WINNERS FOR 2013 ECO-WARRIORS AWARDS
PRIVATE CONSERVANCY OF THE YEAR (Sponsored by Uhunzi Limited)
WINNER- BORANA CONSERVANCY
Situated in Laikipia County, Borana Conservancy is home to lions, reticulated giraffes, cheetahs and hunting dogs. The ranch recently partnered with the neighbouring Lewa Wildlife Conservancy to adopt black rhinos, increasing by 35,000 acres the area within which this endangered animal will thrive.
The ranch management undertakes all conservation and community programmes, using donations received towards conservancy costs and community development. In conjunction with its neighbours Tassia Lodge, Il Ngwesi Group Ranch, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, and the Ngare Ndare Forest Trust, Borana Conservancy provides advice on rangeland management, and provides locals with access to certified & appropriate seed alongside modern agricultural technology. Borana Conservancy also provides jobs, pension and health insurance to over 200 members of the immediate community, made up of the Laikipiak Maasai of the Mukogodo forest... READ MORE
COMMUNITY CONSERVANCY OF THE YEAR (Sponsored by Laikipia Wildlife Forum)
WINNER: IL NGWESI GROUP RANCH
Il Ngwesi Group Ranch is a 16,500-acre, 100% community owned & run conservation programme in Laikipia County. It is also home to Il Ngwesi Lodge, established in 1996 and run by the ranch’s management board.
80% of the ranch is used for wildlife conservation, especially for endangered species such as the white and black rhinos and Grevy zebra; the rest is for cultivation, cattle rearing and human habitation.
Increased security for wildlife, livestock and people by the Il Ngwesi rangers has reduced cattle-rustling incidents. In addition, a grazing agreement facilitated by the Northern Rangelands Trust for Lewa Wildlife Conservancy to open its pastures to Il Ngwesi community’s cattle has greatly improved the area’s range, grass banks and pasture.
The ranch is currently implementing a 5-year strategic plan currently aimed at increasing occupancy and income, improving the security and management of the local environment and wildlife, and improving access to education, healthcare and clean water. READ MORE
ECOTOURISM ENTERPRISE OF THE YEAR – LODGE (Sponsored by African Solar Design)
WINNER: SEVERIN SEA LODGE
Severin Sea Lodge, situated in Bamburi Beach, is a hotel of many firsts: it was the first hotel to employ a full-time environmental officer, and the first to have a biological water purification plant. These achievements, in addition to use of methane gas for lighting, earned it the NEMA Most Compliant Facility in the Hotel Sector award in 2012.
The hotel uses dual-flush toilets and thermal water piping, and strictly adheres to a policy of non-use of septic tanks.
Guests staying at Severin Sea Lodge are taken to Nguuni, a wildlife park run by Bamburi Cement, to show them how waste grounds can be converted into nature sanctuaries.
The hotel employs locals as labourers on its Seba farm. It also supports Mji wa Salaama orphanage by training its children on hospitality skills, and offers in-kind support such as donation of unused furniture and linen plus meals for local events. READ MORE
ECOTOURISM ENTERPRISE OF THE YEAR – TENTED CAMP (Sponsored by Laki Laki Limited)
WINNER: ELEPHANT PEPPER CAMP
Elephant Pepper Camp is situated in the prime core of the protected Mara North Conservancy wilderness area. In the same location for 20 years, one of the original, very small and exclusive tented camps.
A small boutique camp, our spacious canvas tents are stylishly furnished with Indian “Raj campaign furniture”, and feature ensuite bathrooms with flush toilets and traditional safari showers.
Nothing rivals sitting around the campfire enjoying the sounds of the African night. Enjoying extended game drives in the best equipped 4×4 game drive vehicles, guests participate in the most unique wildlife experience in the world. Elephant Pepper Camp brings people back to nature ~ no traffic, no permanent structures, just the sights and sounds of the African bush. READ MORE
ECOTOURISM ENTERPRISE OF THE YEAR – VILLAS / HOLIDAY HOMES (Sponsored by Tourism Fund)
WINNER: MEDINA PALMS
Medina Palms is a group of luxury beachfront residences located within a secure gated community in Watamu, with private access to the protected waters of Watamu National Marine Park.
Environmentally friendly guidelines have been adhered to in every step of construction, in the adoption of zero-waste, zero-carbon strategies through waste recycling methods and the installation of 2 bio-digesters. Close attention was paid to the forest during construction of these holiday homes, with tree and bush species left intact. The buildings are constructed using Swahili architecture so as to blend in with the surroundings.
