Elewana Newsletter

JANUARY 2019

In This Issue:

The team in Kenya and Tanzania is back in action looking forward to another busy year ahead working with our Partners around the world in providing the best experience for our guests.

We will bring you exciting news from our properties, updates from our charitable arm, Land & Life Foundation and the invaluable work they do in the field with the communities, conservation and more, and some of the events we will be attending, so keep reading to find out more.

To help you access the latest information on Elewana Collection;

Website

Visit the new and secure Elewana Collection website at www.elewanacollection.com and go to our News & Information section where you can find individual updates in our Latest News or access our current or previous Newsletters by clicking Newsletters.

Newsletter

You can access information on the Elewana Collection instantly through the links at the top of the latest Elewana Newsletter that has been emailed to you;

Brochure / Information Manual / Online Availability / Land & Life / Contact Us

Elewana Trade Pack

We are happy to share a link that contains the Elewana Collection Information Pack and SkySafari By Elewana Information Pack. In these you find detailed information, brochures and images.

Note: The best way to access updated information is to bookmark the link and access it online rather than downloading it. This will ensure you always have the latest information from us at all times.

Reasons to book MidSeason

We have compiled 25 top reasons to visit East Africa during our midseason, have a look to spot which of the Elewana Collection luxury properties you should stay at to enjoy a multitude of exciting adventures.

We will be covering this in details over the coming months, so follow our Newsletters.

25 Top Reasons

Elewana Discovery

As you plan your travel for the year ahead, don't forget that the Elewana Collection is a member of the DISCOVERY Loyalty Program. DISCOVERY is about making your travels unforgettable.  Explore Local Experience awards – unique, off-the-beaten-path adventures that reveal the hidden gems of your chosen destination. Your membership entitles you to an intriguing Local Experience each time you upgrade to the next membership level or stay at a new Global Hotel Alliance brand. This one-of-a-kind loyalty programme gives you exclusive benefits across Discovery's global portfolio of hotels, resorts and palaces to make each stay special and memorable.

Discover More

The Elewana Team

We are always available and happy to help should you have questions or need further information. A few quick reference contacts:

  • James Haigh - Director of Sales & Marketing: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Alia Bellamy – Marketing Manager: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Reservations: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Additional contact details can be found on our website: www.elewanacollection.com

We are looking forward to an exciting year ahead and sharing our news through the coming year.

Event & Tradeshows Elewana team to attend in 2019

LH Appts

It is a busy year for the Elewana Sales & Representations team members, who will be attending a number of events throughout the year. From the ITB in Germany, the Triumph Travel : Africa to Latin America Road Show in Central and South America, Traveller Made in Marbella, Spain, Africa’s Travel Indaba and We Are Africa in South Africa, Virtuoso Travel Week and Signature Travel Network Conference in America, PURE in Morocco and at home, Magical Kenya Tourism Expo plus a few others.

LOCATIONTRADE SHOWDATES
Germany - Berlin ITB (click to book an appointment) 06-10 March 2019
Mexico City / Lima/ Sao Paolo Triumph: Africa to Latin America Road Show 2019 09-19 March 2019
Spain - Marbella Traveller Made Marbella 25 -29 March 2019
South Africa - Durban Africa's Travel Indaba 07-09 May 2019
South Africa - Cape Town We Are Africa 13-16 May 2019
USA - Las Vegas Virtuoso Travel Week 10-16 August 2019
Morocco - Marrakesh PURE 08-12 September 2019
USA - Utah We Are Africa Sundance October 2019
Kenya - Nairobi MKTE October 2019
USA - Las Vegas Signature Travel Network Conference November 2019

If you would like to book appointments early with us for ITB, Indaba and MKTE, please contact us to ensure we arrange a time that is convenient for you.

Elewana Collection congratulates James Haigh on his appointment to the ATTA Advisory Board

jh

We are delighted to announce that James Haigh, Director of Sales & Marketing for Elewana Collection has been appointed to the African Travel & Tourism Association Advisory Board, covering International Source Markets.

We would also like to congratulate Stephano Cheli, who has also been appointed on the Atta Advisory Board.

Atta held nominations in December 2018 and confirmations were approved on 16th January 2019. The Advisory Board will take office for a period of two years, it consists of elected and co-opted members of the association and is responsible for the conduct, future growth and strategic vision of the association.

James was born and raised in England, graduating from University College and King's Colleges, London. Having completed his studies he arrived in East Africa to teach literature and sports in Nairobi.  James took charge of the Outdoor Education scheme and with contacts in the Kenya Wildlife Service created a programme that brought his Kenyan students into close proximity with the remote parts of Africa.

A Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, James has spent much of his free time engaged in the struggle for the preservation of environment and wildlife of East Africa. His experiences whilst involved in the complicated translocation of the critically endangered Hirola Antelope and a survey of Grevy’s Zebra in the Northern Frontier District of Kenya allowed James to develop a bond with the proud peoples of this immensely rewarding corner of the continent.  

