Why Visit Aderema Hills

Life-changing volunteering, activities and experiences...

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Benefits of your visitation

Are you ready to join us and restore balance and harmony in some of the Kenya’s most eclectic ecosystem? Contact us today and begin a life-changing journey that makes a difference

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Aderema By Oluokos – Smile With Nature

Having an in-depth understanding of the lack of alternative livelihoods is a key issue that both, directly and indirectly, affect the ecosystems. Our response to this alongside our guests and, other conservation organizations should identify feasible alternative activities that could both, directly and indirectly, generate income for the native communities from the natural resources sustainably. Travel for good with Oluokos Signature.



Aderema Hills – Standing Stones is a community-led tourism initiative that aims to foster an authentic human-nature connection and transformational slow holiday experience that mutually benefits the community, saves the environment, and enriches the guests’ experience.

Our program runs from one to three weeks where learning from the host community, sharing your knowledge with them and the cultural immersion offers guests a rare opportunity to indulge themselves in the rich culture and farming traditions by becoming a part of the Iteso community of Aderema in Western Kenya.

Aderema is so much more than your ordinary safari experience. We’re a responsible experiences designer, a passionate community changer, and above all nature conservationists.  At Oluokos, we specialize in achieving your best holiday experiences by influencing our community positively.

Our Team

Hover Box Element

Aderema Hills in Iteso land is sandwiched between Kenya’s last frontier, the acacia plains, the dusty woodlands, and the swamps of the Iteso landscape-overlooking Uganda’s iconic Tororo Rock and the second highest mountain in Kenya.

With our ecotourism initiative, we have spent a good part of our lives working closely with the Iteso, and don’t forget the Oluokos are Nilotes too and this makes us be proudly associated with our Iteso community, the birds, wildlife, and land surrounding our nature-loving family. Ouma Oluoko, founder of the Oluokos Signature, and his wife, Christine spend the majority of their time visiting these environs with guests to understand the beauty amidst the needs and struggles of the Iteso and initiate ventures that will make a real difference in the future.

We believe that the best, most effective, and immediate way to help both the conservation of wildlife and the interests of the communities who own the land where our activities take place is to visit us. Through the payment of daily conservation fees – money that we collect goes a long way towards financing nature conservation.

We honestly understand that the communities can only protect the wildlife, the flora, and the fauna only if they get immense and tangible benefits from sustainable tourism. At Aderema by Oluokos, making nature a profitable business is an important way to ensure a long-term win-win scenario for both nature and communities.

Your visitation and stay at Aderema create direct and indirect job opportunities with more than 95% of our staff sourced from these communities and also contributing to the GDP of Kenya.

Here’s where you come in….

Through this appeal, contributors can ‘Acquire an Acre for Nature’ in Aderema through a donation that will fund the land purchase so that nature can continue flourishing. Contributors can be confident that all the money is going directly to safeguard the future of our ecosystem.

We are asking our friends & Supporters to play a part in our conservation mission and to help to keep the payments flowing into the communities by helping us to acquire 1 or more acres for a year through a donation that starts from as little as US$25.

From the Oluokos, a special incentive will be given wholeheartedly. Anyone acquiring acres for the contribution of US$1,000 or more will receive a credit from the Oluokos for the same amount donated to be used towards the payment of a stay at the Oluokos in the future.

Weekly Bird Walk

Once a week, we appreciate nature by enjoying and discovering the birdlife and natural history of Aderema Hills with the community. This is the best way to train the community about birds and equip them to be better future guides.

We explore the ornithological interests of the Aderema Hills every Saturday and we’re intending to do this year-round. We believe that this is a great way to enjoy the seasons and the variety that nature has to offer especially during the migration months.

 

Join us on a bird walk or follow us on social media platforms. You could also share this with your friends and associates so that they may remain informed should they want to join us.

Community's Outreach

At Aderema by Oluokos, we arrange visits to the local learning institutions to introduce ecotourism and nature conservation concepts and projects through lectures, nature walks, presentations, and documentary shows. We are also eager to teach them about bird watching and even introduce bird watching in the future.

Our community outreach is also extended part-time and, full-time internships annually for two local students, and multiple school visits per year to learn about eco-tourism, wildlife conservation, green technology, and environmental responsibility and sustainability. These lessons are vital as they grow up and we believe that they will be of good help for their future career development.