Proceeds from merchandise sold to Medina Palms’ clients goes to conservation. It is actively involved with KWS, the Born Free Foundation, Turtle Watch and efforts at restoring mangrove forests.
It promotes sports in the community through the Medina Peace Cup, and has been involved in the renovation of Watamu school facilities such as lavatories… READ MORE
ECOTOURISM ENTERPRISE OF THE YEAR – COMMUNITY BASED TOURISM ORGANISATION (Sponsored by Ecotourism Kenya)
WINNER: KAKAMEGA ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION PROGRAM
KEEP was registered in 1999, and is situated around the Kakamega forest. It specialises in providing environment conservation education to young students, youth and local communities, by developing various quality products and services that are environmentally friendly.
Guests interested in learning firsthand about the lifestyle of African communities living around Kakamega forest liaise with KEEP to live in selected homes. Fees/rent for is payable to the respective host/hostess.
KEEP’s biggest project is the domestication of ‘mukombela’ (Mondia whytei) to aid in the plant’s conservation. The plant is cultivated, harvest and then processed at KEEP’s Mondia factory in Kakamega into medicine in powder form, to increases shelf-life and reach to external markets.
The organisation has a women’s project that manufactures briquettes from fallen tree leaves, recycled waste paper and byproducts of the processing of Mukombela powder. This reduces the current over-reliance on charcoal from trees.
KEEP also provides internship opportunities to students of environmental studies and natural resources management... READ MORE
ECOTOURISM ENTERPRISE OF THE YEAR – TOURS AND TRAVEL (Sponsored by Kenya Association of Tour Operators)
WINNER: GAMEWATCHERS SAFARIS LTD.
Use of social networks to educate a multitude of people on sustainable tourism practices, conservation, and environmental issues.
Active partnership with international journalists, featured in international media…
Familiarization trips for staff to various properties, to increase awareness on how to sell various properties, including Porini camps.
Establishment of Selenkay and Olare Orok conservancies in 1997 and 2005 respectively.
Donation by client of a wheelchair to a needy person in Sekenani. Facilitated shipment and delivery.
Assisting families in Ol Kinyei to obtain official title deeds – funding land surveys, demarcations and deeds.
Food drive in 2010 – 14 tons of food for over 2000 women and children of Eselenkai Group ranch through 10,000 $ donation by Aureos Capital; Kenyans for Kenya campaign donation of Kshs. 100,000 for North-eastern Province.
Facilitated shipping and clearing of donations from the Nicole Goodfellow foundation, e.g. sports gear to Olympic Primary school, Nairobi.
Portion of booking by select travel agents to go to St. Lazarus School in Kibera, Nairobi.
Predator-proof bomas program
Expansion of the community wildlife rangers program, direct rise in community’s employment levels.
Wildlife monitoring and assessment programme in Ol Kinyei for predators, giraffes and elephants...READ MORE
ECOTOURISM ENTERPRISE OF THE YEAR – AIRLINE (Sponsored by Sun Africa Hotels)
WINNER: AIR KENYA
Air Kenya is a flight operating company based at Wilson airport, 4km outside the Nairobi city center. It operates both scheduled and chartered flights to renowned game reserves like Masai Mara, Lewa Downs, Meru and Nanyuki, daily flights to coastal towns such as Malindi and Diani, and a scheduled flight to Kilimanjaro daily.
Air Kenya’s comprehensive in-flight magazine Ndege News educates readers on East Africa’s cultural, floral & faunal diversity, and highlights locally relevant environmental and ecological issues such as the fight against poaching.
The company has been greatly involved in the construction of Emarti primary school in the Masai Mara, and the installation of solar lighting and a bio green waste water treatment system at the school.
Air Kenya also displays local artists’ works available for sale in its passenger lounge....READ MORE
ECO-RATED FACILITY OF THE YEAR
WINNER: SANCTUARY OLONANA
This small and exclusive camp, the first of Sanctuarys luxury safari properties, was built along sustainable lines which, along with our innovative wetlands and tree-planting projects, have earned Sanctuary Olonana a gold award from Ecotourism Kenya. Game drives, cultural visits, bush dinners, sundowners, scenic flights and balloon rides, Olonana makes for a wonderful African safari...READ MORE
ECOTOURISM PARTNERSHIP OF THE YEAR (Sponsored by Ecotourism Kenya)
WINNER: SASAAB SAMBURU & WESTGATE CONSERVANCY
Sasaab Samburu lodge is a joint venture amongst the Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT), Westgate Conservancy and The Safari Collection.
