The Elewana Collection registers the first apprentice guide training programme in East Africa

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The Elewana Collection has registered Kenya’s first ever apprentice guide-training programme. Lead by Head of Guide Training, Craig McFarlane Elewana is also the only company in East Africa registered as a Training Provider with the Field Guides Association of Southern Africa (FGASA).

FGSA’s vision is to train and support guides across Africa who commit to act not only as interpreters but guardians of our cultural and natural heritage echoes Elewana’s own commitment to our communities and natural spaces in East Africa.

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The apprenticeship programme that Craig has developed recognises the responsibility that a guide has for ensuring all guests to Africa leave having felt a connection with the environment on which we all depend, and a respect for its surrounding communities and custodians – the fundamentals that underpin the ethos that drives Elewana and our Land and Life Foundation.

Craig himself is a trained FGASA Level III guide with an additional Special Knowledge and Skills (Dangerous Game). With over 27 years in the bush, his knowledge and experience is unrivalled.

The apprentice programme runs for two years - the minimum time needed to ensure that a trainee guide gets sufficient hours to gain the practical knowledge required across a broad skills base. The first six month are spent working across a number of different lodge functions and departments to make sure that our guides have thorough grounding in all elements of a guest’s stay with us before they progress to learning how to guide.

Each apprentice guide in Kenya will need to qualify as a Kenya Professional Safari Guide (KPSGA) and to complete FGASA level 1 in the first year, which includes an understanding of the natural environment plus a sound knowledge of the history, geology, plants and animals in their geographic area of guiding.

In year two each apprentice will work alongside other senior Elewana guides. and sit for FGASA level 2 which covers advanced birding and botany, tracking, people skills & communication and advanced rifle handling.

We are delighted to announce that intensive interviewing the first intake of 14 apprentices have started their training. We have eight apprentices in Kenya and six in Tanzania. In a professional world dominated by men we’re thrilled to have two young passionate women that want to be part of the elite Elewana guiding programme.

The apprentice programme that Craig has developed is fundamental as Elewana works to empower, support and recruit from our local communities.

We’d like you to join us in congratulating our first intake of apprentice guides.

Kenya:

  • TessyNelly Mucece Kaburu
  • AnnJanet Wangui Maruga
  • Solomon Epodo Epokoro
  • Benson Gitau Njonjo
  • John Chemen Lekumoisa
  • Nicholas Ochieng Asunda
  • Enock Kiprutoh Koech
  • Daniel Kimani Wanjiru

Tanzania:

  • David Christian
  • Tylemilice Kilimu
  • Wilson Amos
  • Joseph Kombo
  • Steven Losaru
  • Joseph Mushi
 

Striving to be Greener

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On Saturday 14th of July, 17 members of staff from Elewana Arusha Coffee Lodge gathered for an interesting and engaging day of workshops and training. The topic was Sustainability and Responsible Tourism and the trainer was Mr Johannes Solar, an expert in the field with years of experience to draw on. Staff came from all departments - housekeeping, security, kitchen, gardeners, front desk, waiters - each group was represented in this first training event.

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Conducted over a full day, the training covered a wide range of topics including Organizational Sustainability Concepts, Human resources, Supply Chains and Eco-Friendly Procurement, and Environmental Conservation and Sustainability, among others. The trainees engaged in the sessions with enthusiasm and had a lot of input and suggestions to offer from their own experiences living and working within the Elewana Collection.

This training workshop was the first in a series which by the end of the year will have reached every property in the Elewana Collection in Tanzania. As we implement the suggestions made by the trainer, such as the development of Green teams in our properties to implement sustainability activities and support our community and conservation work, we will see increased awareness of Responsible Tourism across the group.

It is vital for an organisation such as ours to work hand in hand with the habitats and communities in which we operate and to do so we must have the support and understanding of our staff, who after all are what make us who and what we are. The infectious enthusiasm with which this group from Elewana Arusha Coffee Lodge undertook the training has given us much excitement about the next few sessions to be held, so watch this space as we keep the Elewana green teams coming!

 

An Evening with Dr. Jane Goodall

Early in July Elewana Arusha Coffee Lodge was privileged to host Dr. Jane Goodall, a world renowned scientist, anthropologist and primatologist who has dedicated her life to conservation, animal welfare and humanitarian causes.