Join us on a bird walk or follow us on social media platforms. You could also share this with your friends and associates so that they may remain informed should they want to join us.

Back to Nature

At Aderema by Oluokos, we’re in the process of securing acres of the ecosystem. These vital acres were previously used as mining quarries and some of them are still active. Once abandoned, they first degenerate supporting little or no life.

Through our acquisition, we believe that the chances of regenerating rapidly back to the natural state are high. Once rejuvenated there shall be good reasons for more bird species, different mammals and primates to be attracted and the site shall be used to train members of the community in birding and guiding.

This initiative shall be a key success for the Aderema, particularly regarding its ecosystem conservation efforts given the number of species that will be repopulated in the area. We’re looking forward to new entries being added to the spotters’ lists almost within a reasonable frequency.

Grasslands Not Dustpans

Unfortunately, the loss and deterioration of wildlife-rich grasslands happen gradually, in piecemeal ways, and that easily goes unnoticed.

Our grassland inhabitants – including much-loved species like the Long Claw, Pipits, Larks, and Lapwings, as well as a host of butterfly species and a huge diversity of grasses, flowers, and fungi, may not exist without a long-term commitment from us and our communities.

This special biome is home to a range of flora and fauna, which add to its resilience against natural disasters such as droughts or wildfires. In fact, native grassland plants have adapted to extreme weather conditions to such an extent that savannas require seasonal droughts and wildfires to maintain biodiversity at its best.

Grasslands are threatened by habitat loss, which can be caused by human actions, such as unsustainable agricultural practices, overgrazing, and slush and burning on farms. Having this in mind, we have identified this initiative to benefit the grassland owners in the community as well as the land.

In the future, we’re considering engaging the women to collect grass seed and sell it to us then we will plant them where needed. We believe that through the rehabilitation and sustainable management of the grassland our ecosystem will continue to remain healthy.

Save Our Indigenous Trees

Why Indigenous Trees?

For their environmental importance, they prevent desertification, as their root system is similar to a “mixed system” composed of a central pivot that can go down to the water table and a lateral system that can hold and avoid soil degradation. Isn’t this marvelous?

They are also known to be able to hold available water, even if it’s from remote depths. The grass carpet created by the bush prevents water run-off and contributes to the reconstruction of water tables. They act as a barrier to desertification while nourishing soils, making them more fertile and an asset for farming and for local communities. In addition, by drawing nitrogen from the air and by transferring it to the soils via their roots and their vegetative cover, indigenous trees contribute to the development of the gas cycle while stabilizing rainfall.

It’s well understood that in periods of water scarcity, indigenous trees provide the much-needed water supply to wildlife and domestic species. These trees not only supply forage and shade for cattle but are also a home for several bird species and are generally a supportive environment for plan biodiversity.

Our initiative is to protect indigenous trees and help structure their availability through supporting the rehabilitation and reforestation of areas with tree species in the Aderema and its surrounding environments.

  • Community-owned resource center. Building a fully-fledged resource center where residents from the community may spend some hours learning more about the global developments through the internet and other relevant books.
  • Self-financing protected areas.English language immersion for the young Iteso in the community. Language development is vital not only for academic excellence but also for developmental opportunities beyond the Aderema community.
  • Nature pays so nature stays. The host community, understanding the economic benefits of sustainable tourism, is often motivated to protect resources and adopt conservationist attitudes. We believe nature is worth so much revenue for many generations to come.
  • Driving sustainable development. While also creating employment opportunities, tourism revenue from our operations helps the local communities towards sustainable development projects. Infrastructure, health, and education are some of the main beneficiaries.
  • Long-term income. Sustainable tourism often proves to be a more sustainable development strategy than extractive uses of the land such as logging, grazing, mining, or unstainable farming. In the real economic assessment of suitable hunting, charcoal burning and unstainable harvesting of natural resources could only offer some initial high return, followed by little income then in the long term there will be no return at all. Based on this observation, we would love to conclude by saying that, sustainable tourism provides the most income over the long term.
  • Environmental education. The host community will benefit from the environmental education that comes along with sustainable tourism. Schoolchildren from the Aderema community will routinely be taken to visit the Aderema Hills visitor center, this will be funded in part by eco-tourist dollars, to learn about the intricacies of the hills.

