Elewana Goes to the Oscars!

Ever wonder what's in those over-the-top "swag bags" that Academy Awards nominees get at the Oscars ceremony? This year the most extravagant item in that bag — received by the likes of Meryl Streep, Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman and Greta Gerwig — was none other than a customized 12-night safari from The Elewana Collection.

For the past 16 years, entertainment-marketing company Distinctive Assets has provided Oscar nominees with these extravagant gifts. For this year's 90th Academy Awards, they wanted to include an incredible trip of some sort in the swag bags for the 25 people nominated for Best Actor and Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Actress, and Best Director.

International Expeditions was kind enough to suggest the Elewana safari, a trip that includes Elewana Tarangire Treetops, Elewana The Manor at Ngorongoro and Elewana Serengeti Migration Camp in northern Tanzania— "once in a lifetime opportunity" according to members of the press, including INSIDER and FORBES who wrote about the swag bags after the Oscar ceremony.

The actors and directors who take the trip will fly between the Elewana camps in our own executive configured SkySafari Cessna Grand Caravan with a private guide dedicated to ensuring the celebrities not only see the wildlife but understand its importance to the balance of the ecosystems on which we all depend.

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Whilst the Elewana Collection is delighted to have the opportunity to share our very special #ElewanaMoments and the delights of Tanzania with the Oscar nominees, it is equally important for us to show them the commitment that we make to the environment and surrounding communities.

The origin of the name Elewana is the Swahili word meaning "harmony" — a concept that underpins all that we do and influences the way we deliver unforgettable safari experiences. We look forward to demonstrating this concept to some of the world's most significant influencers.

At Elewana Arusha Coffee Lodge, the nominees will experience The Shanga Foundation, a social enterprise which employs people with disabilities to create unique, high-quality, handmade jewelry, glassware and homeware using recycled materials. These products are sold all over the world, with the profits reinvested back into the development of new products and further employment of disabled people.
 
They will also have a close encounter with the Elewana Land and Life Foundation, which works with communities living in or near conservation areas across East Africa. All operational costs are covered by The Elewana Collection, allowing 100% of every donation to go straight to the benefiting communities, schools and wildlife.

We strongly believe that by showing these Oscar nominees not only the beauty of our land, but also the steps that must be taken to protect its critically important diversity, we will be creating important new ambassadors for conservation.

 

March for Giants 2018

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On 8-16 March 2018, Space for Giants' digital herd travelled across global billboards, raising awareness of the crisis facing elephants.

HELP PROTECT ELEPHANTS

JOIN THE MARCH!

https://marchforgiants.org/

 

Lewa Wildlife Conservancy moves giants

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Mid-March Lewa Wildlife Conservancy with the support of Kenya Wildlife Service and Save the Elephants, translocated nine elephants from the Lewa-Borana landscape to Tsavo. The reason behind this move was to address the human-elephant conflict and by moving individual elephants that are associated with conflict cases, reduces future encounters.

Tsavo National Park is split into East and West with a combined area of over 20,000 square kilometres. Very few settlements are outside this massive park and within its boundaries is the perfect elephant habitat, already home to many of these giants that seek refuge from elsewhere.

Sadly moving animals with a history of getting into trouble does not solve the problem of human-wildlife conflict but it is better than the alternative, which is usually death through retaliatory attacks. It also helps maintain the delicate balance between conservation and livelihoods in an ever changing ecosystem. It is getting harder and harder for these impressive animals to survive as their ecosystem shrinks with encroaching settlements restricting their movements as the years go by.

Lewa has served as a catalyst for conservation across the region, stimulating the creation of numerous conservancies, both private and community-owned, increasing the amount of land under conservation management in northern Kenya to over 2 million acres since the mid-1990s.

Managed by Elewana, Lewa Safari Camp is a tourism property owned by the Conservancy itself, with the aim of boosting the conservancy’s revenue through camp occupancy. All camp profits and conservancy fees generated by the camp are reinvested directly into the conservation and community efforts of Lewa Wildlife Conservancy.

 

Elewana Elsa's Kopje Meru Guides help baby elephant keep his trunk

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Last week our Guides Mohamed Boru and Wilson Too spotted an elephant herd with a very young calf that had a snare around his trunk. They immediately alerted Dr. Bernard Rono of the Meru KWS Mobile Veterinary Unit and a team was dispatched to where the herd was located. Both he and his mother had to be immobilised in order for treatment to be carried out. The snare had only cut through the skin and with a successful operation to remove the wire the little elephant will soon be able to use his trunk again.. At such a young age, elephants recover from wounds like this very quickly. Sincere thanks to KWS and all involved for a successful intervention to save this little guy - who is doing well!

