Mara Serena Safari Lodge

Name of the facility Mara Serena Safari Lodge
Certification Achieved Silver
Year opened 1973
Tourism region Masai Mara/South Rift
County Narok
Address 48690 ( 00100) Nairobi
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Telephone/Mobile +254736595900
Email mara@serena.co.ke
Website serenahotels.com
Facility Notes Mara Serena safari Lodge is located in the Mara Triangle of Masai Mara National Reserve. The lodge is specifically located on Global Positioning System (GPS) Coordinates, Latitude: 1.24’09S and Longitude: 35.01’34E. The Lodge was opened in 1973 and has 74 guest rooms with a bed capacity of 140 visitors and a total workforce of 130 employees.
The facility is built on 11.6115 acres (4.699ha) of land in the Mara triangle of Masai Mara National Reserve. The Mara Triangle forms a core part of the larger Maasai Mara ecosystem. The ecosystem is dominated by Themeda triandra grassland interspaced by pockets of riverine forest and acacia woodlands. There are about 95 species of mammals and 570 species of birds. Numerous other antelopes can be found, including Thomson’s and Grant’s gazelles, impalas, elands, duikers and Coke’s hartebeest. The Mara is home to the “Big Five” (lion, leopard, African elephant, African buffalo, and Black Rhinoceros). Large herds of zebra are found through the conservancy. The plains are also home to the distinctive Masai giraffe. The large Roan antelope and the nocturnal bat-eared fox, rarely present elsewhere in Kenya, can be seen within the reserve borders. The climate of the region is mainly warm and dry; with hot days and cool evenings. The rainy season is in April-May and November. The dry season occurs from July to October
Energy management The lodge depends on two main sources of power, solar energy and diesel generators. There are three (3) generators with power output of 275 KvA. Solar energy is used for water heating at the drivers’ quarters whereas the generators are used for guest water heating, lighting and running refrigerators. The generator power is connected to power inverters and rationed to enhance energy conservation. Energy consumption is metered and monitored through recording on a daily basis. Results are used to establish ‘Monthly utility reports’ discussed at management levels in order to lower consumption. Energy saving bulbs and light emitting diodes are installed throughout the facility for energy conservation. Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) is used for cooking. The lodge has a policy where the guests are briefed and encouraged on energy conservation.
Environmental management The lodge is guided by a clear corporate environmental statement that is committed to protecting the environment, monitoring the interests of the local population, practicing a responsible attitude towards resource use and conservation of protected areas. Mara Serena Lodge has an Environmental Management System (EMS) with management plans for water, energy and waste. The lodge has undertaken its annual self-Environmental Audit (EA) as required by EMCA 1999 (Environmental Management and Co-ordination Act).
Chemical use The lodge uses biodegradable bathroom amenities such bathing soaps and shampoos supplied by Eco-Boutique limited. Diversy chemicals and Ecolab are used for washing in the laundry section. Swimming pool chemicals are supplied by Arch chemicals. (Recording is done to monitor chlorine consumption and use of algaecide). Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for the chemicals are available. Fuel (Diesel) is stored in an underground tank of 15,000litres fixed with a fuelling pump. Gas is bought in bulk (2 tonne tanks) and its consumption is monitored. The cylinder pressure gauge and PSI has been checked and serviced for safety purposes. The storage area is fenced and fixed with precautionary signage.
Conservation Criteria
Community Criteria
Solid waste management Waste separation is done at source, the bins are clearly labelled. Further sorting is also done at the waste management centre before disposal via Nairobi central stores to recycling companies. Organic waste is composted in a well-sealed compost pit. The Lodge uses solar rechargeable torch batteries as a move to reduce batteries waste. Water for staff is served in 18litre water dispensers aimed at plastic waste reduction. Medical waste such as Sharps is taken to Kilgoris District Hospital for incineration.
Water management Water for the lodge is pumped from a borehole and stored in tanks with an average capacity of 135,000 litres. It is treated through sedimentation, filtration and chlorination before supply to all consumer points. The water is metered and consumption monitored at the main outlet. The facility has a rapid maintenance team to attend to any water leakage. The lodge has a water permit for the borehole water extraction.
The facility has “towel talks” in the guest rooms encouraging visitors on the re-use of towels, to promote water conservation. Visual signage is fixed in areas such as kitchen, used to sensitize staff on water conservation. The guest room toilets have dual water cistern system to conserve on water consumed per flush. Low shower faucets are fixed in the lodge for water use efficiency. Laundry machines are operated at their optimum weight to conserve on water and energy.
Visitor communication & education Guests are briefed upon arrival on the environmental values and operations of the lodge. On a daily basis, guests are taken through evening slide shows aimed at creating awareness. The slide shows cover conservation initiatives within Mara conservancy.
Pollution The generator is insulated and fixed with a muffler – sound reducing device. An oil interceptor has been installed at the generator section to contain spillage. The lodge paths lights are fixed with a cover reduce on light pollution. The kitchen is properly ventilated, fixed with a kitchen hub. This is aimed at enhancing the working conditions of the staff.
