By Daryl Black, Operations Manager
Our two larger camps, Saruni Samburu and Saruni Mara have recently fully replaced our lodge electrical systems and installed two state of the art solar power plants, allowing us to be 80% off grid with the view to being 100% off grid in the near future. In Samburu we installed a 25kWh plant for our guests at the top of the huge bolder with the best views in Kenya. We also installed a 10kWh plant for our staff housing so they may enjoy watching football on TV at their leisure.
In the Mara we have installed a 25kWh plant which powers the whole camp including Nyati, our private house in the wild.
We have worked together with a company called Sustainable Decisioning (Susdec) to install solar power system. A trio of innovative Kenyan technicians who own and run the company have set up the solar plants as well as monitoring systems linked from our remote locations to the United Kingdom to ensure they are performing to the best of their capabilities.
The remote monitoring system uses our existing Wi-Fi and communicates live feed of the camps usage from the inverters to the UK where Susdec has an office. We will be alerted to any unwanted high consumption spikes on the system as well as irregular weather patterns which may affect the charging capacity of the batteries. This allows us to protect the inverters and our battery bank from falling to a percentage below its threshold which would reduce its lifespan.
Saruni Wild our exclusive 3 tented camp has been running off grid for two years and has been such an asset as our guests are able to enjoy all the power they need whilst only listening to the sounds of the Masai Mara.
We are currently upgrading our Saruni Rhino camp with new inverters and lead batteries allowing us to also fully move away from fossil fuels so we can enjoy the tranquility of Northern Kenya.
By the end of August, we will have reduced our carbon footprint by 40% reducing emissions and noise pollution in all the protected areas we operate within.