Solio Lodge

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Name of the facility Solio Lodge
Certification Achieved Gold
Year opened 2010
Tourism region Laikipia/Samburu
County Laikipia
Address Solio Ranch in Laikipia County
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Telephone/Mobile +254 725 675 830
Email [email protected]
Website thesafaricollection.com.
Facility Notes Solio lodge is located within Solio Ranch – a privately owned wildlife conservancy situated in Laikipia County, 22 kilometers North of Nyeri Town. The lodge is specifically located on Global Positioning System (GPS) Coordinates, Latitude: 000.15’4.512 S and Longitude: 360.52’43.776 E. It has 6 guest tents with a bed capacity of 12 visitors and a total work force of 30 employees.
Solio Ranch is located on approximately 17,500 acres parcel of land and it is a protected area geared towards rhino conservation. The Ranch plays a major role in the protection and breeding black rhinos in Kenya. Its conservation and breeding program has been successful and provides stock for translocation to other sanctuaries, such as Nakuru, Tsavo and the Aberdares National Parks. The Ranch is also home to other wildlife, including buffalo, zebra, giraffe and plains game such as eland, oryx, impala, waterbuck, Thompson’s gazelle and warthog. It is a haven for birdlife including grey-crowned cranes.
Energy management Solio lodge’s main source of power is Kenya Power electricity grid. However, the facility has a backup generator with power output capacity of 38 KvA. Water heating for the facility is conducted through the use of six (6) energy efficient kuni boilers (Dead wood is supplied by the Ranch or obtained from Loldia Farm in Navaisha). Further the facility is trying out the use of solar water heating (capacity of 600 litres has been installed) and once effective it will be implemented throughout the premises. Energy consumption is metered at source and monitoring done.
Light emitting diodes (LEDs) and energy saving bulbs are installed throughout for energy conservation. Liquefied Petroleum gas (LPG) is used for guests cooking whereas fuel-wood in is used at the staff quarters. The facility has two (2) laundry machines which are operated at their optimum weight to enhance their efficiency and conserve on energy. Staff is sensitized on energy conservation through departmental briefings and sensitization signage
Environmental management Solio lodge is steered by the Corporate Company’s- The Safari Collection – environmental policy. The document puts emphasis on continued improvement on sound and sustainable management practices, social responsibility, commitment to environmental protection and conservation of resources such as water energy, and waste management, and compliance to relevant government regulations and legislations. The lodge has undertaken its annual self-Environmental Audit (EA) as required by EMCA 1999 (Environmental Management and Co-ordination Act). The facility has an environmental management system (EMS) to spearhead its operations. The EMS includes set objectives, and monitoring plans for resources such as water, energy, and waste management.
Chemical use Solio lodge uses high quality biodegradable washing detergents for its laundry. The chemicals are accompanied by a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). Biodegradable bathing soaps and solutions are used within the lodge. Fuel i.e. petrol and diesel are stored in 20 litres containers in a properly secured store. Liquefied Petroleum gas is stored in 50 kg cylinders. The cylinders are well secured – outside – for safety purposes.
Conservation Criteria
Community Criteria
Solid waste management The lodge has a waste management policy. Waste separation is conducted at source. The bins are clearly labeled. (Plastics, organic and tins etc). In waste reduction attempts the facility;
• Has a no plastic bottle use policy
• Uses 18 litre drinking water dispensers in its staff departments aimed at plastic waste reduction.
• Has decorated i.e. beaded wine bottles used to serve water at the guest rooms – an initiative to reduce on plastic waste.
Organic waste is donated to a local pig farmer – it is collected on daily basis. Plastics, metallic waste (tins), glass (wine bottles are put in bags awaiting disposal via Nairobi Safari Collection Central Stores Offices. Paper waste is burned in the facility incinerator. The lodge keeps an inventory of waste (types and quantity) generated for efforts aimed at waste monitoring at source. A waste disposal tracking form’ has been established to ensure the waste (from the lodge) is delivered to the intended destination
Water management Main source of water for the lodge is obtained from a borehole. Water is also obtained from the river for irrigation purposes and by harvesting rain water. The borehole water is pumped and collected in reservoirs of 15,000 litres for supply through gravitational force to the entire premises. The reservoir is fixed with a float switch to avoid overflow spillage. A water meter is fixed at source (borehole and river water) to monitor consumption. Solio lodge has a routine reporting procedure to monitor water leakages. The efforts are spearheaded by the housekeeping and Repairs & Maintenance (R&M) sections. The guestrooms have fixed dual flush water efficient toilets. Water efficient technology such as lift taps and mixture taps are fixed in the guest cottages and guest kitchen. The facility lawns are irrigated in the early mornings. Staff is sensitized on water conservation through departmental briefings. Further sensitization signage is strategically placed within the facility main user points. The lodge also encourages its visitors to re-use their towels through sensitization signage and their room information folders aimed at water conservation and reduced use of laundry chemicals. In an effort to save water, the facility has ‘save a bucket initiative’ whereby guest are sensitized to put a bucket and collect running water from showers before it gets hot. The water is later used for irrigating lawns within the premises.
Visitor communication & education Solio lodge guest cottages are equipped with elaborate room information folders and nature magazines. Room information folders contain available activities and operations within Solio Ranch. Further it illustrates the uniqueness of the Ranch with detailed information on Rhino protection. Checklist on birds, mammals, marsh life etc. is also available. Further, guests are briefed upon arrival on the existing activities of the lodge and environmental conservation such as on water. Once in a while lecture and slide shows are shown on wildlife conservation to the clients.
