Name of the facilityLake Elmenteita Serena Camp
Certification AchievedGold
Year opened2011
Tourism regionNorth Rift
CountyNakuru
AddressP.O. Box 46302-00100 Nairobi GPO, Kenya
Map It
Telephone/Mobile+(254) 709998400
EmailEmail hidden; Javascript is required.
Websiteserenahotels.com
Facility Notes

Lake Elmenteita Serena Camp is located in Soysambu Conservancy approximately 120 kilometres from Nairobi and 25 Kilometres from Nakuru. The camp’s uniqueness is attributed to its location on the shores of Lake Elmentaita.
The camp is specifically situated on Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates, Latitude 00024’18’’South and Longitude 36’ 14’ 27’’ East. The camp was established in 2011 owned and managed by Serena Hotels. It has 25 luxury tents with a maximum capacity of 33 beds. It has employed a total workforce of 47 employees.

The camp’s uniqueness can be attributed to Soysambu Conservancy and Lake Elmenteita. The conservancy occupies 48,000 acres of diverse ecological significance. It consists of Lake Elmenteita to the east, a dormant volcanic mountain called Ol Doinyo Eburru to the south and Menengai Crater to the north. ‘Soysambu’ is a Masai word which means “the place of striated rock”.
Lake Elmenteita is a shallow alkaline lake that was designated as an Important Bird Area (IBA) in 1999. The lake was profiled as a RAMSAR site in 2005 - a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention (1971) for providing habitat to a myriad of migratory birds and being a significant breeding site for the Great White Pelican. 2011 Lake Elmenteita was designated a World Heritage Site by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Environmental management

The camp is guided by an environmental policy in which it recognises its responsibility to the environment beyond legal and regulatory requirements. It aims to reduce its environmental impact, and continually improve its environmental performance, as an integral part of its business strategy, and operating methods with regular review points. The camp conducts an annual self-Environmental Audit (EA) as required by Environmental Management and Coordination Act (EMCA 1999). It also has management plans for waste, energy and water.

Environmental conservation

The camp in collaboration with the conservancy management takes part in de-snaring exercises within the conservancy to ensure that there are no wire traps and rope meant to trap wildlife by entangling legs or the neck. Staff are involved in the mammal census that is done in the conservancy annually.
Camp Guides monitor wildlife during the game drives where they get to report any cases of injuries or suspicious activities in the conservancy to the management.
The Camp has a Nature club consisting of 10 participants, who include; Lake Elmentaita staff, outsourced security and Soysambu Conservancy that engages staff in conservation talks and participate in conservation efforts including bird counts (ornithological – museums of Kenya – e-bird app – identify birds - active), Giraffe monitoring, Mammal census and Colobus monkey monitoring.
The Camp has a reforestation program (has a tree nursery) that involves tree planting activities where staff, guests and local primary schools participate. Between the years 2012 to 2019, a total of 8,600 trees had been planted.
The Camp works closely with Nature Kenya in monitoring the Birds on the Lake. They continuously pump fresh water into a pond for birds and wild animals to drink since the lakes’ water is saline. Staff also monitor the islands where the pelicans lay their eggs with the aim of protecting them. The Camp’s nature team frequently educates both staff and guests on the importance of keeping a distance when viewing the birds.
The Camp conducts litter collection and clean-ups around the Southern Shores of Lake Elementeita; Kikopey Hot Springs; off the Nakuru-Nairobi Highway (2-3 km). A total of 95kg and 132kg of litter was collected in the years 2021 and 2022 respectively.
The Camp is a member of a Lake Elmenteita Community based conservation group involved in conservation efforts.