Aderema by Oluokos offers so much more than just your ordinary holiday expectations!

In a nutshell, Aderema is more than a cocktail of experiences. Expect more than the drive to get here, so, we don’t have game drives but preciously cherished walking and hiking options and it’s not just about game drives and the stunning landscapes that sweep beyond Kenya’s second-highest mountain, the Elgon!

While you are with us, you can immerse yourself into the community, and our culture, and experience the traditional ways of farming, hiking, walking safaris, bird watching, and absolutely amazing skies.

Our flexibility allows you to choose what you would like your day to look like and we’ll be more than delighted to guide you through the available options. At Aderema by Oluokos, your pace and your taste contribute to the weaving of your experience.

Birding Safari

Bird watching is an important aspect of every nature experience in Kenya. While there are birds almost everywhere still, watching birds’ behavior in their natural habitats is really an eye-opening experience on its own.

With more than 1100 bird species, Kenya has some of the world’s best birdwatching opportunities, and with a vast diversity of bird species, Aderema Hills offers more than 90 bird species and we are expecting our checklist to grow. Our location and the surroundings offer exciting moments to see a number of different birds, with some of them being restricted to our locality. Please find more details about our birds here Aderema Hills Including Oluokos Fair Acres biome-restricted species.

Walking Safari

Bird watching is an important aspect of every nature experience in Kenya. While there are birds almost everywhere still, watching birds’ behavior in their natural habitats is really an eye-opening experience on its own.

Sometimes, one might experience a physical overload that will be accompanied by a cocktail of expectation, unwarranted fear of the unknown, and much more. However, each walk’s natural scents, unforgettable views, sights, and sounds would change how best we enjoy our experiences.

For our own pure enjoyment, hearing, seeing, and learning contribute to the main ingredient of this sheer experience.

Our walks are well curated to enrich all regardless of your interest. Whether you are in love with birds, flapping with joy at the sight of butterflies, or are in love with the wilderness aroma of flowers our book of nature would be offering some good insights to you.

Nature Walks

This experience combines some of the very best nature walks from our Aderema Hills base with a spectacular backdrop of Mount Elgon. For your information, did you know that this is Kenya’s second-highest mountain?  We’re awesomely smiling to share with you some of the most soul-soothing sunup and sundown are to be enjoyed from here.

Our short walks to see where members of the community used to worship or where sacrifices were offered to where cutting tools were sharpened are all within reach in an hour’s time or so.

For the curious minds, more engaging bush walks, robins, and francolins tracking as well as learning bushcraft knowledge are optional extras. For those who really need to stretch their legs and explore further, there are numerous hills, valleys, stand-alone granite boulders, and ridges all of them with a fascinating history with names and places to be explored and knowledge passed on.

Village Walks

At Aderema, we have a neat relationship with the local Iteso community who are always very happy and eager to share their culture with our guests.

During this visitation, our community guide will lead you to the village where the home elder will give you an informative tour of the village with a warm description detailing the history of the Iteso tribe.

This walk takes you to different parts of the community where you will learn their customary ways of life and traditions from culinary, dancing, child naming, farming, and much more.

Informative Hikes

Exploring the pristine beauty of the Aderema hills on foot is the perfect way to discover its ecosystem. From flowers, insects, reptiles, birds, and animals, and without forgetting to mention the magnificent views that all make this remote wilderness area so special.

Expect to walk quietly through the diverse arrays of bushes and enjoy the wilderness freshness of Africa as you listen to the chirping birds or catch the brief views of the curious Vervet monkeys, the shy and very rare De Brazza’s monkey,  and without missing the drifting views of Mount Elgon, Kenya’s second-highest mountain.

For those wanting an informative walking safari, the hills offer the best experience perfect ever. The informative walk is offered daily subject to the availability of guests. If your ideal taste of adventure is about getting lost in the sounds of nature this is for you as an individual or a family.

Sunup Hike

The shady trees and shrubbery on the hills provide a superb habitat for birds, butterflies, and reptiles all year round. One of the most tranquil ways to experience Aderema Hills is when on a guided sunup bush hike. This walk is led by an experienced field guide who will also share with you the best part of natural history.

