Serena Mountain Lodge

Name of the facilitySerena Mountain Lodge
Certification AchievedSilver
Year opened1971
Tourism regionCentral
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Telephone/Mobile(+254) 733 203078 or (+254) 734 135352
Email[email protected]
Facility NotesSerena Mountain Lodge is situated in Mount Kenya National Park about 193 kilometres from Nairobi. The Lodge is located on Global Positioning System (GPS) Coordinates, Latitude: Latitude: -0.31682 and Longitude: Longitude: 37.1523.
The lodge is released from Mount Kenya National Park which is a mountainous rain forest with dense shrubs; it’s one of Kenya’s water towers and the largest forest reserve in Kenya with a diverse range of flora and fauna. Common wildlife in the National Park include: elephants, leopards, hyenas, buffaloes and giant forest hogs. The soils are loamy, fertile and well drained making the area ideal for agriculture.
Rainfall falls throughout the year, with the peaks in April, May and October. Dry seasons occur in January, February and August. The forest faces severe threats from deforestation, illegal logging, human encroachment and human wildlife conflicts. It has forty two guest tents with a bed capacity of 80 visitors and a total work force of 65 employees.
Energy managementSerena Mountain Lodge is connected to the Kenya Power grid as the main source of energy. The facility has also invested back-up Teksan generators with power output of 200 KvA and 275 KvA. The energy is used for lighting, water heating, running the laundry machines and refrigerators throughout the premises. Power is metered to monitor energy consumption. In addition generator fuel consumption is closely monitored. Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) is used for guest and staff cooking.
The staff is sensitized on energy conservation through departmental briefings whereas visitors are sensitized on arrival briefings. Visual sensitization signage e.g. ‘turn off lights’ is also fixed in strategic areas. The facility runs on LED (Light Emitting Diodes) and energy saving bulbs for lighting.
Environmental managementSerena Mountain Lodge is guided by its general policy which lays emphasis on universal principles of social, economic and environmental sustainability. Further it is guided by its mission to provide safe, comfortable and hospitable services to clients. This is envisioned by need to develop, own and manage a community based business that provides mutual respect and benefits to the local people.
The camp has an environmental management system illustrated through clearly spelt out operational guidelines on general management , environmental management, purchasing, resources use including water, energy and waste, community involvement, guests integration and staff development
Chemical useGas is stored in two cylinders weighing 2tonnes. The storage area is located on a safe distance, and the section is clearly fixed with precautionary signage. The cylinder pressure gauge and PSI has been checked and serviced for safety purposes. The lodge issues biodegradable bathing soaps to the guests for use in the guest rooms. Soaps are obtained from clique limited. The staff handling chemicals has been trained and sensitized on proper handling. Diesel is stored in three (3) tanks with a capacity of 200 liters each. The storage area is well contained and secured to prevent spillage.
Conservation Criteria
Community Criteria
Solid waste managementWaste separation at the facility is conducted at source for organics, plastics, glass and metallic tins and the bins are labelled. Additionally, further sorting is done at the waste management centre. The waste is later put in a waste collection centre for further segregation before disposal. Organic waste is composted in a well-sealed pit. Drinking water within the staff quarters is served using water dispensers which has significantly reduced generation of plastic waste. Used oil from generators servicing is put in 200 litre reservoirs for disposal through the maintenance company
Water managementMain source of water for the Serena Mountain Lodge is obtained from nearby River Ngunia. The water is pumped, treated through chlorination and stored in reservoirs with a total capacity of 105,000 litres. Later it is pumped in overhead tanks of 30,000 litres for distribution via gravity force to entire premises. Staff is sensitized on water usage during brief meetings and guests during arrival briefings. Guests are also encouraged and sensitized through rooms’ cards – ‘towel talks’ to re-use their towels. Visual water saving sensitization signage is fixed within the main water user points such as kitchen and laundry.
Visitor communication & educationSerena Mountain Lodge has a designated information section within the lounge area. The section has information about Mt Kenya forest, ecosystem, and Kikuyu culture. Magazines on mammals and birds are also available. The guest rooms are equipped with folders that contain comprehensive information on the surrounding environment and facility operations. Guests are further briefed upon arrival on the values of the lodge, its operations and unique activities within the region.
