When we began our operations 20 years ago, we realized that small strides were not getting us to where we wanted to be and we decided to rapidly scale up our operations. We made a decision to engage in sustainable development which included reduction of poverty, distributional equity and integration of measurable sustainable objectives. All these activities added dimension to our business strategy. As a result, our everyday operations establish patterns that advance sustainability.

We empower the local Maasai women in Masai Mara enabling them support households and educate children. We promote the conservation of the world’s most important wildlife area globally, the Masai Mara – Serengeti ecosystem and we have planted a large number of indigenous trees that have helped establish the only typical forest in Talek where we currently operate at a carbon positive level.

Currently, we operate four permanent high end camps plus one mobile camp which by end of 2018 will have 86 beds in operation. The camps form a circuit without pure transport distances and have different but complimentary designs offering unique safari experiences. Nonetheless, tourism in general provides a lot of positive aspects and contributions which also come with strategic dilemmas and costs, most importantly:

  • CO2 emission due to travelling
  • Possible negative impact on local culture & customs
  • Possible increased inequality income wise
  • Over tourism and exploitation of local communities

For the Basecamp Group, these and other challenges that stem from our activities should be fully recognized. They should be dealt with to the best of our ability & available resources as well as compensated for when possible in ways such as planting trees to offset CO2 emission. This is part of our understanding of responsible tourism.

As a result, today, our operations are aligned to the sustainable development goals and the successful integration of sustainability in our operations is evidenced in the local and international awards we continue to receive.

Ultimately, our goal is to create an in depth and lasting impact for the community by engaging in projects that ensure positive development for the local Maasai people and it’s incredible nature & wildlife, the guest and the organization. Our strong commitment, investment and leadership steer us towards achieving sustainable development as we drive real change in the community and in Masai Mara as a whole. We endeavor to create an environment where guests have a better understanding of the world – and of themselves.


Tree planting

Over 100,000 indigenous trees planted to date, BCEK camps are currently operating at a carbon positive level. Read more

Basecamp Maasai Brand (BMB)

Providing a source of employment to 158 Maasai women to-date, certified fair trade brand providing the Maasai women with 55% of the production price. Read more

The Maasai Mara Wildlife Conservancies Association (MMWCA)

1,400 square KM land under conservation and benefitting more than 100,000 people by bringing together over 40 accredited tour operators and the local community. Read more

Mara Naboisho Conservancy

Established in March 2010. Currently providing a guaranteed income to almost 600 local Maasai households and impacting directly and indirectly over 10,000 people in the locality. Overall Winner 2016 Africa Responsible Tourism Awards, Naboisho was recognized as a conservancy that truly and remarkably brings together community and wildlife conservation. Read more 

Koiyaki Guiding School (KGS)

80% of all employed guides in Masai Mara and Amboseli graduated from KGS. Read more

Waste Management

Pilot waste management program that includes the local Maasai community, Talek town and neighboring camps. Our ambition is to manage waste for about 15 neighboring camps. Read more

Water Catchment and storage

Provision of up to 50,000 litres of safe drinking water daily, to guests, staff and the local community. Read more

Enjoolata Awareness and Training Centre

Culturally themed centre, to showcase, protect and enhance Maasai culture and serve as a research center for threatened species, birds, plants and wildlife. Read more

Way forward

In partnership with the local Maasai community, we have rapidly transformed our operations over the last two decades and our focus is to create a lasting impact in Masai Mara. We have realized the sustainable initiatives positively impact the local Maasai community and the Masai Mara as a whole. As an organization, we will continue to enhance the capacity of the Maasai men and women by providing them with opportunities that help improve their well being. Our priorities include investment in infrastructure and improvement on the quality of life through capacity training for the youth which will provide access to quality jobs.

Amongst the activities lined up is the establishment of the cultural themed Enjoolata centre and refurbishment of our properties to increase capacity for the guests and the staff. On a larger scale, being part of Mara Naboisho Conservancy gives us an opportunity to be under the MMWCA umbrella. The benefits from the conservancy model are immense as they ensure the protection of the Masai Mara – Serengeti ecosystem by establishing objective solutions such as the establishment of wildlife corridors that allow movement of wildlife between the Masai Mara National Reserve and the conservancies.

With various activities such as the waste management project, the water catchment and treatment project and the cheetah project already earmarked for 2018 and beyond and in line with the SDG’s, our agenda will address socio economic issues such as gender equality, environment, health, local capacity building/education and an end to poverty. With your support, we shall continue to transform the Masai Mara.