Having worked as Director of Sales and Marketing for a number prestigious international brands James counts himself lucky to have worked with, and count as friends, some of the most passionate travel professionals in the world.

James sits on the Travel Advisory Leadership Counsel for JG Blackbook and has been a proud mentor to the Young Travel Professionals in the USA. Participating actively in ATTA as a member of the Advisory Board will be an honour and a privilege.

Elewana Collection Announces the Opening of Elewana Lodo Springs in June 2019, a New Five-Star Luxury Tented Property Located in Loisaba, Kenya

lodo springs 1

Elewana Collection is proud to announce it will open Elewana Lodo Springs on the 15th June 2019 bringing the total number of destinations to 16 award-winning luxurious camps, lodges and boutique beach hotels in Tanzania, Zanzibar and Kenya for the luxury safari camp and lodge operator.

The new high-end tented property will complement the existing product located in Loisaba Conservancy including Loisaba Tented Camp and the Loisaba Star Beds. The announcement underpins Elewana Collection’s dedication to conservation in Northern Kenya and its position as one of the largest sustainable tourism operators in East Africa.

Designed by renowned architects Chris Payne and Jan Allen with landscape architecture by Jo Silvester, Elewana Lodo Springs will offer an ultra-private experience with just eight individual, spacious tented rooms with impressive views that reach across the magical landscape of northern Kenya stretching out to Mount Kenya. Service is paramount, with every tent assigned an Elewana Guest Ambassador to serve and cater to every guests’ need, as well as a dedicated safari vehicle and driver and a highly qualified Elewana field guide who will accompany guests for the duration of their stay.

Karim Wissanji, CEO of Elewana Collection, speaks passionately of Elewana Lodo Springs, “Elewana Lodo Springs is a different kind of bespoke safari experience - it has been created to speak to the discerning well-seasoned high-end traveller who has come to expect responsible conservation practices without forgoing luxury and privacy. Beyond this, the opening of Elewana Lodo Springs is a demonstration of Elewana’s commitment to sustainable conservation across East Africa.”

The opening of Elewana Lodo Springs is testament of the success of the 57,000 acre Loisaba Conservancy, enabled by The Nature Conservancy funding the transition of the Conservancy to the Loisaba Community Trust in 2015. The transition secured the land to ensure that the Conservancy delivers vital benefits and support for neighboring communities, the wildlife, and all Kenyans for the foreseeable future, achieving optimal standards of sustainable conservation. It also ensured Loisaba’s role as a critical sanctuary and corridor for elephants and other wildlife long into the future, as well as providing refuge for one of Kenya’s most stable lion populations and an abundance of other wildlife including Grevy’s zebra, wild dog, leopard and cheetah.

Matthew Brown, Africa Director for The Nature Conservancy says: “The vibrant grasslands of northern Kenya are home to elephant, zebra, giraffe, lions and local livestock herders. The Nature Conservancy, Elewana and Loisaba Conservancy have partnered to create Elewana Lodo Springs, the newest and most exciting tourism experience that will generate local jobs and help contribute to critical wildlife and habitat protection. Personally, I find it really exciting that every visitor will be contributing to global species conservation and local livelihoods.”

“Loisaba sits on a vital Elephant Corridor connecting the famous Laikipia Plateau, home to several critically endangered large Mammals and breathtaking landscapes, to Kenya’s Northern Rangelands. Tourism revenues form an integral part of protecting this globally significant landscape,” says Tom Silvester, CEO of Loisaba Conservancy, “We are delighted that our partnership with Elewana Collection has enabled us to invest in Lodo Springs where every guest who stays will contribute to securing Loisaba’s future.”

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Stunning new look unveiled at Elewana Sand River Masai Mara

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Elewana Sand River had a number of major improvements done during 2018 and we are delighted to unveil the stunning new look. Elewana Collection has been working with The Landscape Studio to sculpt and mould the ground in and around Elewana Sand River to create a beautiful and vibrant change to this property.

The Landscape Studio is an internationally recognised landscape architecture and design firm based in Nairobi. They strongly believe that there is beauty in simplicity. That lucid, soft gestures can provide elegant and timeless spaces. That these spaces can host nurturing experiences and build lasting memories.

The main area at Elewana Sand River has undergone extensive changes with a new entrance and beautiful pathways that meander between tents using a combination of grey and red Mara Stone, which enhance the visual effect and compliment the surrounding natural area of the Masai Mara.  Further to the striking effect of the stone, various indigenous plants have been incorporated into the design including several grasses, Rose Natal Grass, Yellow Thatching Grass and Common Thatching Grass and a variety of trees and shrubs such as Hillii Flash and Bushman Poison.

The swimming pool that was centrally located was removed and a stunning infinity pool has been built near the banks of the Sand River, which is perfect for relaxing and reading your favourite book on the sunbeds during the heat of the day with a refreshing dip in the pool to cool off from time to time.