Waste water management

Grey water from the kitchen is managed through a four-compartment grease trap that is regularly serviced. Both black and grey water is managed in the same wastewater treatment plant that has five chambers.
The treated water is chlorinated and then later used in the irrigation of the grass, flowers and organic garden.
The camp has an Effluent Discharge License that is valid until 31st December 2023. They also conduct Effluent Sample Test

Solid waste management

Waste separation is conducted at the source and the waste bins are clearly labelled for waste separation. Waste produced at the facility is weighed before it is picked up by the NEMA licensed handler and records are kept for monitoring and setting targets on waste reduction. While organic waste is collected by local pig farmers and the Little Sisters House of Hope as they breed pigs.
Biomedical wastes from the clinic and the masks from guest rooms are managed at the nearest hospital (Gilgil Hospital).
The camp has implemented various initiatives on-site to cut the generation of single waste plastic e.g. introduction of paper straws.
Very little waste oil is generated from servicing the backup generators. The used oil is donated to the local community for use on fencing posts and wood preservation. The used oil filters from the generator are disposed of through a NEMA-licensed handler in Nakuru.

Pollution

To reduce noise pollution, mufflers have been installed in the generators to reduce noise pollution. Further, they have an acoustic insulated body kit to reduce noise pollution.
The pathways are lit using low-wattage bulbs at night and also fixed with a cover to reduce light pollution.

Water management

The main source of water for the camp is the Nakuru Rural Water and Sanitation Company (NARUWASCO). Water is stored in two reservoir tanks of 250,000 litres each. It is filtered and chlorinated then pumped to the entire camp for use.
The facility monitors its water consumption daily through the main inlet meter and sub-meters. Also, water usage is analysed per bed and total camps usage is analysed every month.
To conserve water, irrigation of the lawns and garden is done in the morning and evening using watering cans to reduce evaporation because of the scorching sun.
Visitors are also sensitised on water conservation during arrival briefings while staff during departmental meetings.

Energy management

The camp has a hybrid solar energy that is powered by a 240 solar panel system and supplemented by electricity power from KPLC. It’s also connected to backup diesel-powered generators with power output capacity of 180 and 67 KvA.
Energy metering and sub-metering have been done at key consumption units such as kitchens and guest tents.
Every two tents share a solar water heater for the heating of guests’ water as stipulated in the Solar Water Heating Regulation.
Energy-saving bulbs and LEDs are installed to conserve energy and reduce light pollution.
Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) is used for cooking in the entire facility with briquettes used for barbecue.
To ensure sustainable energy consumption, guests are briefed on energy conservation upon arrival. Staff on the other hand are educated on energy conservation and efficiency through regular briefings

Visitor communication & education

Visitors are briefed upon arrival on the camp’s operations and environmental values.
The camp's notice boards highlight environmental conservation activities and operations of the Camp.
The camp conducts nature walks for the guests where the naturalist explains the biodiversity and culture of the area to them.
Portraits of some of the birds found within Lake Elmentaita have been displayed in the rooms.

Chemical use

Diversey and Ecolab detergents are used for washing in the laundry section.
Davis & Shirtliff chemicals are used for swimming pool cleaning.
Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for the chemicals are available.
Chemical usage for laundry is automated which ensures efficiency in usage.
Biodegradable Elemis products are used in guest tents.
The LPG storage area is properly caged and safety signage is also in place.

Community Criteria
Benefits to local community/community empowerment

Employment - The facility has employed 50% of its staff from the local community. All the casual jobs also go to the community members. The camp sources horses for guest activity from a local community group that charges KShs. 3,500 per horse per hour. Also, the camp hires a van from a local community group for the daily staff transport (14 seater) that is charged at Kshs. 3,500 per trip and is used once a day. The camp engages a tour operator to provide them with tour vehicles for the game drive activities of their guests.
Support to schools - Top-performing students from Kiboko Primary School are brought to the facility for lunch and game drives to keep them motivated. The camp provides lunch to Kiboko Primary School students during the sports day. Also, the facility continues to support a student who they’ve supported through his high school studies and now into the University.
Local Dancers and Choir - The facility gets the dancers for their guest entertainment from Kasambara and Nakuru. The camp also engages the local choir for guest entertainment. They are majorly used during weddings, Easter and Christmas seasons.
Internship opportunity - The camp has an internship program that provides students from the local area with an opportunity for job training. About 6 interns get this opportunity annually.
Soap for Hope - Lake Elmenteita Serena in partnership with Diversey has initiated a project dubbed the Soap4Hope initiative. The initiative aims at reducing wastage, especially from soap bars from accommodation facilities by recycling used soap bars that are disinfected and remade into bigger ones using simple tools.
Local Purchases - Some of the crafts sold at the gift shop are sourced locally from Kenana Knitters – Molo, Craft Arts – Nakuru and a local Children’s home. Fresh vegetables, milk, poultry, eggs and fruits are also purchased from the local community.
Linen Donation - The facility donates linen and slippers to St. Teresa House of Hope, which houses 30 vulnerable kids.
Children's Library - The camp has established a library for children in schools consisting of 232 books and book shelves in the below schools to promote literacy and Early Childhood Development during the year.

