Bushtops

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Bushtops's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Bushtops is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

bushtopscamps.com/

1BUSHTOPS |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2020
Co-founder Claudia Stuart
Wide open spaces in the
Masai Mara
Guests have said that the experience Bushtops provides is
“the best”, described its service as “exquisite” and told
the management team that their camps are among the
most wonderful places they have ever been. Bushtops’ Claudia
Stuart believes, however, that outstanding past performance is
cause for evolution rather than celebration. Their camps, she says,
provide a “perfect five-star luxury safari experience”. Claudia tells
The Parliamentary Review
just how Bushtops’ name has become
synonymous with the highest standards in safari holidays.
Tourism, like so many industries, is both saint and sinner: widened horizons are
good for us, but deeper environmental footprints are less so.
How, then, can a brand like ours – offering exceptional safari holidays via tented
camps in Kenya and Tanzania – blend premium experiences with sustainable
bestpractice?
Wild luxury
Let’s start with the first part: astonishing experiences. Anyone who has beheld a
crocodile homing in on a phalanx of wildebeest at a river crossing will testify to the
life-changing drama. Yet many of our guests are equally transfixed by the stately
grandeur of an elephant, the extraordinary leaps of a widow bird or the simple
beauty of an impala, chewing impassively alongside our open-sided Landcruisers.
Eating haute cuisine in our Masai Mara conservancy tends to make the heart sing
too, especially when accompanied by fine wines from a cellar in the Africanbush.
FACTS ABOUT
BUSHTOPS
»Co-founder: ClaudiaStuart
»Established in 2006
»Based in Mombasa, Kenya
»Services: Family-run safari
business
»No. of employees: 200
»Our Amani Spa has been
voted the best in Africa for 4
years running
»Each tent has a 100-square
metre private deck, its own
hot tub, indoor and outdoor
showers and butler
»www.bushtops.com
Bushtops
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
2| BUSHTOPS
A hot tub after a day’s safari,
in the privacy of a private deck,
adds piquancy to premium tented
accommodation, while a trip to
Kenya’s – indeed, Africa’s – best safari
spa takes luxury to unexpected levels.
For those preferring the wider vistas
of the Serengeti, we have two
Tanzanian camps: one is fixed, while
the other’s tents can be folded up
into our uniquely self-designed boxes,
enabling re-siting where the wildlife is
at its most compelling. This “Roving
Bushtops” concept is one of our
proudest innovations.
Sustainable best practice
Yet alongside our promise of “wild
luxury”, we are committed to
responsible guardianship.
We operate as partners with local
tribes, respecting their timeless rights,
but also paving a path to a mutually
sustainable future.
We manage local resources, such as
water, energy and waste, with the
greatest of care. Taking our original
camp, Mara Bushtops, as an example,
it runs on 32 photovoltaic solar panels
and a large bank of special batteries.
On an average day, this generates
enough power to run the camp for
approximately 20 hours. A back-
up generator starts automatically
when needed, to ensure seamless,
continuous comfort for our guests.
Eight large solar heater panels
keep water at 60C during the day,
providing hot water to our main
building, all 12 tents and their hot
tubs. On cloudy days, a wood-burning
heater supplements the panels,
with our specially planted woodland
area of fast-growing indigenous
trees providing a sustainable source
offirewood.
To fight packaging waste, we buy
our supplies in bulk and transport
fresh vegetables from the market in
reusable boxes. Sugar, butter, jam and
honey are served in small bowls and
dishes rather than wasteful individual
packs. All our biodegradable waste is
composted, while non-biodegradable
but recyclable waste is sent to Nairobi
to be processed.
Bushtops pioneered
“roving luxury” tents,
seen here in the central
Serengeti
Our guests
reconnect
with what
really matters:
nature,
people, spirit
and time.
Humanity
emerged from
Africa,
thousands of
years ago.
Coming to
Bushtops is
coming home
3BUSHTOPS |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2020
Our community programme
In discussion with village elders,
we have established protected
areas, management plans and a
conservancy code of conduct. We
lease and maintain the land in a way
which balances cattle grazing needs
with wildlife preservation. These
farsighted efforts have enabled the
Masai to maintain their traditions but
expand beyond livestock herding,
generating new income. Wildlife has
benefited from more secure grazing
and breeding areas, through greater
numbers of predators and prey alike.
The rent we pay to the community
for use of Mara Bushtops’ land helps
maintain livelihoods, as does the
employment we provide. Extra revenue
from the conservancy is used to fund
community healthcare and education
projects. We have also built a dam,
providing water for livestock.
Sponsorship from our guests and our
own efforts have put literally hundreds
of children through education. We
have piped water from a spring
six kilometres away, funded and
refurbished a classroom to create
and equip a computer lab, donated
a new classroom within a new three-
classroom block and helped to fund the
ongoing building of a new dininghall.
This direct involvement has seen us
assist local schools with teaching
assignments such as food hygiene and
preparation; support an environmental
club, enabling local children to
participate in game drives; plant trees;
and initiate a mentoring programme,
promoting awareness about gender
equality and balance in the community.
Reconnecting with nature
These initiatives are not designed to
burnish our reputation. They reflect a
core belief that alongside luxury safari
experiences, we are morally obliged to
contribute to society.
Creating luxurious safari experiences
that respect people and the land is an
expensive business, but also a welcome
duty. Our Kenyan roots go back four
generations, to a time when animals
were shot with guns, not cameras.
Today, we seek a more harmonious
future, never forgetting that this
combination of luxury standards
and good stewardship has to deliver
stunningly memorable holidays for
individuals, couples and families,
and re-energising backdrops for
corporatevisitors.
Hence, in everything we do, our aim
is to help our guests reconnect with
what really matters: nature, people,
spirit and time.
Humanity emerged from Africa,
thousands of years ago. Coming to
Bushtops is coming home.
Stunningly
memorable
holidays for
individuals,
couples and
families, and
re-energising
backdrops for
corporate
visitors
Lord of all he surveys