The luxury safari tents have new decking and the shade netting above the flysheet has been upgraded for better insulation and the colour now blends in with the surrounding environment. The stylish interior remains the same and the ensuite bathrooms still have the lavish freestanding Victorian style bath but guests can now choose whether to enjoy a leisurely bath or venture out for a rain shower ‘under the stars’, which is adjacent to the bathroom on the deck.

A new fleet of custom built 4x4 vehicles will be replacing the current fleet at Elewana Sand River in the coming months, driven by our dedicated team of professional Elewana guides that will enrich the high standard of comfort that guests can experience at one of the Masai Mara’s premier camps.

The refurbishments are now finished and we look forward to hosting you in the near future. Have a sneak peek at some of the changes….

Horse riding no longer offered at Elewana Elephant Pepper Camp, Masai Mara

We would like to advise our Partners that Ride Mara suddenly announced at the beginning of January that they will be relocating all their horses and equipment therefore Elewana Elephant Pepper Camp will no longer be able to offer Guests horse riding, as from the end of January 2019. We apologise for this sudden and unexpected news and to those who were looking forward to this activity during their stay.

LIVECAM: Wildlife activity at the Waterhole

december 2018 livecam

Elewana Tarangire Treetops has had a variety of animals visiting the waterhole this last month and the area is looking so green. Check out the time lapse video from the webcam and see what you can spot.

Head over to our LIVECAM and have a look at what might be at the waterhole right now …

Situated in a community led Wildlife Management areas, known as Randilen, guests of Elewana Tarangire Treetops enjoy a secluded and private safari experience. The luxury tree-top rooms, elevated above the ground afford incredible views over the tops of surrounding marula and baobab trees. With a wide private balconies, each are lavishly furnished using natural materials that are blended with contemporary Africana décor, to provide guests with a unique and most memorable safari experience.

Elewana Collection properties closed in April & May

cheetah cub

Please note that the following properties will be closed from the 1st April to the 31st May 2019;

Explore the vineyards around Elewana The Manor at Ngorongoro

vineyards shangri la

Shangri La Coffee Estate, home to the Manor at Ngorongoro have started experimenting on growing wine grape varietals on the slopes surrounding the estate.  Elewana The Manor hope to serve some of these in our restaurant in the future. The vineyard managers have reported that the first harvest is due this year, and the fruits and root-stocks are doing well.

On average, developing a vineyard can take up to two years to produce fruit and four years for the delivery of the first bottle of wine. The annual growth cycle of grapevines follows the same process each year, beginning with the bud break, which culminates in the leaf fall followed by dormancy. From a winemaking perspective, each step in the process plays a vital role in the development of grapes with ideal characteristics for making wine. Viticulturalists and vineyard managers monitor the effect of climate, vine disease and pests in facilitating or impeding the vines progression from bud break, flowering, fruit set, veraison, the ripening of the grape for harvest, leaf fall and dormancy, where constant monitoring to evaluate whether the use of viticultural practices are required, such as canopy management, irrigation, vine training and the use of agrochemicals. The stages of the annual growth cycle usually become observable within the first year of a vine's life. The amount of time spent at each stage of the growth cycle depends on a number of factors, these being the type of climate (warm or cool) and the characteristics of the grape variety.

The harvesting of wine grapes (Vintage) is one of the most important steps in the process of wine-making. The time of harvest is determined primarily by the ripeness of the grape, measured by sugar, acid and tannin levels with winemakers basing their decision to pick based on the style of wine they wish to produce. The wine making process has five basic stages beginning with the harvesting or picking, crushing and pressing, fermentation, clarification, and aging and bottling. Wine makers typically follow these five steps but add variations and deviations along the way to make their wine unique.

More play at Elewana The Manor Ganako Primary School with the new recycled playground!

time to play

510 children at Ganako Primary School were overwhelmed when we opened their new playground - fully built with recycled goods. A team of Elewana guides and maintenance team at Elewana The Manor, as well as interns from the Watoto Foundation, built some great Swings, Rocking Horses, and Slides all made out of old recycled tyres and metal pipes collected from around the area and even an old Landrover body, that are otherwise unused and unwanted, in order to bring a new element of fun to the children during recess!

Not only will this project enable the children to have more enjoyment in the coming years, it also ensures that the environment is kept clean by using discarded materials for a better cause, thereby contributing to the welfare of both the surroundings and the community, a concept the Elewana Collection believes strongly in.

Three students received branded Land & Life school bags, as they had written wonderful essays about the importance of protecting the environment. In addition to this, the school received two boxes of books, toys and posters that had been donated by families and friends of Elewana and Sopa Head Offices.

Guests staying at The Manor at Ngorongoro Crater are able to visit the children at Ganko Primary School and will witness their amusement from the new playground!

Celebrating 17 Rhino Births & Zero poaching in Lewa Wildlife Conservancy

Celebrating 17 Rhino Births and Zero poaching

Lewa Wildlife Conservancy had record rhino births throughout 2018, and zero poaching. Together with Borana Conservancy, the combined area is now home to more than 170 rhinos. It’s great to see the rhino conservation efforts pay off, and we look forward to reaching the 200 rhino’s milestone.