 

New Prices for Il N'gwesi Village visit

Kindly note that for Guests staying at Elewana Lewa Safari Camp or Elewana Kifaru House that would like to visit Il N'gwesi Maasai Village the rate has been increased taking effect from the 1st of June 2018. The rate will be as follows;

  • US$45 per Adult
  • US$30 per Children (under 10 years)

Il-Ngwesi-Manyatta-Dancing

Lewa Wildlife Conservancy borders the Samburu community conservancies of Tassia and Il Ngwesi in the arid lowlands of the north, and many of the staff come from this area. Lewa Safari Camp offers visits to neighbouring local Samburu homesteads. The Samburu live in semi-permanent huts known as Manyattas and it is the role of the wife to construct the hut from cattle dung and grass. The families will show you round their home and will want to take the opportunity to sell their traditional handicrafts – bargain hard!

 

Elewana AfroChic Diani adds another turtle nest to our hatchery

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March began with excitement as a new Turtle trails coming up from the sea leading onto our beach area. The team followed the trails and ended up in another Turtle's nest making it our second nest of season 2018. We have protected the nest and straight away the count begins.

We expect this to hatch beginning of May. The first nest in our turtle hatchery for 2018 was placed on 10th February with over a hundred eggs in the beach. We're hoping they'll hatch in approximately two months. although this does depends on the weather. The sex of a turtle is determined by the temperature of the nest and in most cases, eggs from warmer nests hatch as all females.

Stay tuned for updates as we work to save these endangered species and bring you exciting news from our hatchery!

 

Sparkling clean beach at Elewana Kilindi Zanzibar

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This month saw the team at Elewana Kilindi Zanzibar come together from various departments to support the Elewana commitment to a greener environment.  Everyone arrived at the beach house on the morning of the 23rd March 2018 to commence the beach activity, a huge team effort to reduce waste in the oceans by cleaning the beaches on a regular basis.

Prayers were said followed by the beach attendant Haji briefing the team on what his duties entail on a day to day basis with respect to taking care of the beach environment and guaranteeing each guest has an enjoyable beach experience.

Team leader Andrew shared some do's & don'ts that included things such as not to pick up any sea shells, sea weed or drift wood. The area the team covered in their clean-up was from below Villa 9 all the way to the far end where the locals' dwell.

Recyclable bags were used to collect the trash, which mainly consisted of plastic bottles, plastic bags and pieces of flip flops – all the items that cause such damage to the many inhabitants of our oceans, then finally ending up on our beaches and harming even more wildlife.  It is a global issue that needs to be tackled by both corporates and individuals alike if we, as a generation, are going to have any impact in reducing waste not only in the oceans but on the planet as a whole.

At the end of the activity, there were eight large bags of refuse collected - a fantastic achievement by the team. Elewana Collection will continue to be proactive on environmental issues and strive for a better tomorrow that the next generation can enjoy.

 

Q&A with Peter Ekidor, an Elewana Guide at Loisaba

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Peter Ekidor has been one of our fantastic Loisaba guides for the past 5 years. Born on Loisaba, Ekidor’s passion for tourism and conservation started at a young age when he would read the guides text books his father made leather covers for. He now holds his Silver level guiding certificate and will write his FGASA examinations next month. He is also completing a diploma in Tour Guiding and Administration with the Amboseli Institute of Science and Technology. All this he manages to do whilst guiding full time for Elewana at Loisaba Tented Camp! We caught up with Ekidor last week…

How did you become a guide on Loisaba?

I was born on Loisaba where my father used to work but brought up in Kinamba, Sosian where I started my Primary level schooling. Whilst I was finishing school my older brother was working as a cook for Elephant Pepper Camp in the Mara and I knew I wanted to follow in his footsteps in the tourism industry. After completing high school I was given a chance through Cheli & Peacock to write the Bronze level, Kenya Professional Safari Guide Exam. This I passed and after a brief time teaching at Ol Maisor Primary School I was offered a guiding job with Loisaba at the Tented Camp.

What parts do you love about the job?

