Aderema by Oluokos - Smile With Nature

Aderema by Oluokos, Smile with Nature – The entire ecosystem and the inhabitants of the Aderema Hills in western Kenya are under threat. Unsustainable utilization of natural resources, unethical farming trends, hunting of game meat, and unchecked soil erosion are threatening the community’s livelihoods.

The Iteso in Kenya, numbering about 578,000, live mainly in Busia County. Unlike the other Teso-speaking ethnic groups, the Iteso have never been nomadic; agriculture has played a significant role in their social, economic, and expressive lives as cattle have among the other groups.

Frequent runoff on the hill slopes because of poor farming practices carries soil into the streams, rivers, and further down to the plains. Deforestation on the hills through slush and burning is destroying wildlife habitats and pushing the community to look for alternative livelihoods in the steep hills and groves that are also the sources of springs and streams. Aderema Hills are among the few habitats in western Kenya that are made home to some of Kenya’s poorly known bird species. The bad side is that these birds are localized in these last habitats and are their last strongholds. Apart from birds, the hills are also home to the common Vervet monkey and a small number of De Brazza’s monkeys whose populations are globally endangered because they are restricted to small, isolated pockets of forests amid expanding farmland within western Kenya

This is unprecedented and the future of Aderema is of great concern. With different interests competing for land, including large-scale agriculture, the Aderema Hills are in dire need of support.

 Securing Tomorrow, today…

Securing Tomorrow Today through Tourism



Our Nature Custodians Beyond the fences…

Every fragile ecosystem is somebody’s home. Empowering local communities through ecotourism is every conservationist’s obligation. For an ecosystem to remain successful it relies on the community that benefits from initiatives supported by responsible conservation practice. Some of these benefits include good health, sanitation, access to education, resilient cultures, strong social infrastructures, food security, and indirect benefits.

Part of a holistic solution to a problem that if left unchecked could result in having to restock our wildernesses in the next few years’ time. Through ecotourism, we’ve designed this solution to tackle poverty, protect communities, conserve nature, and effect cultural change only where it’s absolutely necessary.

For us, ensuring that we have the greatest impact has meant Oluokos creating its own signature footprint. We treasure our community; we’re dearly attached to nature as we depend on it for our lifelong income. The success of our approach requires three vital ingredients: conservation, commerce, and community. It’s only through your support that we can achieve these. Please, move forward and support us today.


There are so many ways how you can make a difference. We are on a mission to help make travel a force for good, but we can’t do it alone. Be inspired by our expert partners and join us on our journey towards a sustainable future.

Want to join our responsible tourism initiative?

We are open to partnerships from like-minded partners for us to safeguard our future together. Please, Become Our Partner



Preserving passionately for gains…

It’s wise not to forget that conservation-based travel only works if it benefits all, the host community very much MUST be included. As a responsible travel operator, we have since our inception been acutely aware of the role we play in ensuring that our trips have a long-term positive impact on the people for whom the destinations we use are home.

  1. Habitat loss owing to deforestation: With the improvements of machinery in the wrong hands, and the abuse of the machinery, deforestation has greatly increased as a result of this. Concerns have been raised and the need to manage this must be highlighted as soonest.
  2. Illegal Bush Fires: Heavily practiced by the communities, setting fires to hunt small or large animals as well as to clear forest for agricultural land is widespread and is leading to the loss of forest cover each year. There is a need to check on the illegal and irresponsible burning that often goes rampant during the dry season.
  3. Shifting Cultivation: The old fashion of farming practice in the region involves moving from one ground to another and it has turned to be unsustainable to the environment as it leads to loss of both grasslands, forests, and woodland annually. Through zoning, this way of farming can be managed by a provision of well-demarcated agricultural zones. This is only possible through the proper development of a land-use plan for all the stakeholders.
  4. Unsustainable Fishing: Out of concern overfishing is a major threat at present and especially with the future demand for commercialization, from the urban settlements within the vicinity of the lake and also coupled with the wrong/illegal fishing gears there could be pressure to fish species in the lake and its wetlands in the near future.
  5. Illegal/Unsustainable Resources Utilization: Both small, medium, and large birds and animals have become targets for bush meat. This practice is historically part of the traditions. But, in this modern life where man has learned to use sophisticated weapons, the results could be very devastating in the long run. Our ecosystems are already suffering from the low/zero numbers of some species namely; elephants, hippopotamus, bongo, and buffalo, as well as some primates.

Low-impact Tourism


At Oluokos Signature, economic viability is the key to sustainability and enables us to achieve our purpose beyond day-to-day-operations. To create genuine, sustainable wealth for the company, our employees, our stakeholders and Kenya as a whole, we have to be a focused, resilient, positive growth-oriented and financially sound business. For these to be achieved our business require visionary drive; financial prudence and we need to strike the right balance between innovative business growth and core product focus.