Home to 10% of Kenya’s rhino, the conservancy covers 65,000 acres, a vast wilderness with dramatic views to the south of snow-capped Mt. Kenya, and to the north down to the arid lands of Tassia and Il Ngwesi. It has many diverse habitats from pristine forest, fertile grasslands, extensive springs and acacia woodland to explore and Elewana Collection has two properties in Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Lewa Safari Camp and the award winning Kifaru House;

Elewana Kifaru House

Guests can relax and feel at home, choosing how they spend their time, whether it is lying by the picturesque infinity pool gazing out over the plains or sitting in the library leisurely reading a book, time stands still at Elewana Kifaru House. Each of the five cottages offer spectacular views with well-appointed bedrooms, complete with opulent four poster beds and generous en-suite bathrooms. Intimate and homely atmosphere offering true luxury in the bush with unrivalled wildlife viewing.

Elewana Lewa Safari Camp

Elewana Lewa Safari Camp is a unique and exclusive retreat, which offers privileged access to 65,000 acres of private protected wilderness. Featuring large tented bedrooms each with its own veranda and full en-suite bathrooms. Enjoy a host of activities from walking safaris, horse or camel rides, visit to the new joint operations centre and cultural experiences or simply relax by the swimming pool and enjoy the tranquillity.

Lewa Wildlife Conservancy wins $250,000 in the Google Impact Challenge

google impact challenge

In November 2018, Lewa was a winner of $250,000 in the Google Impact Challenge, Kenya. They joined the challenge to enable them to scale their Digital Literacy Programme across the wider northern Kenya landscape, and help to provide access to quality digital education to children and youth in remote areas.

Digital technologies are changing the way people live, work and learn. Young people who are not ‘digitally literate’ risk being isolated in a society driven by these technologies. Lewa’s programme supports and complements the Kenya government’s vision of making sure every pupil is prepared for today’s digital world. Funding from the Google Impact Challenge will allow Lewa to increase the scale of their programme and achieve greater impact.

Conservation Conversations: The Impact of Social Media on Conservation

lewa background 1

Social Media can be a powerful tool for wildlife protection, as well as a dangerous platform for illegal wildlife trade and instigators of unrest. If you would like to join the debate on the growing role of social media in the conservation of the wildlife and wild places that we hold dear, Tickets are now on sale for the next Lewa Conservation Conversation at the Royal Geographical Society in London.

Speakers include;

  • Wanjiku Kinuthia; Lewa’s Head of Marketing)
  • Ian Lemaiyan; Lewa’s Head of Rhino Research, Self-Made Conservationists and Instagram Star)
  • Tania McCree-Steele (IFAW, International Project Manager, Wildlife Crime)
  • Mark Haviland (Rakuten, EVP of Global Development)

Date & Time: 27 February 2019 (18:45 – 21:00 GMT)

Tickets available here

New additions to the Anti-Poaching Team in Lewa Wildlife Conservancy

Anti Poaching Team Lewa

Lewa Conservancy and The Northern Rangelands Trust have new additions to the Anti-Poaching team; Ruby, a full Bloodhound, and Sacha, a mix of a Dobermann and Bloodhound. Ruby and Sacha will replace brothers Tipper and Tony, the two Bloodhounds that have worked with the rangers for years, but are now due for retirement. The new dogs received training last month, and are already proving to be excellent trackers.

Tracker dogs, particularly Bloodhounds, continue to prove invaluable to anti-poaching and community security work. Their extraordinary ability to read terrain and track scents has enabled the rangers and local law enforcement agencies to do what was previously incredibly difficult.

Tipper and Tony have worked hard for the past six years, and the brothers’ have made it possible to catch poachers and other criminals, find illegal ivory, and rescue hundreds of stolen livestock in northern Kenya, saving many livestock farmers from bankruptcy.

Rangers and dog handlers Aloise and Ngila are delighted with the new additions to the team, and we will keep you updated on their progress and work.

Loisaba Conservancy listed in the top 100 Sustainable Destinations

Loisaba Lion tracking for conservation research program

Loisaba Conservancy has been selected into the 2018 Top 100 Sustainable Destinations. For the 4th time, the Sustainable Destinations Global Top 100 competition is organised by ten leading sustainable tourism organisations and networks. Their main aim is to highlight success stories, and to exchange good practices to make all destinations more sustainable, and better for local communities and travellers. A second aim is to help destinations to improve: destinations that register for the Top 100 will learn how to develop their tourism through local community involvement. It is in the destination’s interest to avoid ‘overtourism’ and local resistance. The theme for the 2018 competition was: “Tourism to benefit local communities”

The winners will be celebrated – and will receive their Certificate at the ITB Earth Award – Top 100 Awards ceremony, 6 March at ITB Berlin, the world’s leading travel trade show. https://sustainabletop100.org/dest/loisaba-conservancy/

Elewana Collection has two award winning properties in Loisaba Conservancy, with a third to open in June, where you can stay and explore this incredible destination and indulge in the adventures that await. Learn more about the cutting-edge conservation efforts in the area and our Partners, who strive to protect our wildlife and work with the communities to ensure this prime ecosystem is safe for generations to come.

