Sustaining the Communities of the Serengeti
At Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge in Tanzania we appreciate the fact that we enjoy a unique privilege: we have the honour of hosting one of the few tented camps to be permitted within the Serengeti national park - an area that is otherwise exclusively dedicated to the preservation of its wilderness and wildlife. 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. We are also presently working on supplying a dedicated healthcare clinic for the area.
- We have worked in cooperation with SENAPA (Serengeti National Parks Authority) regarding a re-afforestation tree-planting programme.
- We work in cooperation with SENAPA in maintaining and up-grading the roads in the park so as to keep the erosive practice of ‘off-road' driving to a minimum.
- 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. The camp is an integral part of the local Cultural Tourism Programme, which offers visits to neighbouring local communities and schools and talks on the heritage and tradition of the local Ikoma and Sikuma tribes.
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 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.