We believe in having a self-conduct code. We believe true ecotourism needs to address each of the following points.
Real involvement of local communities
Conservation in the 21st century should consider people, so the first point for ecotourism should be how a tourist facility relates to the local communities.
We believe in community lodges for community land, employing locally, paying tourism revenues locally, and supporting a community Trust.
Carbon footprint minimized and offset
Not only do we use only renewable energies, but our limited carbon emissions are fully offset by the Chyulu Hills REDD+ Carbon Project.
Photovoltaic panels are used for electricity; solar boilers for hot water; we cook all of our food in “Agha” stoves where charcoal made from coffee husks are used (this eco-friendly charcoal is a project of the United Nations Environmental Program, we have been the first lodge to adopt it, in the late ’90s).
Environmental footprint on water usage
We fulfill all our water needs by cropping the rains and storing water in special PVC bladders. We have a water catchment of approximately 12,000 square meters (over 140,000 square ft) and water storage of approximately 1,600,000 liters (nearly 400,000 gallons)
Preservation of wilderness
It is hard to consider ecotourism not linked with preserving the wilderness one visits. The Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust (MWCT) and Chyulu Wilderness Camp have the same mission: preserving the Maasai wilderness of the Greater Kilimanjaro Ecosystem.
Preservation of wildlife
The same applies to wildlife. Ecotourism is about the protection of natural resources. In our ecosystem, the most valuable resource is wildlife.
Preservation of culture
Ecotourism cannot happen without considering the local communities. In our case, we are dealing with arguably the most iconic tribe in Africa, whose culture is still very much alive and deserves full protection.
In order to support the local communities not only do we employ locally, but also train local staff.
All guides, trackers, maids, and waiters are Maasai from the community.
Environmental footprint in recycling wastes
Not only do we use recyclable energies for our electricity, for our hot water and for our cooking, we also recycle all of the recyclable wastes: organic waste goes into the camp compost, utilized in our organic vegetable garden; wastes are separated (glass, paper, plastic, tins) and recycled were feasible. The unrecyclable wastes are incinerated in a specially built incinerator.
Environmental footprint in infrastructure
Our buildings were built not only with sustainable materials collected locally (lava rocks, thatched grass roofs, etc.), but we avoided any landscaping. No soil was removed (besides the digging for the foundations), and no trees were cut. Local people were employed, instead of contracting builders from outside.
Environmental footprint of supplies
Sometimes buying locally it is implied as a good environmental practice. It depends on the circumstances. We buy from Nairobi suppliers in bulk, using the best of our knowledge to support those suppliers who care about the environment. Where we are located, local farming is done totally unsustainably; it is leading to the subdivision of the land. We have seen many lodges praising themselves for purchasing locally, while by doing so (and saving on logistical costs) they contribute to the destruction of the environment.