Elewana Loisaba Tented Camp

Perched on the edge of an escarpment, Elewana Loisaba Tented Camp enjoys a breath-taking vantage point over an expansive panorama. Sophisticated and stylish, the capacious custom-built luxury tents offer a relaxing vantage point to appreciate the splendour of the Laikipia Plateau. Experience an array of activities, from games drives to camel-trekking, guided bush walks to Cultural visits.  The spacious main areas include a large dining area, separate open lounge and bar, a large wooden decking area, in addition to one of Africa’s most picturesque infinity pools.

Elewana Loisaba StarBeds

Poised on a rocky kopje, the Star Beds command sweeping views over an undulating valley and a permanent waterhole, frequented by resident wildlife. Rustically designed to complement the surrounding environment, each star bed is individually built in harmony with the natural rocky features, incorporating a sitting area, and open plan bathroom with a view. Handcrafted four-poster wooden beds sit on raised wooden platforms jutting out from a thatched-roof accommodation and are rolled out each night for guests to sleep under the endless African sky.

Elewana Lodo Springs (Exclusive new property to open 15 June 2019)

An ultra-private experience is offered at Elewana Lodo Springs with eight individual, spacious rooms with impressive views that reach across the magical landscape of northern Kenya stretching out to Mount Kenya. Service is paramount, with every room assigned an Elewana Guest Ambassador to serve and cater to every guests’ need, as well as a dedicated safari vehicle and driver and a highly qualified Elewana field guide who will accompany guests for the duration of their stay. Loisaba sits on a vital Elephant Corridor connecting the famous Laikipia Plateau and plays a key role in supporting one of Kenya's largest and most stable lion populations. The Conservancy is also home to several critically endangered large Mammals, including Grevy’s zebra, wild dog, leopard and cheetah.

African Wild Dogs Return to Loisaba

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Huge influxes of cattle during the drought in 2017 meant that many of the African wild dogs in Laikipia were wiped out by canine distemper virus (CDV) spread from the herdsmens’ domestic dogs. However, after nearly a year of no sightings, staff at the Elewana Loisaba Star Beds were excited to hear the unique calls of a pack of wild dogs! Before hunts, wild dogs often engage in a ‘greeting ceremony’, where many sounds are produced by the dogs including whimpers, whines and high pitched twitters, which are unique and easy to identify.

The African wild dog (Lycaon pictus), also known as the cape hunting dog or painted wolf, is one of the world’s most endangered carnivore species. Once found widely distributed across sub-Saharan Africa in woodland, savannah, shrubland and grassland, they are now listed as an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as they have sadly disappeared from over 90% of their former range. They are now only found in fragmented populations mainly in southern and eastern Africa, and are thought to number fewer than 6,600 individuals.

Although wild dogs are now a protected species, they remain at risk of extinction due to increased conflict with humans in competition for space. Their ranging behaviour in pursuit of prey means they require very large areas to support viable populations. Increased use of land for farming and the expanding human population means that wild dogs are being forced into small, unconnected areas. As a result of their extensive territories, even large fragments may only contain very few individuals; too small to sustain a viable wild dog population as not enough genetic variation is present to provide a sustainable population, leading to localised extinctions.

The highest priority for the conservation of African wild dogs is dealing with habitat fragmentation. A crucial part of the work that is done at Loisaba Conservancy is protecting vital wildlife corridors for all species to safely cross.

Living with Leopards

Although leopard populations are extremely successful in protected areas, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) classifies them as a near threatened species. When leopards kill livestock, they risk being killed by ranchers. They also compete with humans for food and are hunted by poachers for their distinctive coats as well as for traditional medicine and religious purposes.

Leopards are believed to be the most abundant large cats in Africa, though they’re extremely difficult to count. The most commonly cited statistic—700,000—is now viewed as flawed. We simply don’t know how many leopards live on the continent because they’re so hard to find. The number of leopards in an area depends on the availability of prey. In good habitat in Kenya, scientists have recorded densities of 17 to 36 per 100 square miles (6.5 to 14.5 per 100 km2).

On the Loisaba Conservancy and nearby Mpala Research Centre, researcher Dr. Nicholas Pilfold from the Institute for Conservation Research at San Diego Zoo Global and his talented assistant Ambrose Lotualai are on a mission to help establish a sustainable leopard population in the area.

Watch the video to find out more

Dr. Nicholas Pilfold serves San Diego Zoo Global as a Scientist in Population Sustainability. Nicholas is a large carnivore biologist focused mainly on bear species, but his research also extends to large cats.

Nicholas leads and collaborates on projects for four large carnivore species: polar bears, African leopards, Andean bears, and giant pandas. Nicholas’ research is focused on several themes within spatial and population ecology.

