hazel gumpo

As we come upon the festive season, we took a moment to check in with Hazel Gumpo, General Manager for the award-winning Elewana Arusha Coffee Lodge on what guests can look forward to during the upcoming holidays.

What special activities do you have planned for guests for the upcoming holidays?

As the year draws to a close, and we all hold a collective breath, we acknowledge 2020 has been difficult in many unprecedented ways. At Elewana Arusha Coffee Lodge, we are working hard to bring you holiday delight and cheer this festive season. The end of the year is traditionally when we take time to be with our families. And this year will not be any different as we invite families to spend a relaxing time with us under the stars in our beautiful gardens. 
For Christmas Eve, we are organising a classic Christmas movie night with delectable individual picnic hampers. Christmas Lunch will feature Santa in attendance for another big family day of fun. We are offering horseback rides for kids around our coffee fields and fun creative activities, including make your own Santa masks and hats with Shanga products, as well as sweet treats to keep everyone smiling. A lovely traditional spread with lamb on the spit will be served together with a Christmas music sing along.

The official festive season celebrations will culminate on New Year’s Day with a fun family lunch. Masai clowns will keep children entertained throughout the day together with a line-up of games for the little ones and the young at heart.
Our chef has put together a delicious set of menus, which will be served in our lavish coffee gardens or in our private suites, all with a festive touch throughout the season.

While our Christmas programme will be mainly focused on families and bringing people together in a safe environment, we are also organizing private in-suite dining for couples on the suite patios.

For all holiday events, bookings must be made before December 20, 2020.

How will you and your staff celebrate the upcoming festivities?

We have organized a picnic lunch in the bush for all our staff and managers. We will come together for a delicious meal and raise a toast to our wonderful team, as well as have a merry visit from Santa.

What are your favourite parts about the holiday season? 

I love having an excuse to shop until I drop. Having committed to serving others for the past 30 years on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, which I absolutely enjoy, Christmas shopping is my yearly reward.

I love handmade home accessories and jewellery sold in Christmas markets. Arusha has some of the most creative artists in Africa, including our very own Shanga, where we will be promoting their Christmas accessories in support of all the beautiful work that they do. The markets also have incredible culinary offerings where people make amazing food for the soul.

Above all else, outside of birthdays, Christmas is the only time of the year where we connect with friends and family from all over the world and receive greetings and well wishes from people we haven’t seen or talked to in years. This year, I will be making a special effort to write to as many people as I can, not only family members and friends, but colleagues from our industry who were hit hard by the pandemic  

How do locals in Arusha like to celebrate the holidays?

Arusha is a small community with people from all walks of life. Every year we meet to create Christmas memories, often with those who are far away from home. Those who are more adventurous join the local Tanzanians and visit families in the village for Nyama Choma parties. Nyama Choma is our typical local BBQ and in Tanzania, we especially like to make Nyama Mbuzi, roasted goat meat, as a special dish for the New Year.