bushtopscamps.com/

This article was sponsored by Bushtops. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Michael Gove.

Rt Hon Michael Gove's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Michael Gove

This year's Parliamentary Review comes at a momentous time for parliament, as we collectively determine the destiny of the United Kingdom. 

On October 31, the UK will leave the European Union. The successful implementation of this process is this government's number-one priority.

Three years after a historic referendum vote, we will deliver on the decisive mandate from the British people. Trust in our democracy depends on it. Until that final hour, we will work determinedly and diligently to negotiate a deal, one that abolishes the backstop and upholds the warm and close relationship we share with our friends, allies and neighbours in the EU. But in the event that the EU refuses to meet us at the table, we must be prepared to leave without a deal.

As the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, it is my job to lead on this government's approach, should that scenario happen. Preparing for Brexit is my department's driving mission. But while I am leading this turbocharged effort, the whole of government is committed to this endeavour.

Ministers across Whitehall are working together to ensure that every possibility is considered, every plan is scrutinised and every provision is made. A daily drumbeat of meetings means that we are holding departments accountable, so that preparations are completed on time.

The chancellor has confirmed that all necessary funding will be made available. And we have mobilised thecivil service, assigning 15,000 of our most talented civil servants to manage our exit from the EU.

We will make sure that on November 1, there is as little disruption to national life as possible. Our trade relationships will continue to thrive, thanks to agreements with countries around the world worth £70 billion. Our country will remain secure, thanks to nearly 1,000 new officers posted at our borders. And the 3.2 million EU nationals now living and working among us can remain confident, with absolute certainty, of their right to remain in the UK.

Above all, our goal is to be transparent. Soon, we will launch a public information campaign so that citizens, communities and businesses are ready and reassured about what will happen in the event of “no deal”.

In my first few weeks in this role, I have travelled to ports and tarmacs, borders and bridges, all across the UK –from the seaside of Dover to the rolling green hills of County Armagh. I have heard from business owners and border officials, farmers and hauliers. They are ready to put an end to uncertainty. And they are ready to embrace the opportunities ahead.

Our departure from the EU will be a once in a lifetime chance to chart a new course for the United Kingdom. Preparing for that new course will be a herculean effort. But this country has made astounding efforts before. We can do it again.
Rt Hon Michael Gove
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster