2022 ECOWARRIOR AWARD WINNERS- CHANGEMAKER SERIES Third Feature

PART 3 0F 6

BEST ACCOMMODATION FACILITY IN RESPONDING TO COVID-19 IMPACTS

Under the category that sought to highlight some of the innovative and creative ways that accommodation facilities used to keep afloat during the pandemic, the Governors’ Camp Collection emerged as a winner. They have demonstrated their intentional efforts in supporting communities and conservation despite the tough situation brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The tourism industry was severely affected by the global pandemic that slowed down businesses, restricted movement for approximately 2 to 3 years. All parts of tourism’s vast value chain were affected. The effect could be felt across economies, livelihoods, public services, and opportunities on all continents.

How then was the Governors’ Camp collection able to stay afloat through the difficulties?
Some of their properties were inevitably closed. A few remained open due to their proximity to Nairobi which is the capital city, and those run by green energy which is more cost effective than those that use non-renewable energy sources. These include the Little Governors’ Camp, Governors’ Mugie House and Loldia House.

Some of the initiatives that helped them stay afloat are;
– The travel products and services were diversified and highly discounted
– The domestic market was their primary target
– The Collection received support from residents who have interacted with them before as well
– Quarantine and hygiene measures were put in place by their in-camp doctor, Dr. James, and co-founder Dr. Grammaticas. This facilitated clean and hygienic standards for both the guests and staff.
During this period, all staff were retained although salary cuts were made across human resources.

The longest-running tented safari camp property in Maasai Mara has core pillars that help them achieve their vision, among them a Pioneering Spirit and Community. The collection takes into account the importance of local communities as key tourism stakeholders.
The camp dedicates time, energy and resources to support local communities in the following ways;

Figure 1: Offloading food items for distribution.

– Large-scale food drives: They supplied food items to vulnerable communities in 2 food drives. Approximately 163,889 kgs of food were distributed to about 36,000 people.

 

 

Figure 2: The donated desktop computers at TAFA Community Centre

 

 

 

School set up: They built two new dormitories at Enkereri School in the Mara which now allows 160 children to board.

They have also constructed Four classroom blocks (with 17 classes)
– Their continuous support is seen as they provide stationery items to the schools periodically.
– They have partnered with the TAFA Community Center for disadvantaged children in Naivasha. They regularly support their events as well as provide educational trips for the kids. They have also donated desktop computers.

– As part of the school set-up program, the governors’ camp has also constructed, a library, accommodation facility for 6 teachers, a dining hall and pit latrines at Mara Rianda Primary School.
– Governors Camp goes ahead to provide scholarships for exceptional students through secondary education whose families would otherwise not be able to afford for them to complete their schooling.

Conservation of the environment and wildlife. 

Figure 3; In camp reforestation

– They set up a new wildlife club at Mara Rianda School, Masai Mara to encourage conservation actions and increase awareness.
– They boosted their tree-planting efforts.

Figure 4; Releasing a trapped snake that was identified during L. Naivasha clean up exercise

– They have removed an extensive length of the invasive weed Datura stramonium in the Mara.
– Their teams regularly head out to remove ghost nets from Lake Naivasha, and on one occasion they were able to save the life of an entangled African rock python

– They initiated a seed balling program from Governors’ Balloon Safaris- and have scattered over 25kg of indigenous African wild olive seeds in an attempt to protect the riverine forest habitat.

Figure 5; Feeding of a recovering bird

 

They support the work of the Kenya Bird of Prey Trust, the Mara-Meru Cheetah Program, the Mara Predator Conservation Program, The Mara Elephant Project, The Mara Raptor Project, Eburru Rafiki, The Rhino Ark/Calgary Zoo Mountain Forest Partnership, The Lake Naivasha Riparian Association, The Grevy’s Zebra Trust and Mugie Conservancy.

 

They communicate and share their community and conservation efforts across their digital platforms.
Connect with them on social media platforms;

Instagram

Twitter

Facebook

YouTube

The Governors’ Little Governors’ and Il Moran Governors’ Camps are in the Ecorating Certification scheme.
They were accorded the Condé Nast Travelers Choice Award 2022.
They were well represented at the Eco Warrior 2022 award ceremony when they received their award trophy, see here;
https://youtu.be/oo3ACDaLZ0A 

 

The Best Accommodation Facility: Responding to Covid 19 Impacts category was sponsored by the GreenTour Kenya Project.

 

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