Sustainable Accommodation Spotlight: Kenyan Coast

Are you looking to give back to local communities or to protect the environment the next time you travel to Kenya? If so, keep reading… 

 

We have carefully selected accommodations and experiences that go the extra mile in their dedication to preserving the environment and supporting local communities. Whether by backing conservation projects, adopting renewable energy sources, eliminating single-use plastics, or promoting local businesses, these establishments are at the forefront of sustainable tourism.  

 The Sands at Nomad Diani Beach  

Best for: Turtle Conservation and Climate-Conscious living  

Diani Beach is renowned for its soft, ivory sands, tranquil turquoise waters, and bustling local atmosphere, which, combined with a range of exquisite luxury resorts, makes it the ultimate coastal paradise. As a tropical retreat, it presents an ideal setting for indulging in coastal exploration or as a serene conclusion to a safari, offering a few days of pure relaxation. 

Nestled within Diani is The Sands at Nomad, a luxury boutique resort. While providing guests with the utmost luxury, Nomads is also at the forefront of sustainable tourism, encompassing organic farming, upcycling, marine conservation and community support within its founding values.  

Turtle Conservation: The stunning turquoise waters of Diani Beach are accompanied by an abundance of rich and diverse marine life, especially turtles. Boasting its own marine education centre, Nomads is home to the Diani Turtle Watch, a turtle conservation charity established in 2012 with a clear mission: safeguarding turtles impacted by the expansion of coastal tourism. Eggs are collected from the beach and relocated to a safe, designated nesting site on the grounds of the hotel whilst data is gathered to help determine the success rate of each nest and to provide an understanding of nesting trends in Kenya.  

How you can get involved: Whilst staying at Nomads, visit to the marine education centre. We can organise a tour with one of their on-site marine biologists, and you might even get to see one of the nests hatch If the magic of these turtles captures your heart, you can even adopt your own!! 

 Nomad’s on-site 5-Star PADI dive centre, Dive the Crab, almost guarantees diving alongside the turtles.     

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Organic Farming: Nomads boasts its own incredible five-acre organic permaculture farm, bursting with fresh fruit, vegetables, and spices, all to be used in the hotel restaurant. Upcycling is a key component of the farm, with rows of hot tubs, washing machines and sinks all from the hotel, re-purposed to provide growing beds for the endless harvests of tomatoes, spinach, guavas, rosemary, peppers and mint. The farm actively engages and empowers members of the local community, equipping them with valuable farming skills. 

How you can get involved: During your stay at Nomads, we can introduce you to the on-site ‘Green Team’ and have their dedicated sustainability manager, Atti, take you around the farm. His wealth of knowledge about Africa and specifically the Kenyan coast is fascinating, and whilst there, you can plant or harvest some produce of your own.  

Upcycling: From designing coasters out of damaged wetsuits, keyrings from shredded plastic bottles, and even pet food from restaurant food waste, Nomads is excelling in utilising the land, resources, people, and the environment in a manner which produces almost zero waste.  

How you can get involved: At each entrance to the beach is a basket filled with bags. Guests are encouraged to take one and collect as much litter as possible as they walk along the coast. We can likewise arrange for you to get involved at the workshop, where you can transform collected items into a unique keepsake.  

To learn more about the Sands Group’s sustainability initiatives, visit their website here. 

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Kinondo Kwetu 

Best for: Luxurious home away from home with a passion for community involvement  

Just south of the vibrant bustle of Diani Beach is Galu’s more secluded, intimate destination. Surrounded by the Kaya Kinondo sacred forest, a protected haven to over 43 species of birds and butterflies, Kinondo Kwetu offers an ideal setting for those seeking serenity and calm 

The hotel has taken significant steps to ensure that the environment and local communities are equally appreciated and cherished.  

Kinondo Kwetu Health Clinic: Community involvement is at the forefront of Kinondo Kwetu’s values, and by establishing the Kinondo Kwetu Trust Fund, they have implemented remarkable, lasting solutions that bring substantial benefits to the local community. The Health Clinic was established in 2008 due to the lack of accessible and affordable healthcare options in the surrounding villages and has now developed into a level 4 hospital, with over 100 staff. It’s a true testament to the positive influences that the tourism industry can achieve.  

