Photo Credit: Instagram | @emboocamp
Inside Emboo Camp: Kenya's Luxury Eco-Lodge Glamping Experience
The Maasai Mara is arguably one of the most beautiful places on the African continent. Within the national reserve is Emboo River, the first fully eco-friendly safari lodge in the Maasai Mara. Giving a whole new definition of glamping, the camp combines the best of luxury, with environmental sustainability.
The exclusive lodge is located in the center of The Maasai Mara National Reserve, blending in with nature.
With only six rooms, guests experience the serenity of the reserve with specially designed safari tents. The tents feature floor to ceiling views where guests can watch zebras graze and hippos in the river from the comfort of your quarters.
All the furniture is handcrafted by locals, with beautiful, intricate local fabrics adorning the rooms.
Ensuite bathrooms with luxury rain showers from Kenny & Mason, give guests a wonderful view, even as they bathe.
But it’s not just the rooms that make Emboo River unique. Their dedication to environmental conservation is unrivaled in The Maasai Mara.
The camp operates a closed-loop system. With innovation and technology, Emboo River relies only on local and natural resources, without any external elements.
The camp takes water management to a new level with a biological treatment system and natural swimming pools.
The camp uses local vegetation for water treatment, wetland plants like Juncus Effusus and Cyperus to filter wastewater. The filtered wastewater feeds into a recycled water tank that runs through the toilets and workshops, preventing the waste of these precious minerals.
The water in the swimming pools also receive this treatment, and no chemicals are used. Making it safe for guests, and the environment.
This water filtration method ensures that 0% of wastewater gets released into the wild, while ensuring that 100% of the water is reused, cutting down water consumption by 90%.
The camp runs completely on renewable energy, using solar power,
Embo River has eighty square meters of solar panels that provide power to the lodge and charge the Electric Safari Vehicles.
The camp’s water is also heated by solar power so guests can always enjoy a warm shower.
Emboo River has the first and only Electric Safari Vehicles in the Maasai Mara and the vehicles produce 0% carbon dioxide during use.
Apart from the benefits to the environment, these electric vehicles also create an enhanced safari experience
Driving around the Maasai Mara in the vehicles creates an almost magical experience. Guest hear the uninterrupted sounds of nature and the thrilling scents of the savannah, as opposed to an engine and exhaust fumes.
Farm to Fork
For food, the camp sources all ingredients sustainably.
Shambas, or vegetable and herb gardens, are used to grow bell peppers, squash, and herbs. To keep the process sustainable, the farm limits the amount of farming done within the Massai Mara, and vegetables and honey are harvested from gardens outside the farm.
The chefs also limit the number of meat dishes served with the “flexitarian” menu, as meat production is heavy on the environment. Many guests are already vegan or vegetarian, so meat is often not served at all.
The little meat served is sourced from The Local Grill restaurant in Nairobi, which sources meat from the most sustainable producers.
All other produce, such as dairy which cannot be produced within the camp, is sourced from local partners to reduce carbon emissions.
Bathroom products from Cinnabar Green are produced in Kenya from natural, chemical-free ingredients. The Cinnabar Green packaging is eco-friendly and reusable.
Cleaning products for the lodge are provided by Grounded, which develops cleaning products from natural ingredients within Kenya and applies reusable packaging.
Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling is an essential part of the routine here.
Single-use products such as napkins and plastic bottles are not used in the camp, guests are offered reusable bottles and bamboo straws.
Paper and sawdust are used to light the fire, while the kitchen is powered by biogas generated from food waste.
Involving the Community
Sustainability doesn’t only involve the environment, it involves the people and members of the communities as well. Emboo River is dedicated to empowering the local communities.
Almost all Emboo River s team members come from the Maasai community.
The neighboring Maasai village receives fees from visits by Emboo River’s guests who wish to learn more about the Maasai culture.
Singers and dancers of this Maasai village perform at Emboo River in the evenings
Being community focused means the success of the camp is only complete when the community thrives.
Emboo River is committed to working on community projects that address challenges and needs the community faces.
With a Technology and innovation hub, Emboo River is constantly developing ways to be self-sufficient, eco-friendly and sustainable. Local organizations visit Emboo River for inspiration and order technology to make their own operations greener. During Ecology Excursions youth have the opportunity to explore the Maasai Mara, learn about conservation and see that they can achieve anything if they set their mind to it.
Emboo River also supports education and youth engagement with the establishment of Green School s and Youth Centres, which have access to technologies such as solar power and wastewater management. Green Schools protect the environment, create awareness about conservation and are cost-efficient.
A recycling project with the community is being developed so that solid waste from Emboo River and other lodges in the Massai Mara is not perceived as mere
Trash, but as treasure.
But Emboo River doesn’t do it alone; guests are briefed about the lodge’s vision when they arrive and are provided with eco cards in their rooms to help them learn.
They are also invited to take an eco-tour around the lodge to inspect the solar panels, lagoons and more. Emboo is aware that guests must travel by air to reach the lodge, to absorb the carbon emissions from traveling, each guest is encouraged to plant two trees to absorb their emissions.