A small footprint lodge with a high impact!
If tomorrow Koros was ‘let go’, it would literally disappear into the ground, and there would be no scar on the landscape. Efforts to be compatible with the land, nature and the people has been a priority, and since opening our doors under the Tropic Air - Lattitude Adventures partnership in July 2021 we have welcomed nearly 600 guests, each staying between 2 and 3 nights.
For two years, the community within L’Donyo Mara Conservancy have benefited from Conservation fees, paid by each guest for each night, which have amounted to an average of $600 (Kshs 90,000) per month. In addition, a monthly ‘land rent’ of $335 (Kshs 50,000) is paid by Koros Camp into the fund, regardless of visitor occupancy. Funding much needed community initiatives, the impact of this cannot be underestimated, and has given food security, further education and better standards of living to the community where income opportunities are few and far between. The fees are also used to employ 5 scouts who help promote security in the region.
Koros Camp employs 9 full time staff, all from the neighboring village. Their combined monthly salary is over $1,100 which directly injects into 9 households – approximately 50 people!
The introduction of local and international guests to the South Horr area has triggered community enterprise. Using traditional skills, a Samburu women’s group of 12 members, with the guidance of Koros management, has developed two unique products which are not found at every ‘maasai market’! Beautiful beaded phone holders, and lamp shades inspired by fish traps (traditionally used for fishing on Lake Turkana), have captured the interests of guests!
Cultural dancing with Samburu women and warriors (a total of 100 people at any one time) is a thrilling activity offered to guests at a fee of $670 (Kshs 100,000) paid directly to the dancers.
Poor infrastructure and limited resources for education in this remote part of Kenya is a reality. The tiny Nakron Nursery School located on the shores of Lake Turkana, holds it lessons for 30 children under a scratchy thorn tree, and funding has recently been secured to put up a ‘manyatta-style’ classroom, and provide basis supplies such as pencils, paper and books. Equally the Sirichoi Primary School with 250 students has received support to renovate their kitchen, toilet blocks and build new teacher’s accommodation – a development which would not be possible without the community conservation fees collected through Koros Camp.
Leading a harsh life, the community of Nakron (on the lake’s shore) is supported directly by Lattitude Adventures who provide employment to take care of their fishing boat, as well as donations of basic food supplies and fire wood (a day’s trek is normally involved).
A fundraising initiative is underway to upgrade the 10km long pipeline which brings spring water from summit of Mount Nyiro, to the Anderi and Koros communities (a total of 1,350 people). The current pipeline is faulty and maintenance is a full time necessity, which is a serious concern in this semi-desert landscape where less than 200mm of a rain falls a year. Koros Camp has a functioning borehole and pays the Anderi community a monthly fee $35 (Kshs 5000) for privilege of hosting it on their land. The overflow water fills livestock troughs which the goats and cattle devour!
Partnering with Health Yetu Foundation Koros Camp is supporting logistics to carry out eye clinics for community members from the entire South Horr region, with the first being held in February 2024. Treatment, with the most effective being cataract surgery, takes place in field hospitals, and has an unmeasurable impact to the lives of people with impaired vision or blindness.
It is the intention of Koros Camp to be a positive presence in the region, and to work with the community to enhance the lives of the people. Achievements made already are profound, and the potential for more is enormous.