+254737037143 info@alohaexpeditions.com
+254737037143 info@alohaexpeditions.com
Name of the facilityKicheche Valley Camp
Certification AchievedGold
Year opened2011
Tourism regionMasai Mara/South Rift
CountyNarok
AddressHead Office – Nairobi
Map It
Telephone/Mobile020- 2493569/ 020- 2601418
Emailsales@kicheche.com
Websitekicheche.com
Facility NotesKicheche Valley Camp is located in Naboisho Conservancy. The camp is specifically located on Global Positioning System (GPS) Coordinates, Latitude: 1.4343041 S and Longitude: 35.375547 E. It has 6 guest tents with a bed capacity of 12 visitors and a total work force of 25 employees. The land in which Naboisho conservancy is located is 50,000 acres. The conservancy is a partnership between seven member camps and over 500 Masai land owners. The member camps have negotiated the lease, which applies to the whole conservancy-it is not negotiated directly by Kicheche to any particular landlord. The length of the lease period is 15 years.
Naboisho Conservancy is an integral part of the Mara-Serengeti ecosystem, providing critical wildlife dispersal area for migratory wildlife, including the wildebeest. The Mara portion of the ecosystem supports approximately 92 species of mammals and about 400 species of local birds. It is the largest high altitude grassland in East Africa and hosts the largest population of the migratory Caspian Plover. The conservancy supports wildlife conservation through undertaking applied research studies to improve human-wildlife interactions. There are on-going study programs on lions, elephants and cheetahs.
Energy managementSolar power connected to an inverter battery system is the main source of energy for the camp. The energy is used for lighting and running the electrical appliances. Power is metered and the usage is recorded daily to monitor usage. The energy records are analyzed based on bed occupancy and the results shared with the team for sensitization purposes. The camp has a small – 6KvA back-up diesel powered generator used for operating air compressors or welding works.
Water heating for the camp is conducted through efficient boiler that uses charcoal briquettes. It has a total of nine (9) kuni boilers. The boilers are insulated for energy efficiency. Firewood is sustainably sourced from Mara Beef Ltd. Charcoal briquettes are used for the kitchen oven and to supplement the water heating boilers. The briquettes are sourced from Green Char Company. The guest tents are fixed with main switches and the night guards are sensitized to switch off unnecessary lights. Energy saving bulbs are installed throughout the facility for energy conservation. Liquefied Petroleum gas (LPG) is used for guests and staff cooking. Staff is sensitized on energy conservation through departmental briefings whereas visitors are sensitized on arrival briefings. Also, guest tents are fitted with room information sensitizing visitors on energy conservation.
Environmental managementKicheche Valley Camp is steered by the Corporate – Kicheche Camps – environmental policy statement. The document emphasizes the camps’ commitment to sustainability as a key driver for its operations. The policy further indicates obligation towards environmental protection, compliance with relevant government regulations and striving for continual improvement in their environmental performance through regular reporting. The facility conducts its annual environmental audit as required by Environmental (Impact assessment and Audit) Regulations, of 2003. There is an environmental management system with management plans in water, energy, and waste. An emergency response, and health & safety plan is also available.
Regular monitoring of waste, water and energy conservation is conducted and analyzed based on bed occupancy through an online system. The results and progress achieved is then shared with staff and guests to sensitize and enhance motivation. This ensures continuous improvement in environmental performance.
Chemical useEnvironmentally friendly biodegradable products from Blue Ring Products are used for laundry purposes. The camp uses biodegradable bathroom amenities in the guest rooms, e.g. bathing soaps and shampoos supplied by Cinnabar Green. Gas is bought in 50kg and 12kg cylinders. They are stored in a well reinforced cage for safety purposes. Diesel is stored in two, 2500 liters tanks each while oil and petrol is put in two, 200 liters reservoirs each. The storage area is properly reinforced and bunded to contain any spillage. Material Safety Data Sheet records for the chemicals used within the facility are available.
Conservation Criteria
Community Criteria
Solid waste managementThe camp has a waste management policy which lays emphasis on the three R’s principle of Reduce, Re-use and Recycle. Waste separation is conducted at source. The bins are clearly labeled. (Plastics, organic and tins etc.). Organic waste is composted in a tightly sealed pit. Plastics, metallic waste (tins), glass (waste bottles) are put in a waste holding area and taken to either Aitong recycling center or Nairobi Recycling hub in Langata/ Nairobi west. It is transported by a NEMA licensed operator-Bins Ltd. In addition, an inventory of waste (types and quantity) is available and there is proper monitoring of waste with clear reduction targets.
The camp purchases drinking water in 20 liters re-usable containers. The water is served to guests in 10 liter dispensers – an aim to reduce plastic waste. Few used wine bottles are decorated with beads and used to serve water at the guest tents. Tetra-packs waste is used for growing indigenous tree seedlings within the camp. Solar rechargeable torches are used at the facility to reduce on cell battery waste.