Nicholas earned his bachelor’s degree in Life Sciences from the University of British Columbia and his doctorate in Ecology at the University of Alberta. His interest in large carnivore research was initially spurred while volunteering on small wildlife reserves in South Africa. Prior to joining San Diego Zoo Global, Nicholas worked with researchers at the University of Alberta and Environment and Climate Change Canada.

A remarkable story from Big Life Foundation:

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A BIG MILESTONE FOR A BIG ELEPHANT - HAPPY BIRTHDAY TIM

Birthdays mean nothing to elephants, but they mean a lot to those of us who are dedicated to protecting them. Each year of life is another year of success, and this year marks a big milestone for one big elephant.

Tim, one of Amboseli’s largest and best-known elephants, is turning 50.

It’s remarkable that Tim has gotten to this age, given that he faces just about every threat possible to his species. Sadly, this has been the case from early on, losing multiple family members, including his mother and sister both of whom were speared.

Tim has since come to represent all of the different values, positive and negative, that humans place on an elephant’s life. To poachers he is a target, to farmers he is a costly nuisance, to tourists he is a marvel, and to conservationists he is a symbol of hope that our efforts are working. And he has certainly had some of his own bumps on the way to 50. In the last five years, he has been speared twice by angry farmers during his night-time raids into farmlands. Most recently, in November of last year, Big Life worked with Kenya Wildlife Service and The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in a monumental life-saving effort to rescue Tim after he got stuck in a mud-pit deep in farmlands.

We have no doubt that Tim will continue to keep us busy in future, but for now we are very happy to hear that he has come into musth, a hormonal state that requires a healthy body condition and is usually associated with mating. Given that he hasn’t come into musth for the past two years, this is a good sign that he has recovered from all of his recent ordeals.

It also means that he will be spending his time looking for females rather than keeping Big Life’s rangers busy in the farms at night, and with any luck will be passing on those incredible genes to the tuskers of the future!

We thank all of the partners with whom we work with to protect Tim, and especially the Amboseli Trust for Elephants, who have been documenting his life since he was 2 years old.

If you would like to support Big Life Foundation and protect Tim, please visit their website to donate https://biglife.org/

Photo: @ryan.wilkie.photos

Elewana Guides in Loisaba Conservancy receive training on LINC

linc

Loisaba Conservancy is a hub for cutting-edge conservation efforts throughout Laikipia, such as the Citizen Science initiative, which records sightings of certain animals using SMART technology installed on a tablet, which each vehicle is equipped with for guests to get involved and the LionLandscapes collaring for coexistance program, is another. This innovative method helps human and lion residents of Laikipia to live in peace. The latest is the Lion Identification Network of Collaborators (LINC), developed by Lion Guardians as a tool for lion research.

The goal of the LINC project is to have all lion research projects in Africa entering the identification of lions in their areas into one big database. This will reveal areas of connectivity, as a known lion will leave one area and then be recorded on the system if it appears in another area. In Laikipia, vital research is being conducted to see how far afield lions travel, and also where the areas of connectivity still lie e.g. when a lion from Samburu turns up in Laikipia or vice versa LINC will be able to recognise them and know their history. Being able to accurately ID individual lions, even without collars, will also be very useful in terms of managing human – wildlife conflict and identifying particular lions that roam too close to communities and their cattle and address issues in advance.

Once the LINC program algorithm becomes trained then the process of entering lions into the data base and processing them will be mostly automated. All that will be required is entering raw photos and have most likely matches to a particular lion provided by the program. At this point, the algorithm is in the training stage and there is still quite a lot of preparation and double checking work needed. The team at LionLandscapes is handling most of the photo management and entry into the system. Elewana Guides will supply photos of lions in the area, as they have been trained on which photos are needed and how to file pictures these, ready to be uploaded into the program by the team at LionLandscapes.

Guests staying at Elewana Loisaba Tented Camp and Elewana Loisaba Star Beds are welcome to participate and share their photos. Elewana Guides will advise them on how they can do this and be part of the vital research that is going on in the Conservancy.

Read more about The LINC Guide for Guests

Shanga by Elewana Collection shortlisted for 2019 Tourism for Tomorrow Award

shanga tourism for tomorrow

Shanga by Elewana Collection has been selected as one of 3 finalists for the ‘Investing in People’ Tourism for Tomorrow Awards from the World Travel & Tourism Council.

Shanga is a social enterprise based in Arusha Tanzania that trains and employs people with disabilities to produce high quality handmade craft items - glass blowing, beading and other activities, the interactive workshop is located on the grounds of Elewana Arusha Coffee lodge.

The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) announced the 15 finalists for its 2019 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards on the 15th January 2019. The finalists are organised into the following new categories: Climate Action, Investing in People, Destination Stewardship, Social Impact and Changemakers.

The WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Awards, now in their fifteenth year, showcase business practices of the highest standards that balance the needs of ‘people, planet and profits’ within the Travel & Tourism sector.

All 15 finalists illustrate a strong commitment to supporting change, transformation in business practices and consumer behaviour towards a more environmentally conscious sector.

Following a rigorous three-phase judging process, which includes an onsite evaluation, winners of the 2019 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards will be announced during the awards ceremony at the 19th WTTC Global Summit in Seville, Spain from 2 – 4 April 2019.

