In the front lobby of the Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge, guests can view statistics about the Lodge’s …

AKDN / Lucas Cuervo Moura

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Benefiting Communities

At each hotel, the policy is to minimise the impact on the local environment while maximising the socio-economic benefits to the local economy. Serena Hotels prioritise hiring and training local residents for employment at all levels of the organisation. We directly employ about 5,600 people.

In 2002, the Government of Afghanistan asked AKDN to help restore Kabul’s hotel capacity, which had been destroyed by the civil war. Today Kabul Serena Hotel directly employs over 200 staff and develops and supports local suppliers of goods and services.

The hotels also demonstrate local sustainable architecture, promote awareness of local cultures, reinvigorate artisanal and craft industries and contribute to national heritage. They support literacy and early learning opportunities, and promote health, safety and wellbeing through the Serena Wellness programme and Serena Clinics.

In 2003, the Serena Beach Resort & Spa in Mombasa established a Butterfly Conservation Sanctuary at its premises. To date, 65 species have been bred and almost 300,000 butterflies have been released.

AKDN / Lucas Cuervo Moura

Ensuring Sustainability

From site selection, design and construction through to their responsible day-to-day operations, each Serena property seeks to conserve and benefit the natural environment, sharing knowledge of environmental best practice with guests, schools, communities and other stakeholders.

In Tanzania, prior to the creation of new facilities in the country’s national parks, four environmental impact studies were carried out. While building permission was granted, one study for the Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge prompted changes in design to avoid impacting water availability to the local Masai people. Instead, the company invested in five kilometres of pipeline to bring water from an alternative source.

The Serena Resort in Mombasa maintains a sanctuary for indigenous butterflies where 65 species are bred. Over the last 19 years, we have released 399,000 butterflies into the coastal environment.

The sea turtle conservation programme at the Serena Resort in Mombasa plays a vital role within the ocean ecosystem, contributing towards efforts to counter climate change. Over the last 29 years, almost 62,000 turtle hatchlings have been released into the Indian ocean. One of the successes of the project has been to turn fishermen who were previously poachers of turtles and their eggs into protectors through monetary incentives.

The Serena reforestation programme in Africa has been in place since 1991. Our initial successes were in the Hombe Forest in the Mount Kenya National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) that suffered from the adverse effects of deforestation, and at Amboseli National Park, where the destruction of forests by elephants is well on the way to being reversed. Approximately 6.7 million trees have been planted in Africa by our guests, staff and local community school children, helping to reduce our carbon footprint.

Kilaguni Serena, Amboseli Serena and Mara Serena were all built in the 1970s within national parks/game reserves. From 2017-19, each installed an off-grid solar system, demonstrating how clean, renewable energy independence can be successfully achieved even in such challenging safari locations.

Four properties are on grid-tied solar systems: Lake Elmenteita and Sweetwaters Serena Camps in Kenya since 2018, and Faisalabad Serena and Quetta Serena in Pakistan since early 2022. Six Serena properties in East Africa have solar water heating systems.

Find out more about our work for the environment and with the local community.


These measures have earned the Serena Hotels numerous environmental awards and accolades, including:

CINET Global Best Practices Awards

Kilaguni Serena and Amboseli Serena Safari Lodges won the CSR Award in 2018 and 2020 respectively because of their sustainable and efficient solar power plant, eco-friendly laundry practices and their outstanding focus on supporting the community.

Gold Eco-Rated Properties by Eco-Tourism Kenya

Serena Beach Resort & Spa, Mombasa; Mara Serena Safari Lodge; Kilaguni Serena Safari Lodge; Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge; Lake Elmenteita Serena Camp; and Sweetwaters Serena Camp. This certification is recognised by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council.

Environmental and ISO Certification

  • Serena Business Complex (at Islamabad Serena Hotel): Eco Green Certification

  • Islamabad Serena Hotel: ISO 14001 | ISO 22000 | ISO 45001| ISO 9001

  • Faisalabad Serena Hotel: ISO 9001 | ISO 14001

  • Quetta Serena Hotel: ISO 9001 | ISO 14001

Eco-Warrior Kenya Awards 2018 and 2019

  • Lake Elmenteita Serena Camp won the “Social Impact” Award.

  • Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge took the 1st Runner-up position of the “Social Impact” Award.

  • Serena Beach Resort & Spa won the “Best in Protecting Marine Heritage” Award.

  • Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge won the “Best Accommodation Facility in Promoting Culture and Heritage” Award.

Skål International Sustainable Tourism Awards 2019

Serena Beach Resort & Spa was ranked fourth out of 11 in the “Marine & Coastal” category for its “Endangered Turtle Conservation” project.

Opening Ceremony of the Zanzibar Tourism Show 2019

Zanzibar Serena Hotel was recognised as the first five-star hotel in Stone Town and for its commitment to service excellence, cultural and heritage preservation that gained Stone Town recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage site. This special mention and certificate of appreciation was received for outstanding contribution to tourism in Zanzibar.

“Empowering of the Girl Child”

Kampala Serena Hotel gained a recognition award from UN Women, Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development and Girls Flourish for its contribution.

Zanzibar Tourism Awards 2018

Zanzibar Serena Hotel was the only hotel to be recognised as runner-up for the “Best Destination Development Champion” category.