On this walk, you have the chance to appreciate the smaller aspects of this ecosystem that really matter to us most. From insects to flowers and from herbs to trees, our knowledgeable guide will share invaluable information about the medicinal and practical uses for indigenous plants and much more.

For those wanting an informative walking safari, the hills offer the best experience perfect ever. The informative walk is offered daily subject to the availability of guests. If your ideal taste of adventure is about getting lost in the sounds of nature this is for you as an individual or a family.

Sundown Hike

When we trek to the top of the hill, the world beneath us changes first, especially with the hue colors of the sun as it gets ready to set. Armed only with our walking sticks, binoculars, cameras, and our water bottles our admiration for the wonders of nature can’t be mistaken for anything else.

Enjoying some crispy cool breeze from the plains below while at the same time appreciating the swinging trees in the mix of the chirping birds and the distance drifting hills and of course the looming peak of  Kenya’s second-highest mountain, the Elgon if the weather permits.

Where else in Kenya can you experience the magical sundown on the horizon while having some spectacular breath-taking vistas? Join us and let’s share with you our well-kept natural charm.

Aderema's Special Birding

Aderema is a bird watcher’s heaven and we’re endowed with over 90 species in our surroundings. The birds range from small and sometimes tame fire finches to the vibrant and very chirpy sunbirds and from the docile and the common doves to the swift and very active sparrow hawks.

Most of our common species here form some of the most spectacular and most sought-after birds. Around our gardens, the energetic Mocking Cliff Chat dominates the towering granite boulders for the better parts of the day.  In the flowers, the cheerful sunbirds, in the fruiting trees, Violet-backed Starlings, and barbets compete, for our attention while the straight flying Red-headed Lovebird performs several fly pasts very few hours.

Being around passion, our expertise, patience, and us will allow us to share with you our world of birds in the friendliest way in this much-cherished area.

Please find more details about our birds here Aderema Hills Including Oluokos Fair Acres. The checklist is subject to updates without notice.

Trips Further Afield

  • Arranged day trip or overnight by the shores of Lake Victoria
  • Stay in a local village for the night, singing and dancing with your hosts
  • One-night wildlife experience at Mount Elgon National Park for birds, primates, and good hiking possibilities among many caves exploration.
  • Bird watching the Budalangi Swamp Complex
  • Day trip to Katotoi Hills
  • Birding trip to Madende Creek
  • Day trips to the Kakamega Forest (3-hour drive)

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    Touch Lives – Visit Places That Matter Responsibly…

    The Experience

    Our mission is to connect travelers with responsible and ethical nature conservation programs and community development projects, to provide life-changing experiences that have a genuine impact.

    Are you ready to join us and restore balance and harmony in some of Kenya’s most eclectic ecosystems?

    Contact us today and begin a life-changing journey that makes a difference

    Our Mission

    Since our inception, we have identified and nurtured a close connection with the guests, conservation agencies, and the Iteso community who own the prime territories of Aderema Hills where fauna and flora thrive as the key element of our conservation policies. Our choice to invest a reasonable amount of resources and time in sustainable tourism was influenced by the fact that more than 80% of wildlife exists outside the protected areas. 

    Our SDG in Tourism

    Aderema By Oluokos is committed to the promotion of the following U.N. Sustainable Development Goals in tourism:

    GOAL 1: NO POVERTY

    GOAL 2: ZERO HUNGER

    GOAL 3: GOOD HEALTH AND WELL-BEING

    GOAL 5: GENDER EQUALITY

    GOAL 12: RESPONSIBLE CONSUMPTION AND PRODUCTION

    GOAL 13: CLIMATE ACTION

    Aderema By Oluokos

    Come and Smile With Nature!

    Get Ready for Aderema Hills

    Our Responsibly Handpicked Destinations

    We are proud members of Pack for a Purpose, an initiative that allows travelers like you to make a lasting impact in the community at your travel destination. If you save just a few kilos of space in your suitcase and take supplies for the projects we support in need, you’ll make a priceless impact on the lives of our local children and families. Please click here to see what supplies are needed for our project/projects.

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