Water managementThe main source of water for the camp is obtained from a borehole within and managed by Naboisho conservancy. It is pumped and stored in reservoirs within the camp and flows through gravity. The water is metered at source and sub-metered with daily records kept to monitor consumption. The facility practices rain water harvesting. It has six (6) tanks with an approximate capacity of 12,000 liters. Management uses the monitoring records to analyze usage based on bed capacity. The results are then shared with staff to create awareness and sensitization. The records are also used to set conservation targets. The camp has “towel talks” in the guest tents encouraging visitors on re-use of towels. Staff is sensitized during departmental meetings and briefings. Low filter shower heads are fitted in the guest tents to reduce on water consumption.
The facility has a regular maintenance and repairs schedule to monitor faults or water leakages. The camp’s charcoal- fridge is fixed with a water drip system to reduce on water consumption. The guest toilets are improvised by a one (1) liter bottle put in the toilet cistern. This reduces on the amount of water consumed per flush.
Visitor communication & educationVisitors are briefed upon arrival on the environmental principles and values of the camp, camp operations and the Naboisho Conservancy. Guests engage in learning and sensitization activities which include; game drives, village visits, bird watching and nature walk safaris – walking safaris are also aimed at reducing the carbon footprint of the camp. The Camp has a visitors’ resource area (located at the main restaurant) equipped with reading information materials including environmental publications, wildlife and travel magazines, and nature conservation magazines such as Africa Geographic, Books on Kenya, Birds of Kenya. Information on wildlife conservation projects such as Mara Cheetah and Mara Lion is shared with the guests. Booklets information sheets are available at the resource information section and guest tents respectively.
PollutionThe path- lights are fixed with low light emitting bulbs to reduce on light pollution. Low light emitting paraffin lanterns compliment the path lights at night. The facility has a small 6KvA rarely used backup generator. The generator is soundproofed. Vehicle use is limited therefore reducing exhaust pollution.
Environmental conservationThe camp is built to have a low environmental footprint. The guest tents are raised on wooden platforms with floor made from recycled tetra pack materials. The canvas is green and beige, and blends in with the local environment. The staff quarters are made from low impact fly-tents but smaller in size. They are erected on the ground and the natural vegetation is intact. The footpaths are aligned with sand and gravel to demarcate way. The facility is also unfenced allowing wildlife to move freely.
Kicheche Valley Camp is a founding member of Naboisho Conservancy and plays a significant role in the management, policy making and operations of the conservancy. The camp contributes conservancy fees, bed night and lease fees to the conservancy which are disseminated to conservation and community initiatives. The camp contributes on average KES 11 million annually to the conservancy. The camp partners with the conservancy on wildlife monitoring initiatives; this include Mara Naboisho Lion Project – an initiative to build an identification database of lions in and around the conservancy through tracking individuals, effective conservation techniques. Mara Cheetah Project– a research aimed at identifying the behavioral adaptations, reproduction and survival of the cheetah in the protected areas. The camp guides take part in monitoring, data collection and tracking activities.
Kicheche is also associated with the “Predator Proof Bomas” Project (PPB) – this is an initiative which involves setting up lighting systems (flash lights) around Masai livestock enclosures to keep off predators, thereby minimizing human-wildlife conflict. Kicheche was involved in fundraising for this project in 2015 where approximately £9000 was raised. A number of Masai homes have benefitted from this project. The camp runs an awareness creation and mentoring program for school going kids. (Mbitin and Olesere primary schools). They are offered game drives and hosted at the camp. Environmental clean-ups are also organized with these schools thereby promoting environmental education. Guests are encouraged to engage in low impact activities such as village visits, bird watching and nature walks. The camp holds “environmental days” for the staff where activities that also benefit the local community are conducted including litter collection in the camp and in nearby towns.
Waste water managementEffluent from the guest and staff kitchen flows through a three compartment 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 a French drain soak away. Water effluent sample tests are conducted in compliance with Environmental Management and Coordination (Water Quality) Regulations of 2006. Black water within the guest area and staff quarters is managed through septic tanks; the facility has a total of six (6) septic tanks. Additionally the facility has four (4) long drop latrines within the staff quarters section.
Purchasing and suppliesFruits and Vegetables are packed in reusable crates while meat and dairy products are stored in cool boxes. Dry goods such as rice and sugar are bought in bulk to reduce on packaging waste.
Employment and remuneration/staff welfareEmployees have a staff welfare committee which handles and addresses staff issues. It meets on a monthly basis. The employees are registered under KUDHEIHA (Kenya Union of Domestic, Hotels, Education Institutions, Hospitals and Allied Workers).