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Dr. Jane Goodall arrived for the Cocktail fundraiser attended by 122 guests that raised a staggering USD 6,300 for the Roots & Shoots foundation.

The General Manager for Elewana Arusha Coffee, Graham Stobbart opened the evening by welcoming the inspirational Dr. Jane Goodall, who proceeded to fascinate the crowd by introducing herself in a chimpanzee language that translated into: “this is me, this is Jane”. As a UN Messenger of Peace, Dr. Goodall has been an inspiration to millions. She conveys a clear, undisputed message; “We all matter, We are all connected, We all have a part to play in the world and if we choose to play that part we can and will make a difference”. It is a message that has both resonated throughout the world whilst giving hope to each of us, moving people across the planet to conserve the natural world, which we all share and to care a little more for others. Throughout the night, attendees were enchanted with stories of her travels, research and how she overcame barriers that once hindered her journey. Her persistence towards what she believes in was a moving message for guests to take home, as she inspired both children and adults into actively pursuing their dreams.

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In addition to the proceeds collected, Graham initiated the auction of a chimpanzee portrait signed by Dr Jane. This portrait will be auctioned off at Elewana Arusha Coffee Lodge and proceeds will go towards the Roots and Shoots programme. During the auction, never before seen footage of her early travels in the hills of Tanzania will be played. We will share details when the auction will take place in the coming weeks.

The following day, we made a video to mark the first World Chimpanzee Day, in which Jane shares her reflections on the chimpanzees and that we must each take action to protect chimpanzees in the wild, and in captivity, before it is too late.

 

Shanga offers new Glass Blowing experience

All of the activities offered at Shanga are reviewed on a regular basis - and where possible new ideas are integrated to enhance our visitors’ precious time with our Shanga family.

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Everyone's loves the idea of glass-blowing. Which is carried out under the strict supervision of our most experienced glass blowers.

We recently had a young boy rather sweetly request to keep the glass that he blew. He had to return the following day once his artwork had cooked of course.

Now we’re pleased to say that we can now arrange for all guests to take home a lasting memory of their time with us.

 

Elewana Tortilis Camp Amboseli retains Gold Eco-rating

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Elewana Collection are proud to announce that Elewana Tortilis Camp Amboseli has once again retained a Gold Eco-rating. Congratulations to the team for their commitment and passion to ensuring we were presented with this prestigious award.

 

Great Grevy’s Rally 2018 Results are out

In January 2018 The Great Grevy's Rally took place in Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and guests from Elewana Lewa Safari Camp were invited to participate in the two day consensus. 23 citizen scientists joined research teams, to help spot and photograph our respective populations of the Grevy's Zebra and Reticulated Giraffe. The results are out and we are delighted to announce that Kenya holds 2,812 Grevy’s and 2,309 reticulated giraffes.

This is an increase from the 2,350 population count from the GGR 2016. The increase is partly a result of enhanced survey effort by all those who participated. Especially in the northern counties we saw an increase because of more teams driving their routes repeatedly and many Grevy's zebra missed in 2016 were 'found' in GGR 2018!

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The population size estimate of reticulated giraffes is 2,309 in the regions surveyed, which represent only part of their range in Kenya. The GGR effort has contributed valuable baseline data for this particular region from which further survey efforts can be conducted in the future. See the report

A special thank you to everyone who supported, donated and gave their time to make the 2018 Great Grevy’s Rally a success. The auction and raffle earned over 240,000/- for GGR 2020.

 

Lewa hosts the 19th annual Safaricom Marathon

On June 30th, guests from both Elewana Kifaru House and Elewana Lewa Safari Camp witnessed the 19th edition of the Safaricom Lewa Marathon alongside our own First Lady Margaret Kenyatta! The annual sporting event, know as one of the few marathons in the world where participants run 21 or 42 kilometers through tough terrain and one of Africa’s most breathtaking wildlife conservancies, raising money for wildlife conservation, community development and education.

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Photo credit: Robert-Ndinda

Hundreds of professional and amateur marathoners gathered in Lewa Wildlife Conservancy to run what has been named 'One of the top ten races to run in your life’, eager to be a part of the movement to preserve and restore Kenya’s wildlife.

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This year the runners contributed to the astonishing amount of $7 million raised since 2000, which benefits several programs, aiding both the surrounding community and wildlife. Some of the many projects supported are the Bongo surveillance project to protect the largest group of the animal species surviving in Maasai Mau forest and the Grevy Zebra Trust (GZT) that monitors and protects the rare mammals.

