Mara Sopa Lodge

Name of the facilityMara Sopa Lodge
Certification AchievedBronze
Year opened1986
Tourism regionMasai Mara/South Rift
AddressP O Box 72630, 00200 Nairobi, Kenya
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Telephone/Mobile+254 722 206 328 / 329
Email[email protected]
Facility NotesMara Sopa Lodge is located within the Masai Mara National Reserve which covers approximately 1,510 km2 under the management of Narok County. The camp is specifically located on Global Positioning System (GPS) Coordinates, Latitude -1.592576 (1°35′33.275″S) || Longitude 35.389645 (35°23′22.722″E).It was opened in 1986.It has 8 tents, 1 luxury guest house with a bed capacity of 230 visitors and a total work force of 172 employees.
The Masai Mara National Reserve covers approximately 1,510 km2 under the management of Narok County. The Masai Mara National Reserve has about 95 species of mammals and 570 species of birds recorded. Examples of wildlife found within the area are wildebeests, Thomson’s gazelles, Topi, elands, zebras, lions and hyenas. The Mara is also home to the “Big Five” (lion, leopard, African elephant, African buffalo, and Black Rhinoceros
Energy managementMara Sopa Lodge is mainly powered by generators. There are four (4) generators with power output of 233 KvA, 250 KvA, 400 KvA and 250 KvA respectively. They provide power for lighting, refrigeration, water heating and running electrical equipment. The generators run for approximately 14 hours each day at designated times. Power rationing is done at the lodge to reduce power consumption. Fuel consumption for the generators is monitored regularly and records kept. The lodge uses kuni boilers from Bottle Solar for heating water.
These boilers are fuelled using dead wood collected within the vicinity or off-cuts. Energy saving bulbs are installed throughout for energy conservation. Liquefied Petroleum gas (LPG) is used for guests cooking while fuel wood is used for staff cooking. The Firewood is obtained from off cuts and dead wood. The lodge maximizes on natural lighting through the use of Translucent roofing in the areas such as the kitchen, restaurant and stores. Laundry is air dried is save energy that could have been used on drying.
Environmental managementThe lodge has undertaken an annual Environmental Audit (EA) as required by EMCA 1999 (Environmental Management and Co-ordination Act. Ref No. NEMA/RVP/EA/0679
Chemical useBathroom amenities for guests such as bathing soaps and shower products are supplied by Clique Limited. Swimming pool chemicals are supplied by Henkel Limited and Limited. The lodge uses Neetex detergents for laundry. MSDS are available for the chemicals used in the lodge. Swimming pool chemicals consumption records are properly kept to monitor chemical use.
Conservation Criteria
Community Criteria
Solid waste managementPlastics, metallic waste (tins), glass (waste bottles) are put in a waste management area where there is further segregation before disposal via the Sopa Lodges head office. Organic waste is composted in a secured pit.
Water managementThe main source of water for the lodge is drawn from Oloolaimutia Spring. The water is pumped, chlorinated and stored in two (2) reservoirs with a total capacity of 130,000 liters and supplied through gravity to the entire premises. The water is metered and consumption monitored at the main outlet. Laundry machines are operated at their optimum weight to conserve on water and energy. Guests are encouraged to ‘re-use their towels’ through room information folders aimed at water conservation and reduced use of laundry chemicals. Guest showers are fitted with low-filter shower heads to minimize water consumption
Visitor communication & educationVisitors are briefed upon arrival on the lodge’s operations and environmental values. The guest tents are equipped with room information folders to brief the visitors on environmental conservation and operations of Mara Sopa Lodge. The lodge conducts nature talks for the guest in the evening (every two nights)
PollutionThe lodge path-lights are fixed with low light emitting bulbs to reduce on light pollution.
Environmental conservationMara Sopa lodge conducts weekly environmental clean ups. The lodge is involved tree planting to rehabilitate areas within its environs. In partnership with the Meru-Mara Cheetah project, the lodge is involved in species monitoring, sensitization and awareness creation especially to school children.
Waste water managementThe facility swimming pool is cleaned via sieving, backwash and vacuum cleaning. Records are kept on a daily basis. Effluent from the guest kitchen flows through a grease trap before draining into the soak pits. Black and grey water within the facility is managed through septic tanks. The lodge has a total of 11 septic tanks each with 3 chambers. Effluent from the septic tanks then flow into soak pits. Effluent exhausting is done twice a year and disposed via the Narok County Council. The lodge conducts quarterly effluent sample tests and has a valid Effluent Discharge License from NEMA.
Purchasing and suppliesVegetables and fruits are packed in reusable crates while meat and dairy products are stored in freezers. Where possible dry goods are bought in bulk to reduce on the packaging. Some of the vegetables and fruits are picked from the lodge’s garden.
Employment and remuneration/staff welfareEmployees have a staff welfare committee which handles and addresses staff issues.
Staff education, communication and awareness trainingNotice boards are used to facilitate communication to the staff. Staff have been trained on basic first Aid, firefighting skills and use of firefighting equipment.
Cultural preservation and promotion/protection of local sitesThe artwork and décor within the lodge depict and promote the local Masai Culture. The lodge conducts village visits for the guests to sample the authentic local culture. The lodge also conducts bush dinners in actual manyattas to showcase the local culture of the people. Masai cultural dances and talks are held at the lodge every other evening.
Benefits to local community/community empowermentThe lodge allows the locals to sell their curios al the lodge. Mara Sopa pays lease fees to land owners. Bed-night fees are also paid (Ksh. 200 per guest per night) on monthly basis. The lodge sponsors one teacher at the Ololaimutia Primary School, and one at Siana Primary school. Mara Sopa lodge donates water to the communities living near the lodge. The local communities benefit from purchases made by the lodge of fruits, vegetables and meat for the staff. The locals can also be treated at the lodge’s clinic.
Cultural Criteria
Health and safetyFirefighting equipment including, fire extinguishers, fire electric alarm, fire blanket, are serviced (servicing conducted on Dec 2016 by Trojan Limited) and strategically placed within the facility. Mara Sopa lodge has conducted a fire audit in compliance with Factories and other places of work (Fire Risk Reduction) Rules 2007The lodge has conducted a Health and Safety Audit in compliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Act, 2007
Fire assembly points and fire alarm are clearly marked and respectively installed. First aid kits are available within the lodge. Fire emergency evacuation procedures are well documented in the guest tents and the nearest fire assembly points noted. Mara Sopa has a clinic within the premises and a 24 hrs. Clinical officer to attend to the staff and guests. Medical emergencies are referred to Narok or Nairobi. Emergency air evacuations can be provided. Mara Sopa lodge has a health and safety committee for the staff. Medical check-ups have been conducted for all kitchen staff (food and beverage handlers).
Child labor, abuse and human rightsThe facility does not employ under age people
Business Practises Criteria
Entry Date12th March 2018

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