Cultural Criteria
Cultural preservation and promotion/protection of local sites

Traditional dancers from the local communities occasionally entertain guests. This opportunity promotes cultural exchange (i.e., Agikuyu and Maasai).
The camp's naturalist informs guests about the cultural information within the area.
Prehistoric sites – Kariandusi and Menengai craters are promoted by the facility continuously offering visits to its guests.
The guests are served with local dishes popular with the community.
Culture talks are offered to the guests during the game drive on the diverse culture of the area.
The camp holds African nights where the staff dress code and foods are drawn from the local culture.
Intricate pieces of decor have blended contemporary designs with the local culture e.g., portraits of Maasai displayed on the wall.

Business Practises Criteria
Purchasing and supplies

Vegetables 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 the packaging.
Some of the vegetables are picked from the camp’s garden.

Health and safety

There is a Fire Marshalls team trained in firefighting in all departments. The last training was conducted on 8th May 2023.
Atlas Fire Security duly serviced firefighting equipment on 7th May 2023.
The camp has a health and safety policy committed to ensuring a safe and healthy environment for staff and guests in compliance with legal requirements.
A medical test for food and beverage handlers has been done to comply with the Food, Drugs, and Chemical Substances Act. Cap 254.
The facility has fully been equipped with first aid kits distributed in the major departments.
A fire safety audit has been conducted to comply with Factories and other places of Work (Fire Risk Reduction) Rules 2007.
A health and safety audit has been conducted in accordance with section 11 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 2007.
The camp has an elaborate firefighting system consisting of fire stations between every two tents complete with two portable extinguishers (foam and carbon dioxide), a fire alarm and a hose reel.
Fire emergency/evacuation procedures are clearly outlined and communicated.

Employment and remuneration/staff welfare

Basic Staff benefits at the camp include food, health insurance, uniform, entertainment, and accommodation & house allowance.
The facility offers competitive salaries to its employees that are well above the labour requirements.
Staff are entitled to 24 leave days annually, 3 months of maternity leave, 14 days of paternity leave and 14 sick days a year.
Staffs are unionised and affiliated with KUDHEIHA.
Staffs have a SACCO that gives them the opportunity to take loans and grow their own businesses.
Staff canteen run by staff and profits shared amongst them in terms of dividends.
Staffs have a tip box with the tips channelled to the staff welfare account.
Unclaimed lost and found items are given back to the staff who recovered them.
In case of death, funeral arrangements are done by the facility, and the kids of the dead staff are considered for employment and 7 years of pay to the dependants.
Staffs are allowed to attend meetings organised by the union with the camp catering for the transportation cost.

Child labor, abuse and human rights

The facility adheres to the minimum legal age requirement for employment, which is 18 years.
The facility has a written policy against child labor, abuse and human rights

Staff education, communication and awareness training

Notice boards are used to facilitate communication with the staff.
Staff have been trained in basic first Aid, firefighting skills and the use of firefighting equipment.
The camp also conducts in-house training - each department has a training schedule, with a minimum requirement of one training every month - based on the arising training needs and, environmental awareness and conservation issues
Supplier training is also done by; Polucon, Dayliff and Diversey.
Through the Tipsy online platform, the staff log in, choose a training module, learn, sit exams, and later get a certificate of completion.

Date Created13th March 2018