A sheltered oasis, clustered around a water hole and set in the pristine calm of the private Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Sweetwaters Tented Camp offers a charming blend of under-canvas ambiance and safari luxury.
Located on the plains of Mount Kenya, the camp features thirty-nine luxury tents, each with its own private veranda overlooking the water hole. The central Rhino Restaurant is housed in the former manager's house of this once colonial farm, and offers both regional and international cuisine. Also within the house is the Kashoggi Bar and lounge, which centres on a blazing log fire. The Waterhole Bar, built in the style of a game-viewing hide, overlooks the waterhole and offers unrivalled wildlife-watching.
Host to all the members of the 'Big Five' (elephant, rhino, lion, buffalo and leopard), the conservancy has a higher wildlife-to-area ratio than any Kenyan national park and is one of only four private game conservancies to have been founded in Kenya. At the forefront of the Kenyan conservancy programme, the conservancy boasts the largest black rhino sanctuary in East Africa, hosts the only chimpanzee sanctuary in Kenya, and shelters large numbers of rare and endangered species. We appreciate the fact that we enjoy a unique privilege: we have the honour of hosting one of the few camps permitted in this exclusive conservancy. We also appreciate the support of the human community that surrounds this wilderness area, on whom we rely for the provision of staff members, guides, dancers and entertainers. Consequently we host a number of eco-programmes, all of which are designed to support and sustain the natural and human community of which we are a part. Such programmes vary according to need, but presently they are as follows:
We offer subsidized medical care to the local community - particularly in relation to maternal care and child-immunization; also in relation to HIV/AIDS sensitization.
All our tents are thatched using sustainably harvested local grass and using traditional methods and local workers.
We operate an out-reach programme to the orphanages of the area which allows for visits from our staff, the provision of funds, the hosting of seasonal events and the provision of clothing and foodstuffs.
We run our own tree-nursery, supplying over 30,000 seedlings to the local community. We work with local schools and other bodies to encourage tree-planting within the area, we also arrange tree-planting activities amongst our own staff and guests.
The camp works closely with the local Ereri Multi-Cultural Community Manyatta, in the promotion of cultural dance, music, traditional practices and in the promotion of local handicrafts.
We create both temporary and permanent jobs for the local community. We also offer training and work-exposure programmes for school leavers.
We encourage interface between our guests and the local villages - hosting tours and promoting the sale of handicraft items.
We showcase cultural dance, costume, singing and cultural craft as part of our corporate undertaking to support and sustain the cultural heritage of our nation.
We work with a number of local schools, both by providing educational materials and by hosting environmental training sessions for the pupils.
In terms of its own ecological 'foot' print, the camp abides by a code of responsible practice in relation to: energy conservation (inverter systems have recently been installed so as to reduce the camp's use of diesel-fuelled generators), waste recycling (glass, plastics, 'wet waste' and the distribution of food-waste to local pig-farmers), sewage disposal, air emissions, non-CFC use, pesticide-use, noise reduction and visual pollution. Wherever possible, local produce is featured on the menus.
In order to promote the overall health of their workforce, Serena has also established the Employee Wellness Programme, which aims to address the holistic health needs of not only Serena's staff, but also of the communities that surround their camps and lodges. In essence, the programme is devoted to reducing the incidence of accident and illness in the workplace, promoting healthy lifestyles, maximizing potential and promoting optimum quality of life.