Economic Sustainability – The Profit Aspect

BCEK is committed to deliver on triple bottom line – using UN SDGs as a reference framework. Triple bottom line commits us to deliver first class results on the people, planet and profit dimensions. So far we have presented the people and planet – social & environmental dimensions, this last part of our yearly report informs on our business deliveries. Without a profitable business, we will not be long term sustainable and we will not demonstrate that our customers, our esteemed safari tourists appreciate our efforts and trust us to deliver on their expectations.

Without profit, it would not be possible to meet expenses such as salaries, expand the business through investment and support the community and the environment as a running business. Thus we want to transcend the often found belief of a contraction between the business and the Greater Good.

Please find below some key indicators of our business operations.

Total BCEK Revenue in USD for 2016/2017

Percentage growth
Total Revenue (USD)
2,740,000 3,579,000 30%
Net profit (USD)
(Net of grants)
45,000 323,000 617%
Gross investment
300,000 320,000 6%

Number of operating bed nights as at 31st December 2017

No. of Days
Total (2017)
34 365 12,410
Naboisho Camps
34 365 12,410
Paid bed nights

Annual land lease and conservancy fees paid in USD

Annual Amount (USD)
2016 277,000
2017 400,000

*From 2017, Tourism Partners no longer pay government taxes for land lease and conservation fees

Stakeholder Sharing (2017)

Amount (USD)
As a Percentage of Total Revenue
Net profit 323,000 9.0%             
Government taxes 543,000 15.2%
Licenses 3,000 0.1%
Salaries 528,000 14.7%
3rd party procurement costs – airline tickets, park fees and hot air balloon 687,000 19.2%
Annual lease and conservation fees 400,000 11.2%
Other expenses 1,095,000 30.6%
Total Revenue

2017 Stakeholder Sharing (USD)

Percentage of Excellent TripAdvisor Reviews as at December 2017

Excellent Reviews
Poor Reviews
Month Poor Review Was Made
Basecamp Masai Mara
90% 1% August 2007
Eagle View
94% 1% September 2016
Wilderness Camp
96% N/A N/A

* Leopard Hill ranking will be available from 2018

BCEK Employees as at December 2017 (Nairobi and Masai Mara)

Other departments Askaris Other departments Askaris
10 N/A 7 N/A 17
Masai Mara
53 21 11 N/A 85
63 21 18 N/A 102

*Female employees both in Nairobi and Mara constitute 17% of all BCEK employees while male employees constitute 61%. This is a ratio of employees excluding askaris where females are not eligible employees due to the nature of the tasks performed.

Capacity Building for BCEK Staff in 2017

No. of Participants
Occupational First aid, Safety and Fire Training 18
Environmental Management Training 21
Sustainable Travel and Tourism Agenda (STTA) Training 1


We need you to make our sustainability efforts a success. Partner with us in our key projects:

Are you interested in supporting our sustainability initiatives? We aim to raise USD 20,000 for each of the projects below.

For 2018, the first priority and our campaign this year is for the Waste Management project. Our newly launched waste management system is to collect plastic and glass garbage in the Talek village area and recycle these for sustainable use. A detailed write up will be available shortly.

The Water catchment and treatment project requires a borehole and a rain water catchment and treatment facility. Your contribution will help us provide the local community with more safe drinking water combined with use for the reforestation project above.

Your contribution to the Cheetah project will help safeguard these animals from imminent extinction. Our goal is to raise funds to advance ongoing research as well as community education & awareness building programs that will promote population monitoring alongside community-based conservation.

We will have approximately 4,000 guests this year. Just USD 5 from each of our guests will help us achieve our first goal – significantly reducing the plastic destroying the local environment with its health effect on livestock – people and wildlife. Be part of our sustainability movement by enquiring at the reception and get involved today!

