Mara Explorer Camp

Name of the facilityMara Explorer Camp
Certification AchievedSilver
Year opened2000
Tourism regionMasai Mara/South Rift
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Telephone/Mobile+254 (0) 706 856216
Email[email protected]
Facility NotesMara Explorer Camp is located within Masai Mara National Reserve along Talek River, approximately 15 kilometres from Talek gate. The camp was established in 2000 and is currently managed by Heritage Hotels. It has 10 guest tents with a total bed capacity of 20 guests. The facility is open all year round and has a total work force of 16 employees for its operations.
The camp is set up inside a thick vegetation /forest cover, and shares most of its management facilities with the adjacent sister-camp – Mara Intrepids Camp. Both camps have a common water distribution system, garage, workshop, food stores and staff and guests clinic. The corporate social responsibility, including attending to community welfare is done through the Mara Intrepids Camp and the mother company – Heritage Hotels.
The Maasai Mara National Reserve covers approximately 1,510 km2 under the management of Narok County. The Reserve is located in the northern portion of the Mara Serengeti eco-system, which covers 25,000 km2 straddling the Tanzania and Kenya international border. Serengeti Park borders the Reserve to the south, Siria (or Oloololo) Escarpment in the west and community-owned conservancies to the North and East of the reserve. The Reserve has about 95 species of mammals and 570 species of birds recorded. It is famous for hosting the wildebeest migration, which is dubbed as the ‘8th Wonder of the World’. The annual migration occurs from July to September and involves wildebeests, Thomson’s gazelles, Topi, elands, and zebras. These migrants are followed along their annual, circular route by predators, most notably lions and hyenas. Numerous other antelopes can be found, including Thomson’s and Grant’s gazelles, impalas, elands, duikers and Coke’s hartebeest. The Mara is also home to the “Big Five” (lion, leopard, African elephant, African buffalo, and Black Rhinoceros). The plains are also home to the distinctive Masai Giraffe.
Energy managementMara Explorer Camp is powered by a generator with an output of 44KvA which provides power for lighting. Power is rationed at least 10 hours daily and fuel consumption documented to monitor usage.
The facility has five (5) boilers for water heating which use charcoal briquettes
Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) is used for cooking both at the guests and staff quarters.
Guest tents are fitted with rechargeable torches.
On energy conservation; the facility
 Guests are briefed on energy conservation on arrival and through information folders in the guest tents.
 Staff is sensitized during departmental briefings.
 Has installed Low wattage energy saving bulbs throughout the premises.
Environmental managementMara Explorer Camp is guided by the parent company –Heritage Hotels – environmental policy. The policy commits on;
 promoting responsible tourism,
 environmental conservation
 Sustainable practices.
The Camp has undertaken its annual self-Environmental Audit (EA) as required by EMCA 1999 (Environmental Management and Co-ordination Act.).
The facility has a resource monitoring system called ‘Dashboard’ for monitoring (fuel, water, energy, and waste) with set targets on the same. The records are analysed based on bed occupancy. The system is implemented by all heads of departments (HODs).
Chemical useBiodegradable bathing soaps (supplied by Hanview) are used within the Camp. The chemicals are accompanied by Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) records
Liquefied Petroleum gas LPG (one tonne tank) is well secured in a contained structure for safety reasons.
Diesel is properly stored in a 200 litre reservoir.
Conservation Criteria
Community Criteria
Solid waste managementWaste separation (paper, plastics, metals glass and organic) is conducted at source and the bins are color-coded. The waste is later transported to the waste collection centre at Mara Intrepids for further segregation before final disposal via Heritage Hotels to recycling companies in Nairobi.
Organic waste is transported to Mara Intrepids for composting.
In efforts aimed at waste reduction, the facility uses reusable containers for bathing soaps
Water managementMara Explorer camp obtains its water from a borehole located at Mara Intrepids. The water is piped and stored in a high elevated 5000 litre reservoir for supply via gravity to the entire premises.
A meter has been installed at the main supply point. Water usage records are collected and analysed based on bed occupancy for monitoring purposes.
The facility has installed a 5,000 rain water harvesting tank.
On water conservation, the facility;
 Sensitizes guests upon arrival.
 Guests are encouraged to re-use their towels through “towel-talks”.
 Staff is sensitized during regular departmental briefings.
 Guest toilets are fitted with low shower filter heads and lift taps to reduce on water usage.
Visitor communication & educationVisitors are briefed upon arrival on the camp’s operations, reserve code of conduct and environmental values.
Guests engage in low impact educational activities which include; game drives, village visits and nature walks – which are aimed at reducing the carbon footprint of the facility.
The camp had a designated visitors’ information / reading section. The section is equipped with reading materials such as environmental publications, wildlife and travel magazines, and nature conservation magazines.
Guest tents have information folders to brief visitors on the surrounding ecosystem. Mammal and bird lists are also available.