Staff education, communication and awareness trainingThe camp employs guides who are certified under the Kenya Professional Safari Guides Association (KPSGA). The facility offers its chefs refresher course training at Kenya Utalii College. The camp has a scheduled in-house staff training program. Trainings are usually conducted on work skills development, drugs abuse, and general knowledge improvement. The camp has an IT and English language training program targeted at interested staff. There is a scheduled in-house staff training program for staff, whereby trainings are conducted on ecotourism principles, conservation, work skills development, and general knowledge improvement. Willing employees are offered opportunities to improve their skills through in-house rotation to the different Kicheche Camps. Internal promotions are also practiced as much as possible i.e. staff who started out as room stewards have been promoted over time to other departments.
The camp has notice boards for staff communication. Staff briefings are held at departmental level on daily basis for planning activities.
Cultural preservation and promotion/protection of local sitesGuest tents are named in the local numerical ‘Maa’ language e.g. Ongwan (four), Uni (three). – aimed at raising awareness of the local culture. The camp offers village visits for a cultural experience at Nkoilale Village. Visitors engage in traditional activities such as arrow and spear throwing. Guests are charged $20 per person for the visits and the proceeds channeled to the local villages through the head office in accordance with conservancy procedures. The camp has a curio shop. Beads are obtained from the local Mara Discovery women’s projects and Maa Trust.
Benefits to local community/community empowermentThe camp has a community engagement plan implemented in three avenues, individual camp initiatives, Kicheche Community Trust and through the Naboisho Conservancy. The conservancy pools together, the bed night fees, and conservancy fees from members camps. The monies are paid for the conservancy management and operations, and lease fee to individual land owners. Major projects such as education, healthcare and community well-being initiatives are implemented. Through Kicheche Community Trust, four main pillars have been identified which include health, education, conservation and community empowerment. In 2015, approximately KES 1,335,000 was used for the various projects. An additional KES 2 Million has been set aside for 2016.
Below are some of the major initiatives implemented under the trust;
• Health: The Trust supports Aitong health center with donations in medical supplies, medical seminars, a maternity ward, a dental ward, water tanks and upgrading of the existing solar system. In August 2015, the camp partnered with S.A.F.E in local community empowerment program at Talek. This program is aimed at creating awareness against FGM which is quite prevalent in the Masai community.• Education: currently, the Trust is supporting bursaries to seven (7) students in university and college, three (3) students in secondary school and two (2) students in primary school. The Trust lays emphasis on mentorship for the students throughout their sponsorship period. The Trust also runs a text book initiative where guests are encouraged to make commitments on purchase of text books to the local Aitong, Olesere and Kimatare schools.
• Community empowerment: The Trust helped develop the Mara Discovery and Empowerment Center which is a community based initiative where self-help groups around Aitong get together to run income generating activities such as tree nursery, beading groups, dance groups, briquette projects and a waste recycling center. An IT center is also up and running.
Individually, the camp is a member of the Pack for a Purpose where visitors are encouraged to donate items needed by the communities. Donations made include learning materials – blackboards, and stationery to Naboisho primary and Ngoilale primary schools. The camp supports the repairs and maintenance of Nkoilale water spring which also supplies water to the local people and, Naboisho and Nkoilale primary school. Approximately 80% of the permanent employees are hired from the local area; however, all casual work is allocated to the locals. Each year KCT sponsors students at the Koiyaki Guiding School and takes in interns and trainee guides from the institution. The camp also takes in local interns from Karen Blixen Hospitality School Forestry and Cooking Program to provide them with practical experience.
Cultural Criteria
Health and safetyThe camp is spearheaded by the corporate health &safety policy which shows commitment to; continuous improvement, compliance with legal requirements, ensuring a safe and healthy work environment for staff and guests. The camp has an emergency plan with clear spelt out procedures on fire, flooding, robbery, medical care and evacuation. Additionally, there is an in-house electrical maintenance schedule. The camp has a Health Inspection Certificate from the Ministry of Public Health. The guest tents are equipped with flash lights smoke detectors, radio calls and whistle, for emergency response.
The camp is linked to (AMREF) Flying Doctors services and charter air services can be provided for emergency response. There is an adequately stocked first aid kit located at the main office. Medical supplies are also available and the staff is trained on first aid skills. Medical checkups are conducted to the food and beverage handlers to comply with Food, Drugs, and Chemical substances Act. Cap 254. Medical emergency for the employees are referred to Nkoilale Clinic and the facility has a Doctor on call for emergency response. The facility has a well-stocked first aid kit located at the main office. Medical supplies are also available.
Firefighting equipment including, fire extinguishers, fire electric alarm, fire blanket in the kitchen, are serviced and strategically placed within the facility. Sand buckets have been placed alongside fire extinguishers to compliment the available fire-fighting equipment. Safety and precautionary signage such as no smoking, highly flammable are fixed in strategic areas including the generator room and fuel storage area. The facility provides protective gear / PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) such as boots, uniform, gloves, apron to the staff. Fire assembly point is clearly and conspicuously marked within the camp. A fire alarm is also available at the facility.
Child labor, abuse and human rightsThe facility adheres to the legal employment age.
Business Practises Criteria
Entry Date10th November 2017

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