Kicheche Laikipia Camp

Name of the facility Kicheche Laikipia Camp
Certification Achieved Gold
Year opened 2006
Tourism region Laikipia/Samburu
County Laikipia
Address Head Office – Nairobi
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Telephone/Mobile +254 (20) 249 3569/3512, (20) 240 5586
Facility Notes Kicheche Laikipia Camp is located in Ol Pejeta Conservancy which is a 90,000-acre private wildlife conservation area in Laikipia County. The camp is specifically located on Global Positioning System (GPS) Coordinates, Latitude: 0° 00′ 0.00″ N and Longitude: 37° 00′ 0.00″ E. It has 6 guest tents with a bed capacity of 12 visitors and an average work force of 18 employees. The Conservancy is managed as a wildlife sanctuary, including the endangered black and white rhinos, leopard, elephant, buffalo and lion. The sanctuary hosts 87 black rhinos at present. Other wildlife includes Grevy zebra, Jackson’s hartebeest, cheetah and chimpanzee. Ol Pejeta Conservancy has one of the largest single herds of pure bred Boran cattle in the world. The Conservancy works to conserve wildlife and provide a sanctuary for Chimpanzees. It aims to generate income from wildlife and tourism enterprises which is invested in conservation and community development.
Energy management The camp’s main source of power is solar fixed with an inverter battery system. Each tent is fixed with a solar panel and battery system. In total the facility has 12 solar panels which provide power for lighting and running electrical appliances. Additionally, the camp has a small out-put, 5.5 KvA, backup generator which is only used during gloomy weather conditions. Energy is metered at source and regular records taken to monitor usage. There is a central charging system at the camp with no sockets at the guest tents hence controlling power consumption. The camp has an energy management plan in place with conservation targets set for monitoring energy usage.
Guests are briefed on energy conservation on arrival and through information folders in the guest tents while staff is sensitized during departmental briefings. LPG is used for cooking at the guest kitchen while energy efficient jikos are used for the staff kitchen. Three (3) bags of charcoal are used per month and it is sustainably obtained from Ol Pejeta. The facility has invested in (1) one 300 liters solar water heating equipment for the staff quarters. Dust remains from charcoal briquettes are mixed with waste charcoal pieces to make more briquettes. Additional briquettes are sourced from a local supplier in Nanyuki. Low wattage energy saving bulbs and LED are fixed throughout the camp. Main switches are easily accessible in all the guest tents to save on power. The staff are provided with portable and re-chargeable solar lamps for daily use.
Environmental management The camp is guided by the mother company – Kicheche Camps – corporate environmental policy. The policy puts emphasizes on commitment to environmental protection, conservation of resources such as water, energy and waste management, compliance on relevant government regulations and legislations, and sustainability in areas of operations. The policy also advocates for the 4 R’s of waste management-Reduce, Reuse, Repair and Recycle. The camp has a detailed environmental management system with clear management plans in water, energy and waste management. It conducts its annual environmental audit as required by EMCA 1999 (Environmental Management and Co-ordination Act).
Chemical use Fuel (petrol and diesel) is stored in different and clearly labeled containers. The storage area is properly contained to prevent accidental spillage to the environment. Precautionary and safety signage are also fixed. The camp uses biodegradable bathroom amenities in the guest tents and chemical detergents from Blue Ring Products for laundry. The chemicals are accompanied by Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) records. Gas is bought in 50kg and 12kg cylinders. Gas at the guest kitchen is put in a reinforced structure for safety purposes.
Conservation Criteria
Community Criteria
Solid waste management Waste separation (paper, plastics, metals and glass) is conducted at source and the bins are clearly labeled. The waste is later taken to a waste collection center for further segregation before final disposal. Organic waste is composted in a properly lockable pit. The camp has a waste management policy which emphasizes on 3Rs re-use, reduce, and recycle.
Innovations in solid waste management at the facility include;
• Re-use of metallic waste tins for honey and marmalade storage, and improvise of tins into candle holders, wine corks, kerosene lamps
• Old plastic bags, candles and kerosene are used to make home-made polish used for the camp furnishings
• A few used wine bottles are also decorated with beads and used to serve water at the guest tents.