Environmental conservation Mara Serena blends with the natural surroundings. Its architectural design resembles the Masai Manyatta. The guest rooms are endowed with Masai décor (the décor is bought from the locals). The rooms are also designed to make maximum use of natural lighting during the day. The Lodge distributes tree seedlings – indigenous – and conducts tree planting with local schools; these include Emurototo and Esokon primary schools. The seedlings are obtained from the facility tree nursery which has approximately 5000 seedlings which are sourced from Gilgil. The lodge partners with Mara conservancy rangers on emergency responses, and conservancy (wildlife) security. The facility driver guides uphold the conservancy code of conduct. Mara Serena is a partner in the Mara Predator Project – an initiative to build an identification database of lions and cheetahs in and around the conservancies north of the Masai Mara National Reserve through tracking individuals, effective conservation techniques. The initiative is implemented through involvement of the facility guides and visitors in identification of the lions and cheetahs.
In addition, wildlife researchers are given opportunities occasionally to give talks to guests on their research undertakings. The lodge has a naturalist who conducts nature walks, environmental lectures and slide shows daily for guests, in an effort to raise awareness. Conservancy rangers and management are housed at Serena Mara Lodge which provides their energy and water needs, and occasionally receive logistical support.
Waste water management Effluent from the kitchen flows through a grease trap before joining the sewer system. The grease trap is cleaned daily. Grey effluent from the laundry, guest tents and staff quarters flows into septic tanks for solid waste sedimentation. EM1 bio-enzymes are added to enhance sludge digestion. The effluent later flows into soak pits via radial arms. NEMA sampling points are indicated within the system. Water effluent tests are conducted regularly and the facility issued with an effluent discharge license by NEMA.
Swimming pool water is cleaned via vacuum cleaning and backwash systems. PH levels are checked twice a day. Effluent from backwash is managed through a soak away.Black effluent within the facility is managed through systems that comprises of sewer line, man holes, and septic tanks and soak pits. The effluent drains in a septic tank for sludge sedimentation facilitated by bio-enzymes.
Purchasing and supplies The lodge purchases its vegetables and fruits packed in crates. Dry goods are bought in bulk to reduce on packaging. Meat is packed in re-usable cold boxes.
Employment and remuneration/staff welfare Employees have a staff welfare committee which meets on monthly basis. It is ascribed to the workers union and, handles and addresses staff issues.
Staff education, communication and awareness training There are notice boards for staff communication within the facility. Emails and memos are also used to facilitate communication. The staff is sensitized and briefed during departmental meetings. Various (visual) sensitization signs are used enhance communication
Cultural preservation and promotion/protection of local sites Serena Mara facilitates guests’ village visits at a fee of 70 USD per visitor of which 20 USD goes to the community. The fee is paid directly at the lodge and duplicate voucher issued, one copy is filed and the other issued at the village. The fee is paid to the locals on monthly basis. Visitors experience includes purchase of local curios, cultural talks and entertainment dances. The lodge conducts Maasai Cultural talks to the visitors on every Saturday of the week.
Benefits to local community/community empowerment The lodge purchases from the local community where feasible, this include goat meat for staff use. Vegetables and fruits are purchased from a local supplier at least once a week. Mara Serena launched a community library in November 2015 and supplied story books to be used by children from the local Isokon village- through an initiative by Serena Hotels dubbed “Reading for Children”. The facility supplies newspapers to the library as well. Through partnerships with willing guests, Serena Hotel chain has also embarked on a solar lamp project beginning with Serena Mara. Solar lamps are provided to primary school going children (standard 7&8) to use for their study needs at home. The project is being rolled out to other areas where the hotel chain operates. Other achievements through partnership with willing donors include; Support to Esokon Primary School through donations such clothes, food and, learning materials including books and pens and providing mobile health services to the locals. Approximately 60% of the employees are hired from Narok County and staff welfare benefits include food, uniform, entertainment centre, transport and accommodation.
Cultural Criteria
Health and safety The lodge has a health and safety committee to spearhead health and safety issues within the facility. Additionally, there is a fire team trained on firefighting and first aiders in the distributed in all departments. A total of 51 employees are trained on first aid and fire-fighting skills. In addition, a health and safety audit has been carried out. The Lodge has a clinic within the premises and a 24 hrs clinical officer on duty to attend to the staff and guests. The clinic is well equipped with medical equipment including, emergency nebulizers, defibrillators, and artificial oxygen. First aid kits are also available in the main departments such as the kitchen. The lodge has an established evacuation plan, and the guest rooms are fixed with telephones for emergency response. Charter air services can be provided for emergency response. Medical examination is conducted to all food handlers within the facility in every six (6) months. Inspection has been conducted by public health inspectors under the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation and the lodge issued with a Health Inspection License
Firefighting equipment including, fire extinguishers, fire blankets, are duly serviced and strategically placed within the facility. Sand buckets are also used to complement the fire extinguishers. The lodge provides PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) including boots, overall, gloves to the staff. Fire exits, fire panic alarms and assembly points are properly marked and displayed within the facility. The guest rooms are fixed with a fire evacuation procedure and facility map to the nearest fire assembly points. Precautionary and safety signage are well fixed in areas such as the gas storage, the swimming pool and fuel pumping station. Proper housekeeping (clean, tidy and orderly arranged) was noted in the food and dry goods store.
Child labor, abuse and human rights the facility has a Human Resource policy that guides against employment of minors. Minimum employment age is years.
Business Practises Criteria
Entry Date 9th March 2018

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