WHAT IS KAMU LODGE CONCEPT?
Kamu Lodge Experience includes 20 safari-tents, each of which is equipped with a private thatch-covered veranda and rustic easy chairs. In the spirit of sustainable lodging, roof solar panels gather sufficient power to offer nightlong fan ventilation and ensure the necessary interior lighting. Every lodge features a whitewashed stone annex. Solar-based hot water flows from shower heads. During the day, visitors are welcome to participate in daily traditional activities of Kamu people: rice planting or harvesting, net fishing, crossbow shooting contest, gold panning… If guests chose to stay 2 nights, they will enjoy trekking through the forest and picnic at the waterfalls during the second day. Local guides will share their knowledge of Kamu culture and traditions, disclose environment secrets, and reveal local flora and fauna mysteries. Lodge’s garbage is recycled or returned to Luang Prabang, and a traditional local filter system has been developed to clean wasted water. Cleanliness and hygiene campaigns are regularly organized in the village.
SUPPORTING LOCAL COMMUNITY
At Kamu Lodge, we encourage guests to meet local community and share experience with villagers. As the lodge is located in a genuine tribe area, the Kamu Lodge may not provide the same standards than urban establishments do. An effort was made to integrate the lodge into its socio-environmental context, involve local workforce and minimize its footprint on nature. Thus, the team requires visitors to be clement regarding local standards and capacities; this is why Kamu Lodge remains a unique and truly opportunity for experiencing local lifestyle!
Almost the entire Kamu Lodge’s team comes from the village, with no prior background in the field of tourism. All employees were fully trained and supported in order they now hold skills and positions they can be proud of. This capacity building is fundamental for them to succeed in possible future professional ambitions.
The lodge covers all health care for both staff and non-staff villagers. A new Kamu Lodge’s project is the creation of a full-equipped dispensary. In the same way, local authorities shall provide a full time nurse to ensure the quality of medical services. This project will greatly improve local medical situation, as so far, any consultation requires traveling all the way to Luang Prabang.
From each visitor’s charges, $1 USD is automatically dedicated to a local economy support program. These automatic contributions are injected to the Village Development Fund, which is used as a rotating micro credit service. The community, through a participatory approach involving villagers, the lodge and local authorities together, takes all decisions. Both guests and the lodge’s administration provide regular donations to the village’ school and other local institutions. Thus, the school could be recently renovated with a special donation of $13,000 offered by a generous visitor, amount which was completed with $2 000 from Kamu Lodge. In 2011, over US$ 52,000 accrued to villagers, 70% of which were earned from Kamu Lodge incomes. The remaining 30% came from donations for the school or medical support.