PollutionThe generator section is sound proofed to reduce noise pollution.
The camp uses low light emitting bulbs in the guest tents and around the facility to reduce on light pollution.
Environmental conservationMara Explorer has a resident naturalist in charge of guiding guests within and explaining surrounding environment.
The camp is unfenced which allows free movement of wildlife. In addition, natural vegetation is relatively undisturbed which gives a bush experience to clients.
On weekly basis the facility participates in environmental clean-ups and sensitizations. This involves awareness on proper waste management and hygiene.
The facility guides assist the reserve rangers in wildlife monitoring and reporting on any wildlife incidences.
Low environmental impact activities such as nature walks, culture talks, village visits, and bird watching are offered at the camp. These activities are also aimed at ensuring low carbon footprint.
In conjunction with its sister camp – Mara Intrepids, the camp has a tree planting initiative for both guests and staff aimed at promoting environmental conservation.
The facility has built gabions along the Talek River to contain soil erosion.
Waste water managementGrey water from the guest kitchen is managed through a grease trap to filter excess fats and oils before draining into the septic tank system.
Grey waste water for the staff quarters, guest tents and public areas is managed through septic tanks. The facility has six septic tanks that are linked to soak-ways
Black effluent from the guest tents and public areas is managed through three chamber septic tanks. Biological enzymes are used in the septic tanks to enhance sludge digestion.
In compliance with Environmental Management Co-ordination (Water Quality) regulations of 2006, the facility has applied for an effluent discharge license
Purchasing and suppliesAll purchases for the facility are done centrally with/by its sister camp-Mara Intrepids. Supplies for staff food are bought in bulk to reduce on packaging while guest food is bought on demand.
Employment and remuneration/staff welfareEmployees are provided with, food, medical care, uniform, an entertainment centre, transport and accommodation facilities
Staff accommodation at Mara Explorer is well maintained i.e. clean and well kept.
The staffs are paid in line with the minimum wage, are given letters of appointment, code of conduct and job descriptions upon employment.
The facility runs a staff reward scheme for recognizing outstanding conservation efforts and achievement by the staff.
Staff education, communication and awareness trainingThe Camp holds weekly departmental meetings and daily briefs are held for staff sensitization.
The facility has notice boards for staff communication. Emails and memos are also used to facilitate communication
Cultural preservation and promotion/protection of local sitesThe guests are sensitized on the local Maasai culture and engage in traditional activities. A fee of $20 is charged per person for the visits. The money is channelled directly to the locals. $5 is deducted for management purposes.
Cultural dances and lectures are organized on demand and provided by the local community. The proceeds are given to the community.
Benefits to local community/community empowermentThe facility employs from the local community. Approximately 70% of the staff is from the local Masai community. Priority for casual labor is also given to the local community.
Mara Explorer camp runs its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs jointly with Mara Intrepids thorough its mother company-Heritage Hotels-aimed at supporting the local community initiatives.
 The camp purchases locally where possible, these include, fuel and staff meat.
 There is an established internship program for locals at the camp, with an intake at least every six (6) months.
 The facility through guest contributions support Loigero primary school through donations such as text books, shoes, stationery and sports equipment.
 In 2016, the facility donated 120 beds and bedding to the local Loigero school
 The facility clinic caters for the local community’s medical care. The camp also provides transport for the community during emergencies such as medical referrals.
 On weekly basis the camp purchases a goat from the local community
Cultural Criteria
Health and safetyThe Camp has a health and safety policy committed to compliance with relevant health and safety regulations, client safety and safe working conditions for employees.
The facility has a designated health and safety committee which meets on quarterly basis to spearhead health issues within the facility. The committee also conducts regular in-house training on health and safety.
The camp has been inspected and issued with a Health Clearance Certificate in compliance with the Public Health Act. Medical tests for food and beverage handlers are done to comply with Food, Drugs, and Chemical substances Act. Cap 254.
Fire-fighting equipment including, fire extinguishers, fire blanket in the kitchen, are serviced and strategically placed at key areas within the facility. Sand buckets are also provided to complement the fire extinguishers.
Safety and precautionary signage has been installed at the gas storage area, fire assembly points are clearly marked and displayed within the Camp and a fire alarm has been fitted within the premises.
The Camp provides PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) such as overall, gloves and boots to the staff and a team of staff trained on basic fire-fighting skills. In addition, the camp has fire emergency procedures well outlined within the guest tents.
The facility has conducted a fire safety audit to comply with Factories and other places of work (Fire Risk Reduction) Rules 2007.
The camp has conducted a safety and Health Audit to comply with the Occupational Safety and Health Act, 2007 and obtained a registration of workplace – Dated July 2017
Child labor, abuse and human rightsThe Camp has well defined Human Resource policy that guides against employment of minors. Minimum employment age is 18years.
All clients visiting the hotel are screened for their IDs.
Business Practises Criteria
Entry Date12th March 2018

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