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Ol Seki Hemingways Mara Camp
Eco-rating Scheme Award: Silver

Facilty typeSemi Permanent Tented Camp
Year Opened2005
Tourism RegionMaasai Mara
ProvinceRift Valley
Location Notes

Ol Seki Hemingways Mara is located in Naboisho Conservancy within the Mara ecosystem.


Ol Seki Hemingways Mara is located in Naboisho Conservancy within the Mara ecosystem. The camp was established in 2005 and is currently operated by Hemingways Limited. It is uniquely built and blends in with the local environment. The facility consists of 10 double tents with a bed capacity of 20 guests and a total work force of 30 employees for its operations. 

The Mara Naboisho Conservancy is a community conservation area measuring approximately 50,000 acres in size. Naboisho is a Maa word that means "coming together". The Conservancy was established in the year 2010 when about 500 local individual Maasai landowners agreed to lease their land for 15 years to tourism investors. The aim was to conserve the land and wildlife, whilst simultaneously creating wealth for the landowners through tourism enterprises. The Conservancy is an integral part of the Mara-Serengeti ecosystem, and provides critical wildlife dispersal area for migratory wildlife, including the wildebeest. The Mara portion of the larger Mara – Serengeti ecosystem supports approximately 92 species of mammals and about 400 species of local birds. It is the largest high altitude grassland in East Africa and hosts the largest population of the migratory Caspian Plover. The conservancy supports wildlife conservation through undertaking applied research studies to improve human-wildlife interactions. There are on-going study programs on lions, elephants and cheetahs.

Sustainable tourism measures

Environmental Criteria

Environmental management

Ol Seki Hemingways has an environmental policy which outlines their commitment to conservation, preserving and protecting the local environment and promoting proper water and energy resource use. In addition it conducts an annual self-environmental audit has been conducted as required by the Environmental (Impact Assessment and Audit) Regulations, 2003.

Environmental conservation

The camp is located within the Naboisho Conservancy and plays a significant role in the conservancy operations by paying monthly conservancy lease, and bed night fees. The facility conducts low environmental impact activities such as nature and game walks, bird watching and village visits with a qualified camp guide for its visitors. The activities are aimed at sensitizing the visitors on the surroundings.

The Camp’s architectural design blends well with the local surrounding. The guest beige canvas tents are raised on low impact platforms.  Also, footpaths are demarcated using gravel stones. The natural vegetation is relatively undisturbed. The facility is unfenced thus allowing free movement of wildlife

Waste Management

Waste water management

Effluent from the laundry, guest rooms and staff quarters is managed through soak pits.  Black water from the guest tents and staff quarters is managed through septic tanks.  EM1 (Effective Microorganisms) is added to enhance sludge digestion.

Effluent tests have been conducted in compliance with Environmental Management and Coordination (Water Quality) Regulations of 2006.  

Solid waste management

Waste separation is conducted at source through clearly labeled bins. Organic waste composted while inorganic waste is put at a waste collection centre for further segregation before disposal through Nairobi to recycling companies.

The camp has an innovative initiative for recycling glass wine bottles which are converted to drinking glasses.


The pathways are lit with low wattage bulbs at night to reduce on light pollution.

Resource Management

Energy management

The camp’s main source of power is provided by two (2) generators with power out of 40KvA each.  They provide power for lighting and running electrical appliances.  Power rationing is conducted for at least eight hours daily for energy conservation. Generator fuel consumption is recorded daily to monitor usage. Energy saving bulbs and Light emitting diodes (LEDs) are used throughout camp to enhance energy conservation.

Liquefied Petroleum gas (LPG) is used for guests and staff cooking. The camp uses briquettes for the boilers used for water heating in the guest tents.

Guests and staff are sensitized on energy conservation such as switching off unnecessary lights through briefings. 

Water management

The main source of water for the camp is obtained from a borehole. It is treated and stored in reservoirs with a total capacity of 12,000 litres and distributed via gravity to the entire premises.

For efficient water use low shower filter heads are installed for the guest tent showers and guests are encouraged to conserve water through ‘towel talks’ in the tents. The guest toilets are fixed with water efficient dual toilet cisterns.

Visitors are sensitized on water conservation through room information folders and staff through sensitization.

Purchasing and Supplies

Environmental consideration

Fruits and Vegetables are packed in reusable crates while meat and dairy products are stored in freezers. Dry goods are bought in bulk where possible to reduce on packaging material.

Chemical Use

Biodegradable bathing soaps, shampoos and laundry soaps are used within the camp.

Fuel (Diesel) is stored in a 5,000 litre reservoir and the storage area well enclosed.

Health and Safety

Environmental health and Safety

Ol Seki Hemingways has a detailed and clearly communicated Health and Safety Policy and manual in place which acts as a comprehensive guide on safety procedures at the facility. In addition, the facility has a health and safety Committee that spearheads environmental, health and safety issues.

The camp has undergone Health Inspection and medical check- ups (every six months) and issued with a Health Inspection Certificate and food and beverage handlers cleared. The camp subscribes to Flying Doctors services and charter air services can be provided for emergency response.  Medical check-up for staff is referred to Nkoilale community health centre. There is a doctor on call for emergency response.

The camp has an emergency and fire evacuation plan with clear spelt out procedures on health care and security emergency contacts placed in all guest tents. Fire-fighting skills training for the staff and fire drills conducted.

Occupational health and safety

The facility provides protective gear / PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) such as boots, uniform, gloves, apron to the staff.

A fire assembly point and a fire alarm are fixed. In addition, an emergency procedure/plan for the facility showing nearest fire assembly point is available. 

Social Cultural Criteria

Training and education

Staff training is conducted at Hemingways to the staff at least once every year

Benefits to staff and the local community

The camp provides employment opportunities to the locals- all the casuals are hired from the local community. About 75% of the permanent employees are hired locally. In addition, purchases such as staff meat are bought locally where possible.

Ol Seki Hemingways pays conservancy, lease and bed night fees to Naboisho conservancy and land owners respectively. As at July 2015, a total of KES. 11,980,080 were paid. A Land owner airstrip fee is paid amounting to Kshs 115,763.00 per year

The camp also contributes to Naboisho Trust which runs all the conservancy community projects on health and education.  It further supports Koiyaki Guiding School by providing attachment opportunities to Hemingways properties.

Cultural preservation

On special occasions such as bush dinners, the camp engages the staff to entertain guests on traditional dances and cultural performances. The staff is provided with extra allowance for it.  Ol Seki Hemingways Camp also promotes guest visits to the local village as a cultural experience. The camp pays the village Kshs 1500.00 per visit and encourages the purchase of curios from the village. 

The local camp guides and room stewards also interact with guests concerning local Masai culture, values and traditions. 

Visitor communication and education

Visitors are briefed upon arrival on the camp’s operations and environmental values. The guest tents are equipped with detailed room information folders to brief the visitors on environmental conservation, Naboisho Conservancy, the Masai community and operations of the camp. The Camp also has an extensive resource centre and library also open to visitors.

Staff communication and education and other recognition

The staff is sensitized and briefed during departmental/daily briefing meetings.


Other Sustainable Tourism Recognition


Contact Details
Postal AddressP.O. Box 146 00502, Nairobi
Telephone+254 718 669856
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