• Plastic bottles are improvised to be used for planting herbs at the organic garden.
• Used tyres are filled with soil and used for growing herbs within the camp.
• Organic waste is re-used to its optimum; for example, the camp make their own marmalade from lemon skins and honey; as well as re-use cabbage, potato and carrot peels, spinach and kale sticks to make salads and snacks thus reducing on organic waste produced
• Solar rechargeable torches are used at the facility to reduce on cell battery waste
• Water is served in 10 liter dispensers at the guest tents to reduce on plastic waste
Excess plastic, glass, metallic and electronic waste is disposed to recycling firms through Kicheche Camps central purchasing office in Nairobi or where possible through recycling companies in Nanyuki town. The camp has an inventory (quantity) on organic waste. All other waste is also monitored, recorded and analyzed based on bed occupancy, with clear reduction targets.
Water management The camp obtains water from a borehole within Ol Pejeta Conservancy. It is solar pumped into elevated reservoirs with a total capacity of 12,000 liters. The water is then supplied via gravity to the rest of the camp. The water is metered at source and at the main outlet. It is recorded on a regular basis for monitoring water use. Water usage at the camp is analyzed based on bed occupancy. Regular maintenance and inspection of pipes is done to rectify any leakages. The camp has 10 tanks, with capacity of 16,500 liters when full, fixed throughout the camp for rain water harvesting. The camp has a charcoal fridge used for storing fruits and vegetables. A drip pipe water system is fixed to cool- water the fridge – an initiative to save water. Guests are sensitized on arrival on water conservation. In addition, guests are encouraged to re-use their towels through “towel-talks” as a means conserving water. Staff is sensitized during regular briefings. The camp has installed low shower filter heads at the guest tent showers to conserve water and adjusted its single toilet cistern to reduce on water consumed per flush. Push taps are used at the staff quarters to control water use and reduce wastage.
Visitor communication & education Booklets and room information folders are available at the resource information section and guest tents respectively. Publications such as Africa Geographic magazines, Books on Kenya, Birds of Kenya, Mammals and bird list are availed at the camp’s resource center. Visitors are briefed upon arrival on the camp’s operations, Conservancy model & code of conduct and environmental values. Sensitization is also emphasized during meal times both by the management and staff. The guest tents are equipped with room information folders to brief the visitors on environmental conservation activities and initiatives. Guests engage in low impact educational activities which include; game drives, bird watching and nature walk – walking safaris are also aimed at reducing the carbon footprint of the facility.
Pollution The generator is fitted in a sound proof room to reduce on noise pollution. The camp is fitted with low wattage bulbs to minimize on light pollution at night. Lanterns are also used.
Environmental conservation The tented camp is built on low environmental footprint; it blends well with the local surroundings. The tents are semi-permanent made of green, beige and brown canvas tents. Footpaths are made from gravel and sand, with grass trimmed to demarcate way. Natural vegetation is relatively undisturbed. Guests are encouraged to participate in low impact activities such as guided nature walks and bird watching. It holds an environmental day at least once a month which involves activities such as staff sensitization and general cleaning. The camp is one of the active tourism partners within the Ol Pejeta Conservancy; it upholds the Ol Pejeta Conservancy Code and is actively involved in the conservation activities and programs organized by the conservancy management. Most notably, the camp is engaged in a lion tracking project through the purchase of two (2) tracking devices. The camp guides collect data on behalf of the conservancy and shares the findings with the guests and conservancy management. In addition, it contributes conservancy fees, lease fees and bed night fees which are disseminated to conservation and community initiatives. Approximately two (2) million is contributed on annual basis.
Waste water management Grey water from the guest tents, staff quarters and laundry drains into a soak pit. Grey water from the guest kitchen and staff kitchen is managed through a grease trap compartment to filter fats and oils before draining into a soak pit. Water effluent tests are conducted in compliance with Environmental Management Co-ordination (Water Quality) regulations of 2006. Laundry is done at a designated place with a channel put in place to drain the waste water directly into a soak-pit. Black effluent from the guest tents, staff quarters and public areas is managed through septic tanks.
