With the Sera Rhino Sanctuary in full operation, the Sera community are now looking to build their ecotourism product. In January 2016, they decided to come together for a day to tidy up the grounds of what they hope will be a thriving tourist facility. In partnership with NRT, the Sera community have secured funding from the Samburu County Government to renovate the Sera Guest House, which is close to the Rhino Sanctuary and other attractions. Their ‘clean up day’ was in preparation for imminent building work, and reflected a huge sense of community pride in their conservancy and its potential.
Kauro Bandas, or Sera Guest House, sits in the shade of doum palms on the edge of a beautiful sandy lugga, overlooking a wildlife watering hole. In consultation with NRT, the Sera community have secured Ksh. 2 million from the County Government of Samburu to make improvements to the property. This they see as a stepping stone to attracting more tourism investment to Sera.
As well as the Rhino Sanctuary, Sera Conservancy offers pristine wilderness and a host of other wildlife, including elephant, wild dog, cheetah and hyena. It is also home to Kisima Hamsini water holes, where every morning, thousands of sand grouse and other birds come to drink. The scene is quite a spectacle, and a definite highlight to any visitor’s trip. The Conservancy has an airstrip, and the road from Nairobi all the way to Marsabit is tarmac, making access to Sera easy by both road and air. With warm nights and unspoilt skies, the community hope that the improved facility will attract an investor to operate a high end ‘star bed’ experience, much like in Loisaba. Tourism investment will help make their conservation and livelihoods programmes financially self sustainable.