In the travel sector, trading and wealth accumulation have remained central to the development of civilizations over thousands of years and are likely to remain so for the distant future. However, uncontrolled, commerce can have negative impacts. When conducted in a more sustainable manner, travel can be a positive contributor to the sustainability principles of our business in balance. Within this dimension we address issues that affect the sustainability of our business and its capacity to provide a source of income for those people that depend on it, as well as our ability to reinvest back into initiatives in the other 3Cs.



Our Philosophy…

Our concept of responsible tourism emerged a few years ago. This was after the concept of sustainable development, and is imbricated in the global environmental movement as “tourism in natural areas that meets the choices and the needs of the present and the future”.

We are well aware that this way of operations gives high priority to the role of preservation of the local ecosystem, sustainability of the wellbeing of local communities, and guests – the possibility to become immersed in the wilderness, in harmony with its natural environment and also at peace with the host communities.

Since its inception, always understood its responsibility towards wildlife as the natural heritage of humankind: to live in harmony with the natural environment we have to help in deepening the commitments towards sustainable development at all levels, from local to global.

At Oluokos, our commitment, passion, and dedication to responsible tourism go beyond the marketing terminology.

Our principal ethos is to consider communities as equal stakeholders and ultimate beneficiaries of our ecotourism venture. In spite of numerous bird species and the serenity of Lake Victoria, the lush highlands and forests, and the rich cultural diversity in Western Kenya, most of Western Kenya is still totally devoid of any protective presence. This has created a gap the destruction of the habitats is pretty first pushing most of the species of birds, plants and the remnant wild animals to the edge of the local extinction. Upon the observation of this reality, we stepped in to fill the gaps in conservation through ecotourism.

We still believe that our priority is to conserve rather than to consume and even if we consume, then this MUST be done as ethically as possible and in the most responsible manner. Thus, the principles of sustainability in the Aderema Hills are our main goal in order to respect and nurture the essence of ecotourism. With this determination, we have affirmed to promote the pillars of eco-tourism within our operations in Aderema Hills and its beyond ecosystems, and in its surroundings for a sustainable utilization of its natural resources, for the local community and the visitors.

We aim at doing this through Best Nature Initiatives that will be propelled through, education, social development, and through the protection of natural resources by purposeful practices for a greener future.


Iteso Culture

Our Heritage & Lifestyle potentials

In eastern and central Africa, even the remotest villages still provide a canvas for the manifestation of creativity. Oluokos Signature offers a variety of platforms through which we enrich lives by awakening people’s potential in cultural importance.

At Oluokos Signature, we strive to embrace all cultures. We understand with precision where our individual paths may cross and where they diverge. In celebrating our differences, we have nurtured a valuable understanding.

Celebrating commonality is what nurtures understanding and respecting diversity is crucial to our future. Oluokos ability to innovate and evolve is what makes us uniquely purposeful    human. For a reasonable period, we have strengthened intercultural relationships and understanding, safeguarding cultural heritage while raising awareness of the importance of cultural diversity. While directly and indirectly supporting destinations, activities in this dimension address issues of cultural heritage site protection, cultural heritage promotion, respect, and cultural exchange.

We have a unique ethos created to generate well-being in our trusted team of hosts and trainees. We guarantee comfort and exclusivity to our guests, and positivity in our operations’ model and employees. This is our compass, and it is key in our daily undertakings. Guided by the four principles: fairness, creativity, honesty, and positivity. We have brought these elements at all levels into our practices and as a business, we have invested in local people by offering training a new guide’s generation, community cooks, and nature conservationists. We have also nurtured women and men entrepreneurs.  



Ethically on land, waters and the jungle…

The operating model that has created a global tourism industry is dying and a new model is emerging. The rules of the game are being changed, right now. As visitor number surge, so do the costs associated with resource depletion, pollution and wealth creation/concentration.

If not checked, external pressures will require the travel economy to pay significantly more for services that hitherto have been free or relatively affordable. These cost increases will occur when reduced incomes and higher demand volatility are already compromising the resilience and profitability of existing travel businesses.

In the context of day-to-day life at Oluokos, Consciousness is “the state of being aware of and responsive to one’s surroundings – as an organization and as individuals, including guests.” This applies to what one does and why and how one lives and engages… It is not such a straightforward concept and is, therefore, possibly the most vital ‘C’ in the Oluokos Signature 5Cs concept.

Oluokos Signature conscious travel concept, allow our communities to offer a learning program that enable our destinations to attract and welcome guests in a manner that lowers our carbon footprint.

Having looked at the three elements of our destinations’ mix: Places, Guests and Hosts, the result is all about PEOPLE. If we change our values and our perception of how the world works, then everything else changes. Similarly, tourism is embedded in and dependent on a biosphere for its life support and this is what all humans and other living beings are dependent on.

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