The lodge’s guests pay bed night and conservancy fees, the latter of which is paid on a quarterly basis to Westgate community: 60% for community development projects such as school infrastructure, micro-finance schemes and fee bursaries, 40% for conservancy management & upkeep.
Proceeds from village visits and cultural events are also paid quarterly to the villagers involved.
The lodge also employs at least 75% of its staff from the locals.
Sasaab partners with Ewaso Lions and Grevy Zebra Trust through Warriors Watch, Kenyan Kids on Safari Camp (KKOS), Running for Lions and support for wildlife clubs in all schools in Westgate conservancy.
The lodge is also involved in family planning for women, education of the girl child through sport, and provision of food in school to encourage student attendance... .READ MORE
ECOTOURISM GUIDE OF THE YEAR (Sponsored by Kenya Wildlife Trust)
WINNER: DERRICK NABAALA
Derrick Nabaala is a Silver-rated guide, trained at Koiyaki Guiding School and currently working at Basecamp Eagle View.
By mobilising Maasai families on the benefits of coming together as a community to give their land for use by tourism enterprises, Derrick played a major role in the formation of the Mara Naboisho conservancy. Consistent payments have achieved sustainable development, which in turn have enabled the community to stay committed to the project.
He consistently engages Basecamp Eagle View’s visitors on culture and conservation through game drives and culture talks, and promotion of the Basecamp Maasai Brand – a jewellery manufacturing project ran by the local women of Talek area.
Derrick also initiated a HIV peer educator program for different age groups of Maasai at his workplace and in the surrounding community, on the prevalence of HIV/AIDS. This training program has also been emulated by communities of the Olonana project... READ MORE
ECOTOURISM JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR (Sponsored by Ministry of East African Affairs Commerce & Tourism)
WINNER: RUPI MANGAT
Rupi Mangat has been actively involved in matters concerning conservation for over 20 years, through information sharing and sensitization. She has given great and consistent insights in environment, lifestyle and arts for The East African, and has taken center stage in explicitly highlighting ecotourism and ecotourism facilities while sharing her experiences in the travel page of the Saturday Nation magazine since its inception. She has helped keep Kenyan and the world informed on matters arising in the wild, inspiring students and other nature enthusiasts, through her written articles for
- Nature Kenya where she’s been a member for over 10 years,
- Nairobi National Park, where she’s a board member, and
- Wildlife Clubs of Kenya, as the editor of Komba magazine.
ECOTOURISM STUDENT INNOVATION AWARD
WINNER: DAVID MWABILI & BILLY OYARO
David Mwabili and Billy Oyaro are 3rd-year Bsc. (Ecotourism and Hospitality Management) students at Egerton University. They sought to establish a reliable and accurate source of information on ecotourism, to cater to the current tourism influx and concerns on conservation and mitigation of global warming.
This led to the creation of Ecotourism Demystified, a travel blog on ecotourism and responsible travel in Kenya.
The blog provides a platform for Kenyans, especially young people, to contribute to conservation campaigns. It also lauds sustainable practices by promoting genuine ecotourism enterprise so as to avoid “green washing” of products in the market…READ MORE
ECOTOURISM TRAINING INSTITUTION OF THE YEAR (Sponsored by AFEW – Giraffe Centre)
WINNER: STRATHMORE UNIVERSITY
Strathmore University’s Centre for Tourism and Hospitality provides an opportunity for its students to be part of the global leadership in hospitality and tourism.
Students are exposed to a curriculum that involves hands-on interaction with the realities of environmental conservation, environmental management, biodiversity conservation, ecosystem functioning, community participation and livelihoods, social responsibility and management skills.
As part of coursework, the students’ projects are directed towards addressing the impacts of tourism on natural resources of destinations and host communities in Kenya and, by extension, East Africa.
Students also actively participate in environmental activities organized by AFEW, such as the clean-up of Nairobi National Park and the annual Environmental Awareness competition....READ MORE
ECOTOURISM STUDENT HOST ORGANISATION OF THE YEAR( Sponsored by Ecotourism Kenya)
WINNER: STATUNGA ECOTOURS
Statunga Ecotours is a partnership of community based groups working to promote nature conservation in Western Kenya.
The group seeks to conserve biodiversity and pristine ecosystems on private and community owned lands, on the bases of community interest & wellbeing, maintenance of cultural heritage, and environmental sustainability.
The group strives to achieve its objectives through its interns – students in local universities and colleges. It identifies and works towards nurturing its interns’ interests, while training them in general office administration, business planning and management, planning & implementation of tour packages, fundraising for community projects, community education, and marketing the group & its affiliate communities through public forums, the Internet, and word of mouth...READ MORE