I love taking bush walks, guests are always looking out for the big fauna but don’t often see the small organisms such as insects. On bush walks I can explain the importance these small organisms play in the ecosystem. I really enjoy being out in the bush and sharing information about the bio-diversity of the Laikipia ecosystem.

What do you love about Laikipa?

I love Laikipia because it is my home. In terms of tourism, I love the space available for guests and the Laikipia landscape is beautiful. We also have special kinds of animals that you do not see so much elsewhere. These are Grevy Zebras, Reticulated Giraffe, Gerenuk the antelope with the long necks, Lesser Oryx, Somali Ostrich, Jacksons Hartebeest and Wild Dogs. Laikipia has been known for their Wild Dogs but a disease was brought in last year during the land invasions which wiped out a great number of our Wild Dogs. I was very happy to hear last week that there is a den on Mpala, with nine Wild Dog puppies.

What are the problems you see within the current Laikipia landscape?

Overgrazing is a big issue. People need to learn how to manage the number of their animals so that they can co-exist with the wildlife and so that they will not have an issue with the carrying capacity of the land. There needs to be education about the livestock, the breeding and a focus on the quality of the animal rather that quantity.

What has been your most memorable experience as a guide?

I once saw four lionesses hunting a warthog. The warthog was so clever, it teased the lionesses and ran towards them causing the lionesses to retreat whilst he snuck into his burrow! Unfortunately, he was too impatient and came out of his burrow to the awaiting lionesses who then caught him. Also, down at Sosian Spring I watched a martial eagle knock down a monitor lizard which pretended to be dead. The martial eagle thought he had an easy meal so was in no hurry but the monitor lizard saw his opportunity and dashed into the water and escaped.

How do you see Conservation and Tourism working together?

Conservation is all about the peaceful co-existence of the communities and people with the wildlife and their understanding of how these animals behave and the space they need. Tourism needs conservation, so that there is conducive environment whereby the animals co-exist with the communities around. The future of conservation lies in the hands of the young people. If it is something that everyone becomes involved with I am sure we will live in a better and peaceful Laikipia.

 

Elewana Loisaba Tented Camp has training from an expert barista

Barista-training-at-LTCMarch saw the Food & Beverage team at Elewana Loisaba Tented Camp get training from the best barista, an expert from Dormans Coffee. This covered various techniques on how to prepare the best espresso-based beverages, in particular milk-based drinks such as cappuccinos and lattes, using the espresso machine.

Dormans is renowned worldwide for their coffee but also because of the quality of baristas they produce, as they follow a rigorous and comprehensive curriculum that covers the full cycle of coffee processing from bean to cup. Trainers are certified by the Specialty Coffee Association of Europe (SCAE) and trainings are conducted in a relaxed atmosphere.

We are now ready to serve you the best Latte Macchiato, Mocha, Americano and so many more of your favourite beverages . We can't wait to serve you the best coffee in Laikipia.

 

Uplifting news from Shanga - The difference a wheelchair can make.

shanga-logoLast year a family from Virginia, USA had to purchase a wheelchair to use while on their travels in Tanzania. Prior to departing Nairobi, they offered to donate the wheelchair through the Shanga Foundation and requested to give it to one of the Shanga team they had meet. We identified Simon, one of our newer staff members, as someone who would benefit greatly from having the chair. Simon has a significant physical disability, which affects his ability to walk. Prior to Shanga, his only option was to move around on his hands and lower body, this often drew stares from passers-by and caused extreme discomfort while negotiating the different terrains and weather conditions in Arusha. His staunch personality meant he would ignore these hardships and do the best he could so he could live as independently as possible. His determination to demonstrate his abilities is an inspiration to us all at Shanga and many who visit.

We recently received the wheelchair from Nairobi and were able to give it to Simon. He is known as a man of few words but the sparkle and smile on his face on receiving the chair was the best gratitude indicator any of us could have hoped for.

On the day Simon, received his chair Denis, our Workshop Manager assisted Ruth, our Development Consultant to translate a few more details for Simon. We wanted him to know that it was his chair, for him to keep where he chose and not just to be used when he was at work. He was overcome when he realized it was his and not just a loan.

In speaking to Simon to get his approval to include his story in this newsletter he commented “He gives his thanks to God as he is the only one who really knew the full impact this has made to his life and his families”. Simon is the father of five children and since he has been at Shanga he has been able to send a regular amount home to support them and this can now continue.