 Since 2013, and for the fifth year running, Lewa Conservancy has managed to effectively maintain a no poaching rate within its boundaries, an achievement that those visiting Lewa can appreciate and acknowledge whilst indulging in the true beauty of the wilderness and experiencing one of Kenya’s most passionate sports, running.

 

One of the best experiences to enjoy while in the Serengeti

One of the best ways to explore Serengeti is on foot, where you will be accompanied by a professional walking Safari Guide whose knowledge of local flora, fauna, culture and history is unmatched. Follow the spoor of a herd of impala or track a porcupine, identify a specific bird sound or the tell-tell signs that animals are close by. Savour the sweet smell of a local flower or learn the benefits that an indigenous bush has to the nomadic Maasai. There is no telling what you may see but it will certainly leave you with an experience you will never forget. Elewana Collection have a number of new trails to explore while staying at Elewana Serengeti Migration Camp, for those who enjoy the outdoors and adventure*.

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Elewana Collection has invested heavily in our guide training. We train our current guides on a regular basis to ensure they are at the top of their field, in our continued efforts to make sure guests have a superior experience when they stay at an Elewana property. As part of our continued training, we recently sent a number of our walking guides to South Africa for six weeks to learn from leading professionals in the Industry.

Over the next two months Rudi and Nik, who are leading Guides from Royal Malewane will travel to Tanzania to continue the training with our Walking Guides. This is essential to our primary goal that Guests have an exceptional and safe experience with our Guides, while enjoying the wild expanse of the Serengeti.

*Note: Age restrictions apply to children under 16 yrs. All bush walks are subject to the discretion of the lead guide due to the nature of the activity.

 

Elewana Arusha Coffee Lodge takes steps to reduce plastic waste

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Once you become aware of the amount of single-use plastic that has become part of our life, it’s hard to ignore it. Especially when you become aware of the damage plastic waste can have on our environment, our marine life and ultimately, our health.

Elewana Arusha Coffee Lodge strives to reduce its plastic waste, we're very proud to announce that we have introduced water flasks into our guest rooms to reduce the use of plastic bottles and our Kahawa Coffee Shop has also taken steps to go green by adopting reusable coffee mugs.

Join the movement and reduce your plastic waste.

 

Elewana Collection celebrates Wildlife Warrior Winners

Through January to March the Elewana Collection with the six schools that we support in Kenya, gave pupils a challenge to write an essay on Water Conservation. After reading over 400 essays and narrowing them down to the best 10, the Land & Life team found it difficult to pick an overall winner as the entries were all so compelling.

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The Competition was stiff; but two essays stood out - one written by an individual pupil from Mwaroni Primary and the other by a group from the same school. The Individual winner received a scientific calculator, a geometrical set, a backpack, a UN Certificate and a trophy to take home and display proudly. The winners of the group entry each received art supplies, individual certificates to acknowledge their individual effort and a trophy.

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The General Manager at Elewana AfroChic Diani invited  the winners from Mwaroni Primary for lunch and a swim at Afrochic to celebrate their hard work  On the afternoon of Saturday 7th July, 11 youngsters accompanied by 4 teachers were treated to a sumptuous meal and ice cream at Elewana Afrochic and a dip in the pool!

Elewana Elephant Papper Camp invited the Children from Ololomei Primary School on a game drive and a visit to the camp, where the winning group and overall winner was presented with a certificate.

We acknowledge and thank these youngsters for their courage and for standing for something bigger then themselves. Congratulations to all those who entered, giving a voice to Water Conservation.

 

Elewana Collection donates to the Diani Turtle Watch

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This year Elewana AfroChic donated US$1,000 to Diani Turtle Watch, to aid to the conservation and protection of these beautiful creatures. It is a huge importance to the world to protect turtles and their natural habitats in order to maintain the balance of the ocean’s vast ecosystem, including maintaining the productivity of coral reefs, which in turn lend to the overall cleanliness of marine life. Due to habitat degradation and climate change, the population of turtles is decreasing rapidly, which is why organisations like Diani Turtle Watch are helping to try restore and increase the numbers.

