Over the past years The Sands at Nomad, a boutique hotel located on the award winning Diani Beach has been taking steps to reduce and improve it's impact as a hotel on it's natural environment. Visitors will not ﬁnd plastic bottles or drinking straws, hotel information is all paper free coming in the form of the Sands at Nomad APP, all glass bottles are stored and recycled or up cycled, glass water bottles are reﬁlled by the supplier, drinking glasses are made from up cycled bottles, and the list goes on.
In June 2017 The Sands at Nomad took this a step further by initiating another two projects, the ﬁrst was the creation of a turtle hatchery for relocated nests. This project kicked oﬀ after a request by The Diani Turtle Watch for a secure hatchery to be created at the hotel. The reason for this was that by the end of May, all the safe and secure nesting sites along Diani beach were full meaning there was no more space for other nests that were still being laid on the beach below tidal walls where the hatchlings in the eggs were never going to have the chance to survive.
Sea turtles are a marine reptile who's numbers worldwide dropped to a 'threatened' status over the past decades due to loss of habitat and nesting sites, over ﬁshing, drowning or injury in ﬁshing nets and health problems linked to the amount of plastics which are ending up in the oceans.
On the 21st of June 2017 the ﬁrst Green sea turtle nest was translocated to the new hatchery at The Sands, one week later a female Green turtle found the hatchery on her own laying over one hundred eggs. After these two, eight more nests were relocated to the hatchery until there were 10 nests all marked, safe and secure above the tidal line. The result of this was that by the end of October 2017 around 1000 baby sea turtles had hatched from the hatchery and made it to the ocean, a huge success for such a new project.
The second project was The Sands Marine Center, located a mere ﬁve minute walk from the hotel reception and reached along a forest trail through 'corral-rag coastal forest' home to the memorable Angolan Colobus monkeys, Black-and-Rufus elephant shrews
and a whole host of other fauna and ﬂora.
The Sands at Nomad's marine center was set up to be a centralized location where ocean conservation, turtle conservation and sustainability projects could be based and showcased to interested visitors to raise awareness and attention to sustainable practices and the current state of the oceans.
The marine center project began in late 2017 with the renovation of an old boathouse, walls were painted, posters were printed, tables and desks were made, and information was collected until an educational journey was created.
One side of the Marine center was set up to draw ones attention to the negative aﬀects we as humans have on sea turtles and the oceans, another was given to the Diani Turtle Watch as a base for their operations, another was set up as a turtle monitoring station where scuba diving guests wanting to get involved can take part in an identiﬁcation and monitoring program from which the data collected can then be used to locate and monitor individuals and the population of a key environmental indicator species.
These two projects, combined with the many other steps towards sustainability and environmental responsibility has lead to The Sands At Nomad recently being awarded a silver certiﬁcation by the environmental body Eco-Tourism Kenya, a very commendable
achievement that not many have reached.