Kenya’s natural diversity has always attracted safari seekers, so it makes perfect sense that luxury properties are working hard to ensure that the pristine landscape remains preserved for years to come. Ker & Downey’s luxury travel expert Michelle Nicholson recently embarked on a journey to eco-friendly Kenya and shares some of the environmentally-conscious practices she learned about at Ol Pejeta Bush Camp, Naboisho Camp, and Rekero Camp.
Many camps like Ol Pejeta are moving away from wasteful generators and switching instead to solar panels to produce electricity. In the past, the lights switched on and off. Now, batteries collect the sun’s rays and release power which means consistent lighting day or night without leaving a carbon footprint. That’s good news for preserving the pristine environment relied upon by so many majestic animals.
Ol Pejeta collects rainwater for laundry, and wells have been dug for bathing. I was so happy to take soothing showers with water warmed by the sun. Guests can shower for up to 10 minutes; the time limit is set to ensure that this precious resource isn’t wasted.
I got a chance to wander through Ol Pejeta’s beautiful garden overflowing with delicious peppers, artichokes, lettuce, and lavender. The in-house chef showed me around and explained how he prepares fresh and delicious meals with the produce plucked straight from the ground. Rekero Camp and Naboisho Camp both have small gardens too, which means guests get tasty meals that have not traveled far to get to their plates. It’s all about hearty meals for me to fuel up after a successful day on safari in eco-friendly Kenya.
While going on safari, I noticed that the guides would often stop to pick up any plastic garbage they spotted strewn around. At all three camps, wasteful plastic is replaced by glass canisters to be refilled with drinking water – a perfect way to stay refreshed and help the environment!
Daniel, a Masai guide, accompanied me at both Rekero and Naboisho. Daniel and his brother grew up in the area and have an ingrained knowledge of the landscape. He was able to point out antelopes, monkeys, and baboons that sometimes I didn’t even notice. Catching sight of birds without binoculars and lions hiding in the middle of the bush was a cinch for him. He instinctively knew where animals were roaming the night before. Naboisho focuses on employing bush guides who have grown up on the plains and have acquired this knowledge passed down through the generations.
Organizations are partnering with communities to continue the important work of sustaining the Kenyan wildlife. I visited the Maa Trust to learn about their education, skills training, water sanitation, and healthcare programs. School kids, known as “eco warriors” are taken out on game drives and walks to give them a close-up look at the animals that they seek to protect. Guests of Naboisho have the opportunity to fund these vital programs by purchasing bead work made by local women.
I feel like Kenya is a top spot for safaris because they are a leader in sustainability. Kenyans understand that they are stewards of the land and that the preservation of the wonderful wildlife is what keeps travelers like me keep coming back.
Going wild about eco-friendly Kenya? Contact your Ker & Downey luxury travel consultant to plan a journey to this east African safari hot spot.