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Since 2012, Diani Turtle Watch, essentially a group of volunteers, have been working to protect nesting turtles and their eggs. Development and construction along the coast has led to unsafe conditions for female turtles to lay their eggs, which is why a team is always on hand to carefully relocate nests to safer areas and ensure that the eggs have the best chance of hatching and hatchlings have a higher chance of making it to the ocean unharmed. As well as this, the Turtle Watch team collect valuable data by exhuming the nests and recording the number of empty shells, undeveloped eggs or hatchlings at various stages of development, helping to determine the success rate of each nest and eventually a wider picture of nesting activities and success rates in Kenya.

In addition to supporting Turtle Conservation through Diani Turtle Watch Elewana AfroChic also maintains and takes care of its own turtle hatchery, which has been successful in hatching two nests in March and April this year, thereby directly contributing to the rehabilitation and rejuvenation of turtles along the southern coast of Kenya and lending to the worldwide project to protect turtles.

 

Elewana Afrochic Diani supports Colobus Conservation fundraiser event:

Golf on the Beach

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In mid-July, the Elewana Collection was pleased to support the Colobus Conservation, when they held their 4th Golf on the Beach Tournament, an event designed to promote awareness for the threatened Angolan colobus monkey as well as raising money to help refurbish their vet clinic, to improve the health of the primates. The organisation was established in 1997 in response to an outcry from local residents about the high number of deaths of colobus monkeys on the Diani Beach road.

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Warm weather and sun shine filled the day of the fundraiser, with a successful number of 51 participants taking part. A total of KSH 198,800 was raised and donated in order to achieve the conservation’s goal of conserving, preserving and protecting of this endangered species and its coastal forest habitat.

The Elewana Collection donated a dinner voucher for two at Elewana AfroChic to the winners, inviting them to enjoy a full a la carte experience, with freshly sourced sea food infused with an array of flavours including a subtle Swahili influence.

 

Elewana Kilindi Zanzibar committed to environmental Conservation

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Waste in our oceans is a global concern for many reasons; the huge build-up of plastic that forms the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch”, a giant whirlpool of waste in the North Pacific is well known – but there are five other gyres (as these eddies are known) in the world, each collecting a huge amount of waste. This affects all marine life, some of which get caught up in nets, others suffocate, while most digest it leading to some very distressing reports shared daily on the news. There is also a portion of this waste that ends up on our beaches and coastline, affecting birds and other animals with equally horrific outcomes.

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It is reported that an estimated eight million tonnes of plastic had entered the oceans by 2010 and this is set to double by 2015. Approximately 78 million tonnes of plastic packaging is produced annually with only 10% of that being recycled. It is estimated that a third of all plastic packaging finds its way into the environment, littering the land or sea.

Elewana Kilindi Zanzibar are committed to environmental conservation through our beach clean-ups to ensure our beaches and underwater species are protected and kept safe. We work with our local community to undertake fortnightly beach cleaning projects. Recently our team combed the beach front with their reusable collection bags and gathered a huge amount of waste, which will be separated, some to be recycled while the rest will be disposed of properly.

And of course like other Elewana Collection properties we urge out guests to take advantage of our recyclable water bottles and went to war with the (plastic) some time ago.

If every individual around the world made a small effort to safe guard our environment, the world would be a very different place.

 

DISCOVERY Loyalty goes Digital

As of 30 June, Elewana Collection’s loyalty program DISCOVERY membership cards will only be available online or on the DISCOVERY Loyalty app where you can access your account anytime!

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Recognition in the DISCOVERY programme no longer requires a physical membership card. Instead, we have expanded our digital card options to make it easier for you to access your card anytime! You can download the DISCOVERY Loyalty app through the Apple Store or Google Play to access your digital membership card and save it to your digital wallet.

DISCOVERY, an award-winning global loyalty programme, provides 12 million members recognition and perks across over 500 hotels, resorts and palaces in 78 countries. Elite members have the opportunity to immerse themselves in local culture through Local Experiences, distinctive activities that capture an authentic taste of each destination. For more information, visit discoveryloyalty.com

 

The world is your oyster with Kenya Airways and Ethiopian Airlines

Travel Connections and Destinations to travel further

The Elewana Collection are pleased to see aviation to, from and within Africa improve seemingly month by month.

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From October Kenya Airways will be running direct flights into Nairobi meaning guests will no longer end to fly to see us via Europe or the Gulf – and of course they can also fly you on from Nairobi to Cape Town via Livingstone or Victoria Falls. For the first time ever guests (without the use of a private jet) will be able to combine the thundering herds of plains game in East Africa, take the flight of the angels over Victoria Falls and end their trip with a sumptuous meal and bottle of wine in Cape Town.