BCEK Community projects in relation to SDGs
SDG 1 : No poverty
Basecamp Explorer Kenya creates job opportunities for the local Maasai people who are a marginalized community. Today the improved sources of income have greatly contributed to improved standards of living among the Maasai community. The jobs created and economic opportunities in the community projects provide a source of income for the local Maasai community.
SDG 2 : Zero Hunger
The employment opportunities and community projects provide the Maasai community with a source of income that enables them support their families. These funds cater for food, healthcare and education amongst other needs.
SDG 3: Good health & well-being
Basecamp has created a conducive work environment and fostered strong relationships with the local Maasai community at all ages, from the youth in KGS, to the Maasai women in BMB and the elderly land owners in Naboisho Conservancy. There is increased life expectancy among the local people and a better sense of belonging.
SDG 4: Quality education
Basecamp Explorer supports a capacity building institution that trains young Maasai men and women in nature based courses. Of the 270 students trained as guides in Koiyaki Guiding School over the last 13 years, KGS has recruited over 50 Maasai girls into the guiding program initially dominated by men setting precedence for gender equality in Masai Mara.
SDG 5: Gender equality
Lack of economic opportunities for women hinders gender equality and economic development worldwide. To help women in Masai Mara, Basecamp established Basecamp Maasai Brand (BMB), a community based handicraft workshop that empowers Maasai women while preserving the traditional Maasai beading practice. BMB provides the Maasai women with access to decent work and a steady source of income.
SDG 6: Clean water & sanitation
Water as a resource in the Masai Mara region is under severe threat of depletion due to deforestation in the water catchment areas. From the resources earned from community initiatives such as Basecamp Maasai Brand, the local Maasai community are able to buy water storage tanks that help them store water. The tanks ensure water is stored in a sterile environment and reduces the consumption of poor quality water as well as the time spent by Maasai girls and women searching for water for livestock and for their families.
SDG 7: Affordable and clean energy
Basecamp utilizes energy efficient lighting in the form of solar in all the camps in Masai Mara. This investment in clean energy helps meet the camps electricity needs and also helps protect the environment.
SDG 8: Decent work & economic  growth
Basecamp creates job opportunities for the local Maasai people in Masai Mara who are employed in the camps. The community projects also provide opportunities that provide the community with a steady source of income from beading, guiding and lease fees activities while not harming the environment.
SDG 9: Industry, innovation & infrastructure
Mara Naboisho Conservancy is an innovative partnership between Basecamp explorer, like minded tourism partners and over 500 Masai families. Infrastructural development within Naboisho and the establishment of the unique private partnership project has enabled Naboisho provide income to over 500 landowners; create 300 jobs with indirect benefits to over 10,000 local people.
SDG 10: Reduced inequalities
Basecamp operates in Masai Mara, a marginalized region in Kenya. Through the capacity building projects that focus on education and job creation, Basecamp creates socioeconomic benefits for the local Maasai community. As a result, Basecamp reduces poverty and inequality for the Maasai people in Masai Mara.
SDG 11: Sustainable cities & communities
Mara Naboisho community is a unique partnership that has created a sustainable community for human and wildlife to thrive. Improved infrastructure within the conservancy and a strict policy that allows a restricted number of beds within the conservancy and a strict game viewing policy has reduced congestion and pollution within the conservancy. Provision of a land lease fees to over 500 landowners has helped reduce poverty within the community.
SDG 12: Responsible Consumption & production
Basecamp Maasai Brand products are made of recycled items such as local leather and beads. The eco-friendly waste disposal method involves garbage separation and composting in a clean well-fenced garbage disposal and composting area. This reduces the impact on the environment while reducing poverty through creating economic benefits for the local Maasai women.
SDG 13: Climate action
To date, Basecamp has planted over 100,000 indigenous trees establishing the only typical forest in the Talek region in Masai Mara. This has improved the climatic conditions in the region transforming the locality into a micro climatic region and increasing rainfall as well as birds and wildlife over the years.
SDG 14: Life under water
SDG 15: Life on land
Basecamp and other like minded partners established Mara Naboisho Conservancy to safeguard the pristine ecosystem from subdivision and further degradation. Since the formation of the conservancy in 2010, there has been a dramatic increase in wildlife, with Naboisho now believed to have one of the highest lion densities in Africa and is home to over 220 recorded bird species.
SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
Since the beginning, Basecamp has partnered closely with the local Maasai community to develop models for conserving nature, established and supported community programs that have helped transform the lives in the region. The involvement of the local community in all aspects has strengthened the relationship between Basecamp and the community and also amongst the community members thus creating a strong community and a conducive environment for all and creating better places to visit and live in.
SDG 17: Partnerships for the goals
Long term sustainable benefits require the participation of all stakeholders and our continued growth and success is due to the support we receive from our partners across the world. Our approach has been anchored in integrating sustainability in our business model. Together with all stakeholders in the government, public and private sector, our objectives focus on sustainable development in Masai Mara.

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