Responsible tourism and charities that we support
We are truly passionate about Africa and recognise that in carrying out our work as a tour operator we have a responsibility to respect other people’s places and ways of life, as well as protect the wildlife on our beloved continent. We aim to maximise the benefits our clients’ travels can bring to an area, and we try to be responsible in all our dealings in the areas of environmental, social and economic impact.
No hunting holidays
Somak will not take bookings for those wanting to participate in the trophy hunting trade. We believe that wildlife should be witnessed in its natural habitat, and that a modern safari goer should shoot the “big five” with a camera, and not a gun.
Rest assured that your booking with us, is a booking with a company that cares about wildlife, and not one that supports, actively or tacitly, the exploitation of the animals and ecosystems that make a visit to Africa so special.
As East Africa is our community, and our home, we are committed to supporting those that live there.
That’s why Somak Holidays includes complimentary Amref Flying Doctors ‘Maisha’ Air Ambulance cover with every holiday booked to East Africa. For every passenger that travels with us, we contribute $5 to Amref Health Africa, one of the leading health development agencies on the continent. When this cover is not needed, we will donate the full value towards this inspiring organisation.
Amref Health Africa works with marginalised and vulnerable people across Africa to deliver preventative, community-based health care. Focussing primarily on women and children, they work side-by-side with the people living in those communities to build the knowledge, skills and means to transform their health and break the cycle of poverty. Headquartered in Nairobi, Amref Health Africa is a truly African organisation and it is their promise to:
> Improve the lives of disadvantaged people in Africa through better health,
> Bridge the gap between communities, health systems and governments,
> Become a leading voice for advocacy for health system reforms in Africa.
Amref Health Africa does inspirational work in East Africa that we recognise as integral to our region and its growth. This is why we are proud to support them, and are eager to ensure that those who book with us know about their work, and help contribute to the communities they are visiting, and grow to admire.
The Born Free Foundation
The Born Free Foundation was founded by Virginia McKenna OBE and Bill Travers following their starring roles in the classic film ‘Born Free’. Today, led by their son Will Travers, Born Free takes action worldwide to protect threatened species and stop individual animal suffering.
As Somak Holidays are committed to conservation, we work closely with partners such as the Born Free Foundation to promote the continued survival and advancement of Africa’s wildlife. It is especially important to us because we have seen firsthand the damage that has been done already in our fifty years of existence. We know that action must be taken sooner rather than later to ensure that the wildlife we love is there forever.
Loigero Primary School
The Loigero Primary School is located close to the entry gate of the Masai Mara and serves the Masai community of Talek. The school stems from small beginnings, when its founder, Jacob Nkumum, taught small groups of boys under an acacia tree. Classes were regularly interrupted by the surrounding wildlife such as lions, cheetahs, and sometimes even by the wildebeest migration. It has been 15 years since the school was founded and it now has permanent buildings with 14 classrooms and 13 teachers who educate over 488 boys and girls who attend the school.
It is thanks to the donations and support of local and international businesses, including Somak, as well as international charities and tourists, that the school continues to thrive. The school now offers a meal for every pupil, and the next phase is to build a dormitory so that pupils from neighbouring communities can also attend the school and stay there.
We truly believe that education is the building block of development. When Somak’s sister company Ashnil Hotels built its Ashnil Mara property, we made sure we were a part of the local economy and community. We acknowledge the importance of education in ensuring that our community thrives. It is important that Ashnil Mara does not exist simply to serve visitors to the region, but also that our neighbours benefit and that we work together to ensure sustainable progress.
Tusk is a dynamic and pioneering organisation with 25 years of experience initiating and funding conservation, community development and environmental education programmes and projects across Africa.
Since it was established in 1990, Tusk has invested more than £25 millions into a wide range of projects across the continent that not only work to protect wildlife, but also help to alleviate poverty through sustainable development and education amongst rural communities living alongside the wildlife. Tusk’s aim is to forge an inextricable link between the preservation of Africa’s natural heritage and the future of its land, culture and people.
The protection of wildlife is one of the key objectives with substantial funding being applied towards threatened species such as elephants, rhinos, lions, cheetah, gorillas, African wild dogs and the giant sable.
By partnering with local organisations, Tusk is able to combine conservation, education and community programmes to make positive change.
HRH the Duke of Cambridge has been the charity’s Royal Patron since 2005 and has been a proactive supporter of Tusk’s work ever since.
Somak were more than happy to send three Landcruiser vehicles driven by professional driver/guides who assisted with the transfers of the runners during the 2016 Safaricom Marathon, which year upon year raises great sums of money for the Tusk Trust.