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How you can get involved: The incredible work of the Health Clinic relies mainly on donations from guests at the hotel. Upon your arrival, you’ll find a welcome pack on your bed, detailing how to contribute to treating patients at the clinic. Additionally, we can arrange a visit to the clinic’s facilities, complete with a guided tour led by the inspiring and hugely knowledgeable Harrison, the clinic’s director. 

Kinondo Kwetu Primary School: Another hugely inspiring outcome from the Kinondo Kwetu Trust Fund is the support of the local village primary school. Due to the 2004 government reform, which made education free for the first eight years, the school experienced a surge in student enrolment. But the number of teachers remained unchanged. Consequently, the KKTF covered additional teachers’ salaries and refurbished the school entirely.  

Excitingly, the team behind the incredible sustainability work at Nomads Diani Beach have collaborated with Kinondo Kwetu and will be creating a community-run, organic farm on the primary school site. The produce will be used at the hotel restaurant, while the local community will benefit from learning sustainable farming techniques.  

How you can get involved: Once again, the remarkable efforts of the trust fund are made possible by donations from guests at the hotel. Information about how to donate is listed in your welcome pack. We can also arrange a school visit to see the facilities. However, we schedule these visits when the children are absent, as we are mindful of minimizing disruptions during their educational hours. 

To learn more about the Kinondo Kwetu Trust and how you can support it, visit their website.

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Waterlovers Resort 

Best for: A high-end yet low-impact holiday  

Situated along the 25km stretch of the pristine Diani Beach, Waterlovers is a luxury coastal resort. The intimate and vibrant feel of the hotel provides the ideal location for relaxation, whilst the calm lagoon-like waters offer an opportunity for some fabulous snorkelling among the dazzling coral reefs. The surrounding rainforest provides a haven for the endangered Colobus monkey and a thriving population of exotic birds. The value and respect for this treasured environment are paramount at Waterlovers, and they have many sustainable initiatives in place to ensure its longevity.     

Respect for the environment: As soon as you step foot inside the grounds of Waterlovers, you are greeted with an abundance of trees. Not a single living organism was cut down or harmed during the construction of the property; the rooms, restaurant and pool were all artfully integrated into the natural landscape, following the patterns of nature, and constructed exclusively with locally sourced materials.   

How you can get involved: Within each room is a collection of booklets that give details on the wide variety of flora, fauna and animals found within the grounds of the resort. Monkey identification kits, turtle fact sheets and a tree checklist can all be seen and used to enhance your experience at the hotel and ensure that you minimise your impact on and disturbance to those who share your new home. We can also arrange a visit to the Colobus Trust, a conservation charity with which Waterlovers is partnered to learn more about the gorgeous nearly extinct monkey that thrives within the property.  

Getting Creative: Upcycling is also a huge focus for Waterlovers, and they find many ways to be as creative with their waste management as possible. On-site, they have their own glass bottle workshop, where discarded wine and spirit bottles are hand-cut by specially trained staff and turned into water and wine glasses for the restaurant and shop.  

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How you can get involved: During your stay at Waterlovers, visit the beautiful boutique within the grounds and purchase some of the hand-cut glasses created from the workshop. Have a browse around the other local arts and souvenirs, all of which are sourced from the community and have a direct impact on social initiatives. Watch out for Emèl, a women’s social enterprise producing high-quality textile products from African fabrics.  

Supporting local children: Just a five-minute drive from the Waterlover’s grounds is the community sports ground where the Diani Tigers and Diani Queens train for football, taekwondo, and a range of other activities. Generously supported by Waterlovers, these boys’ and girls’ sports teams provide local and potentially vulnerable children with a safe, fun space to explore their talents while providing a free meal during training days, educational classes, and counselling sessions.  

How you can get involved: Abdul, one of the on-site hotel managers, is a coach for the boys’ team, the Diani Tigers, and is more than happy to take guests to the sports club. Donations are always welcome.  

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