grazing, holistic management practices, low volume and low impact tourism and community land use plans. Common wildlife within the conservancy include zebra, Thompson’s gazelle, impala, elephants, hyenas, wild dogs as well as big cats-lions, cheetah and leopards. The conservancy is also a haven for birdlife
Energy management The main source of energy for the camp is a 33 KvA diesel powered generator and solar energy connected to an inverter battery system. The generator runs for about 7-8 hours. The power is used for lighting the entire camp and running the refrigerants. Fuel consumption for the generator is recorded for monitoring purposes.
Solar powered water heaters are used for guest water heating. These are boosted by kuni boilers. There are six water heaters each with a capacity of 150 liters. Energy saving bulbs are installed in some area for energy conservation.
Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) is used for cooking in the guest area. Fuel-wood is used for staff cooking. The kitchen is efficiently designed to consume low fuel-wood.
Guests are briefed on energy conservation upon arrival. Staffs are briefed on energy conservation and efficiency through regular briefings.
Environmental management Saruni Camp has an environmental policy which outlines their commitment to minimizing the environmental impact, proper management of resources such as water, energy and waste and working together with the local people to improve their well-being. An annual self-environmental audit is conducted as required by Environmental (Impact Assessment and Audit) Regulations, 2003.
The camp has an environmental committee which consists of staff which spearheads environmental conservation and management issues within the camp. The team holds weekly meetings and it aimed towards maintaining environmental standards of the camp.
Chemical use Biodegradable bathing soaps and shampoos are used within the camp.
Fuel (Diesel) is stored in an underground reservoir of 5,000 litres and the system fixed with fueling pump. The storage area is well enclosed. Gas is bought in 2 ton bulk cylinder. The area is enclosed and precautionary signage put up for safety purposes.
Conservation Criteria
Community Criteria
Solid waste management Waste separation (paper, plastics, metals, glass and organic) is conducted at source. The bins are color coded. Organic waste composted while the inorganic waste is put at a waste collection centre for further segregation before disposal through Nairobi to recycling companies. The camp monitors its waste through a waste tracking form aimed at creating waste reduction targets.
Water management The main source of water for Saruni Camp is a community borehole at Aitong. The water is ferried to the camp on daily basis by a bowser with a capacity of 9,000 litres. The bowser is connected to an electrical pump at the camp for supply to the entire premises. Water is metered at the three main outlets and readings are taken on weekly basis for monitoring purposes. The camp has several rain water harvesting tanks with a total capacity of 15, 000 litres to supplement the water supply.
Visitors are sensitized on water conservation through room information folders. The guest toilets are fixed with water efficient dual toilet cisterns. The facility has one laundry machine which is rarely used. When in use, it is operated at optimum to conserve on water and enhance energy efficiency.
Visitor communication & education Visitors are briefed upon arrival on the camp’s operations and environmental values. The guest cottages are also equipped with detailed room information folders to brief the visitors on environmental conservation, Mara North Conservancy and operations of the camp. Active interaction and environmental sensitization through guided nature walks, village visits and game drives is offered to guests.
Pollution The guest kitchen is fixed with a kitchen hub for proper ventilation.The pathways are lit using lanterns and low wattage bulbs at night to reduce on light pollution.
Environmental conservation Saruni camp was a key actor and was among the founding tourist accommodation facilities in the formulation of Mara North Conservancy; the facility is part of the conservancy management and plays a significant role in the conservancy operations. In addition the camp contributes conservancy fees, lease fees and bed night fee.
Saruni camp works closely with Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) on protection and reporting on injured wildlife within the premises. The camp guides assist in monitoring wildlife within Mara North Conservancy. The facility offers a program for guests called the Warriors Academy. This is an interactive wildlife safari designed as a learning experience that allows guests to explore both the wildlife and the local Masai culture under the tutelage of a ‘moran’ (warrior) assigned to them with the aim to engage them in conservation.