PollutionLow light emitting paraffin Lanterns are used to light the pathways at night which greatly reduces light pollution. Generator operation hours are closely monitored for servicing purposes. The room is insulated and a muffler system fixed on the generator system to reduce on sound pollution. The guest kitchen is fixed with a hood extractor system for ventilation purposes.
Environmental conservationSerena Mountain Lodge has established a tree planting initiative through their corporate social responsibility program with the local community aimed at improving their standards and enhancing environmental conservation. Other stakeholders involved include KWS, and KFS. The Lodge has a tree nursery with approximately 25,000 seedlings both indigenous and exotic species. The trees are used for re-afforestation within the lodge, neighbouring community and nearby Hombe forest.
The facility runs community based tree planting in Hombe Forest, Mount Kenya region. To date more than 200,000 seedlings have been planted since its inception in the year 2001 (illustrated below). Tree seedlings from the nursery are offered free of charge to the local communities, schools and individuals. Some of the schools involved in the initiative include Gathirimu Secondary, Ngurio and Kiamaruru Secondary. Approximately 24,000 seedlings were planted in 2016.
Waste water managementGrey water from the guest rooms and staff quarters is managed through a septic tank system for sludge digestion before draining into a soak pit fixed with radial arms. Grey water from the guest Kitchen flows through a fitted grease trap to remove excess fats and oil before draining into a septic tank and later ends up in soak pit.
Black water from the guest rooms, staff quarters, and public areas is collected in septic tanks for sludge digestion. The effluent later flows into an underground waste water treatment system fixed with radial arms. The system is fixed with access maintenance manholes. The Lodge also conducts regular effluent tests
Purchasing and suppliesThe facility purchases its products in bulk to reduce on packaging; fruits and vegetables are packed in re-usable crates.
Employment and remuneration/staff welfareThe facility has a staff welfare committee that meets regularly to discuss employees’ welfare and arising issues. Further, the facility holds weekly departmental meetings and daily briefs for staff sensitization
Staff education, communication and awareness trainingThe lodge has notice boards fitted in strategic sections within the premise. The notice board are used for facilitating communication.
Cultural preservation and promotion/protection of local sitesThe lodge Naturalist offers lectures on; natural surroundings – environment, kikuyu culture and wildlife. The facility encourages its clients to uptake activities offered within the Mountain Park. These include nature walks, walking safaris and visiting caves.
Benefits to local community/community empowermentSerena Mountain Lodge purchases from the local community where possible. At least 70% of all vegetables and fruits are obtained from the local suppliers. Meat for staff meals and eggs are also obtained locally. More than 75% of the permanent employees are from the local Kikuyu community. Additionally, all casual labour is sourced from the local community. The facility supports the Local Community Forest Association by purchasing seedlings. For the past 5years the facility has bought a total of 20,000 seedlings at a cost of Kshs.200, 000. Periodically, the lodge supports two orphanage children home; KENWA and Karatina Children’s home. Support is given through food donations, utensils, school bags and bedding.
Cultural Criteria
Health and safetyThe lodge has conducted a Health and Safety Audit in compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Act, 2007. Latest conducted in February 2017. Renewal of registration of workplace certificate is in progress. Health Inspection has been conducted by public health inspectors under the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation. The facility has been issued with a Health clearance Certificate. Dated February 2017.
The facility has fully equipped first aid kits in the major departments. In addition is a full time clinical officer on duty. Critical medical emergencies are referred to Nanyuki Cottage hospital. Firefighting equipment which includes fire extinguishers, fire horse rails, kitchen fire blankets are serviced and strategically placed within the facility. The facility has a fire evacuation plan and a map of the distribution of the fire equipment, exits and fire assembly points. Food handlers have undergone medical tests in compliance with Food, Drugs, and Chemical substances Act. Cap 254 – latest in February 2017. The facility has fully equipped first aid kits in the major departments. In addition is a full time clinical officer on duty. Critical medical emergencies are referred to Nanyuki Cottage hospital.
Child labor, abuse and human rightsThe facility adheres to the legal employment age.
Business Practises Criteria
Entry Date12th March 2018
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