Pollution Paraffin lanterns are used for lighting the pathways at night and to reduce on light emission. The generator is stored in a sound proof room fitted with a muffler system (sound reducing device).
Environmental conservation The lodge is artistically designed with glass windows and doors for natural lighting and landscape views. The walls are made of stone and painted brown to blend in the surrounding. The roofing is made from grass thatch that blends in with the natural surroundings. Path ways within the lodge are aligned with sand and gravel to demarcate the way. The facility offers low environmental impact activities such as horse riding, cycling, bird watching and nature walks conducted within the ranch. The activities are aimed at sensitizing the visitors on the surrounding environment.
Through Solio lodge, visitors are expected to pay conservancy fees (80 USD for non-resident and 40 USD for resident per night) directly to Solio Ranch. The money collected is fully paid to the ranch management for conservation activities. The lodge management and safari guides, assist in wildlife monitoring through reporting incidences such as injured wildlife to the Ranch officials. The guides assist in tracking of individual rhinos, as well as monitoring the stocking density of rhinos in the ranch through participating in data with the Ranch management. The facility runs a ‘Lions Kid Camp’ – a week long initiative through which kids are sensitized on wildlife conservation. The initiative born from Saasab Samburu through Ewaso Lions has been used to create awareness to school going children within the area
Waste water management The kitchen effluent system has grease traps to filter out oils and grease. All grey water from the kitchen, guest rooms and staff quarters is managed via soak pits. Water effluent sample tests are conducted at the facility in compliance with Environmental Management and Coordination (Water Quality) Regulations 2006. Black water within the facility is managed through septic tanks. The facility has five (5) septic tanks and has an effluent discharge license
Purchasing and supplies The lodge purchases its products in bulk to reduce on packaging. Fruits and vegetables are packed in re-usable crates whereas meat is packaged in cool boxes
Employment and remuneration/staff welfare The lodge has a staff welfare committee which handles and addresses staff issues. It meets on monthly basis.
Staff education, communication and awareness training The facility has notice board for staff communication. Staff briefings are held at departmental level on daily basis for planning activities
Cultural preservation and promotion/protection of local sites The lodge is located in a cosmopolitan area hence no elaborate culture is available however willing visitors are provided with local delicacies and taken to the local open air market to interact with the local people.
Benefits to local community/community empowerment Solio Lodge purchases its products including fruits and vegetables, staff meat from local suppliers in Mweiga, Nyeri and Narumoru area. At least 40% of the employees are hired from the local area (inclusive casuals). The lodge has a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Plan. It engages its guests through various initiatives; this includes education, health and conservation initiatives.
• Education; the lodge supports Honi primary school through text books donations and is upgrading six (6) classrooms from mabati to permanent stone buildings. At Laburria School – Solio lodge rebuilt (refurbishment) a block of classrooms at value of approximately $10,000 and donated textbooks. Other donations such as sports equipment and text books have been done at Lachuta primary school.
• Health – In 2015 and May 2016, Solio lodge with support of MEAK (Medical and Educational Aid to Kenya) Foundation hosted an eye clinic (ophthalmic services) for the local community at the local Mary Immaculate Hospital. Over 2,000 people have benefited from the annual event which runs 7 days in a week. Approximately $10,000 was used in 2015. Further, a dental clinic was also held Mary Immaculate Hospital in 2015 (Approximately $6,000 was used)
• In conservation, the lodge involves Mwihogo Secondary school on ad hoc basis through wildlife talks and donation of sports equipment.
• In mentorship, Solio Lodge engages Laburra Secondary school through ‘TEAM talks’ aimed at creating awareness and sensitizing the pupils on self-esteem, and sexual health. The initiative was conducted in year 2013 and 2014.
The lodge is a member of “Pack for a Purpose”, an online system where visitors are encouraged to pack items needed by the communities in areas where they travel. Donations made include learning materials and stationery. Occasionally, the lodge makes donations such as clothes, and food to local Mary Immaculate Orphanage which has 30 children. Staff is provided with health care, uniform, food, accommodation facilities and basic amenities such as soaps.
Cultural Criteria
Health and safety The facility has conducted the annual health & safety and fire audit in compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Act, 2007 and Factories and other places of work (Fire Risk Reduction) Rules 2007 respectively. The lodge has a Health Clearance Certificate from the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation.
It is also registered as a workplace and provided with a license under the OSH 2007 requirements. The facility has (2) two staff trained on advanced first aid whereas six (6) are trained on general first aid. In addition, it has a doctor on call. Medical emergencies for guests are referred to Nanyuki Cottage Hospital whereas staff are refereed to Mary Immaculate Hospital (Staff medical care is insured under Britam hence can attend any other hospital).
The lodge has an optimal core team of (5) members trained on Occupational Health and Safety. Emergency contacts are well displayed within the facility notice boards. Verified medical checkups are conducted every six months for all kitchen staff (food and beverage handlers) in the lodge to ascertain their health fitness, and in compliance with the Food, Drugs, and Chemical substances Act. Cap 254.
Firefighting equipment including fire extinguishers, fire electric alarm, fire blanket in the kitchen, are serviced and are strategically placed within the facility. Sand buckets are fixed to compliment the fire extinguishers.
Safety and precautionary signage such as no smoking, highly flammable are fixed in strategic areas including the generator room.
The facility provides protective gear / PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) such as boots, uniform, gloves and aprons to the staff. Fire assembly points and fire exits and alarm are clearly and conspicuously marked within the lodge. The lodge has well equipped first aid kit located in the main office.
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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