Gloria Guevara, President & CEO of WTTC, said, “This year’s Tourism for Tomorrow Awards shine the spotlight on those organisations which are leading the way in sustainable Travel & Tourism. They reflect WTTC’s Strategic Priorities of Climate Action, Destination Stewardship, Future of Work, and Social Responsibility. As pioneers in the world of Travel & Tourism I applaud all these finalists on their business philosophies and encourage the wider sector to look to them as leading examples for the future of sustainable travel.”

Awards Lead Judge, Prof. Graham Miller, Executive Dean and Professor of Sustainability in Business, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Surrey said, “The shortlisted projects and businesses demonstrate community development, sustainable employment practices, female empowerment, innovative environmental technology and protection of land and marine wildlife as well as positively contributing to the broader Sustainable Development Goals. Their efforts in these areas are a beacon to the rest of the travel sector in signalling the way to a more sustainable world.”

Elewana Collection is delighted to announce new partnership in Loisaba

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We are happy to share exciting news that our charitable arm, Land & Life Foundation will partner with the Loisaba Community Trust, working together on various initiatives and conservation education outreach programs and together they hope to reach more children than ever before; to instil deeper and more comprehensive understanding of and love for the natural world than ever before; to lift and support the communities in which they work, giving people and wildlife the help they need to build themselves a better life; and to maximise the impact of the funds raised.

Loisaba Community Trust is a leader in the conservation industry, known for the great success of their conservancy model and the strides they have taken in community support and involvement alongside science and wildlife protection and natural habitat preservation. They currently support the development of high quality education in the Loisaba area by working with 10 local primary and secondary schools. They have put in place an extensive bursary programme, provided infrastructural and resource developments for the school facilities and campuses, and introduced school visits for local children to the newly completed Loisaba Conservation Centre to help embed a love for the wild world in the hearts of the local youth. These visits are often accompanied by game drives within the conservancy, and they have also run adult literacy programs, school competitions and wildlife club activities in partnership with San Diego Zoo Global.    

Loisaba Community Trust mission is to improve access to quality education in the Loisaba community and the new partnership with Land & Life Foundation is yet another example of the commitment to collectively help improve and enrich the lives of people living alongside wildlife; ensure that they continue to receive tangible benefits from wildlife tourism. One of the first projects under the partnership will be the revamping of the Wildlife Warrior clubs at Ewaso and Morijo Primary Schools; the children will be issued with membership cards and the WWP warrior’s pledge.  Later on in the year, the Wildlife Warrior Scholarship program ill be introduced whereby two bright youngsters - a boy and girl attending Ewaso Primary will be awarded with a secondary school scholarship. Fundraising efforts for Ewaso and Morijo Primary School’s will take place and give guests staying at Elewana Loisaba Tented Camp and Elewana Loisaba Star Beds an opportunity to visit the schools and see how they would like to get involved. The team will source funds for Ewaso dispensary in order to provide capacity building through training for the clinic staff.

This strategic partnership will ensure that each benefit from the expertise and experience of the other therefore creating synergy and enhance the Elewana brand alignment so that we may have a shared vision and goals.  This new venture will also ensure that our Wildlife Warrior Program grows and benefits communities that we would otherwise not reach. Loisaba sees this as an exciting way to increase their conservation footprint. Both organisations hope that this partnership will open up new doors and a whole new world of opportunities that will help in serving the community better.  The community will on the other hand benefit by having access to more resources - monetary and non-monetary that are fundamental in the longevity and sustainability our community projects.

Mid-Season Travel to East Africa - A photographers Paradise

midseason reasons

Traveling to East Africa during the months of April, May, October and November is ideal - the wild flowers are in full blossom attracting a kaleidoscope of butterflies that transform the landscape into a spectacular display of colour.  With the lush vegetation comes new life and many of the antelope take advantage of this to have their young. April, May and early June are ideal to witness a variety of change, including dramatic skies that make for incredible landscape photography.

There is such diversity across both Kenya and Tanzania, each area so different, from the semi-arid landscape of the northern properties in Meru, Loisaba and Lewa then the rolling savannahs of the Masai Mara and of course the endless plains of Amboseli with the dramatic backdrop of Mt. Kilimanjaro, each has its own unique charm that will leave you in awe of your surroundings. In Tanzania the dramatic highlands of Ngorongoro Crater to the vast expanse of the Serengeti plains and the undulating valley’s and swamps of Tarangire with the impressive baobab trees that dominate the landscape. In contrast the stunning coastline offers a different beauty with swaying palm trees, white sandy beaches and crystal blue waters of the Indian Ocean that mesmerise the senses. Choosing one’s composition is never easy as there is so much to capture and never enough time to get it all.