Ethiopian Airlines now offer fights from Chicago, Barcelona and Madrid

Meaning guests from these world cities can combine in a single trip the cultural diversity of one of Africa’s most enduring civilisations of Ethiopia with the wildlife and beaches of Kenya.

Our home grown safari Airline, Safari link has also expanded its network to offer connecting flights from Nairobi’s iconic Wilson Airport direct to Zanzibar, allowing guests to depart the Mara an arrive in time for a refreshing cocktail as the sun sets over the Indian Ocean at our romantic beach property – Elewana Kilindi.

 

The Elewana Collection appoints Liz Harper as UK Trade Representative

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The Elewana Collection is delighted to announce the appointment of JG Black Book to serve as their new UK Trade Representation agency. JG Black Book’s strategic trade representation efforts on our behalf in the North East of the United States have generated increased business in this key market. We are therefore delighted to enlist their support as we to continue to develop and grow our visibility across the UK.

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Liz Harper serves as JG Black Book’s Director of Industry and Media Relations in the UK. Liz has spent the past decade immersed in the UK travel industry, managing the marketing department of UK travel publisher Footprint Travel Guides, and then leading the traditional marketing, PR and partnership team for luxury tour operator Abercrombie & Kent where she gained extensive East Africa knowledge and experience.

JG Black Book’s purpose is simple - to give destinations a voice. We are a full-service consulting firm that offers integrated Public Relations, Trade Relations, Marketing, and Branding services to clients in the travel and travel lifestyle sector. We help destinations gain exposure, build brands, establish networks and increase sales in North America, Latin America and the U.K. and Europe. The JG Black Book team of industry veterans, unique service model, and powerful connections have built the firm’s reputation as a trusted advisor for more than 130 of the world’s most celebrated travel brands including the Elewana Collection, Islas Secas Reserve & Lodge, Sheldon Chalet, Delfin Amazon Cruises, Stafford London, and the British Virgin Islands Tourist Board, and the country of Belize.

 

Elewana Collection enters two outstanding properties in the World Luxury Hotel Awards

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We have entered Elewana Loisaba Tented Camp and Elewana Kilindi Zanzibar for the 2018 World Luxury Hotel Awards. If you believe that either one or both these properties deserve recognition, please click on the images above to cast your vote. Voting closes on 31st August.

Established in 2006, World Luxury Hotel Awards is the pinnacle of achievement in the luxury hotel industry offering international recognition as voted by guests, travellers and industry players alike. Over 300,000 international travellers vote each year, during a four-week period to select the winners.

 

PR Highlights

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The 20 Best Destinations for
Stargazing Around the World

Architectural Digest Online

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African Skies

One on One with James Haigh
Business Traveller

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The World's 30 Best Treehouse Hotels

by Lyn Mettler,
US News & World Report

 

Following the Herds

The reports continue to come in from our Elewana Guides in Serengeti and the first sightings recorded from our Guides in the Masai Mara, as the herds head north. The excitement grows as we witness movement across Sand River. Watch the videos below to see where the herds are;

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7th July: 3km from Elewana Serengeti Migration Camp Crossing (Elewana Guide: Alex)

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8th July: Herds on the Move 1 from Serengeti heading north
(Elewana Guide: Moses)

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8th July: Herds on the Move 2 from Serengeti heading north
(Elewana Guide: Moses)

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8th July: Spectacular River crossing close to Elewana Serengeti Migration Camp
(Elewana Guide: Alex)

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8th July: Zebra crossing at Sand River. Trickling into the Mara, first to arrive are the Zebra in search of the longer grass.
(Elewana Guide: Joel)

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11th July – Herds grazing in and around Elewana Serengeti Migration Camp all week
(Elewana GM: Lauren)

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14th July: A herd of over 2000 crossed near Elewana Sand River Masai Mara
(Elewana Guide: Joel)

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25th July: Guests from Elewana Serengeti Migration Camp witness wildebeest crossing that went on for hours and estimated to be around 25,000 in total. (Elewana Guide: John)

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30th July – Wildebeest crossing at Sand River. (Elewana Guide: Joel)

#followtheherds #elewanamoments

 

World Ranger Day

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Photo of the Month

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Photo credit: Kim and Adam (Elewana Kilindi Zanzibar)