The camp partners with the Living with the lions Predator Project – an initiative to build an identification database of lions in and around the conservancies north of the Masai Mara National Reserve through tracking individuals, and effective conservation techniques. Saruni Camp also partners with Mara- Cheetah Project – a research initiative headed by Dr. Elena to identify the behavioral adaptations and assessment of impact of social structure on reproductive success and survival of the cheetah in the protected areas. This is achieved through camp guides and visitors.
The architectural design for Saruni Camp blends in with the natural environment. The guest cottages are raised on low impact platforms, sides made from green and beige canvas tents whereas the roof is makuti thatched. The facility has no fence thus allowing free movement of wildlife.
Waste water management Grey effluent from the kitchen flows into a grease trap before draining in a soak pit while the grey water effluent from the guest rooms and staff quarters is managed through soak-pits. Meanwhile the black water from the guest cottages, and staff quarters is managed through septic tanks. The facility has four (4) septic tanks.
Effluent tests have been conducted in compliance with Environmental Management and Coordination (Water Quality) Regulations of 2006.
Purchasing and supplies Meat is bought packed in cool boxes. Fruits and vegetables are packed in re-usable crates.
Employment and remuneration/staff welfare The facility has staff committee that deals with staff issues at the facility to ensure a cohesive work environment
Staff education, communication and awareness training The staff is sensitized and briefed during departmental/daily briefing meetings
Cultural preservation and promotion/protection of local sites On special occasions such as festivities, the camp engages the local community to entertain guests on traditional dances and cultural performances. Visitors are offered local community visits to experience the local culture. Guests pay 20 USD for the visits. The amount is directed to the locals
Benefits to local community/community empowerment Saruni Camp provides employment opportunities to the locals- all the casuals are hired from the local community. About 80% of the permanent employees are hired locally. Furthermore, the facility purchases locally where possible. Staff milk and meat (a goat on weekly basis and milk on a daily basis) is bought from the region. Saruni camp pays conservancy, lease and bed night fees to Mara North & Lemek conservancies and land owners respectively. In 2014, Ksh. 12 million was paid to land owners as lease fees while $ 150,000 was paid as conservancy fees. Ksh. 85 is charged as bed night fee per guest per night.
The camp has a program where a group of women from Ngoswani and Olorekani supply curios and beadwork to the camp’s curio shop, each product is assigned a code, after the sales, payments are made to the group. Occasionally, the camp supplies water from the community spring to the nearby Ngoswani primary school using the water bowser.
In partnership with “Pack for a Purpose” an organization encouraging guests to identify specific needs in places they visit, Saruni Camp’s visitors are encouraged to pack along portable donations. Some of the beneficiaries for this initiative through the camp include Ngoswani and Koiyaki primary schools which are supplied with leaning stationery materials. The facility also assists in maintainace of the community water spring.
Staff benefits include; food, uniform, entertainment center, transport, health care at Aitong Health care centre, and accommodation.
Cultural Criteria
Health and safety The camp has undergone Health Inspection and issued with a Health Inspection Certificate. Medical checkups are conducted every six months for all kitchen staff (food and beverage handlers) in the facility to ascertain their health fitness, and in compliance with the Food, Drugs, and Chemical substances Act. Cap 254. Medical check-up for staff is referred to Aitong or Lemek centre. There is a doctor on call for emergency response.
The facility has an adequate team of ten (10) first aiders evenly distributed within the camp. First aid kits are also fixed within the main departments such as garage etc. The camp has subscribed to Flying Doctors services and charter air services can be provided for emergency response. The security team within the facility is equipped with radio calls for emergency response.
Firefighting equipment including fire extinguishers and fire blanket in the kitchen are strategically placed and serviced. A fire assembly point and a fire alarm are fixed. In addition, an emergency procedure/plan for the facility showing nearest fire assembly point is available. The facility also provides protective gear / PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) such as boots, uniform, gloves, apron to the staff.
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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