After the rainy season, from April onwards and then again in November, Meru enjoys spectacular displays of wild flowers that carpet the ground making for vivid shots of colour. This time also brings out an amazing array of butterfly species, some of which are particular to the arid northern regions. For photographers that love to capture wildlife, then there is no shortage of large and small game to focus your lens on. After the rains sees new life in Meru, Lewa and the Masai Mara and of course the Serengeti, if you are looking for cute shoots of new born that are trying to find their feet in this world and the shy little glances, as they inquisitively try and work out their new surroundings.  The beginning of the year is the wildebeest calving on the southern plains of the Serengeti, easily accessed from Elewana Serengeti Pioneer Camp. Elewana Serengeti Migration Camp has an influx of baby hyrax that scurry around the rocks, in search of hiding places.

East Africa offers dramatic landscapes and even an amateur photographer can’t go wrong. With views that go on for miles, magnificent backdrops that include Mt Kenya and Mt Kilimanjaro and the depth of the African sky makes for a stunning composition, whether it is an endless blue with wispy white clouds or a dark dramatic storm rolling in, every day can bring something different. The light makes the perfect shot, be it early morning before the first rays of light touch the grassy plains laden with dew and the skies are a pale turquoise transforming instantly as the sun rises, sweeping the landscape in warmth or the burnt red ambers of an African sunset that taint everything with its soft golden glow just before it disappears below the horizon.

There are 44 tribes in Kenya and more than 120 distinct ethnic groups and tribes in Tanzania, of which most recognised are the colourful Maasai with their elaborate beadwork and distinctive shukas. Photographers that are enamoured with traditions and cultures, should look no further than the variety of tribes that reside in East Africa, each unique and splendid in their own way. Cultural visits can be arranged. We would request that before photographing people, please seek permission or ask your guide to assist as some don’t like to be photographed. A small fee may be requested to do so.

25 Top Reasons to Visit Mid Season

kenya airways

Kenya Airways to launch Nairobi-Rome-Geneva route

Kenya Airways will launch a four-times-a-week flight from Nairobi to Rome and Geneva in June. A Boeing 787-Dreamliner will be used on the route.

“The addition of flights to Rome and Geneva will be welcomed by both our leisure and business customers,” said Sebastian Mikosz, Kenya Airways Group MD and CEO. “It is a perfect complement to Nairobi, which is also Africa’s hub for the United Nations (UN) among other international agencies.”

quatar mombasa

Qatar Airways Launched New Flights to Mombasa

Qatar Airways launched new flights to Mombasa, its second destination in Kenya, offering more ways for people to get to the coastal area of Kenya. Mombasa is approximate one hour drive from Diani Beach should you be considering a stay at Elewana AfroChic Diani.

Qatar Airways had its inaugural flight to Mombasa on the 9th December, opening up the country’s beautiful coasts to international holiday-makers. The new four-times weekly service is Qatar Airways’ second Kenyan destination, in addition to existing flights to Nairobi.

Cast your vote for Elewana Collection in the Travel + Leisure's World's Best Awards 2019 and stand a chance to win*

worlds best awards

Many Elewana Collection properties have been nominated and we would greatly appreciate a couple minutes of your time to cast your vote. Below are the Elewana Collections camps, lodges and hotels that have been nominated:

Kenya

  • Elewana AfroChic Diani
  • Elewana Elephant Pepper
  • Elewana Elsa's Kopje Meru
  • Elewana Lewa Safari Camp
  • Elewana Loisaba Tented Camp
  • Elewana Sand River Masai Mara
  • Elewana Tortilis Amboseli

Tanzania

  • Elewana Arusha Coffee Lodge
  • Elewana Kilindi Zanzibar
  • Elewana Serengeti Migration Camp
  • Elewana Serengeti Pioneer Camp
  • Elewana Tarangire Treetops
  • Elewana The Manor at Ngorongoro

Every year for the World’s Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more.  Readers can rate hotel brands on their locations, rooms/facilities, food, service, and overall value.

Complete the survey and you'll be entered into Travel + Leisure’s giveaway* and a chance to win a dream trip for two worth $10,000, to be planned by a Travel & Leisure A-List Agent.**

* Please note that the giveaway is only open to legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia. Those that live outside these areas can still vote and rate TRAVEL + LEISURE’s World’s Best but you will not be entered in the giveaway and therefore not eligible to win.

The Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards survey will be conducted online from NOVEMBER 5, 2018 – MARCH 4, 2019.

https://wba.m-rr.com/home

**NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE WILL NOT IMPROVE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. Giveaway is open to legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia, age 18 or older at time of entry. To qualify for the random drawing, entries must be received by 11:59 PM ET on 3/4/19. Only one (1) online entry per person/email address. See Sweepstakes Facts and Official Rules for details and how to enter the Giveaway without completing the survey. View our Privacy Policy for more information.

photos of the month

Clockwise, Left to Right: New Year Sunrise AfroChic Diani Beach - Natasha Wissanji, Female Leopard at Serengeti Pioneer Camp - Harman Singh Heer, Verreauxs Eagle Owl at Elsa's Kopje Meru - Elewana Guide Moses, Elephant at Sunset Tortilis Camp Amboseli - Elewana Guide Jonathan