Purchasing and supplies Vegetables and fruits are packed in reusable crates while meat and dairy products are stored in cool boxes. Where possible dry goods are bought in bulk to reduce on the packaging. The facility has installed beehives within the camp which produces all honey used within the camp. Also, through the organic waste reusing program, the camp is able to produce its own home-made jam, sauce, marmalade, etc.
Employment and remuneration/staff welfare The facility has a monthly staff reward scheme to motivate and sensate the staff on environmental conservation. The employees are registered under KUDHEIHA workers Union. It has staff committee which represents staff issues to the management. Kicheche Camps have a SACCO for their staff where they make contributions and have access to credit services for their welfare.
Staff education, communication and awareness training The camp has an in-house staff training program where employees are trained on conservation, health and safety, hygiene and housekeeping lessons. Chefs are taken for refresher training at Kenya Utalii College. The camp guides are certified under the Kenya Professional Safari Guides Association (KPSGA).
The camp has strategically fixed notice boards for staff communication. The staff is sensitized and briefed during departmental/daily meetings.
Cultural preservation and promotion/protection of local sites The camp has information folders with information concerning the local region, people and culture that is availed to guests. The staff engages the guests and share information about the local people and culture. Willing guests are offered visits to the local villages to interact with the local people.
Benefits to local community/community empowerment The camp has approximately 60% of the employees from the local area. Casual labor is also sourced locally. The camp supports and promotes the local economy through purchasing and supplies. For instance, vegetables and fruits are obtained from a local supplier based in Nanyuki. Dry goods are also obtained from supermarkets within Nanyuki e.g. Nakumatt Nanyuki. Meat for staff is obtained from Ol Pejeta Conservancy Ranch. It has set up a bee project for the staff which they own and manage. The honey harvested is sold to the camp for utility. As part of the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, the camp contributes conservancy, bed night and lease fees. Some of the proceeds are used for community development projects by the conservancy. The projects are implemented in the communities surrounding the conservancy.
In addition, Kicheche Laikipia has an elaborate Corporate Social Responsibility program which is implemented through Kicheche Community Trust. The Trust is based on four main pillars-health, education, community and conservation. In 2015, approximately KES 1,335,000 was used for the various projects. An additional KES 2 Million has been set aside for 2016. Proceeds from the camp through the Trust are used on on-going projects such as;
• Education; The camp supports Nyakio primary school and Tumaini children’s home by organizing visits for willing guests to the institutions. In addition, guest donations provide for stationery and sports equipment for the children. The camp also gives sponsorship bursaries for needy students at the school.
• Health; The camp also supports a children’s home – Huruma Hospice in Nanyuki by donating beddings and fundraising for hospital beds for the hospice through the help of guest donations.
It is a member of “Pack for a Purpose” initiative where visitors are encouraged to donate items that may be of need in their areas of travel. Staff benefits at the camp include food, uniform, entertainment centre, and accommodation.
Cultural Criteria
Health and safety The camp has a health &safety policy committed to; continuous improvement, compliance with legal requirements, ensuring a safe and healthy work environment for staff and guests. It has documented emergency procedures to enhance safety preparedness and an established electrical equipment maintenance schedule. Additionally, there is a health and safety committee in place which ensures safety procedures are maintained. Emergency contacts and documented procedures are well displayed at a strategic place. Medical check-up is conducted for all food and beverage handlers in compliance with Food, Drugs, and Chemical substances Act Cap 254. There is a team trained on first aid and well equipped first aid kits are available at the main office, kitchen and game drive vehicles. Guest tents are equipped with radio calls, whistle and torches for emergency purposes. Medical emergencies are referred to Nanyuki Cottage hospital.
Firefighting equipment such as fire extinguishers and fire blankets are strategically located and have been serviced. A fire assembly point is properly marked and displayed within the facility. A fire alarm is also available. Precautionary signage is fixed at all relevant places such as the workshop, fuel and gas storage areas.
Child labor, abuse and human rights The facility adheres to the legal employment age.
Business Practises Criteria
Entry Date 10th November 2017

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