You can trust responsibletravel.com reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays. In addition, we don't run these holidays ourselves - our only interest is giving you the best independent advice.
We share the view that some tourism in Kenya is essential for the survival of the areas our clients visit. It provides much needed income to sustain communities and wildlife habitats. It is imperative however that it is channeled to safaris and properties that make a genuine difference. In our view this is hard to define so we personally visit every property on our itineraries and complete a sustainable questionnaire and only those that reach our minimum standard get representation. As a result you can be assured the safaris we sell and lodges we list are at the forefront of sustainable tourism.
From a community perspective and in varying degrees (please ask to see results for specific lodges) each: employs locally throughout the operation from senior management and guides through to front of house, drivers, cooks and housekeeping; operates a Trust that benefits the local community; charges a conservation fee which goes to the trust; tries to preserve local cultures; supports the development of education within the community; supports the development of health within the community and helps and assists the local community to implement sustainable ways to manage their land and their resources.
From an environmental perspective and in varying degrees each lodge is; active in the preservation of the local wilderness; has not purchased land from a community and/or instigated the subdivision of land previously owned by a community; is active in the preservation of wildlife; is active in encouraging the local population to become involved in the conservation of wildlife through self-interest schemes; has measured its environmental footprint for water usage, crops rain water and recycles its water; has measured its environmental footprint for waste and has sought to reduce it; ensures solid waste and sewage is disposed of in a way that doesn’t damage the environment; has measured its environmental footprint for electricity usage and has sought to reduce it; uses renewable energy to cook its food, heat its water and produce its electricity; used sustainable and traditional building materials wherever possible and ensured the construction of the property had a minimal impact on the natural surroundings and is in keeping with the local environment.
Below are some specific details about the lodges on this itinerary:
Shompole - As community based conservation initiative, Shompole’s raison d’être is to acknowledge the value of conserving wildlife and the environment and ensure the actual community on the ground is able to benefit from their sustainable use. Understands the need to have an internationally successful product to achieve this goal.
Sasaab - The Sasaab Community and Education Trust has been established to work with the registered community based organisation (The WGCC) that deals with all developmental issues on the ranch in terms of conservation, tourism and the community. Its stated aim is to educate the local community to understand the benefits of living harmoniously with the surrounding wildlife as it believes conservation can never be truly successful without the support of the people whose livelihoods depend on the habitat that is trying to be conserved. Income is generated for this project through the kind donation of funds from friends, guests and other visitors to Sasaab Lodge.
Ol Seki Mara Camp - has been accredited a Silver Award by the Ecotourism Society of Kenya, for upholding their ecological standards and for their commitment to the community nearby.
Msambweni House - At the starting point but developing a structure and has adopted a proactive approach by employing local staff (constitute 80%) sourcing locally where possible, sponsoring doctors and organizing a student sponsorship programme.