Simon has only been at the workshop for a few months. Originally, he was on a short-term contract to assist in the Beading Department due to an order for a large beaded chandelier. To our delight not only is he a talented and experienced beader, he is also an experienced Tailor. Therefore we were delighted at the beginning of March to be able to offer Simon a full-time contract and to welcome him as a valuable and multi-talented member of the Shanga Family.

 

The Elewana Elephant Pepper Camp: Eco-Friendly Safari in Kenya’s Mara

EPC-Eco-Friendly-Safari

Read the latest blog about Elewana Elephant Pepper Camp, written by Katherin Conaway.

Although I love to travel and enjoy a luxurious environment when it’s available, I’m also conscious of the impact on the local ecosystem and communities.It’s increasingly important to me that my pleasure isn’t a priority over negative consequences to the places I want to visit. With a safari, there is a lot to consider in respecting the native wildlife, environment, and people…

Read More

 

Elewana Collection sponsors The Shuk Israeli Food & Wine Festival

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The event took place on the 10th & 11th March at the Dusit D2, where a selection of the best food and drink Israel could offer was available as sample bite size servings. There were 20 different Israeli wines to taste and more than 15 Israeli food bitings from 8 food stations made by Israeli chefs.

The organiser of the event supplies a range of Israeli wines to Elewana Collection and having partnered previously for a wine tasting in the bush at Elewana Sand River Masai Mara, it was a good opportunity to join forces again.

We had a prime location at the centre of the event and we were able to engage a number of people that stopped to speak to us about Elewana and our different properties in Kenya and Tanzania. For those that signed up to the DISCOVERY Loyalty Program had the opportunity of winning 2 nights for 2 at Elewana Elsa’s Kopje.

DISCOVERY is a one-of-a-kind loyalty programme that gives members recognition and benefits across 35 hotel brands with 550 hotels in 76 countries. It rewards members with Local Experience awards, authentic activities that help you connect to the culture and local traditions of each destination.

The winner for the 2 nights for 2 at Elewana Elsa's Kopje Prize at the Shuk Festival has been chosen and we look forward to welcoming them to Meru for a memorable experience.

 

Ecological success of community-based wildlife conservation in Tanzania

elephants-in-tarangireGood news about the environment is rare these days, but in Tanzania there are signs that local wildlife conservation efforts can effectively protect the natural resources that provide the lion's share of revenue for the economy. Eco-tourism is Tanzania's largest economic sector and biggest dollar earner for this developing nation, but wildlife populations have suffered in recent decades from poaching and clashes with people involved in other economic activities such as farming and mining. The good news comes from a new study that found community-based wildlife conservation can quickly result in clear ecological success, with the largest and smallest species being among the winners.

Read more at: www.phys.org

 

plaster-house-fundraiser

Land & Life hosts a fabulous night for the Plaster House 10th Anniversary fundraiser

The Plaster House 10th Anniversary fundraiser was held at Elewana Arusha Coffee Lodge, hosted by Land & Life and attended by over 100 invited guests. It was an action packed night that included a live auction plus a silent auction with items such as framed pictures from artist Sarah Markes, nights in various properties across Tanzania and wine and food from local artisans going on sale to the highest bidder. A great night was had by all and a record breaking $30k raised to fix up existing vehicles and render them road worthy.

A huge thank you to all those who donated so generously and to all those who attended the event and made it such a success.

 

Sudan: The World’s Last Male Northern White Rhino Dies.

Sudan-White-Rhino

On Tuesday March 20th, the world woke to news about  the death of Sudan - the world’s last male Northern White Rhino. At 45 years old, Sudan had been ill for many years and had unsuccessfully tried to mate with other female rhinos.  His death further reflects the already declining Rhino population around the world, on the brink of extinction - largely due to poaching. Sudan, who was under 24-hour protection at the Ol Pajeta Conservancy, may still bear off spring, thanks to new-technology. The conservancy said it would try and conduct the first-ever procedure to safely remove egg cells from remaining females, fertilize these with semen previously collected from northern white males, and insert the resulting embryos into female southern white rhinos acting as surrogates.”  Currently, just two northern white rhinos now remain: Najin, Sudan’s daughter, and Fatu, his granddaughter, both at the conservancy.

 

Photo of the Month

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Taken by Craig McFarlane.

 
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Andrew Harper’s 2018 Members’ Choice survey is open for voting!

The properties recommended by Andrew Harper editors in The Hideaway Report represent the very best in hospitality and experiential travel the world has to offer.

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